(AV17895) Take it Higher Than Just Education

it is my pleasure to introduce tonight’s speaker Michael Reyes for more than 12 years Michael Reyes has brought innovated and engaging performances across America and internationally Michael is a poet MC actor playwright artists and community organizer specializing and youth development his work combines hip-hop poetry and spoken word along with cultural narratives of resistance to challenge and comfort social and justices faced by communities of color as a leading voice in progressive and radical music Michael has shared the stage nationally and internationally with many poets artists and activists as well as various musical artists such as Roy brown dead prez Baca Flo ha siete Nueve and Grammy award-winning Malik Yusef as a poet and artist he has been featured on HBO latina Latinos our last series nationally our not Latin nation and the PBS documentary dream makers he has released three novels of poetry and three performances cities his work has also been future nationally in many magazines anthologies and newspapers Reyes has additionally worked with established institutions including Chicago Public Radio the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute and the National Museum of Mexican art the Museum of Contemporary content content pari art and poetry Center of Chicago through his work Michael has been able to reach out and meaningful ways to youth and college students around the country we are excited that he is here with us tonight to share his presentation titled tank taking it higher than just higher education please join me in giving a warm cycle and welcome to our speaker speaker Michael Reyes is my mic on yeah I don’t know what’s up how y’all doing y’all alright so um I need to get some water you see me running around all crazy I probably I sweat him right now but it’s not good right all right so I have from the Windy City of Chicago I’ve been here in the last 13 years of my life and I may have like this light on my face for a little while I’m only gonna stay up here for a little bit then I’m gonna get down here if that’s cool which are that cool all right so as long as y’all with me I’m with y’all so that means I’m gonna play the set by ear I’m very improv ish and I need to warm up so the first thing I would like to do is I need a volunteer to write down some words for me ohayo knows a group of college students and nobody wants to write down words are you gonna write down words for me all right wait wait we got one who money okay you go ahead you got it okay so what I need to do is I need you to give me 15 words that are on your mind it could be anything it could be something related to you know part of me being here is also since it’s like Latino Heritage Month and whatnot and part of it also is you know dealing with some issues of multicultural education today we’re talking about taking it higher than just higher education but it could also be maybe you didn’t want to come here today and you have to come here for class credit which maybe some of y’all got to do I don’t know don’t tell me cuz I hurt my feelings and whatnot but whatever is on your mind I’m gonna take those 15 words and I’ll turn them into a poem for you right here right now on the spot that’s cool and if I can’t get to all the words I’ll give you all the free CD I didn’t say what CD now but all right cool so uh let’s go give me some words soccer that’s number one what left orange owed you’re a foot on giraffe you get you got it you caught up preparation impulsive procrastination I love the order of words in word association success are you caught up I knew I could tell by the face they are man they don’t ask me if I’m caught up what do you have is the last one success greatness what’s that bigger bigger okay bigger Latino culture how

many words is that intersectionality and what floor how many words is that degree politics and what in pinky and what we gonna end it with Obama Ari Obama boy all right cool let me get those words can somebody get those words for me pass them up or whatever bring them up it don’t matter I hope I can read them it’s alright if I can’t we’ll try to do them from memory all right I only need this you’re taking notes on me yeah what’s going on on this plane Hugo sorry I’ll get your notes back all right cool so it says this guy really sucks what kind of notes all right so soccer left orange giraffe preparation impulsive procrastination success greatness Latino culture floor is that agree was it oh degree with a D degree politics pinky and Obama you got a pen somebody got a pen I want to change this I know I’m gonna read it wrong damn thing’s loud I wish I had one of these all the time though cuz like I play in a club there girl let me get your number right quick let me get your number girl let me get let me get it number two anybody know what a number two is at McDonald’s oh man they always get my order wrong so I talking to the mic and they would get it right alright here we go let’s see what happens the cool thing about these poems is once you create the poems they’re out in the atmosphere in the world and you know this is very egotistical of me but if you would like to film you are allowed to film you could always post them online the more stuff I have up the better for me which means you know I got YouTube I got Facebook and Twitter and whatnot and a fan page which I don’t understand because it’s the same name as my regular page and I get confused with that but you could put them up there so anyway let’s see what happens I’ll write poems to score goals but not the kind of goals and soccers games but the kind of goals that are on my mind when I sit back and unwind try to spit from the left but often come from the right if you understand that means my stance is right here southpaw understand when I Spit these rhymes off the top of the dome meaning that I spent with the twisted tongue don’t really care but got that juice of the soul meaning the mine meaning that it nurtures you with that vitamin C that vitamin me understand to our neck like a giraffe meaning that I can see higher than most can even ever be on a higher level but I spit with preparation never impulsive in my situation I try to fight things like immigration so I can change my people’s situation meaning twisted tongue never never really afraid of success but I’m blessed and so I hope that you can feel it tonight because with you here today there is greatness I understand it on the mind when I try to write these poems on time whether it’s for my Latino people my gente or anyone else you can understand that we can share today on the Holy Land that we were blessed with because I try to stay stress-free from the city of shy where we do I dive where we hustle just to survive we gotta fight to stay alive I try to do this for my culture meaning that they can see somebody better than just the things that they see on blocks and corners and flocked and boss I try to do this now but they put millions of dollars to explore Mars but we still got to pay five dollars a gallon for our cars and so I spit from the floor meaning the ground up meaning building the foundation that’s grassroots if you understand don’t really understand how the degree is changing but people are fighting for degrees so we can see a different reality I write poetry and politics because politics often equal parlor tricks don’t really understand the voting situation that’s going on whether you pick from to poison Romney or Obama don’t really care that he killed Osama see because I’m a peaceful pacifist but still believe in fighting for freedom meaning that it’s smaller than the pinkie ring that’s on my hand or the pinky that I see and I can stand meaning that it’s bigger than the earth and the circumference of the star meaning that I just try to go for I write these poems for a little bit of free like projectors projecting off the back of the screen or the stage behind me I lift up and try to change my situation on Big Shoulders meaning the city of the wind where I spit for my people right now it’s the end just a little bit of poetry for you to hear staying right here with no fear so that’s that piece I got all of them I got all of them so anyway check it out so today today is all about taking it higher than just higher education and I’m going to tell you just a little bit what it’s about and then we’ll get into the set this should be pretty fun I will say I’ve got to do like a pg-13 version of everything and it’s cool but you know tomorrow I might I don’t know I’d be like I open mic type thing and usually those are like a lot of fun but taking

