From excerpts to interviews, blog posts to online forums… Here are just a few updates from this week.
Gail Dines, author of Pornland, appeared on CNN News and in the Boston Globe this week, discussing "gonzo" pornography's grip on the young minds of an entire generation. Dines was also mentioned in a recent article on the website Independent Woman which discussed how porn addiction can ruin a marriage.
Dylan Edwards, who is at work on a graphic book about genderqueers and FTM transsexuals, had his picture snapped at Comic-Con and is part of this great roundup of LGBT comics folks at the Prism Comics blog.
As our representatives once again consider how to legislate immigration reform, one of their first priorities should be to reconsider one languishing immigration program--The DREAM Act.
The Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, first introduced by Senator Orrin Hatch (R) in 2001, aims to create educational equality. The legislation, currently on everybody's backburner, would allow certain undocumented immigrants to receive conditional residency if they either attend a university or join the U.S. military. To qualify, immigrants would have to enter the U.S. at age 15 or younger, graduate from an American high school, and have good moral character.
In the past, the bill has been promoted as a palatable form of immigration reform. It only affects people who entered the country as minors, presumably brought into the U.S. by their parents. These kids form a rapidly growing group today; about 2.4 million undocumented people aged 24 and under live in the U.S. right now.
But promoting the DREAM Act as legislation that should be passed, as a means of addressing some unfairness that exists because the alien minor didn't choose to enter the country, is wrongheaded. Not only is this sales pitch politically ineffective to most conservative politicians--after all the DREAM Act has been around, going nowhere, for a decade--but it misses a more dire predicament the U.S. faces today: we're running out of college graduates. The DREAM Act is a simple way to get more.
Independence Day reminds us not only of our rights as Americans, but also of our rights as human beings on a global scale. This week, our authors have been using their freedom of speech to promote further rights in fields such as education, religion, and LGBT law. Take a look at what they have been up to.
In Steve Wilson's book, The Boys from Little Mexico, one all-Hispanic boys' soccer team surpasses ethnic boundaries and personal struggles to win the Oregon state championship. Recently quoted in Newsweek, Wilson praises the Mexican-American players in the World Cup and their drive for success. The Oregon newspaper, the Woodburn Independent, ran a review for Wilson's book, praising it for taking the local story to a national level.
In his book From the Closet to the Courtroom, Carlos Ball discusses in rich detail five lawsuits that have affected LGBT rights for Americans. In a poignant article for the Huffington Post, Ball poses the question "Is it time for gay federal judges?" Diversity Inc. posted a short interview with the author and the Advocate.com recently ran an excerpt from the book on the topic of high school harassment. An outstanding review of the book was recently posted on Lambda Literary stating "[Ball] appeals to the hearts of his readers by fleshing out the human players in each chapter without sacrificing scholarship."
Harassment often led to violence for our next author, Geoffrey Canada, whose memoir Fist Stick Knife Gun recounts the dangers of growing up in the South Bronx. Waiting for Superman—a new documentary on America's failing education system featuring Canada—was mentioned in Entertainment Weekly. As buzz for the film begins to grow, Geoffrey Canada speaks in a brief interview about his personal feelings towards his childhood when his ideal image of Superman was rocked by the harsh realities of life.
Education is failing in both American schools and juvenile penitentiary systems according to David Chura, author of I Don't Wish Nobody to Have a Life Like Mine. Listen to an interview with Chura on KPFA's Flashpoints(starting 43 minutes into the program) discussing the realities of juvenile incarceration. Listen to another interview with Chura on WMUA Writer's Voice where he describes how the war on crime is synonymous with the war on kids.
Finally, in celebration of UUA's General Assembly in Minneapolis, Beacon authors John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker appeared on the radio program State of Belief to discuss their views on social activism and religion. In their book, A House for Hope, the authors describe a shared momentum among religious progressives and the impact they have on the 21st century. Eboo Patel, author of Acts of Faith, also appeared on the show, discussing his interactions with the Dalai Lama in strengthening Buddhist-Muslim ideals.
Today's excerpt is from the first chapter of Steve Wilson's book The Boys from Little Mexico. Wilson's book captures the powerful role that soccer plays in the lives of an all-Hispanic boys' team in Oregon. With the World Cup in full swing, you can catch Wilson's interview with The New Republic's blog, Goal Post, discussing Latino immigration and the U.S. soccer team.
