by Krista Shugart
One of the classes I am taking during my Social Justice semester in Tucson (through my eco-league semester) is entitled “Banned Books.” Yesterday our class met and had completed our first book entitled, “Devil’s Highway” by Luis Alberto Urrea. We had a three hour discussion on the book, which was needed as there was so much truth in the book that needed to be discussed critically. The book is about the Mexican border, and what it means to cross it. The book follows people crossing the deadly region known as “Devil’s Highway” a journey that is no stranger to death. I feeel so lucky to be taking a course dedicated to reading and discussing Banned Books & it is incredibly important for people to read the books that were so important to read, that they were banned by racist laws led by Republican Tom Horne.
Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Banned Books passed legistlation HB 2281passed in 2010 to ban Chicano Literature in the public schools. The state came into the classrooms and boxed up the books and took them away right in front of the students eyes. This was obviously incredibly traumatic, and you can hear about the students experience in the second youtube link I posted.
“This is a movement for de-colonizing all minds, hearts, and bodies around the world, in defense of our people’s – particularly the youth -rights to ancestral knowledge, to know themselves, and to proclaim Chicano/a Literature and Art as a culture of sovereign peoples liberating themselves from racist and imperialist hostility.” -Xicana/o Pop-Up Book Movement
Here is a list of all the books that were banned:
Next time you are looking for something to read…choose one off of this list!!