Houston, TX. April 3, 2014. The Texas State Board of Education can mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act by voting to implement Mexican American Studies. This would stamp out one of the last vestiges of the discrimination the law was intended to defy.
President Johnson taught in a Mexican Only school in Cotulla, Texas. The tragedy and irony of this fact is that it's not well known and there's not one single official course in LBJ's home state of Texas to convey this rich Texas, American, and Mexican American history.
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante, leader of the Librotraficante Movement said, "Only institutionalized racism can explain how 50 years after The Civil Rights act was signed, 45+ years after Cesar Chavez's fast, and now that Hispanics comprise 51% of Texas Public School Students-Texas Hispanic youth do not have equal access to culturally relevant courses. We have to change that right now."
Texas State Board of Education representative Ruben Cortez has been championing this issue. He will present the vote on implementing Mexican American Studies at the TX SBOE meeting April 9. Cortez said, "Our ability as a society to adapt defines the essence of the American Spirit. We must acknowledge the significance of the contributions of Mexican-Americans and record them as history so all generations know that cultural diversity is what continues to make America the greatest nation in the world."
Students, families, activists, artists, professionals are part of a statewide coalition convening in Austin to break this legacy of discrimination. Below is an outline of planned events.
Book Rave Party: Chicanos are the new counter culture.
Monday, April 7, 8 pm
Resistencia Book Store
Casa de Red Salmon Arts
4926 E. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX
The Book Rave Party will feature mind-altering prose from works by Chicano authors banned in Arizona and music by DJ's which will include the Librotraficante Electronic Music Anthem. This showdown with Texas discrimination is our "1968" Democratic Convention. The SBOE and GOP need to know the whole world is watching. #TWWIW
March For Mexican American Studies (MAS)
Tuesday, April 8, 9 am - 11 a.m starting at the Corner of Cesar Chavez Street and Congress, Austin, TX.
Students, professors, activists, artists, professionals, and families will convene at Cesar Chavez Street and then march along Congress to the Austin, Texas Capitol Building, carrying copies of books by or about Mexican American writers and figures who have been over looked by history. This will culminate with a rally in front of Capitol Building, prior to testifying at the Texas Education Agency Building.
Press Conference and Rally & Public Testimony
Tuesday, April 8, Rally 12:45. This is followed by testimony before the TX SBOE.
Texas Education Agency Building
William B. Travis (WBT) State Office Building
1701 North Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78701
For more updates visit: www.Librotraficante.com and www.MASTexas.org
In March of 2012 the Librotraficante Caravan smuggled the books banned in Tucson back into Arizona. www.Librotraficante.com They opened 4 Librotraficante Under Ground Libraries along the way and have opened several more since. Last year they organized the first Librotraficante 50 for Freedom of Speech. They have also stopped Anti-ethnic Studies legislation in Texas. www.StopTXhb1938.org
Tony Diaz, El Librotraficante