Sep 07 2012

Three-Pack of Prose

Today on Friday September 7, 2012, three articles of mine were

published on KCET.org.

The first is about Otomisan, the last remaining Japanese Restaurant in Boyle Heights. Founded in 1956, the restaurant can still be found at its original location on East First Street, two blocks east of Soto. Fifty-six years later, the warm mojo of the small dining area radiates the Japanese tradition of Boyle Heights and calls you back for another tasty plate. This is a story of family, food and neighborhood.

The second is on Gil Scott-Heron and his daughter Gia Scott-Heron.  Hailed by many as the Godfather of Rap, Gil Scott-Heron is one of the most influential poets and musicians of the last half century. Born in Chicago in 1949, his body of work includes 13 musical albums, five books (fiction and poetry) and thousands of live performances. His classic song-poems like “The Bottle,” “Home is Where the Hatred Is,” “Winter in America,” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” remain relevant four decades after they appeared.

He died unexpectedly in May 2011 after returning from a European tour. Gia Scott-Heron is his Los Angeles born daughter and a poet as well. A year after his death we spoke in depth about his work, their relationship and her own blossoming literary career.

The third piece is about “Banned Books & Chicano Literature

For the last 30 years the last week of September has been designated Banned Books Week, promoting and celebrating the freedom to read and open access to information. All 50 states will be featuring multiple events honoring the freedom to read.

Thanks to efforts like these and a rising wave of activist authors, Arizona’s attempt to ban books and Chicano/a Studies in particular has backfired on multiple levels. Instead of silencing voices like they hoped, legions of young activist writers and thinkers across the country have emerged, empowered and bent on social justice.

On Tuesday September 11, 2012, over 30 of these authors and artists will be at the Cypress Park Library for “An Evening of Mass Education,” celebrating the release of the new Chicano Studies anthology “Ban This!”

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