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“I am Brown” by Selena Huapilla-Perez #IamLatinx

 

Selena Huapilla-Perez from Michigan State University unpacks what it means to be Brown in the United States.

I am Brown

Brown like el Desierto.

Brown like el Rio Bravo.

Brown like el Pan de cada dia.

Brown like the radical Brown Berets.

Brown like the hands that harvest this land,

the very hands that harvested me.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like my father’s skin,

after 48 years under the sun.

Brown like my mami saying:

“Vas a ver cuando lleguemos a la casa”

and “Comete toda la comida, que aqui no es restaurante”

Brown like my abuelitos wrinkled cheeks.

Brown like La Virgencita de Guadalupe,

who my abuelita always prays too.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like mi Mexico, lindo, querido y adolorido.

Brown like mi Mexico and the 366 lives it lost to the 7.1 earthquake.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Los 43 de Ayotzinapa.

Brown like las Piramides de Teotihuacan, la Luna y el Sol.

Brown like the YEARS, YEARS, and YEARS of Spaniard colonization.

Brown like the 55% of Mexican land lost to the U.S.

Brown like 1821, when we gained Independencia from los Espanoles.

Brown like the border, THE ONE THAT CROSSED ME.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like the American Bald Eagle

except lately, I don’t feel like an American Bald Eagle.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like la Aguila Mexicana

perched on a nopal with a serpent in hand.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Chente’s- Por tu Maldito Amor.

Brown like Selena’s- Baila! Baila esta Cumbia.

Brown like Elvis Crespo’s- Suavemente, Besame.

Brown like El Mariachi Loco quiere bailar!

Brown like Corridos

Brown like Cumbias

Brown like Banda

Brown like Bachata

Brown like Nortenas

Brown like Huapangos

Brown like Reggaeton

 

I am Brown,

Brown like Thick Trenzas.

Brown like the Leather intertwined in my Huaraches.

 

I am Brown,

Brown like the dough of my Pan Dulce.

Brown like the Canela in my Horchata.

Brown like my Tortillas.

I am Brown and bitter like Tequila.

I am Brown and sweet like a Mazapan.

I am Brown and spicy like a Tamarindo.

I am Brown and SO DAMN GOOD like Carne Asada.

I am Brown and intricate like Mole.

I am Brown,

Brown like the Machismo that plagues my community.

Brown like todas las Mujeres, Chillonas y Chingonas.

Brown like the 800,000 DREAMers.

Brown like the dirt they tried to bury us in,

not knowing we were seeds.

THEY love

our Comida

our Color

our Clothes

our Cultura

our Stories

our Labor

our Bodies

our Lenguaje

and our Musica.

BUT THEY DON’T LOVE US.

THEY paint their face brown,

But won’t say it to a brown face.

THEY want to say

that Brown is not sending their best.

that Brown has a lot of problems.

that Brown is bringing drugs.

that Brown is bringing crime.

that Brown are rapists.

and that some, they assume, are good people.

THEY

Oppress Brown

Exploit Brown

Hate Brown

Marginalize Brown

Incarcerate Brown

Suppress Brown

Deport Brown

They are afraid of Brown.

Because Brown,

is a color, a cultura, a communidad that

Stands up

Fights Back

Resists

Protects

DREAMS.

And yes, THAT TAKES JOBS.

I am Brown,

Beauty is Brown.

Support is Brown.

Solidarity is Brown.

Revolution is Brown.

Resiliency is Brown.

Resistance is Brown.

But above all, PRIDE IS BROWN.

 

 

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Sleep My Pumpkin Head  or the Coyote Will Eat You

I am beyond proud of the accomplishments of Latinxs in the United States. From language, arts, literature, and writing- Latinxs bring such a wealth of ideas and culture. Today, I am pleased to share a poem from my colleague, friend, and new doctoral student Maria Conchita Hofman with her poem, “Sleep My Pumpkin Head
or the Coyote Will Eat You” ©Maria Hofman via Hinchasdepoesia.
#IamLatinx

Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote.
The baby will one day learn to sleep without song.
Si no te dormis, tel come’l coyote.

She will learn the words
and wish for days when she knew less.
Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote.