it higher than higher education just means that we have to see our world outside of the campuses that we’re in right how do we use the things that we’re learning on campus in classrooms and apply them to our communities how do we take the things that we learn and apply them to the world because you as young people have inherited a really horrible world in a lot of ways right there’s some really beautiful things but there’s still all this very huge problem of poverty and lack of education and all of these situations that you’re left with and it’s kind of like okay you go through school you get trained you do your thing and then you come out then what do you do or while you’re in school how do you be stay active within your community how do you as a person of privilege because every University student that stands and sits in a classroom as a person of privilege reach back and kind of help other folks that are in other situations that aren’t as similar to yours but you may have come from the same type of background how do we reach our young brothers and sisters how do we reach people in our neighborhoods and that’s what today is all about but hopefully we have some fun and you know I make it a challenge to university students that you rise up to the responsibility that you have and it’s important for me that in this set you know we’re gonna do it with poetry and some discussion and hopefully you may have a few questions we’re not gonna be too long like I earned my money today and I’m saying so I did get paid to come over here so I do gotta earn my money but we are gonna have like a set you know and and for me poetry is a tool it’s just one thing I use as an educator it’s one thing I use as a person identify as Chicano McConnell identify as a person of color within the system of race here in the US identify as a Latino how do we use these spaces as tools to share and any person has ever felt marginalized outside of the norm we have a right to have a space to share and that could be that maybe you like maybe you’re not Latino maybe you’re not a person of color but this other situation that you’ve been through that you can relate to other people in your community maybe you grew up and then have a lot of money and had to struggle to go to school and had to work two jobs that’s what today is about how do we break out of those classrooms and really get into our communities on campus and our communities and where we’re from so having said that we don’t get into some poems if that’s cool with y’all all right man you know what I need some more interaction from you it’s really hard to be up here on stage I don’t think I’m gonna feed off for you so I’m gonna try to notice who’s like really into it then I’ll just focus on y’all for the rest of the show if that’s cool okay cool so I’m gonna come over here cuz y’all look like y’all know I’m just playin so one of the things about man this is so cool I just I want to I just wish I hire two people to hold speakers and walk around with me every day this would be like the best thing alone alone okay I haven’t too much for my microphone so one of the things about where I’m from in Chicago I’ve been there 13 years I was raised in a smaller town in Michigan called Saginaw Michigan but my environment has always been as like an urban Latino my experience has been in an environment like a lot of other Latinos where we’re raised around an environment of gangs and violence and drug addiction and these sort of problem teen pregnancy and all these issues that we deal with and so this poem this next poem is called man with no name and man with no name really deals with the issue of being Latino in the United States and trying to figure out why is there so much violence in our communities why is this so much drug addiction in our communities why is this so much so many problems so many issues in our communities and so trying to solve those things in a poem like for me was very difficult so I struggled with it so I created this poem man won’t anyone that ever seen that movie Selena I know all y’all saw the Selena come on man y’all trying to front all these brown folks in the furniture on the front like they ain’t seen it they like Salinas with the Nance Salinas like in them if you ain’t see that movie beg or rent it right now Netflix or just watch our YouTube for free so there’s a character in which is edward james olmos says it plays the father of selena he’s like oh we’re not Mexican enough of Mexico we’re not American enough for America it’s exhausting sometimes you can feel like that right like you’re raised here but it’s not really your country right or maybe it is and maybe it isn’t or you’re not from Mexico it’s not really your country but you are Mexican so it’s all these spaces that are complex so man with no name I wrote on a weekend where there was 40 shootings and nine murders in one weekend in my neighborhood of about a six block radius about 40,000 people in my neighborhood and I was thinking why do these problems exist and if we start looking at root causes of problems there are causes for them and I’ll go into like the next piece which after this but the last line in this poem I think is the most important so hopefully somebody can remind me to talk about the less line of this poem so this is called man with no name I touch pen to paper let my voice be heard in search of the true Word of God got me wondering about the situation are we in women with it all in

they tell me the Indus neighborhood should I fear whatever the lonely night my mind takes flight and search for the light but I can’t lie to my sight but what I see through the facade of a fake democracy monetary units got young liver dead blasted with no hope young babies born hopes or teased I know what it sells a coke I was only seen through the gun smoke and yet I must maintain disappoint in this world the game but who’s to blame for the East they came in the name of God they brought tribes and trains to work the rugged terrain so I’m left America colonized with no name some left a man with no name Brenda did my blood by Spanish rule very apparent by the white skin and the green eyes I see the world through the truth is hard to swallow but how can you swallow if you can’t even chew go to the computer without a clue what to do only see in the world and blue left with no options what would you do I question our very existence where does it all mean all that I’ve seen walking life with no legs on a wobbly high-beam pain agony hate venom embrace it all that exists at least time that’s what it seems every corner of a new schema vision must be keen to be so to wear a wrong team but who’s to say who’s wrong alright I’m just one man prepared for a fight for universal human rights I’m blinded by the like you know I can’t see at night and despite the evil games corporations and governments play I must find my way to the struggle day by day times he could be killed by what you say but if left unsaid I would rather be dead but it left unsaid I would rather be dead the truth will set you free these it was taught to me Adam ate from the tree of knowledge like that a paradise with no key knowledge of self history gives you identity knowledge of self history gives you identity which is more powerful than any gun any weapon any army it’s come better than mine this isn’t appending us to commit crime because that’s what population made a climb my ancestor travel it was time for me to put it in rhyme second define we prepare to climb I order to reach the divine reality got me hurting a certain what the future for our youth to be caught up in a cycle of poverty drug abuse eNOS HIV robbery lost sense of community practice of equality erase history ghetto misery cannot pro currency no identity three strikes like your bestest policy where you gotta save us theology right tyranny of us carry that we are free will to the country like water broke peak he lost responsibility time to create our own realities that’s that piece so you know like in poets like an open mic before a poetry open mic you know they always want you to snap in shit I’m not a snappy poet I like if you like something you like yeah feelin it right there yeah so you could do that don’t worry you could clap and be loud I’m very ghetto and I mean that in the most endearing way and what I mean by that I don’t feel like oh my god how about being ghetto at university but some of y’all are ghetto – I could tell I just looked at y’all year they ghetto so for me there’s a difference between a slum and a ghetto right if you think about one of the most famous ghettos in the u.s. it would be Harlem right and who came out of Harlem like Langston Hughes and all these great artists and the Harlem Renaissance and there’s a reason for that because in ghettos there’s so much energy and vibrant creation and I’m not talking about it has to be like Harlem it can be just a little neighborhood area where you live and where you grew up and or a part of the country where there’s just this vibrance of energy and so for me coming from the Northwest Side of Chicago I mean that in the most respectful way it just means that I come from a tradition of creative artists and people I’m one person in a long line of writers and creative folks that I learned from and so the last part of that poem is it’s time to create our own reality one of the biggest lies that were taught and this deals with trying to take it higher than just higher education one of the biggest lies that were taught is that you can’t change anything as a young person right people are apathetic towards the world oh there’s so many problems is not on we could do right like this like there’s absolutely none about gangs and war like what can we really do so for me thinking about apathy and everybody knows our apathy is right as the university don’t feel bad if you don’t cuz I’m gonna Front you out like that well be apathy you don’t care right and so everywhere that I go I have the prison travel all over the world do this full-time I don’t have it like another job and and I’m privileged enough to do that I see young people in different spaces struggling and fighting and trying to change the world whether it’s the dreamers fighting for immigration whether it’s Puerto Rican to fight for political prisoners I wish I was right there right now no I want to be here with you ok I thought I’d turn that off but so whether it’s any of those situations where really there’s people all over the world struggling for a better place struggling for a better humanity and it’s a challenge for you as when you’re going through the university you have privilege to get different information how do you apply that information to and better and empower your community it could be like you’re an engineer student so maybe it doesn’t relate but it does because there’s a lot of problems that can be solved in our communities and we need people to solve those issues I’m not saying that it just has to be our people doing that but it makes sense like imagine as a young person that impacts somebody that you may have seen that was a professor that was a person of color or a professor that was a woman or a professor that was somebody that inspired you that was different than what you expected right so for me if I loved you with anything it’s really that you do have the ability