It's a big week for us here at Beacon Press. While Cambridge celebrated their "Go Green" awards, Boston has been displaying its LGBT pride all week. Across the globe, nations are being unified by a common love for soccer with the World Cup. Our authors are also getting involved and getting their universal messages out there to the public. Here are a few of their latest updates and achievements:
Carlos Ball's new book, From the Closet to the Courtroom, chronicles five ground-breaking LGBT lawsuits that ultimately defined history. In this month's newsletter from the Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York, Ball's book received the following praise: "This should become a basic text for college LGBT studies courses and can be read with profit by all students of LGBT law, but it is also aimed at a more general audience and is recommendable to non-specialists as well."
The World Cup has officially begun. Symbolizing the drive, determination, and love for soccer, The Boys from Little Mexico, by Steve Wilson, delves deep into the lives of an all-Hispanic boys' soccer team who, despite cultural differences, language barriers, and academic struggles, won the Oregon state championship. In an interview with Dropping Timber, a soccer blog for the Portland Timbers, Wilson stated, "My hope with the book… is that it humanizes people." OregonLive.com also featured an article on Wilson, focusing on the care he took for the privacy of the students featured in his book.
The more negative side of youth sports represented by the strive for academic scholarships, the pressures of overbearing parents, and the injuries inflicted on overworked children, is the subject of Mark Hyman's book Until It Hurts. In a recently published article in Sports Illustrated, Hyman documents the efforts of Dr. James R. Andrews and his celebrity-athlete endorsed prevention program STOP (Sports Trauma and Overuse Prevention).
A thorough examination of the overpopulation myth, Fred Pearce's book, The Coming Population Crash, discusses lower average birthrates across the globe, the growing epidemic of world hunger, and the first upcoming population decrease that this world has seen since the Black Death. Pearce's book was recently discussed on amnews.com.
From overpopulation to income inequality, Chuck Collins, coauthor of Wealth and our Commonwealth, describes personal wealth as being not only achieved through personal decisions and hard work, but also through the opportunities for success inherent in our society. Collins was quoted in an article for The New York Timeson estate taxes and the legacies of the opulent.
There are a million questions that run through the minds of liberal consumers. How will our purchasing powers affect the economy or the environment? Who frantically toiled in a foreign country to make this coat and what were their wages? Fran Hawthorne, author of The Overloaded Liberal, tackles investing your money into the perpetuation of liberal ideals. In a recent article for The Jew and the Carrot, Hawthorne describes kosher living through the humane methods of animal slaughter and the inhuman wages paid to workers behind the scenes.
In the vein of liberal-minded consumers, we here at Beacon Press would like to congratulate the Harvard Book Store for winning the Cambridge "Go Green Award" for transportation. The store's Green Delivery Service boasts a quick and inexpensive method of using emissions-free vehicles to deliver book orders to readers across the Boston area. Harvard Book Store's actions not only promote eco-friendly methods of delivery, but also support local businesses.
Today's blog post is from Sara Hatch. Sara is the sales assistant and resident soccer enthusiast here at Beacon Press. She has been watching the World Cup since 2002 and will be supporting the U.S., England, the Netherlands, and Côte d'Ivoire.
Tomorrow the world will explode. Don't worry; it's not the onset of nuclear war. It's the World Cup, the glorious tourney that occurs every four years and pits nation against nation, creating stories that will last for decades in each nation's history. Games will be won and games will be lost. We will see both spectacular dives and goals that make your heart sing.
Here at Beacon, we have taken a personal interest in the sport, with Steve Wilson's book, The Boys from Little Mexico. Published this month, Wilson tells the story of an all-Hispanic boys' high school soccer team in Woodburn, Oregon, documenting their lives on and off the field. It is an inspiring story of a small-town team transcending racial boundaries and proving the transformative power of sports. For further evidence of the unifying power of sports, one needs to look no further than Côte d'Ivoire, the small West African country and former colony of France.
On May 5, the Phoenix Suns wore jerseys with a Spanish word on them and everybody got excited because the team was making a political statement, as seen here, and here, and here, and even here.
But wait, didn't those jerseys exist because of an NBA marketing scheme called Noche Latina? Didn't the Suns wear them on March 21 and 26? Yes and yes.
Noche Latina, which this year lasted a couple of semanas, is an outreach program to Hispanic fans, and features Spanglish uniforms (more on that later) and other Latino-themed entertainment, as well as basketball analysts breaking out their high school Spanish phrasebooks. It was a token gesture to the 15% of NBA fans who have Hispanic heritage, and nobody took it seriously.
Which is why the Suns' decision to use the uniforms a second time, in protest of Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, is even more interesting than most columnists have given it credit for. The uniforms were a marketing gimmick—in fact, the NBA didn't even fully translate the team names. Los Suns? That's about as Hispanic as Taco Bell.