Thursday, September 27, 2012

Our History! Our Words!

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, Latino History Month… However, everyday is Latina Heritage month in my house.
What does it mean to be Latino? What is Hispanic Heritage beyond the self-imposed/societal barriers and what we are told it means to be Hispanic or a "real" Latino is? 
Is it speaking Spanish? Is being Latino about knowing how to cook comida from our countries? Is it hanging a Dominican flag in our houses, hanging them outside of the windows and displaying them on the rearview mirrors of our cars? What does being Latino mean to us? Is it a box we check off on a census form? 
There is so much more to our story than that... issues that go deeper.
How are we celebrating our culture? What do we know about our culture? What are we sharing about our culture? What are we learning about our culture? How are we preserving our history? Who will tell our stories?
First of all, we must begin by knowing our stories! 
Si no sabes de donde vienes como vas a saber para donde vas! If you don't know where you come from how will you know where you're headed!!!
If we don’t share our history and write our stories… WE will become extinct. Our stories will no longer matter. In some cases they are not mattering now. We should be furious that the Tucson School District is banning and removing our books from the bookshelves –
Books were banished because it was believed that the Mexican American Studies program was racially divisive. As a result, books were ripped off the bookshelves… and taken away.
Our history is being banned… our stories removed… an attempt is being made to erase us from education!
What about racial exclusion? The most important issue here is that OUR STORIES ARE BEING REMOVED! We have never been included in the textbooks and now an attempt is being made to completely erase us! 
Our desire to see characters who reflect our experiences and learning our history as written by us is being threatened!
An attempt is being made… has been made… to ban our culture, the contributions that have been made by our ancestors, the sacrifices of our families and our beautiful stories that MUST exist in order to be passed down to our children!
Join me this month at any event where I will be presenting Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story, reading from Finding Your Force, performing poetry and participating at several events honoring our history. 
I am completely dedicated to ensuring that our stories are told… our story can never be taken from us!

Thursday, October 4th  ~ St. Josephs College, Brooklyn NY ~ 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Wednesday, October 10th ~ Afrolatinos Presentation~ Webinar
Thursday, October 11th ~ Hofstra University
Monday, October 15th ~ Pennslyvania ~ Department of Education Afrolatinos Workshop
Monday, October 15th ~ 6th Year Anniversary of the NYC Latina Writers Group
Thursday, October 18th ~ Pace University
Sunday, October 28th ~ Women of the World Writing Virtual Workshop~ FREE
October – November ~ Bogota, Colombia ~ Afrolatinos: The Untaught Story~ 
November 11, 18, 25 and December 2, 9, 16 ~ Writing with Intention Workshop~
December 31, 2012 ~ DOTR Manuscript Completed~
2013 Events, Performances, Readings
February 2013 ~ Cornell University
June 2013 ~ VONA
August 2013 ~ Michfest ~ Writing Workshops
Keynotes, Travel, Presentations, Panel Discussions, DOTR Manuscript submitted for publication, FYF V2 ~ begin writing~ LIVING A LIFE OF GRATITUDE!

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