to transform the world to change it to change the situation that’s there I see it all the time I mean when I was 21 years old with a long time ago I opened up with a group of about five other people a Youth Center in Humble Park on Division Street which is like the most hood spot of Chicago people is like all you crazy like there’s no way you’re gonna survive in the sense of being able to fund it that programs ten years old now and another group of group of young people run it so there are possibilities and this is going to this little next can I read a poem poem for y’all as I cool like a poem poem is that cool alright man so look I don’t want to just do like three poems I wanna make sure I do a few and uh I need to feel your energy so ya know alright whatever man this is a basketball or football game y’all would be you know I’ll just play it I’m playing a plane I do so for me this next piece is called like seeds of the Mexican farmer and you may not be Latino or Mexican are there any non is there any Latinos that are not Mexican here or like everybody like what are y’all Ecuadorian what is it Ecuadorian was it Salvadorian somebody over here it’s how they’re doing all right for y’all on behalf of Mexicans I want to apologize everybody thinks y’all Mexican it’s not our fault there’s only like 28 to 30 million of us here that are Mexican and I know everybody thinks y’all are Mexican so I just want to apologize to you right off the top but you know I love I love all anime people but Latin American people you know like we closed we closed so I apologize so I know man you’re not Latino it might not make sense to you but you know everybody thinks that you eat tacos everybody thinks like oh we’re cookie good like I was in I was actually a Pasadena two days ago and like this older woman was like where can I get good tacos I’m like I almost pushed her in the face I was it no I didn’t do that I didn’t do that I didn’t do that I didn’t do that but you know like oh I like but you know it means different things I’ll talk about that in a little bit but this problem called met seats with Mexican farmers is about planting seeds because if you’re somebody who cares about social justice if you’re somebody who cares about the world it feels very overwhelming and isolating if you’re somebody who is compassionate about seeing positive change in your community on your campus and your family sometimes you don’t see those immediate changes we’re so used to things being like super fast like right now I should take a picture and put it on Facebook because my friends don’t really believe I have a career they don’t they’re just they’re like I don’t nobody want to pay you to talk shut up just have a beer I’m like okay but you know we’re used to like we’re used to like I’m for real what you talking I gotta help day I update my status so people people sometimes so used to things like moving fast and when you’re an activist and you’re somebody who’s involved in social justice it’s a long-term fight it’s a long-term struggle I personally been an activist for about 15 years of my life well I’m lying 17 years of my life 17 years of my life since I was 15 and for me I thought I would see things instantly change and it was like a long process a very long some things you don’t see change some things just keep going right like women make less than men and that’s the truth for the same job so for me there’s things that are longer-term goals and this is just about planting those seeds of resistance that are so important in our communities on our campuses and you know being involved outside of the walls because you could be isolated it’s like Harry Potter in this I was like man this place is a Harry Potter boy that’s like all these like pillars like getting confused they’re like you got to turn the key and then hit the button and then turn the key I’m like aw man this is like secret stuff here so this is called seeds of the Mexican farmer and anyone know who this up what theses are anyone ever heard of them look them up they’re dope so these are an indigenous group in Mexico that are fighting for autonomy of their country well they’re they’re their history and their language and they’re a Mayan group so the first part of this story is a story from them so it’s from our ancestors I’m Mexican so they’re connected to me and I took that story and I wrote a poem from that story so this is called the seeds of the Mexican farmer so it’s plant seeds a story from the southeast us which has been passed from our ancestors it may not be retold in exactly the same way or said in the same tongue but the spirit speaks to us now just as it did then long ago in a village there was a man who would plant seeds high in the mountains and every day he would be busy at work and many in the community would ridicule him calling him names a crazy old man and they would ask him how can you plant seeds all day seeds that you’ll never see grow but it didn’t matter to the old man and so he would just plant and plant and plant and one day like everyone in the world the man died and was forgotten so some years had passed and some children went high into the mountains and to their

amazement there was a beautiful forest the children were so amazed that they wouldn’t got their parents and the parents all returned to the mountains and asked themselves who could have done this how’s this so they returned to the village to find the oldest member of their community in the Astor who did this who planted this beautiful forest and the old woman thought hard and she thought and she thought and she goes I remember it was a crazy old man we used to call him the crazy old man so after a short discussion the community decided to honor this crazy old man and so they did the community celebrated him for the trees that he planted because in the winter the wood kept them warm its canopy in the summer kept them cool it sheltered them from the wind and the roots held the earth in place for them to grow healthy crops in the crops nurtured their bodies so even after his death the crazy old man was able to help his community for generations to come and even though he was called the crazy old man he kept working and planting so others would not have to suffer so much so plant a seed of resistance no matter how small or feeble it may be plant seeds of change let them grow to cover our pain in our sorrow plant seeds to unify the people of the Americas the people of the world plant seeds to grow a canopy of change of rain forests of Hope a flower of love a garden of peace plant seeds for justice and equality plant seeds for indigenous rights plant seeds for those who toil and struggle nurture and love them so they may grow so our children may eat of its fruit so it may cleanse our bodies so its fruit may heal us plant seed so our air may be clean so we can drink fresh sweet water plant seeds to astroid to destroy imperialism white supremacy global domination allow its branches to break through with a concrete and twist of steel and iron plant seed so we can dream of a new world some when its leaves we can hear the joyous voices of freedom so when it’s flowers we can see the world’s blue beauty so in its branches we can feel it’s reassuring strength so when its trunk we can stand firm on who we are so in its roots we can remember what the past that we have come from plant seeds nurtured them water them speak to them them plant seeds plant seeds and let them grow lettuce plant seeds with the rest of the world to be as an example of what is possible plant seeds plant seeds because it is necessary mmm thank you so so for me poetry is a tool for me to reach other people and you know I went to I went to school and university can be very kind of enclosed in its own world in its own environment it has its own politics it has almost like you know it’s its own city and so it’s important that when you do have your degree I would say for me is that you’re able to impact people in a positive wave one of the things that’s you know we live in a very very difficult time in history you know we have the ability to destroy ourselves we have the ability to really really communicate on a global level but we don’t know we don’t know each other and so just being able to break through and have real relationships is really important right we think about Facebook and I don’t know how many friends people got but I don’t know how many of those people actually talk to right like in a day to day basis I probably have a lot of friends but I don’t know my neighbors and it’s important that we build those communities still it’s important that things like Latino Studies like African Studies or African American history plus things are important to be taught because we can’t forget those spaces it’s important that we share and learn from from those experiences so I’ll do we good I still gotta what time are we supposed to be here to to uh to midnight damn shit midnight I don’t know what time is it right now I got things to do I really don’t I think I’m just gonna go to gym or somehow no or go eat dinner and yeah so yeah cool so I do like a lot of improv in my pieces in between and stuff like that but one of the things that that’s really important to me to talk about is kind of who we are as Latinos the title of my album is called we are I do have copies of it over there it’s a pretty interesting album to me it’s like my spoken word with music the producers his name is DJ ozone he’s worked with dj khaled he’s worked with good music which is Kanye West label he’s worked with Joel Ortiz who just got signed to Shady aftermath it’s a really good producer and the reason that you know I mean how did you get contact with him well he was one of my students everybody cheap belts from H&M because my pants are falling down he was one of my students and it’s really interesting that we approached the album as we didn’t wanna do like a conga kind of like no jazzy poetry album we’re like not we want to put like beats that we would listen to you say I like Jake oh I like Drake I like different artists that have like more like high-quality production so for me I don’t want to do a boom ba-ba-boom so the album is pretty good it’s the lead track is called we are and this is this piece here one of

