Let the revolution continue…

And on that day without plans

We all had agreed that a revolution was the goal

Angela said that a revolution lies in the principles and the goals that you’re striving for, not in the way you reach them. And Malcom agreed with her—by all means the revolution would take place with or without us. But Marcos had the last words, stating that we would always be able to question the means but never the revolution itself. That is when the words of Marx resonated in our heads. I remember him telling us that a revolution cannot be judged by its consciousness, but by its contradictions.

                           

It all made sense now.

 

So when did the revolution contradict itself?

We got too caught up on the revolution’s definitive statement

We forgot we were the catalysts

We forgot we were the tools

 

We didn’t want nothing short of a revolution

But we stopped growing

As soon as we stopped caring

We lost balance

And we stopped healing

We forgot about the process

Unwilling to seek truth  

We chose to not deal with our pain

…no more

And with that we lost sight of the revolution

 

We perpetuated the antithesis that has now become part of our process

To unlearn the tools of the oppressor 

Realizing we were hurting ourselves all along

 

All we have left now is to hold one another accountable

Acknowledge how we perpetuate and contradict ourselves

Admit that the revolution contradicted itself

As soon as we began contradicting ourselves

 

Altogether we lost sight of the revolution because

We forgot about us

We forgot about we

We forgot about you and me

 

It makes sense now

The revolution contradicted itself

As soon as we thought a revolution only took place on the outside

All this time we forgot about the revolution within us

 

Let the revolution continue

Lets remember about us

Lets talk about we

And lets us take care of you and me

Audrey told me that’s a part of self-preservation

 

Lets help one another move beyond survival

To heal

And relearn to love

To be brave

And to see beauty in our existence

 

 

Let the revolution continue

At least within us

Between you and me

With us

together we heal 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Love In

I caught glimpses of her through sugar cracks in ripe yellow walls.

Her presence makes me want to paint mixed-media murals, on her skin, with found objects.

She said we came from the same cloud.

I’d say the same thing, if I hadn’t already known my semilla sprouted in soil.

She comes with fire & water from the west. Like desert monsoons, she digs rivers out of dry beds and electrifies the night sky.

Our elements intersect like our identities, to teach us lessons we have yet to learn.

Life Lessons, Love Lessons.

like

what it means to love ourselves first.

and

how to love people who look like us.

or

what it feels like when we let love take up the space that fear usually owns.

 

I hope that love squats in these spaces long enough to turn them into homes.

Homes with walls built from earth to protect the love that lives inside, not keep it out.

Where deep roots grow in backyard gardens of kitchens, where abuelitas feed five generations from one olla.

 

When she sings I can hear voices of ancestors we’ve never met.

They make music together with chords that were never played and keys that were never sung.

The spiritual needs no rehearsal. Synchronicity is greater than science.

We see shadows from the smoke of burning medicine under the moonlight, as we dream, dance, laugh, and love.

Mujer, I call you magic and I mean it.

A Letter to the United States People

Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom 
 
Open your eyes.  No matter how painful the sight, look at it.  Look at it!
2 million in cages?  Masses of children being medicated for “mental disorders”?  Masses of poor people being medicated and told that everything they face is their individual problem and their individual fault?
War after war after war after war after war
like tv show after tv show after movie after film showing the same violence scene
and We Love it, do we?
…And it doesn’t look like war violence, cause by the way, folks, you can’t sell that shit
It’s too brutal, makes your stomach ache, makes you weep and vomit and rage.
That’s why they NEVER show you that shit,
just your pretty entertaining violence
and even torture scenes a lot these days, so I’ve been told,
and We Love it, do we?
 
Sometimes I want to scream bloody murder but
I wonder who will hear me.
I wonder who will know what I’m saying.
In the United States I feel like I’m in a tomb
that lives and breathes denial.
 
Hey People, did you forget
That you stand on Holy Ground
and that the Ground makes you live?
 
