Librotraficante Studies: The books are talking back to us. : Librotraficante Justice
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Librotraficante Studies: The books are talking back to us.

by Tony Diaz - El Librotraficante on 02/08/15

            There is sometimes debate in the academic world if scholars should get involved in the issues they study.

            For Librotraficante Studies you must.

            In fact, you must lead the way.

            As we prepare to convene for the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco and as we prepare to conduct the first series of workshops on Librotraficante Studies, I draw your attention to 3 maxims that are pillars of the Librotraficante Movement.


I: Learn the System.


II: Don’t’ trust the System.


III: We are the system.


            For this brief introduction, I want to address Maxim III: We are the system.


            Instead of explaining this the traditional way, I want to illustrate this fact for you.

            I also have to warn you. This is the fact that terrifies the far right into banning our History and Culture.

            I write this to you as I pause from the details of organizing the 2015 NACCS Tejas Foco.

            I’m the chair for this conference. I’m the chair, sitting in a chair in my office, at Lone Star College-North Harris where I am the Director of Intercultural Initiatives.

            You might ask what is a “Director of Intercultural Initiatives”? Exactly.

            I am creating it as I and my fellow scholars, writers, artists, familia by blood, and familia by community create so many other institutions-every day.

            At this same conference, we are launching Librotraficante Studies with an entire track of panels on the Librotraficante Movement. That will inspire more research, more activism, more writing.

            I will publish this essay on our blog on

            I will link to this from essays I will write for any number of online publications and through social media.

            I will teach this essay in my Mexican American Literature courses.

            I will refer to this as I’m on the air for our weekly radio show: Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, during prime time,  at 100,000 watts on 90.1 FM, in the fourth largest city in America. (I haven’t checked today-we might be the 3rd largest.)

            I will publish a version of this for the hard copy of our newspaper The Librotraficante Times.

            And I will donate a hard copy of the original essay, along with one or two early versions with typos and halts, to the Houston Public Library, which is now collecting the papers of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, the nonprofit I founded in 1998, which has been the foundation for the Librotraficantes.

            And I have created these thrilling entities and works with my brothers and sisters from the class room to the court room to the cocina and back, and then again.

            Those we fear us know we are the system.

            They fear the moment that we know this.

            That time is now, and this time is ours.

            Welcome to the Chican@ Renaissance.

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