Emigdio Vasquez, Legendary Chicano Artist, Passes Away ›

(via friduchaamparo)


Emma Tenayuca was a Mexican American activist and educator. Born December 21, 1916 in San Antonio, Texas, Tenayuca was a key figure in Texan labor and civil rights activism during the 1930’s, where she organized protests over the beatings of Mexican migrants by United States Border Patrol agents and labor strikes to end unfair wages. As a union activist, she also founded two international ladies’ garment workers unions and was involved in both the Worker’s Alliance of America and Woman’s League for Peace and Freedom. 

Throughout her fight for labor and civil rights, Tenayuca was arrested many times under charges of “disturbing the peace”, even though her participation during protests was strictly peaceful. She was also targeted for being a member of the Communist Party, which resulted in her being “blacklisted” and forced to move out of the San Antonio area 1939. After leaving her hometown she went on to attend San Francisco State College where she majored in Education. Years later Tenayuca returned to San Antonio and earned a master’s in Education from Our Lady of the Lake University, leading her to eventually go on to teach in the Harlandale School District until her retirement in 1982.

Shortly after her retirement Emma Tenayuca was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and passed away on July 23, 1999.

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“Latinos are rockers too,” says Deftones lead singer ›


For the Deftones there was nothing weird about being Latino and making rock music, but others didn’t always see it that way.

“When Deftones first started a lot of people were like isn’t that weird that you guys are mostly a Mexican band playing Heavy Metal?” says Camilo Wong Moreno lead singer of Grammy award winning band Deftones. “I never thought of it as a weird thing until people started mentioning it especially like overseas. People were like this is very odd, I was like no, Latinos are rockers too.

"Isn’t it weird you guys are a mostly mexican band playing heavy metal"

Translation: “what the hell are you non white guys doing playing heavy metal music? This isn’t for you!”

Metalness is next to Mexicanliness.

#dicho  #metal  #mexican  


Editor’s Note: I’m glad to see more people echoing the Reclaim Cinco de Mayo sentiment this year, and a few more events than in previous years. These are positive steps forward that we can surely build on!

I’ve also been noticing a few people commenting about #3. Although said in humor, the fact is that war is about killing your enemy. In La Batalla de Puebla del Cinco de Mayo, Mexico’s enemy were the French invaders, and we won. It was a victory for freedom and a defeat of tyranny, which many forget also had ties to the U.S. Civil War. Cinco de Mayo’s significance evolved over time, but it undoubtedly was kept alive by Chicano nationalists honoring their heritage and celebrating Mexico’s victory over European imperialism, which makes the sight of white people in the States “celebrating” this holiday that much more absurd.

Also, keep submitting links and images of events exploiting Cinco de Mayo. Thanks to Badass Mexicans for the heads up on the Fiesta 5K Ole/Taco Truck Challenge.

5 Things We Can Do to Reclaim Cinco de Mayo

It’s pretty much official. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become the Mexican version of St. Patrick’s Day.

Multinational corporations like Budweiser and Kraft have effectively turned it into a pseudo-ethnic holiday used as another excuse to get drunk and consume. La Batalla de Puebla is hardly mentioned, including by many Mexicans.

Still fresh in our community’s collective memory, however, is a time before corporations even seemed to care about Mexicans and our traditions, and when Cinco de Mayo was a day of community and cultural affirmation. Kids would dress up as China Poblanas and charros, folklórico and Danza Azteca groups would perform, grills would be ablaze, and maybe a parade and car show would entertain families on this day.

Of course, these traditions are still very much alive and being observed every year in our communities — as the photo above from West St. Paul’s Cinco de Mayo event shows. The big difference is that today there are entire events posing as Cinco de Mayo festivals that are actually corporate festivals held to promote products and brands.

Can we take back from multinationals something that has belonged to us for decades?

Can we reclaim Cinco de Mayo as a day that celebrates Mexico’s heroic victory for democracy and freedom over French imperialism in the Batalla de Puebla?

Of course we can!

Here are 5 things we can do to make it happen:

1. Support events hosted by and for the benefit of local non-profits and community-based organizations.

2. Don’t go to corporate Cinco de Mayo events. No matter how much free shit they give away.

3. Remind white people Cinco de Mayo celebrates the killing of white people!

4. Know the history of Cinco de Mayo and La Batalla de Puebla.

5. Promote Mexico making Cinco de Mayo a national holiday, removing the silly claim that it’s only celebrated in the US.

Photo: A dancer marches in the Cinco de Mayo parade Saturday, May 4, 2013 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Credit: MPR, Nikki Tundel.

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Every year.

Official Mexican “Tell the French to F-off” Day

I-Team: Bundy's 'ancestral rights' come under scrutiny ›

Ha.  How long do you think it would take before National Guard tanks came rolling in if these people were anything but white right-wingers?  Imagine a bunch of brown people waving guns around and talking about ancestral rights like that?  Imagine 1967.   Imagine 1973.  Imagine basically all of U.S. history!

adelantecorazon asked: I read on one of the asks about language resources. I was wondering about websites or resources where to learn the Nahualt language since I found out my Great-Grandmother spoke nothing but that language. Any ideas?