Hey People, did you forget
that everything built here is stolen?
You can try to bury it but the memories do not forget
They remember and remember and remember
and watch and watch and watch
 
When I look around sometimes
a rage boils in my being
and I want to scream bloody murder
I want to make a cut in this fabric
make it open up
some
instead of the same old long ass bullshit
like we ain’t never admitted shit
never said that everything we hold is stolen in this land
and that we are stealing it
We
We
We
 
Cause that’s what this country is.
And Pledge Allegiance to that
And your Soul be Damned
It was citizens who murdered countless Indigenous Mothers Children Fathers Families
It was their hands who committed genocide to
take Land to take Rivers and Forests and Coastlines and”Wealth” as those hands saw it.
And now here today
We stand here on stolen, poisoned ground,
on ground on which so many desecrations have occurred,
believing in voting and petitions and courthouse steps
living dying deaths
delusional
and vain.
Sometimes I want to scream bloody murder
but I fear my own voice echoing across atomic bombed landscapes
a voice crying in the desert
to ears clouded with garbled messages
 
We gotta get real folks
And anyone who can hear me
Get real
Get honest
Nothing less will do
 
We won’t salute those who choose to sink on the ship
who choose death instead of life
and easy delusion instead of painful truth
who lie themselves to sleep
and caused the world to starve
and bleed  
 
Americans, stop lying to yourselves about your government
Stop being silly and delusional.
Hello?!
Ya’ll heard any stories
about this here government
that make your knees tremble a little?
Ya’ll notice that everyone’s real real afraid of the government?
and no one really wants to admit it
because the government is very violent and sure wouldn’t have a problem killing us.
I notice that.  I notice that people play at struggle, pose for struggle.  I notice that there is a war against the earth, against the oceans, rivers, against water.  I notice this.  I see it. 
We defecate in water
That’s what we think of it.
We refuse to even touch our defecation, and we defecate in water.
Creature comfort bought and sold and screens mask your eyes from soldiers’ guns and funs
from children slaves making these products, impoverished hands crafting your riches
from the actual sight and feeling of war and genocide
yes the sights and feelings of genocide
 
Americans, you are displaying this denial to the world
And everyone can see
that products don’t buy wisdom
and money doesn’t make you good
 
Americans, as you sit hurraying on your thrones in the last throes
of this lifetime of death
Open your eyes
 
I don’t speak to all of you
There’s so many who will not even listen
But to those who do
who have,
who know,
Open your eyes
Speak from the depths of this place and time
That is where the Power flows