the things about being Latino is if you’re out like in New York you’ll probably Porto Rican that’s what being Latino is if you out and like LA I just got back from LA I was there for like a week everybody’s pretty much Mexican even though there’s like Mass Central Americans and stuff like no Mexican I say y’all you tacos I say burritos and like if you go down to Miami it’s like Cuban I mean these are like inside like Latino things so one thing about being Latino too is that we’re like all different colors like for me right like I’m real light I’m what I’m yeah like yeah so I have light skin but green eyes but I’m still not Eno right there’s like no denying my history no denying where my family’s from or you could be somebody that Pino typically looks black right you might think that person looks black but they’re Latino the Dominican or maybe Mexican or maybe even a swelling or wherever in every shade of brown in between that’s why I love being Latino man I love that cuz like we can be everything and it’s really like we’re mixed with everything we’re like the world’s months right we’re like everything it’s like just thrown in and you know like one of the things about if you Mexican you know like we’ve been not good to deny denying certain things like like my family I got a great grandmother and I got a picture of her and she looks black and my mom’s like now she’s not black she’s Yaqui Indian from up north and northern Mexico I’m like she looks black she don’t like so they like we’ve been to nine and hey and I ain’t going like let it I’m sorry to let everybody in on a secret but we be hating too you know like our people will be like denying that we black but we also black where indigenous were African and if you think about like we talk about history and we learn about history in a bubble so you learn linear right like 1492 Columbus went here and this happened and then this happened and this happened right but history doesn’t take place that way like when Columbus is doing that there’s all these other things taking place around that time right so if we think about who came from Spain who was thrown out after fort like during 1492 right well Muslims which are Arab in northern Africans they were thrown out and Jewish people were thrown out so if you think about your last name let’s say you have a name that ends with it easy or yes you’re probably tied to a fascist afar dick Jew somewhere in Spain so that’s a part of your history but we’re not talking talk very simple all right brown people there’s Indians and in it Spaniards and y’all had sex and then they had mestizos then they had sex and it has some other stuff that’s that you know that’s pretty much you know that the sex history and that’s how we’re mixed but there’s all these other things that we are that’s so beautiful man like you know like there’s Irish people that kind of infused into being Mexican there’s all these other like indigenous cultures and languages that we don’t know anymore infused into being Latino so this poem I wrote for HBO and while I was writing the poem they were yeah you ever see that font of stuff you’ve seen that that you hate that – I hope you hate that I want to punch them font that whoever made that fart the commercial punch them in the throat like I’m not violent but I punch them in the throat so the the that father commercial just be like if you haven’t seen it you all seen it because they are the back like acting like you ain’t see you’ve seen the father commercial you see how they do my people like that y’all should be disgraced by that commercial they have like the girls like they’re real like you know sexy women and they’re like brown black and then white and they’re like in the smallest dresses you can think of and it’s like they’re dancing fonta whatever whatever like Fanta is like they’re good the thing about the u.s. is like they make up like all kinds of names that like for cars that are like like I don’t know like weird names that aren’t really Spanish names what they sound Spanish know like all they said it’s like you know that’s like Nova that doesn’t go like the Nova car and over like like there’s a bunch of things like that so HBO I think wanted like a spicy hot Teno poem and I was like damn I don’t really write like like spicy hot latino poems I do like I’ll hit you in the face poems so I showed up with this poem and and what happened was I was reading it doing my thing and like there was an edge of a building and they almost let me fall off the edge and I think they did that on purpose because I did they wanted to put it on YouTube and get like a million hits from the poet reading his poem on the rooftop falling off and like dying or y’all ever seen that thing that the little boys like no way oh oh you seen that yeah you seen that right like imagine how many people hit that so imagine if I would have fell off the roof like what how many hits that would how would have been a millionaire but I would have not been able to walk so yeah man so like I wrote this poem we are for that reason and for me we have to be critical about our history and we also have to be critical about kind of how people name our history for us so this is called we are and this track is available on my album has a video online on Reyes poetry calm which is that cool website right there that’s when I had no hair I had a number two on the top faded bladed boy you don’t know about that it’s just lined up that was nice but um I had to grow my hair I had to grow up and grow my hair out all right here we go we are the wretched of the earth the labor that moves the sand we are spics wetbacks Venus pork chops we are us Trudy failure we are body of dwellers

culture creators cutting across communal skies we are loving up well O’s and umbrellas we are community builders stopping gentrification we oppress those politico’s we are freedom fighters we are peasant farmers urban harvest we are the children of Latin America vastly speaking for Ghana in a new land an ancient land we are the children of African slaves indigenous blood and Spanish conquest we are German Arab Jewish Muslim we are the grandchildren Simon Bolivar editor levine de guadalupe Latrun of Pancho Villa’s Zapata every little Oleta LeBron we are the children of the Sabbath Easter’s you’re the children of Latin America acts out to oblivion we are love compassion and hope we assess as well Gandhi said we’re there we all eat the shots on Congress we are the Brown Berets and the Chicano Movement we are the young Lords we are the Cuban people in 59 we have been a swellin Bolivarian revolution we are Nuyorican poets painting Puerto Rican pride we are undocumented peoples crossing borders breaking boundaries and barriers we are separated families split by concrete thorns made of steel we are so cologne bottle bottle in Chicago RIA boricua Chicano Chicana Shah Rican Meccano Puerto Rican yo dominicano centroamericana Mex Rican Latino shy Cano we are breakers DJs in seas painting homes and walls we are despised hated love and a satyr sighs we are faces and crowds at marches against the war in Afghanistan Iraq and Palestine we are those who stand alongside blacks to free our people from modern-day slavery we are Christ’s Moses get the correct length on it scene we are the Sun that shines bright red unified community chanting body quoi americano loot Rondo motto motto we are the new American Dream we are those who create love from hate hope from despair compassion from nun humidity from arrogance we are those who say live and help to live we are 500 years of resistance welcome to America welcome to the New World thank you oh can you film this part like up here yo just so you know like I know it’s mad we’re giving people cameras and stuff like it’s real like this is like behind the scenes like I don’t have a camera crew because I’m too cheap to bring them out because I think I could afford to bring them out now but it’s just too much work like I’m responsible for them they probably go do something real bad on campus and then get me in trouble so I get students I’m like hey I got this camera can you film for me so she don’t feel for me because I like to put videos up when I do stuff and I haven’t really filmed this presentation necessarily so hopefully after if you like what you see if you could you know talk to her right now like afterwards like that in the middle of the show but afterwards and say like if something impacted you that’d be really great if you like something then you don’t put it on camera for me I could put it online with my videos yeah you know it’s a way that I also get my work out as an independent artist you don’t have like a label pushing you I mean I do have an agent but there we filming I keep filming but you know that you know that you have to push yourself and it’s all a part of like this other kind of level of art and I’m really appreciative anytime anyone comes out and wants to listen to me speak and share and thank you for coming out because I know you could be doing anything right now probably homework or other things that you probably shouldn’t be doing but it’s college so you’re experimenting and whatnot I won’t say anymore so the thing about taking it higher than higher education which is really important is that sometimes we’re challenged with situations where it may not be beneficial for us there’s nothing in it for us to take a stand and this next piece I want to read is called she and she is about a woman named Ella Vita Adriano and I don’t know if any of you have ever heard of her but Vita was a woman that took this thing called sanctuary and what sanctuary was is that she was about to be deported by the US government and sent back to Mexico she had a son that was a US citizen her crime was working for working with a fake Social Security and they came in with machine guns and pulled her out at gunpoint and ripped her out and there was a whole campaign over a few years to deal with the issue of Evita and what ends up taking place is she said you know what if you want to deport me you need to deport me in front of the world you need to deport me in front of cameras you need to come inside and for her she was a religious person she said God’s home and come in because I abide by a higher law and for me I’m not too much of a religious person but there is a higher law in the sense of humanity there’s a certain way to deal with people there’s a certain dignity and a respect that we have to have in order there’s a certain dignity and respect that that we have to have for each other and if we do see laws that are unjust it’s our responsibility to fight and struggle to make them just if we see things that are unjust right that’s I would challenge you as a student to take your education and use it in a way to be something to do something positive with it because a lot of times in our society we’re based really on this selfish model right we have this thing called the American dream it’s nothing wrong with wanting to own a home and a car own a home I was blessed enough to buy a home with poetry but it’s what do you do with the