But I mostly just look through the ‘Nahuatl’ tag, it has a lot of useful tips on pronunciation and such. My father knows the language better than me though so I usually get some help from him, mostly because sometimes the words are not spelled correctly and that can make all the difference. - mod M

*If you go in the Nahuatl tag, you have to know a decent amount of Spanish because it’s mainly Spanish to Nahuatl.

badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista said: there is also the English-Nahuatl dictionary online run by AULEX org but its in Spanish. also try this mexica.ohui.net

I know a university course like this is very expensive but maybe someone out there is interested.  Financial aid is available according to the website. The professor John Sullivan has previously taught an online course through the University of New Mexico Chicana & Chicano Studies Program as recently as Spring 2013. There may be other opportunities out there in the future so keep an eye out.  If nothing else, there is a short list of course materials after the jump.  IDIEZ seems like a very cool organization as well. Here’s the info for the class:

Intensive Nahuatl Language Summer 2014 at Yale University

The Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies (CLAIS) at Yale University, in partnership with IDIEZ (the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas, Mexico) offer the opportunity to study Classical and Modern Nahuatl at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels in a summer intensive course that will be held at Yale in Summer 2014. 

Dates of Course:  June 23 – August 1, 2014.

Read More

What is interesting, is that the Frida Kahlo venerated by American feminists is a very different Frida Kahlo to the one people learn about in Mexico, in the Chicano community. In her country, she is recognized as an important artist and a key figure in revolutionary politics of early 20th century Mexico. Her communist affiliations are made very clear. Her relationship with Trotsky is underscored. All her political activities with Diego Rivera are constantly emphasized. The connection between her art and her politics is always made. When Chicana artists became interested in Frida Kahlo in the ‘70s and started organizing homages, they made the connection between her artistic project and theirs because they too were searching for an aesthetic compliment to a political view that was radical and emancipatory. But when the Euro-American feminists latch onto Frida Kahlo in the early ‘80s and when the American mainstream caught on to her, she was transformed into a figure of suffering. I am very critical of that form of appropriation.

Coco Fusco on her Amerindians piece from 1992 with Guillermo Gómez-Peña (via tofunkey)


(via buriedthings)


Lending Circles Help Latinas Pay Bills And Invest

Cuban-American Barb Mayo describes a tanda like this: “It’s like a no-interest loan with your friends.” Mayo had never heard of tandas growing up, and it wasn’t until she started working in sales for a cable company in Southern California that she was introduced to the concept.

Here’s an example of how a tanda works: Ten friends, family or co-workers get together, and each agrees to give $100 every two weeks to the group’s organizer. One person ends up with the whole pot at the end of the month: $2,000. This goes on for 10 months until everyone gets the pot.

Read more on NPR’s Code Switch

Oh no, the gringos know about the tandas.



in the span of 10 minutes two mexicans just won an oscar, you have no idea how great that is. 

Lupita counts so three!


¡Viva la mujer Chicana!

(via raiderxvida)

#chicano  #xicana  #mujer  


Cesar Chavez, Salinas Valley, 1970

(via elcoyoteonline)


What Star Wars' Casting of Adam Driver Says About Hollywood

For once, a casting announcement for an iconic film has been met with little objection. Late Wednesday afternoon, Hollywood trade publications reported that Adam Driver would likely play a key role as the villain in the new Star Wars trilogy. If Driver ends up with the part, this is good news for all. Driver is a terrific actor, and it bodes well for the upcoming trilogy that the producers have chosen someone whose strength lies in his abilities, not in conventional good looks.

Obviously, it is also a big deal for Driver himself, as it marks a huge leap forward in his career. Two years ago, nobody knew his name, but after breaking out in Girls and securing small but memorable roles in prestigious fare like Lincoln and Inside Llewyn Davis, he is now on a more secure path to movie stardom.

But one question remains: Why is it that the first actor from Girls to break through to success in the movies is a man?

Read more. [Image: Evan Agostini/AP]

It’s a trap!  First this article pretends to be about Star Wars to get us to read about the television show Girls; then it carelessly spews a bunch of thermal exhaust about Latinos in the entertainment industry while trying to say something, anything, about gender.  Let’s take it apart.

Another place where television trumps film in reflecting modern America is its use of Latino characters.

So true. Latinos characters are extremely useful once you get the hang of them.  White actors are quite adept at playing them nowadays.  You know, because practice makes perfect.  It would be a shame if someone diluted that perfection.

A portion of anti-immigration advocates fear the dilution of American culture due to the influence of Mexican immigrants, but on television, no one seems to mind.

In real life racists have a deep seated fear of brown people and miss the old-timey white America they made up in their heads.  On TV they get to see that fantasy.  Magical!  If you feel a little awkward about that, just remember it’s all the fault of of Mexican immigrants acting all suave and influential.  Never mind about those blatant bland racists anti-immigration advocates.  Hey look, boobs!