Chicana History: Maria Urquides: Mother of Bilingual Education

Image

By Anna NietoGomez 2013

Maria Urquides was a third generation Mexican American born in 1908 to parents that had little to no education in the Barrio Libre near downtown Tucson Arizona. Although her parents had little to no education, they were leaders in the community. Her father, Hiliario Urquides was a businessman and civic leader who in 1894 helped found the Alianza Hispano-Americana in Tucson, which became the largest Mexican American, mutual-aid society in the Southwest which subsidized death benefits, social and cultural activities and assistance in dealing with racism. It was a fraternal organization until the 19th amendment was passed in 1919 and women were allowed to join. Maria Urquides would become a member as an adult and it played an instrumental role in supporting her campaign to desegregate the Arizona Schools. María Urquides was raised in a multicultural neighborhood that included Mexican, Chinese, Native American and Anglo residents. It was here as a child that she learned to respect different cultures. Encouraged by her teachers to become an elementary school teacher, after graduation from high school in 1926, much against her family’s wishes but less six years after the 19th amendment became law and women gained the right to vote in the United States, she went to Tempe State Teachers College and she received her teaching certificate in 1928. She financed her education by working as a janitor in the college dorms cleaning the bathrooms, and working as a singer in a local restaurant. After she became an elementary school teacher in Tucson, she attended the University of Arizona during the summers until she received her B.A. in 1946 and her M.A. in 1956. For twenty years she taught at a Tucson elementary school in a poor community that was 98% Mexican American and 2% Yaqui, Chinese, and African-American. In addition to teaching, she spent her energies making sure her students had food, clothing.  The school was inadequately funded and she raised money for school supplies, to maintain the school facilities by painting the classrooms, and planting trees in the schoolyard. In accordance with school policy, students received corporal punishment for speaking Spanish and any language other than English. But María thought she would go to hell when she died if she hit the students for speaking for not speaking English. It was not until after she was transferred to an all-Anglo well funded middle class school in 1948, that she truly understood how poverty and racism played a major negative role in the learning and development of the self-esteem of the poor minority students. In 1955 she began a campaign to desegregate the Arizona Schools and to advocate bilingual and bicultural education. She was often referred to as the “Mother of Bilingual Education,” because of her role in developing the federal legislation for bilingual education that was passed 1968. In her 46 six years in public education she was an elementary school teacher, a high school counselor, and administrator. Maria Urquides was nationally recognized for advocating and developing the field of bilingual and bicultural education. From 1950-1970, she was appointed by five presidents (Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon) to serve on national panels and conferences concerning children and education. In 1965, the League of Mexican American Women, organized by Francesca Flores and Ramona Morín in Los Angeles, California, recognized Maria Urquides for her outstanding achievements. In a time when women much less Mexican American women encountered great resistance to holding any public policy positions, Maria Urquides the first Mexican American woman to serve as president of the Tucson Education Association, on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association, and on the Board of Governors for Pima Community College Board of Governors as a member and chairperson. In 1977, Tucson Unified School District named a new school Maria Urquides Elementary School in her honor. As an activist she was a member of the NAACP, the National Council of Christian and Jews, Urban League, the YMCA and the American Red Cross.  She attended and was a speaker at the 1971 National Chicana Conference in Houston.  In 1983, she received an honorary Doctor of Law from the University of Arizona.  She died at the age of 85 in 1994.

References:

  1. Maritza De La Trinidad, Collective outrage:  Mexican American Activism and the Quest for Educational Equality and Reform, 1950-1990, Dissertation published by Bibliolabs, 2011. pp. 162 -169.
  2. Elizabeth Quiroz, The Education and Public Career of María Urquides, Ed. D Thesis, University of Arizona, 1986, pp.43-48,
  3. Yolanda Chávez Leyva, “María Luisa Urquides,” Latinas in the United States, A Historical Encyclopedia, Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sanchez Korrol Editors, Volume 3, Indiana University Press Bloomington and Indianapolis 2006, pp. 780-781.
  4. Maria Urquides
1908-1994. Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, Division of the Secretary of State, http://www.azlibrary.gov/azwhf/women/urquides.aspx
  5. 5.       Georgia Cole Brousseau, “1993 Bridging Three Centuries: “The end of one era, the challenges of the next” 1960-1979 Part 4 TUSD District History, http://www.tusd.k12.az.us/contents/distinfo/history/history9309.asp
  6. Francisca Flores, Carta Editorial, Francisca Flores Ed., Vol. 1, No. 24, May 7, 1964. p. 4 and Vol. 2, No. 18, March 18, 1965, p. 1.
  7. Tucson Daily Citizen, April 22, 1983.
  8. Arizona Daily Star, August 9, 1992 and June 18, 1994.
  9. Arizona Bilingual Council Newsletter, February 1963.

Beauty Painted Through Full Lips

On this night of the hazy full moon,
with a nice hazy mist like dreams

Softly clouding over my visions

of today-

and of that better tomorrow.
Nights like this take me there.
Led
to the strong fierce voice of
womyn
lighting up the night

like that glistening pearl orb

shining away

the darkness.
And it is now I realize more than ever

Art is perhaps the most important
and most powerful

tool, weapon and medicine

we have for this movement-

for this long road of liberation

ahead of our trails

who without fail

will bring us down to our knees along

the way.

Crying out in pain

thinking we will never see the sun

rise once again.
And so it’s in those beautiful vessels

through her lips,

through their lips,

painting pictures of empowerment
for me,
for us.