resources you have what do you do with the things that you’re able to get and receive and to fight for and so like I would say as a college student to kind of take it outside of like okay you get your education so then what what’s the next step are you just gonna go get a job and do you know pay off your loans and that’s realistic and you should do that but at the same time I would challenge you to see what are other things you can do how can you help other people to be in the situation that you’re in by sitting in this by sitting in these seats to your leaders that’s just the reality some of you may be the only person that’s gone to school in your family and that’s being a leader and they’re probably really proud of you and if you mess up they might punch you in the back of the head for like you know getting bad grades or dropping out some of you may be the only person from your brothers and sisters that are going to school right maybe maybe some of you are the only person in your community or from your school or from your high school so you’re already a leader just by being here and you’re already setting an example for other people just by sitting in this seat so for me I would challenge you in this in this ways that sometimes we have to do things and one of the one of the main things that anyone knows what civil disobedience is civil disobedience there’s a really famous act of civil disobedience so who was a person that was like a big person of civil disobedience come on y’all got y’all get much better have got this in school Martin Luther King is one who God needs another one one in the u.s. that’s our job is another one Rosa Parks I’ll just say it Rosa Parks but those are all people those are all people for all for all people that have put themselves out and now I’m not I don’t want you to misunderstand me I’m not saying go get arrested that’s not what I’m saying what I’m saying is I mean I’ve been arrested for things I believe in because I felt that it was enough for immigration I got arrested and it was only like you you get processed and may not take it lightly but it was a serious thing we had to think about and I’ve been in conflict with the u.s. Secret Service for my politics and stuff but for me the important thing is that there are people that are willing to go to prison for you to be here there’s people that have been willing to die for you to be here there’s been people that have been willing to put themselves out for you to be here and every moment we have to think about you know at what point are we willing to struggle to make things better if there’s a problem on campus how do you focus that energy and what I’m saying is you don’t you know not to just go get arrested I’m saying there’s ways to be able to focus that energy and it’s important that we remember those things so Ivy that’s one of those people this poem she is about her space as a Mexican woman and what she was willing to do for other people and people misunderstood her they really thought like she was selfish she didn’t want to get deported alveta could have stayed here and she ended up getting arrested and deported back to Mexico where she works now and she just graduated from college whereas before she was somebody who was cleaning the floors of airplanes so now she has a degree and she’s she’s moving on she’s an organizer in Mexico this about her and really it’s about the role of her as a woman within the struggle of immigration and then I’ll go to my next piece so I only got like two more pieces if that’s cool which are they’re good pieces though I think I think they’re good pieces so here we go she she the warrior she the mother she the fighter standing against all odds refusing to be an object of an unjust power structure that yearns to objectify her with the only object being that she is objected to the pain of power she objects those structures that value plastic and products of a flesh and soul she found in this new war that is not new to us no she fighting with beautiful poetry of sanctuary she warrior of her people fighting not for herself no that would be too easy but funny for all of those who have been pulled away by night stolen from their children their families disappeared ripped apart from all they know arrested and cuffed at work shipped away as if to be the products that they toiled to create this country this infecting this nation of what they believe to be a parasitic problem as she they we clean in their kitchens their airports their homes their restaurants their streets their universities at gunpoint breaking into our homes with papers that make it legal to steal human life she was a reflection of donut scene of la vie henna by Lita of Emma of the Mexican people she the reflection of me of you of we she the reflection of our struggles and our victories she who gave her freedom for more than one year she was facing and confronting all that is unjust fighting the real illegalities of human rights she was fasted so others can eat while yet others can feast on the male nourishment of the rest of the world she who blocked the shiny light of 50 white stars taking their cosmic power exposing them for the hypocrites that they are like hood still a butcher he consumed his brothers and his sisters she would bore the scars of seven red stripes of modern-day slavery she will bore six white blisters on her hands and on her feet from years of work she would displayed the dark blue bruises from brutal laws of man she brought those powers to a standstill she would made those powers have to face their fears she was crucified apprehended giving her life voluntarily with dignity respect and honor all the know all the while knowing the risk involved and the sacrifices that had to be made she who was resurrected in every Mexican home

edged into our consciousness our dreams are resound resistance she would spired the dreams of the Dead and woke the world too beautiful yellow flowers adorned with red roses making believers out of non-believers like juan diego force those who did not want to understand she she is the child separated from his mother she the daughter and school painful tuition are able to receive financial aid she the men selling paletas on every street corner she the woman selling tamales mangoes Sandhya she the young man cookie making the best Mexican Italian Chinese Greek food in the city she’s a woman taking care of children that are not hers she the young gang member no hope sells drugs to his own people see the loving father and mother working two jobs each to pay the rent she the young optimistic activist poet dream that they can still change the world she simultaneously her and us they and we the duality of the Mexican soul the living in the in the dead the Christian in the pagan she very much her but she very much us she alveta ariana we are all Alvida Ariano so um thank you so I will keep y’all too much longer there is like a little Q&A afterwards if you want to ask a few questions or you got some comments so I’m a little warm I dressed up too much today I’m always like in like v-necks and stuff so I was like let me dress up today because sometimes it gets hot on the road you’re traveling and you smell so yeah anyway got with me still okay cool so so one of the things that’s important I think when we talk about even things like immigration and anything else man that’s like a a really really simple way of of the way that we view the world and there’s things so much more complex and we talk about things like alveta and her coming here and other people around immigration we need to recognize like what’s the history of people coming here why do people come here it’s not just to take jobs that people here don’t want it’s also about what has been the policy of the United States over the last I would say you know 200 years towards Latin America right what has been the policy if you think about something like the Monroe Doctrine right the Monroe Doctrine clearly states that Latin America is the backyard of the United States and what are you doing your backyard you do whatever you want in your backyard right your dog can shit in your backyard for lack of a better term and so historically our communities have been looked at in that way and if you just just take a look all you have to do is just look at policies towards Latin America and you understand clearly why people from that in America have to come here and then just on a human level like one of the things that I think people are really afraid of is like all the Latino population is growing big it’s growing big there’s this this writer from Harvard named Samuel Huntington who a few years ago put out this whole this whole paper about the challenge of Latinos being here and like you know conservative folks are really afraid of the Latino population and the growth but for me it’s not about being like this big population it’s like how do we act responsibly because I don’t want to have that Eno’s in power that send people to die in wars and kill other people that’s not what I want and you could disagree with me that’s fine what I’m saying is that I don’t want a society where you can go to Times Square in New York City in one of the richest countries in the world and it’s lit up like daytime but people don’t have electricity how does that make sense does it make sense to me or you can go to a place where there’s homes that are empty million dollar homes with rooms and rooms and rooms but people are homeless you go to a restaurant where they throw our food in the garbage but people are starving how does that make sense to me it doesn’t make any sense and I would hope it doesn’t to you so I would challenge you to try to take those spaces and create solutions because it’s not hopeless there’s a lot of place to learn and grow and share and I’m always learning that’s why I love to travel I travel every single day and I’m always humbled by learning from people because there’s always things going on that I didn’t know about and there’s always projects that I can learn from one of the ways and this is dealing with taking it higher than just higher education one of those ways that our education system teaches us is this thing called the banking method anyone ever heard of the banking method of Education so the banking method of educate I need a volunteer keep you on T real quick I just come on make you dance at night and don’t worry so here’s the student I’m the teacher you’re like empty and dumb you don’t know nothing I’m gonna tell you everything that you know now boom all right repeat everything and then that’s it go said I okay good so I just take you how many of you took a test before everybody takes the test how many oh I study for your test the day before and they don’t remember shit from the test the next day right how everybody does that right everybody does that so what are we really learning and so for me I’m more of a very dialer just achill kind of like teacher in a sense like right now I’m doing a lecture because I’m

