Leslie Feinberg, who identified as an anti-racist white, working-class, secular Jewish, transgender, lesbian, female, revolutionary communist, died on November 15. You can read her obituary, lovingly written by her partner, Minnie Bruce Pratt, here. Feinberg wrote extensively about the complexities of gender as well as the links between socialism and LGBT history. Many of her book titles, speeches, interviews, articles, and podcasts can be accessed via her website. Take a look!
At the time of her death Feinberg was preparing a 20th anniversary edition of Stone Butch Blues, a free access edition, which can be read and downloaded on-line. This edition is dedicated to CeCe McDonald, a young Minneapolis (trans)woman organizer and activist sent to prison for defending herself against a white neo-Nazi attacker, and will contain a slideshow, “This Is What Solidarity Looks Like,” documenting the breadth of the organizing campaign to free CeCe McDonald. A group of friends are continuing to work to post Feinberg’s final writing and art online at Lesliefeinberg.net (coming soon).
Photo: Moms Demand Action
The text: “One child is holding something that’s been banned in America to protect them. Guess which one?”
Some background: The Charles Perrault version of Little Red Riding Hood, the one that was banned by two California school districts, was controversial not because both the grandma and the little girl are eaten by the wolf by the end of the story, but because – as the Christian Science Monitor notes, “one of the refreshments for her grandmother that Little Red Riding Hood carried in her basket was wine.” Yes, parents evidently had an issue with the depiction of the alcoholic beverage…
Just home from Save NYC Libraries campaign‘s third 24 hour read-in that began at 4pm yesterday and will continue until 4 pm today. It’s not too late to get thee to the front steps of the Brooklyn Public Library in Grand Army Plaza! Volunteer readers have fifteen minutes each to read whatever they choose from their favorite print-friendly selections. I hear there will be a family story time from 8 a.m. to noon today (Sunday) and a ahem adult content readings are reserved for 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. tonight (Saturday).
From the Occupy Wall Street Library’s Website: The Tucson Unified School District has dismantled its Mexican-American Studies program and removed the books used in that program from the classrooms of the district. Teachers and students have vehemently protested this move, including a student-led walkout and an Ethnic Studies School, arranged on the symbolically important 100th day of school. The day when the state counts heads to determine funding.
The books removed include:
Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Rodolfo Acuna’s Occupied America: A History of Chicanos
Bill Bigelow’s Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years
Richard Delgado’s Critical Race Theory
Rodolfo Gonzales’s Message to AZTLAN
Elizabeth Martinez’s (ed) 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures
Arturo Rosales’s Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement
Acting in solidarity with OccupyTucson and the students, parents, and teachers of the Tucson Unified School District, the Occupy Wall Street Library is sending copies of the recently banned texts to Tucson for distribution. Lots of copies. As many copies as they can find and buy. Out of respect for the rights of authors and publishers, all copies will be completely legally purchased though an independent bookseller or directly from the publisher. Funds to do so will be collected here and donations of the these texts are, of course, welcomed.
American Indians in Children’s Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children’s and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society. I am linking here to AICL’s comprehensive coverage of the Arizona law that led to the shut down of the Mexican American Studies Program in Arizona and the subsequent banning of books used in the program.