Like her mother, she will smile as she dreams,
for she shares her dreams with the one who sang,
Si no te dormis, tel come’l coyote.

Her head is full of thoughts, seeds of a pumpkin
to be planted, consumed, prayed over.
Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote.

We should not worry about tomorrow.
They say it has worries of its own.
Si no te dormis, tel come’l coyote.

Now is the time to dream and sing, recuerda;
remember your mother’s voice, her whispered song:
Duérmase mi niña, caveza de ayote.
Si no te dormis, tel come’l coyote.

Sleep My Pumpkin Head or the Coyote Will Eat You

 

Dolores Huerta “puts lights around” her experience as a Latina in the United States. Full movie link below.

Dolores Huerta fights her right to (re)write history and incorporate a voice missing in a gender-bias oppressive system. Her motto, Si Se Puede! Continues to be an inspiration to me and to many other  Latino/a/xs living in the United States.

Trailer

The full movie may be accessed here until 4/25/2018, Courtesy of Independence Lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Struggle of Possibilities: Finding your voice

Fear for what is coming

Fear for what is becoming

Hope for what is coming

Hope for what is becoming

There is a place for me

There is no place for me.

 create a wall

create a door

 hide in a wall

 break a wall

break all doors

You are on your own. The answer is already within yourself.

(Ramirez,2016)

La Teoria del Camaleón (Chameleon Theory)

Much has been written on the topic of leadership. In fact, if you google it. There are approximately 733,000,000 results.

I have read some of those results. Some better than others but the basic premises of leadership are pretty clear to me. I was and have been intrigued by this topic.

In the spirit to learn more about it, I enrolled in a master’s program that focused on leadership. My program was geared towards strategic leadership. In other words, how to get people on your side to accomplish a specific task or reach a specific goal.  In order to lead, you need people that are willing to follow (shared vision).

My experience was quite fascinating. I learned different leadership theories, success stories and lessons from those that failed. Furthermore, had interesting conversations with my professors about my own leadership style and those areas that I needed to work on in order to incorporate them to my leadership toolbox.  All in all, I learn a lot, but no enough.

Leadership is multiphase, complexed and ever-changing just as a camaleón. Books are unable to prepare you to deal with situations. You just do! Call them survival, preparation, intuition, etc.

While not comprehensive. I have selected few lessons of what have learned about the discipline of Leadership simplified by using a camaleón as an example.

  • Leaders don’t need fancy titles to lead. In fact, leadership can and will happen at any level.
  • Leadership is not glamorous. You will need to make hard decisions, even if there are unpopular.
  • Leaders are aware of their strengths and imperfections. Leaders constantly work on their flaws.
  • Leaders are able to shift according to the situation and context. Leadership is situational.
  • Leaders learned from the past, attend the present while keeping an eye on the future.
  • Leaders have a purpose and understand all the players and their roles.
  • Leaders are able to serve from within, out, or in-between.
  • Leaders get things done.

Camaleón

What qualities do you see or not see on a camaleón that can be explored for your leadership toolbox?

Roller Coaster of Life that Keeps Going UP

image

I have been wanting to get in a roller coaster for a while.

Is it because i want to make a point to my 16 year old brother that i still can be cool and enjoy roller coasters without his formal invitation to roller coaster land? Maybe.

Is it because my journey has been a roller coaster of experiences that course throughout my body increasing the adrenaline and cortisol that makes me feel like a fool. Probably Yes!

The sensations of intensity throughout ones life are important and must be attended kindly to move forward. We all experience excitement as we go up. The expectation of the new, the unknown, the known- all of them contribute to the rush of excitement that makes us feel free, in or out control, and alive.

As planned the roller coaster also come down- a moment of pure freedom, where there is a combination of being in panic while knowing that there is a predestined
ending and that this experience will soon culminate.

Getting in a roller coaster is a unique experience can be both exciting and uncomfortable. Just like our journeys and life experiences, takes us to moments of excitement and crushing low moments when we want a warm blanket,mommy and a cookie.

Would it be possible to enjoy going up as we enjoy going down?- I think so.

Be kind to yourself and allow the experience of going up and down fulfill you in whatever way is needed. At the end of the day, roller coasters always go up.