Tag Archives: youth

New Arrivals at the Freedom Archives

Hello,

clifford-glover-school

Over the summer we’ve been going through old piles, re-organizing the archive space and re-arranging book shelves. Needless to say we found some cool stuff.

This image is taken from the Clifford Glover Contingent’s Coloring Book published by the May 19th Communist Organization. Clifford Glover was a 10-year-old black youth murdered by Thomas Shea, a white on-duty, undercover policeman, on April 28, 1973. His death, and the policeman’s later acquittal for a murder charge, led to an urban rebellion in the South Jamaica section of Queens, New York. The inside cover of the coloring book reads:

“We want our children to be part of building this new socialist society. That is why we built the Clifford Glover Brigade for our young people to march with us today, under the leadership of the Black Liberation struggle. We want them to understand that a system that survives through the murder of Black children by killer cops and the klan provides no future for them. But for them to live in a better world, they must start fighting for it by fighting white supremacy now. That is the way that they will learn new values and can grow into young revolutionary women and men.”

-Solidarity Statement from May 19th Communist Organization in recognition of New Afrikan Freedom Fighter Day, July 18, 1981.

Stay tuned, more new arrivals to come…

-Nathaniel

Youth Empowerment at the Freedom Archives

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PL cover Spring 2016Hello,

This past spring, the Progressive Librarian, a journal for Critical Studies and Progressive Politics in Librarianship, published an article we wrote entitled “Don’t Trust Anyone Over the Age of 30”: Youth Empowerment and Community Archives. The spring issue recently became available online and we wanted to share the article with you! You can read the article by clicking here.

We’re happy to have been able to share our experiences working with young people and we are excited to welcome two new young people beginning internships with us in the next couple of weeks. You can find more about internships at the Freedom Archives here. Come build with us!!

-Nathaniel

The Search for Identity

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arianaDuring my third semester at the Freedom Archives I cataloged the raw audio materials of Colin Edwards’ series on Californians of Mexican Descent. In this ten part radio program from the early 1960s, Edwards interviewed Mexican-Americans from various socioeconomic backgrounds in order to create a comprehensive series that grasps the multiplicity of the Mexican-American experience. Through a series of patterned questions asked to each interviewee, themes including conflict over identities, pressures towards assimilation and divisions between generations, were all explored. It was interesting to find that many of the themes present in this series are sentiments that still exist within Chicano/as community. There is an underlying sense of not qualifying as solely Mexican or American, but rather needing to successfully navigate through and occupy both spheres. Although there were many relatable issues, one thing that struck me when listening to these interviews was the various outlooks towards discrimination faced by the Mexican-American community.

Accounts of racial, social and economic discrimination varied amongst the interviewees but having grown up in a predominantly Latino community, I was unaware of discrimination towards Chican@s in educational or professional settings. I never felt like a “minority” in the community which I grew up in and those surrounding me I was always part of a majority population where there was no discrimination based on being “other”. It was not until I moved away for college that I was made so conscious of my ethnicity and culture. At home, it was easy to navigate being Mexican-American because most people were Latino so there was a semblance of a shared experience. Now that I have left that comfort zone and I interact with diverse populations I feel the need to be an American who simultaneously embodies and educates others on the whole Latino experience, who points out the intersections of gender, race and economic standing. In college, a defining feature of my identity is the fact that I am Mexican. I am often questioned about my language, customs and asked to challenge ill-informed stereotypes. At home I am seen as too American because I am not fluent in Spanish and I don’t retain traditional customs and beliefs, I am deviating from my upbringing.

After listening to individuals sharing their sentiments and experiences, I felt a sort of validation. Never before had I worked with materials in an academic setting that explores what for me is a lived reality. Seeing this specific form of social history documented and studied in such a way reinforces the importance of individual lived realities. Even in institutions of higher education where students are actually given the chance to study different histories, they don’t always get the chance to work with such personal accounts that resonate with and reinforce overarching historical themes.

If you would like to support our internship program you can make a donation here.

-Ariana Varela

Help Us to Continue Our Work

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Greetings friends,

vietnam 2We’ve had a productive and inspiring past six months with much to share! We helped organize a May 2nd teach-in at MetWest High School in Oakland, entitled “the Spirit of Viet Nam is Stronger than US Bombs.” Close to 200 people participated in the day-long inter-generational and anti-imperialist event which connected the legacy of the Vietnamese victory to challenges facing our communities today. We worked along with activists, youth groups from the Asian diaspora, veterans, and others, as part of the Viet Nam Victory Coalition. As a part of the lead up to the event, we launched an educational webpage featuring significant audio clips from the Archives, an interactive timeline with some short videos and pieces by Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen Giap. Two examples are below.

Geronimo Ji-Jaga speaking about his experiences in Viet Nam and Detroit:

 

Audio from Chicano Moratorium Press Conference:

 

vietnam 5 The interaction between movement elders and youth activists was a powerful aspect of the day’s activities and definitely strengthened the fabric of resistance in the Bay Area and modeled anti-imperialist solidarity. Its so important to provide opportunities and experiences for young people to gain a more nuanced and robust understanding of the movements, strategies and lessons that shaped the world we live in today. This is the core mission of the Freedom Archives. However, we need your help to continue organizing events, creating educational resources and preserving the voices of the struggle. Your help ensures that the priceless perspectives and experiences are archived and accessible for generations to come. You can contribute here or at our website. Thanks for all of your support!

-Nathaniel

The Youth Brigades at Tierra Amarilla

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Greetings,

The work on our next documentary focusing on the Chican@ struggle in the Southwest continues to reveal essential aspects of the movement and their historical and present day manifestations. In the clip below, movement elder Ricardo Romero takes us through the history of the youth brigades at Tierra Amarilla,  the importance of history and culture to sustaining the struggle and explains why youth based, collective initiatives such as this are so important.

Whether represented by the youth activism of Ricardo Falcon, UMAS (United Mexican American Student) organization, and “Los Seis de Boulder” in the 1970s, or present day youth brigades (having now served over 800 young people) it is clear youth engagement and empowerment continues to be essential to the Chican@ struggle. Stay tuned for more clips as the filming process progresses!

You can support the Youth Brigades HERE!

-Nathaniel

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