Monday, March 14, 2005

More 2004 Books - Gustavus Myers Award Winners

Continuing a thread I started a few days ago, here are more outstanding 2004 books. My earlier list focused on fiction - these are non-fiction books that deserve attention. This information is three months old but I guess it does not hurt to reinforce worthwhile reads.

A major purpose of the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights is "the review and identification of outstanding books written each year about discrimination and bigotry, and ways to develop equitable future communities and societies." On Human Rights Day (December 10, 2004) the Center announced its 20th annual list of Outstanding Book Award Winners Advancing Human Rights. The award is co-sponsored by groups such as the American Friends Service Committee, NAACP, Poverty & Race Research Action Council, etc. There are some excellent reading choices in the list of winners and the honorable mentions and I recommend checking out the lists to help with your next reading selection.

I expect that readers of this blog will be interested particularly in the Latino books that made the Honorable Mention list. I could be wrong but I do not think any of the winning books deal specifically with Latino issues (although you might want to check out It's Test Day, Tiger Turcotte, by Pansie Hart Flood, a children's book about a stressed-out seven year old who has to signify his racial identity on a standardized test form - his parents are Indian and Latina). In any event, here are some of the 2004 books that the Myers Center selected for commendation (the comments are from the Center):

Migra Mouse: Political Cartoons on Immigration, Lalo Alcaraz - Refreshing look at the inconsistencies and contradictions in public perceptions of immigration, the border and mucho mucho mas. [Alcaraz is the LA cartoonist well-known for his La Cucaracha comic strip and as the illustrator for Ilan Stavans' Latino USA: A Cartoon History. Lalo's website is here].

Greasers and Gringos: Latinos, Law and the American Immigration, Steven W. Bender - The intersection between stereotypes and the law, with close attention to the role of mass media in perpetuating stereotypes.

American Gulag: Inside U.S. Immigration Prisons, Mark Dow - Exposes the "Catch-22" of immigration law practice and policy implementation.

"Is This English?": Race, Language, and Culture in the Classroom, Bob Fecho - About learning through process, and the inquiry-based process of learning.

The New Americans, Ruben Martinez - Stand-along companion to PBS documentary on seven families.

We Took The Streets: Fighting For Latino Rights With The Young Lords, Miguel "Mickey" Melendez - Part memoir, part polemic telling about the powerful voice in the 1960s of Puerto Rican self-determination.

Finally, one other honorable mention should be noted (and I swear I was not looking for this):

On The Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections On The Consequences Of U.S. Imperial Arrogance And Criminality, Ward Churchill - Challenges with historical detail the myth of the U.S. as a "peace-loving nation."