To members and friends of Historians Against the War,
Arizona’s HB 2281 goes into effect today, February 1, 2012, and we are asking you to join a national Teach In and take a few minutes in your classes or other places to read a passage from one of the banned books.
This bill has taken Mexican American Studies out of school curriculum especially in the Tucson Unified School District. It is also a threat to ethnic studies in public education at all levels. The TUSD has recently gone into classrooms and boxed up books considered to be part of this program (while students were in classes). They have also regulated that certain themes in other books cannot be taught. For example, if Shakespeare’s The Tempest is taught, the theme of oppression cannot be. The books being “banned” are from a variety of writers, not just those in Mexican Studies.
The seven books that were removed from TUSD classrooms are:
Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado
500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez
Message to Aztlan by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales
Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Fiere
Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson
Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña
There was some confusion in the news media about other works, such as Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Rodolfo Anaya’s Bless, Me Ultima, being removed as well. While some teachers, and administrators, questioned whether they could continue to use such works, and were told that they should “stay away from any units where race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes” the books were not removed from the classrooms.
School of Education
2403 James Hall
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11210