Empowering us

And welcoming our minds back home

to our own inner strength

within our own bodies, hearts, spirits,

and souls.

Things which over time

will only get stronger,
stronger ,

more durable and resilient-
with each fall we take
Helped back up
Picked back up
by visions of beauty she

paints

through her lips,

through their lips.
And I know now more than ever,

solidified concretely in my mind-

Art is our weapon that
cannot be compromised,
that cannot be jaded,
sold out

or prostituted
Because it will always reflect

what is real,

what is memory,

future

and dreams.
Dreams for a better tomorrow

in the steps we take today.
That fire to keep on Going On

Guided with deep earth

filled steps of love and

dreams and desire.
A most beautiful energy

reflected in this full moon

night-

that pearl orb

showing you what she chooses

for you to see

upon earth

blanketed in dark silk night.

Dark silk like our skin

Dark silk like our words

Dark silk like our breaths

Which just

refuse

to

give

up.

Up to the heavens

And down below on earth with all

four elements present-

does their art take me,

empower me,

enliven me,

rejuvenate me.
Green fresh colors of spring

Pink shine colors of dawn

Always new beginnings

                Always new beginnings

words and hymns

spoken to me through their

Art
through their visions

in beauty painted through

her lips,

their full lips.

Strong mujeres,

fierce mujeres with bodies mirrored

of my own.

Seeing you, I know

we cannot lose.
For that is not in our vocabulary.
Not while we can still dance and

sing, write and paint, sketch

and play and laugh.

Not while we can still dream.
Not while we can still create.
Not while we still

breathe

and love

and live.

                Thank you, mujeres, sister warriors.

I know I had to find you

and your visions of beauty painted

through full lips.

Dear Love: I hear you knocking!

Dear Love (8 years ago)

I hear you knocking on my door and I don’t know why because I didn’t call you. Last time I checked it wasn’t for me It was too much, too messy, too soft, too co-dependent, and just a bit too many emotions, they weren’t the good kind or maybe they were a few times but never lasting. It wasn’t for me It did save my life though and for that I did love…

Dear Love (2013)

…But I still haven’t decided if that is a good thing or not. I am almost done understanding how that the concept of love can complete and destroy you multiple times and in different forms in a single lifetime.

Dear Love (2 years ago)

You broke his heart when he only tried fixing yours. After all the lying, hitting, arguing, rage, pain, depression, numbness, counseling, surviving, passion, happiness, that later turns into misery, confusion, and finally freedom. That is when love disguised itself knocked at my door again. Took me by the hand to see the world, beautiful landscapes, people, food, sex, love, and endless passionate days. But we were too crazy, too much too soon, too unsure, too unstable, too hungry for more, perfect for one another but too far, too much, too poor, too complicated, too unwilling to open our hearts.

Dear Love (2013)

I hear you knocking love…

Who’s Helping Who

The system don’t give a damn about us, it’s trying to grind us all into dust.

We’re just a step away from losing our light, our warmth, our water, our home.

A step away from losing our life. line.

Cause light don’t wait for nobody.

Automated systems don’t respond to no excuses. no past dues or IOUs.

Cause our babies need to eat, even if its not certified organic.

This life doesn’t stop and let us breath.

This life doesn’t give back. rubs. after four-day long laundry.

Doesn’t let mamas rest.

He doesn’t say “you sleep a little longer, and let me take care of things this morning.”

“Do you have time for yourself?…”

The kind of question that gets the eyes that say “What kind is silly question is that?” without words.

Or “do you feel like you’ve sacrificed a lot for your kids?”

Really?! the answer is yes, of course. thats what you do.

“What are these questions for?” I don’t know either.

But really, I probably do know, actually.

They are for these charts that i have in my file cabinet at the office.

They are for my boss to maybe review, but most likely not.

So they can show their boss and their boss and their boss.

And so eventually someone from way up there can have “proof” that me sitting here with you and asking you these silly ass questions is bettering the health of your family.

