Magazine Articles

William Loren Katz

I was informed that on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day the book "Rethinking Columbus," designed to make pupils and teachers think about how this county was founded and developed by its many peoples, was banned from the classrooms of Tucson, Arizona. The book, which has been in print for twenty years and has sold 300,000 copies, carries essays donated by noted Native American, Mexican American, African American, Hispanic American and white authors and educators. This includes two essays of mine entitled "Black Indians and Resistance” from BLACK INDIANS: A HIDDEN HERITAGE.


Jonathan Kozol

I took it as a great honor to discover that my book Savage Inequalities has been banned from classrooms in Tucson, Arizona -- especially along with James Baldwin, César Chavez, Sandra Cisneros, and my old and beloved friends Luis Rodriguez, Paulo Freire, David Berliner, Howard Zinn, Bill Bigelow, and Bob Peterson at Rethinking Schools.

What great company to be in!


Ode to My Mentors

Each of us has our mentors, the individuals who showed us at an early age not only a different way of seeing the world, but a different way of being in the world. I found my mentor at the Teton Science School in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. His name was Ted Major. He was the first Democrat I had ever met. I was eighteen years old.

Today, Ted is ninety-one years old, and still as contemporary as anyone I know. He tends his fruit trees in Victor, Idaho, with his wife, Joan, of more than sixty years, and four generations of Majors living on their homestead. I am still learning from him.

TUSD flagrantly violates Constitution and International Human Rights Treaties

"Instead of seeing Hispanics as outsiders who do not belong here, we need to start seeing them as ancestors of the original inhabitants of these lands. They are the living fulfillment of the Ghost Dance prophecy." - Chief Billy Redwing Tayac, Piscataway Nation

How Does It Feel?

How does it feel to have one of your books banned in Arizona? In part, it feels good. It proves that we have said something that the authorities found dangerous. And they could not have found it dangerous if they had thought that it was untrue--in that case they would merely have ignored or refuted it. Instead, they fabricated patently false reasons for boxing up our book, along with six others, and sending it to a distant book depository.

Sherman Alexie

Let's get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I'm pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I'm also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world.

Ana Castillo’s statement

“This is a mini-McCarthyish blacklist equating any Latin@ immigrant-related expression to the fear generated amongst the populace during the Cold War. This is not the only move to discredit Latin@ literature along the border, in particular Texas. The question during an election year to ask, especially for Arizonan voters, is: Yay or nay on our First Amendment and Freedom of Speech rights being systematically removed?

--Ana Castillo is the author of “Loverboys” and “So Far From God,” along with many other novels and books of poetry.


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