talking about cuz that’s the way that people understand education but for me it’s like take your experiences and incorporate them into what we’re trying to learn and I think you would walk away a much smarter person a much more educated person there’s a difference between an educated person and a schooled person the difference being schooling in education a lot of you will go to college and to be honest will be schooled because you’ll go through a process and you’ll go out and you won’t really think about the world critically you’ll just be in the world working where people wanted to shift you where there’s jobs as opposed to somebody who is critical about the world that’s around them who was compassionate about the pain that exists who is challenged and driven to want to change those things so for me I think again like what the set is like really important that we’re able to break down information and look at it critically as a student in college you would think that oh yeah well I’m in college may I run into college students all the time that have master’s degrees and I’m like man where did you graduate from like cuz some of the things that come out of their mouths just doesn’t really make any common sense so I would challenge you to be a critical thinker there’s a there’s a writer of Paulo Freddy who wrote his book pedagogy of the oppressed and pedagogy of the oppressed is all about education and education of liberation he’s a Brazilian brilliant he has another book called pedagogy a whole pedagogy of freedom and I would challenge you to look up Paulo Freddy and try to see where you can fit that in your schedule to read because if you read that book you would look at education completely different and it’s important that we look at education education should free us from things not set us in systems to just be another little like little plug into the system of things that are operating and I’m not into Illuminati I’m not talking about systems like that I’m talking about real systems that will press us every day because we know what those are racism is one colonialism is one right if you start breaking down different different structures that keep us into these spaces where we’re confined so I could read like one or two what do you feel you tell me – okay all right so look this is like more multicultural stuff so but it’s still Latino so that’s weird right because like there mister Latino y’all with me still for two more in the back y’all y’all good okay I’m just making sure my first stop oh I got things to do this boy he talked too much his friends are right you should just drink a beer and shut up now I always take pictures of my friends don’t believe me they don’t believe that I act like I mean now they do cuz a facebook if I don’t have facebook thank God for Facebook they’ll be like how he’s making it up so imma read it’s important and oh you could film this one too cool just in case I need some footage they’re like two minute videos I got like an hour worth of footage I’m like damn I’m gonna edit this but I like every piece of no I don’t but so this is a car Lolita you may cry now and I’m gonna read this piece because one there’s a lot of women in the room and I feel empowered to non-powered I feel motivated to read it this is a Puerto Rican woman and Lolita for me I’m a Latin Americanist which means I really do believe that our borders and our countries are created and made up just like race is made up I know it’s like you’d be like what do you mean like race is there real to me but I believe in racism race doesn’t exist to me but I believe in racism what I mean by that is I don’t believe people are different races because it’s not real it’s like a social construct meaning we created that right and we created those the only thing about this is like if you burp like it picks up that’s horrible so we create it we create you’re on that ignorant I’m sorry for Chicago for the northwest side we just like to be like this we talk a lot so like if you talk to me in a car this how I’m gonna talk to you pretty much how I’m talking now but a lot more bad words I’m very vulgar when I speak but I can be very educated when I speak too so the thing is that I believe that that we should also be able to share as the Americas it says sir to me that you cannot you can take I catch on cloud you could take like a slipper a truckload of them and drive them across the us-mexican border without a problem but a person can’t walk across the border that’s absurd to me I don’t understand that I don’t understand how a truckload of car parts can drive across the border without a problem but a person can’t walk across the border so to think about those things because it’s a contradiction and it’s hard to deal with and for me this woman Lolita is a Puerto Rican nationalists what does that mean Lolita was an activist I read this poem because she was willing to stand up for what she believed in in 1954 she went into the US Congress and shot shot guns into the top of the Congress to raise attention around Puerto Rico there’s a story about her if you’re a woman especially you should look out Lolita because she is a revolutionary that you should know she there’s a story of her sick like there with the gun and they’re ready to go and one of the men is like maybe we should do it tomorrow she goes if you’re gonna