100 black-ink-filled bubbles sitting on five pieces of white one-sided paper.

Papers that are really the paychecks that pay the boss of the boss of the boss. and me.

For “helping” you be “healthier.”

So that’s what that’s for.

“Proof” that you’re getting the “help” you need from us. from me.

Paychecks for us. for me.

How can i help you pay your rent & bills? When in actuality you’re paying my rent & bills.

Who’s really helping who? Where’s the proof?

The system don’t give a damn about us, it’s just trying to grind us all into dust.

Pretty Baby

hey pretty baby… who told you?

who told you that you were trash?

who told you that you weren’t worth a. damn.

who told you that you weren’t meant for more? that you were just poor.

how old were you when you realized those pitied people was you?

oh pretty baby, who told you, you wasn’t worth a damn?

when did it sink into that pretty brown skin?

when did you let the outside in?

who told you, you had to hide who you were?

who taught you shame?

who taught you hate?

how young were you when you learned to hate who you were and what came with it?

hate your flesh. hate their flesh because you came from them.

hide your flesh. hide their flesh.

when did you start hiding pretty baby?

how many times did they tell you, you weren’t worth a damn?

 

oh pretty baby…

im oh so sorry they hurt you.

oh so sorry they lied.

so sorry you had to hide.

they were never right.

you were always meant for more.

get them out. let them out.

love your flesh.

they took your power young, because they saw it in you.

that fire, that freedom.

they feared you.

they thought they killed you, but they thought wrong.

I See You Pretty Baby.

I See You Still. that Fire. that Freedom.

The Time for hiding is Done.

Show Yourself.

Learn Your Worth, Burn Them Down.

I am moved to say que estoy tan cansada y que I am

Mother Daughter Sister Wife

A Strong Woman

Brown and Proud

Fighting the System

Part of the System

Never good enough

Never done

And so tired of the platitudes

My Daughter is young

And my Mother is old

And my Sister is Angry Haven’t we always been Angry

And my Father is ill

And losing his Thoughts

And losing his Way

Even as his Heart Goes On with

All of its Burdens

My Father

Who I learned to Forgive for being the Man the World Made Him

And I learned to Love for being the Man he had Fought so hard to Be

He Loved me from the start but he did not know then how to say

That the Patriarchy Beats Us down keeping us Fighting Battles on so many fronts that we fail to see

The Sea we are swimming in, the Air we breathe, the Enemy that smothers us all

Even those we are Fighting

We cannot see the Kyriarchy for the trees

He did not even know the Words

Not in English

Ni en Español

So we Fight our Mothers Daughters Sisters Wives Brothers Fathers Husbands Selves

And we are Tired. I am tired.

Y mañana seguimos con lo mismo

This Healer Was A Sister


Who can stop the Womyn Bathed in Moonlight? 

 
Since glimpsed the almighty in the Moons reflecting on her Skin and 
caught the shadow of the Sun  and
caught the secret of the Night
caught the shadow of the Shadow
caught the magic of La Luna
caught the secret of the Sun Resting

 
Bathed in pools of Feminine Energies

floating under Stars, under Clouds
familial Orbs and Dark Bright Light
 surround
 
This Healer was a Sister
 and was Black and
shown Loving in the Dark
 

This Healer was a Sister and was Round like Earth and
made beds for us to Sleep

to Rest
 
This Healer was a Sister and
Fed our Mouths
Full and Healthy

 
This Healer was a Sister and
showed us the Way to the Water
Singing

 
This Healer was a Sister and
perched High and Mysterious
yet held no
Secrets

 
This Healer was a Sister and
floated silently Above 
(all Art
, all Creation)
 
This Healer was a Sister and 
Funny and Raw
like Matter and Energy

 
This Healer was a Sister and 
Wild and Lucky
like the Desert
 
(calm the Coyotes  and
determined the Saguaros)
 
Ageless
Timeless

Unnameable
 
None Can Stop the Womyn Bathed in Moonlight!