On the networks, Modern Family features a prominent Latina (Sofia Vergara), while Eva Longoria, of Mexican descent, anchored Desperate Housewives for years.

T and A.  Diversity.

Flip on over to cable and check out The Bridge for a more serious, nuanced Latino character.

2012 Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir?  Forget that guy, what about George Lopez?

George Lopez has been around seemingly forever and has a new show on FX premiering next month.

Forever has never felt so long.  What were we talking about?

But where are the Latino movie stars? Sure, we’ve got Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Antonio Banderas, but they are all of Spanish descent, not Mexican, which makes a difference when we’re discussing immigration issues.

And when are we not discussing immigration?  We can’t stop talking about it.  Just look what happened to Spain.  It used to be European, now everyone there is of Spanish descent.  If only Spain had gone Mexican, that would have solved this problem.  Maybe we can get one of those Puerto Rican or Colombian Mexicans to star in a film someday.

If you are looking for a Mexican-American movie star, the best you can do are Salma Hayek, Diego Luna, or Danny Trejo, none of who have the star power to helm a big-budget studio movie.

Do you work here?  It just seems like someone writing about the entertainment industry should know their way around Variety slanguage. Ehem. Salma Hayek was the top liner (star) of Frida.  Danny Trejo was the top liner (star) of both Machete, and Machete Kills. Diego Luna helmed (directed) the upcoming Cesar Chavez.  But never mind that, you were looking for Mexican-Americans and you found one naturalized American citizen, one Mexican citizen, and a bonus bad-ass Chicano.  You could work for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office.

Many talented Latino film actors out there, like the versatile and charismatic Michael Pena, have inexplicably never broken through to the mainstream (although next month’s Cesar Chavez will hopefully change that in Pena’s case).

Inexplicable—the first word that come to mind when I think of Michael Pena’s career—when it comes to mind.  Wait, isn’t Rosario Dawson playing Dolores Huerta in that movie?

On issues of gender equality, both film and television are making progress.

  Who cares (apparently). Let’s just watch this trailer for Cesar Chavez!


Dimmet, Texas, 1949.

White’s only what?


Phrases in 8 of Mexico’s Mother Languages in Honor of International Mother Language Day

In 1999, UNECO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) proclaimed February 21 International Mother Language Day as a means to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages ​​used by peoples of the world.”

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) was established by UNESCO in commemoration of students who were killed in Dhaka (current day Bangladesh) in 1952 protesting for recognition of Bengali as one of two official languages of then Pakistan. 2014 marks 15 years that IMLD has promoted the richness and diversity of mother languages.

According to a study done by INALI ​​(National Institute of Indigenous Languages), in Mexico there are:

• 11 language families

• 68 languages

• and 364 dialects

In celebration of IMLD, here are phrases in Nahuatl, Zapotec, Maya, Totonac, Tarahumara, Otomi, Mazahua and Mixtec, 8 of Mexico’s mother languages, via our friends at Animal Político.

1. Nahuatl: It comes from the Uto-Aztecan family and is the most widely spoken of all Indian languages. Spoken in Mexico City, Durango, State of Mexico, Guerrero, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, Tlaxcala and Veracruz, among others.

Good morning: Cualli tonaltin, or when you meet someone, you can say panoli.
Thanks: Tlasojkamati
Farewell Anej

2. Zapoteco: Oto-mangue language family. It’s spoken in Oaxaca and Veracruz.

Hi: Shitaxha
Thanks: Xquixhepelli
Goodbye: Padiuxhi

3. Maya: Maya language family. It is the second most spoken language in Mexico. It is spoken in the Yucatan Peninsula, Belize and Guatemala.

Good morning: ma’alo’ob k’iin
Thanks: Niib óolal, Yuum bo’otik
Goodbye: ka’a xi’itech

4. Totonaco: Totonaco-tepehua language family. It’s spoken in the Papantla region of Veracruz.

Good morning, afternoon, evening: Kgalhén
Thanks: Paxkatkatsini
Goodbye: Skgalhén

5. Mixteco: In 2000, Mixteco language speakers ​​were the fourth largest community of Indigenous language speakers in Mexico with a total of 446,236 speakers over the age of 5.

Good morning: ku va’a
Thanks: tixa’vi, taxa’vixiñ
Goodbye: ndene’e, nandi

6. Tarahumara: Rarámuri, as it’s known by many, is especially complex. It has five vowel tones and distinctive vowel lengths: / i, e, a, o, u /, which also distinguishes between long and short vowels. Its accent is also phonemic.

Good morning: kuira ba
Thanks: matétera ba
Goodbye: ariosibá

7. Mazahua: Its speakers refer to their language as “Jñatio,” which is also their name for themselves.

Good morning: jiasmaji
Thanks: pokjú
Goodbye: maxa (the person replying); maxko (the person bidding farewell)

8. Otomi: As a group, the Otomi is the fifth largest Indigenous nation of Mexico. Of these, only a little more than half speak their mother language.

Good morning: hats’i, haxajuä
Thanks: jamädi
Goodbye: magö

Thanks to the folks at INALI, UNESCO, and those at Animal Político for compiling this list.

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