do it tomorrow you might as well leave and not come back because I’m going right now and she burst in on her own so Lolita was a woman that led men and more so about her act isn’t so much if you agree with what she did you have to put it in context of the time and where the world was that in 1954 the world was in a lot of different places those type of acts were pretty common around the world people all over the third what we call the third world of developing countries were up in arms against people that had colonized them for hundreds of years so all over that in America people were fighting and struggling all over Africa the continent of Africa people were struggling and fighting Lolita goes to prison for 25 years she was put into a male prison and you know in an interview with her you think about like oh maybe she had a wing know there was like men across from her like from here to here and only does a very beautiful woman or was she passed a few years ago was a very beautiful woman she is raped in prison she is tortured in prison when her trip when her child dies they sent a newspaper underneath her cell to let her know that her son or her child had drowned and so after 25 years of imprisonment she was out for 25 years so this is about 50 years after and I’m sitting at dinner with her in Humboldt Park and if you’ve ever met somebody like Dolores Huerta or if you’ve ever met somebody like I mean other people like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King or those energies that you see on TV there’s a certain air about those people like I say I’m not a religious person but there’s a certain humanity to them that overpowers their or that they bring and she had that well you can’t explain it in words this is a feeling you get like she’ll hug you when you feel like you’ve known her forever but at the same time there’s a certain dignity about her so Lolita goes to prison is out and she said that while she was in prison she didn’t cry at all you cry in front of guards she didn’t cry in front of anyone and she refused to let them see her cry even after she was raped she just she held everything in emotionally so you couldn’t imagine the emotion of crying in the physical there’s a physical kind of thing we go through when we cry and so for her after being out 25 years she said she couldn’t cry anymore it was very difficult for her to have that emotion so I wrote this poem for her you may not understand it because of the sense of names but I hope you understand the humanity of the poem because a lot of Puerto Rican names and that’s one thing that’s really important to me when I speak to groups of people is that it’s important to learn about other people’s history I’m not Puerto Rican I didn’t know anything about Puerto Ricans a lot of times they put o Ricans and Mexicans don’t get along I don’t know if you knew that but that’s like a joke of mine Latinos but for some reason they always have sex and there’s always Puerto Rican and Mexican kids that I run into and I’m like damn I thought o Rican zamesca they get along but that’s like a lot of Puerto Rican Mexican kids around here what’s going on people aren’t using condoms nowadays I don’t know so with this I’ll do this piece because I think it’s important to tell her story and I’ll do one more and we’ll be out of here if you want to check me out I got a table over there with t-shirts and CDs and flyers with Twitter and Facebook and YouTube you get a hold of me check out my work and all that stuff so this is called Lolita you may cry now and I’ll do my last little piece and that’ll be it for tonight Lolita you may cry now tears for the oppressed hungry for food knowledge and hope Lolita you may cry now tears for the millions of upon means of indigenous peoples of the Americas tears for those names languages customs and cultures we will never know loss like the leaves that fall into the streams and rivers Lolita you may cry now tears for the African slaves that would change shackled rape whip their backs dripping with red tear drops of their own relief that you may cry now tears for those who worked in toil tears the sweat dripping to the soil that they bled to cultivate so others could prosper from their suffering Lolita you may cry now tears for the massacres broken treaties diseases stolen land in nature relief that you may cry now tears for the murdered Mexicans lynched hung drag cut shot in what is known as the southwest of the United States Lolita you may cry now to use for those who work the large sugar and coffee plantations and never had a chance to taste either Lolita you may cry now cries for the independence and freedom of 6th of September 1618 grito de Dolores tears for the grip of the latus September 23rd 1868 Lolita you make Ryan out history with dance this is a goon daughter Isabelle VSIP all of those who have poor tyranny injustice and treachery in your movement Lolita you may cry now tears for the prisoners of war in 1898 years for Albizu Campos in and out of prison for more than 25 years tears for the radiation his body was exposed to that the children of crying children of Vieques Krang contaminated tears for lost souls tears for Oscar Lopez Rivera more than prison for more than 31 years tears from all the prisoners of war from your movement and tears for those who gave us vision steady and calm they steered us through storms tears for one Antonio quarter head Consuela liquid ahead tears for our beloved mr. Jose Lopez the love for his people shown in the humblest of ways from the picking up of garbage and trash to the enormous vision he puts forth in tears for all of those people in my community the people in the body the people from Chicago the people I call my comrades my closest and dearest friends the people that have helped me feel human once again tears for those who are faces and crowds and actions against the occupation of Palestine Iraq tears for the people of yet cos voices unheard since with the

undocumented workers that toil in the belly of the beast no rights vocal cords that have been ripped out tears for all of those who stand in the shadow of a giant and do not budge from what is just what is equal in what is right and tears for you Lolita tears for your strength endurance and constant resistance yes so deep that you may cry now to use for the time away from loved ones tears were the time that they tried to break you and you stood fearless challenging an empire sending like a mountain against the Hurricanes attack tears were the times that you could not feel the warmth of the Sun or the warmth of a loving hand tears for the lost memories tears to fill the oceans depths tears for the times you wanted to cry but could not would not to show them that you were unbreakable yes Lolita you may cry now to use the sadness and enjoy because our freedom will come Lolita you may cry now and if you cannot you are home and we will cry for you so she cried all right cool I’ll do one last piece I’ll do one last piece and then like I said can somebody grab one of them t-shirts for me any of them they don’t matter just anyone just grab like one of those top ones so for me I’m a be exhausted after these shows I do want to go get something to eat though oh yeah so those are some of the shirts I got like I said bought that shirt I make those by hand in the sense of a silkscreen I built the frames out it’s actually a workshop I offer but one of the things that’s important for me is that those are like instead of putting my dumb face like radio ChiCom I you know I did folks that inspired me eventually I’ll have some dumb shirts like that because I think I should but I make shirts of people that have inspired me people that are in my poetry people that are a my writing and I feel like for me it’s important that we create our own spaces and if you another great point for me is that you know if you’re in a university and there’s something that isn’t there if it’s a smaller town a smaller City a smaller space for me that’s an opportunity it’s always important to look at not so much that oh we don’t have this stuff because I come from a smaller town growing up and it’s a great opportunities to be able to build things that aren’t there and to provide alternatives and to provide what what we call as a counter-narrative today what you’ve heard our stories and poems but it’s a counter-narrative to what exists for our communities so this last piece I’m gonna do is called response to those who say let’s take it back to the good old days long ass type works my bad long ass title so for me I’m gonna age myself a little bit so that was a point in history where we used to wear these t-shirts that I went all the way down to here I don’t know if you remember that age you might have been like probably six or something like that but I used to have like 70 of them shits I’ll be like running through extra extra large extra extra extra large which one am I gonna wear and then you get them on the corner store and the neck is all stretched out after a day so we still we’re taught to use and I used to wear my G I’m so glad that fashion has changed and got tighter I swear to you I swear to you I was not doing that stuff very well so for me this was like I was teaching in Detroit and I had a group of students mainly black students and what happened was what happened was so what now I want to say that naturally so what took place was a woman was kind of looking at my students and you know like you knows many black students and you know like we express ourselves and you know we always talking about people’s shoes we talking about the air force threes and you know they bootleg Jordans and so we’re always like you know kind of going in on each other so what happened was she started saying in the good old days people didn’t act that way Oh kids did kids didn’t do those things in the good old days women had respect for themselves and we were just enjoying ourselves a field trip is a Saturday so I wrote this poem thinking about what good old days is she thinking about and anyone ever seen that TV show Leave It to Beaver and when I seen that show y’all ever seen that no all right well in that show there’s no black people and there’s no Latinos and we’re not even in the back sweep in or nothing like what’s up like we didn’t even get they they cut out all the Italians because their hair was too curly in too dark and it’s like white people I was like that must be like the good good old days it’s like very wholesome right nobody has nobody does drugs or pest sex and the parent sleep in two separate beds but they got two kids hmm somebody was creeping so so what happens is like you know there’s this narrative in our brain about the good old days and I know some of y’all probably got parents that tell you about the good old days they’d be like oh you got a cell phone in a good lake when we were young we had one phone in the whole village and we all have to share it like my phone in the whole village huh or the favorite story is like oh you got a car you should you should feel good you have a car because when I was going to school I used to have to walk backwards barefoot in the snow on glass and ice going like this to school I’m like while you’re walking backwards so you should have have better parents today my father’s your parents with messed up beer that’s not your

