¡Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature End of Year Book Review

¡Ban This!

¡Ban This!

In 1967, Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, leader of the Crusade for Justice, filled a literary vacuum within an emerging Chicana/o literary canon when he crafted the epic poem I am Joaquin. Through I am Joaquin, Gonzalez eloquently expressed the crisis of identity that has historically fragmented the Mexican people since its incorporation into the American polity in 1848.

Gonzalez initiated the early remnants of a distinct Chicana/o political and ideological framework, which completely manifested itself in the writing of El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán in 1969. I am Joaquin is the ultimate expression of the Chicana/o people’s search for a non-Anglo identity and Chicana/o self-determination.

The epic poem dramatized the identity crisis facing people of Mexican descent:

La Raza!
Mejicano!
Español
Latino!
Hispano!
Chicano
or whatever I call myself,
I look the same
I feel the same
I cry
and
sing the same.

In 2012, forty-five years after I am Joaquin, Chicanas/os were once again at the forefront of making political and literary history. ¡Ban This! The BSP Anthology of Xican@ Literature edited by Santino J. Rivera is a dangerous literary weapon; it is a weapon of mass education, whose primary focus is ensuring the continuation of Chicana/o history, culture, and knowledge remain sacred and vibrant within our communities.

In the same spirit of resistance as I am Joaquin, Santino J. Rivera skillfully gathered a collection of literary and artistic works to (re)inspire and (re)define a new generation of young Chicanas/os to continue the legacy of Chicana/o self-determination in the new millennia.

¡Ban This! is a timely and much needed literary and political offering of new vibrant voices not only in Chicana/o Studies, but in American Literature as well.

At a time when the state of Arizona continues to devise draconian laws to ban Chicana/o Studies, Rivera proudly presents defiant VOICES that will not be silenced.

Arizona not only bans books, erases history, and fires educators, but is in the process of putting armed guards at every school through the office of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who hates anything Mexican.

It is obvious that Arizona is sending a message to the entire country: it prefers guns over books at its schools.

¡Ban This!, then, is testament to the fact that Chicana/o history will not be banned, erased nor silenced from the American collective consciousness. In Of Codices and Culture, Rivera proclaims the legacy of Chicana/o resistance for a new generation:

Our modern codices
will not be burned
no history
is ever
illegal
we will endure

Included in ¡Ban This! are well known Chicana/o academics, writers, and artists, such as Rodolfo Acuña, Luis Alberto Urrea, Gustavo Arellano, Lalo Alcaraz, Mario Barrera, Francisco X. Alarcon, and Roberto “Cintli” Rodriguez.

In addition, new powerful voices in Chicana/o Studies emerge with strong literary writings from Jehuniko, Lizz Huerta, Vincent Cooper, Gina Ruiz, Art Meza, and so many more outstanding up-and-coming scholars, writers, and artists.

This book is a must in your literary collection. This collection offers something for everyone from prose to short stories to literary criticism.

¡Ban This! is one of many voices in Aztlan yearning to be heard by a new generation, and it will be heard!!!

Order your book(s) from your local bookstore or from Amazon & Barnes and Noble. For more information, visit http://brokenswordpublications.com/

c/s
cultural sovereignty

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