Q. What is Read & Resist Tucson?
A. It's a response to the Tucson, Arizona school district's decision to do away with its Mexican-American studies program. As a result, Tucson students are no longer allowed to learn about their heritage in the classroom. Teachers are no longer allowed to use a long list of texts - texts mostly penned by Latina/o authors - in the classroom on the grounds that the books promote a victim mentality in minority students and instill a bitterness towards the United States. Read & Resist Tucson challenges people to read some of the books, open a dialogue, and interpret their messages for themselves.
Q. Why does everyone keep saying the books were banned? Technically they weren't!
A. True. According to the Tucson school district, many of the books are still available to students via the school library. But over 80 books on Mexican-American history and literature are now forbidden from being used for teaching purposes inside Tucson classrooms. That severely limits students' access to them, and if students -- particularly future generations of students who never had access to Mexican-American studies -- aren't even aware of the history, fiction, and poetry that's out there, how do they even know what to seek out? In my book, hindering physical and intellectual access to more than 80 titles = banning.
Q. I want to join but I don't have a blog to post reviews on. Can I still participate?
A. Yes! If you don't blog but use a site like LibraryThing or Goodreads, feel free to post your review there and link to that. If you don't post anywhere on the net, you can write a review and I'll post it on Read & Resist Tucson. You can email me your review at thefeministtexican [at] gmail [dot] com.
Q. ...hey! I have a blog, but I want to show off my stuff here too! Can I cross-post a review at Read & Resist Tucson?
A. Well, if you insist. (Actually, I'd love to feature some reviews here. The more the merrier!)
Q. I read one of the books on the list and I hated it. Do you still want me to add it to the review database?
A. Yes! No one says you have to like everything you read (although that would be nice, because reading bad books is a bummer). But it happens, and it's okay to bring that up in a review. If you think the pacing is a snoozefest or the plot twist is infuriating, say so. Just don't be a troll about it: the goal is to promote dialogue, not shut it down.