by: Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times
Chicano and Latino literature libraries are springing up nationwide, and students are gravitating toward the topic after a law dismantled Tucson schools’ Mexican American studies program last year.
People demonstrate in front of Tucson Magnet High School in 2010, protesting an Arizona law banning Mexican American studies at Tucson public schools. (James S. Wood / March 23, 2013)
TUCSON — Arizona lawmakers passed a law to dismantle a Mexican American studies program in Tucson schools, but the legislation has had an unintended effect: The controversy is renewing interest in the state and nationwide in ethnic studies and Chicano and Latino literature.
Some Tucson students have found new ways to study the subject while receiving college credit to boot. Others who had no interest on the topic say they are now drawn to the material.
“Underground” libraries with Chicano literature are popping up across the Southwest and are set to open soon in unexpected places such as Milwaukee and Louisville.
“I guess the irony is … that we have banded together and created a new civil rights movement, a renaissance in Latino literature. Now there are people in Louisville, Ky., who will be enjoying Chicano literature,” said Tony Diaz.
Diaz heads Librotraficante, a group that raises money to buy books and open libraries to keep Mexican American studies alive. The state ban was the impetus for Librotraficante — whose name is Spanish for “book smuggler.”
continue reading: Interest in ethnic studies jumps after Arizona ban – latimes.com.