grandparents so so for me you know it’s a port like if we’re going to take it higher than just higher education is how do we break down the world how do we inspire the world how do we go out from here and campus we are getting all this information and all of this knowledge and go and try to change and make things better this poem is a critique of history and after that we can open up for like maybe three questions and leave it at that and if you want to hang out and talk to me I know I’m gonna be getting dinner I’m here on campus until what like Wednesday morning then I go to Virginia I’m on tour pretty much for like eight weeks so please feel free to come up talk to me take pictures I like pictures like Facebook’s now you tagged me in Facebook and be like yeah see like people actually take pictures with me it’s cool don’t worry about it colleges are always weird high school students though do not care they’re rowdy they’re rowdy they’ll come up and just grab you and take a picture with you and then try to steal something from you so not all but most all right here we go Oh y’all gonna leave go ahead go ahead messing up my set come on all right cool all right get a fly over there my flies over there so all right last poem last poem let’s take it back to the good old days let’s take it back to when niggers and spics knew their place win chinks well nine have been putting the cancel women of color with passwords and traps when Hoover bug doctor came purpose of microphones at his hotel lapse let’s take it back to when the CIA placed hundreds of Cubans on a certain Bay and let them be slaying and say oh we had nothing to do with it it was what they what they wanted let’s take it back to commie sympathizer which hunts us to get back to blacklist I said get back to government control segregation because of pigmentation let’s take it back to the control of his eyeless population to sterilization let’s take it back to when bullets flew when Kennedy’s brain was splattered when dr. King skull was open when by the Malcolm spirit spirit left because of the conspiracies buried in files and codes let’s take it back to small black shirt and being sprayed on the streets of the u.s. attacked by dogs spit on like Christ was about bigots let’s take it back to come up Co insecticide usable healthy cups that impacted my family my uncle’s my fears my grandparents who work for under minimum wage like slaves they labored in the Sun to be infected by cancer let’s take it back to the Zoot Suit Riots or America’s Navy raped on women beat our men all in the name of defense let’s take it back to when the only face of beauty was white when I think how acts as opposed to say they were Italian we mixed mulatto Chile said that they were not black let’s take it back to when the only act on the big screen that depicted people of color was of sex violence and ignorance let’s take it back to him Bootsy was forced to wear a mask because it slanted eyes that means that up to the Green Hornet let’s take it back to when blacks could not play in the NBA let’s take it back to when blacks could not play in the NBA before Jordan before I ever sinned before the Brawn before Z before magic before dr. J before the Iceman wilt and Russell let’s take it back to the good old days when means of Americans went overseas to fight in wars all these returned in body bags is because they were not white cannot be buried in the cemeteries that they died to keep let’s take it back to when the government introduced haroldo see some Harlem Los Angeles Detroit Chicago let’s take it back to when jazz was monkey music back to blackface Uncle Tom yes Massa mentalities let’s take it back to him blues jazz poetry were expropriated and black and brown voices were drowned out let’s take it back to Ben yellow al Karim Pierre three we’re pseudo writers and poetry was only a dead white guy thing let’s take it back to Breakers DJs in see graffiti we’re not subcultures but we’re black and Latino before a Beastie Boys third base and Eminem when hip-hop was in ghettos in slums let’s take it back to masters rape slaves when Thomas Jefferson had a love affair with one of his own they say get back to cowards hiding behind she’s sitting crosses a blaze let’s take it back to government to test in a minority see the outcome of AIDS let’s take it back to the Treaty of Guadalupe 40 acres and a mule let’s take it back to the red man being affected by smallpox from England I think it’s given him by the US of A let’s take it back there no question reality dogma of the age let’s take it back – women are worth nothing are able to vote maybe Mickey cooking 40 years and grease it as a boss time and time again let’s take it back to Vietnam when men and women bled and bled and bled that’s one when I hear people say let’s take it back to the good old days I say fuck that no way the good old days weren’t as good as they say so that’s that piece so thank you I appreciate y’all coming out if you do have any questions I’ll limit it to like three because I know people gots to go it’ll be quick answers or quick questions so anybody got questions anyway anybody all right get Martin you take my card go ahead I mean like it’s complex like his panic I’m like what’s going on no I’m just playing but but what happens is um it’s like for me Hispanic is a government term it also it was a term that was created for us by someone else well I think is Latinos more like organic for me the folks I deal with always say Latino because I felt like it’s something like you you’re kind of in it’s a term and a connection to Latin America as well whereas Hispanic is a term and connections to Spain and if you look at the history of Spain to Latin America hasn’t been a good one and so for me I

choose Latino because it just encompasses more of our actual radical history in connection to Latin America so that’s why I use it because we created Latino as opposed to Hispanic where Hispanic was a government mandate for a census any of your who fill out the census said are Latino no you’re like damn what would we fill out that my brother call me he’s like what do I feel I’m like I don’t know you fill out what are you tell me what you want to fill out like he was trying to fill out like the race like what he gets confused you know it gets confusing hopefully they get it right this next one and anyway nobody wants to fill that out anyway because they’d be like no I’m not don’t answer the door don’t answer the door was it so for real you’re gonna be the Jehovah Witness they’re gonna be the census somebody gonna bother you any time you have to do you got to pay a bill go to court like now I don’t answer the door no answer do it she got mail boxes for all right what else anything else is one more question no no here yeah I mean like I mean where I grew up my parents were real hiding politically so but the hitch is that y’all you Mexican that’s what you are and like then you’re reminded that as soon as you go to school even though I look really white so it’s a little bit different but in a sense of my cousins and my family you know like they’re all like Brown so for me being Mexican was just like I didn’t know like people didn’t put salt on everything I had no idea I got put salt on apples and watermelon and mangoes and avocado and like I didn’t know there I thought that was like regular it’s every place on your app or they don’t everybody do it and I punched him in the face no so like I know I’m on this punch thing today I need to go to the gym or something no but like for me I had Mentors so I always say like for me I’ve always had when I once I hit a point where I went to like almost an always school for one year and I did horrible I almost like I didn’t have any good grades I think I had like I don’t know what the great system is but I had the bottom grades and going from a public school to that that’s when I realized like what racism was I had never really experienced because I grew up in a mixed environment where there was white kids that were hoodies like us in Mexican and black kids and we were all just hood and poor and so that’s what I grew up with and then all of a sudden I went to a white environment where was a little more wealthy and they let you know even though you look what you are not white you know like there was all kinds of names for me because like you know the way that I speak now is pretty much how I speak when I grew up and I purposely never changed my accent because I purposely wanted to keep like I could speak educated I’m not gonna go up to a job interview like yeah you know I’m sailing with this job right quick but I don’t come in to eleven o’clock like but I purposely that guys bus I have I’ve been to Harvard and Berkeley and like you know like University of Chicago and I speak this way because it’s a part of me I don’t feel like I need to conform into this homogeneous idea of what it is to be an educated person like I represent my community and I feel like I want that to come out so I had a mentor that put me up on what Chicano was I didn’t know what that was obviously I learned and through that process it just strengthened who I was and I always – a Chicano mihika no because I’m also not ashamed to be a Mexican is not like there’s some feeling that oh I’m not that it’s just I want people to know like my experience is growing up here so obviously this is what I’ve come up with like I came up listening to hip hop my first political kind of like ideology I read Malcolm X and that was the first person that put me up – like oh okay there’s some different ideas here and later I learned about what it meant to be Chicano and Mexican the complexities of that history but I found myself always looking for history because it’s important when you don’t have that identity like fully you’re always searching and finding and then it made me fight and so that’s the where I found poetry as an outlet so one more question and we’ll leave it at that last question no well forget shot in man all right cool look I’ll be here check me out at my table please come talk to me I do have a poetry contest if you’re 25 years and under go to Ray’s poetry calm youth page you can submit your work the winner gets 100 books or 100 CDs depending on what type of artist you are of your original work and we’ll do a feature wherever you’re at I’ll fly out because it’s a contest offline we’ll do a feature together and feature your work so please check it out Ray’s watch your column I got cards and albums and t-shirts but at the least I know like t-shirt like shirt the books are ten bucks and I know your college student is but some of y’all probably smoked 10 bucks before you came over here so I don’t feel bad for you but thank you very much I appreciate it thank you