Writing at the intersection of motherhood, feminism and my Latinidad

23 May 2013

Review: Rebel on PBS


Loreta Velazquez was no normal little girl. Even as the young daughter of Cuban aristocrats, she railed against the injustice of being a girl in a world that privileged boys. Her story is told in "Rebel," a new episode of "Voces" on PBS, premiering Friday, May 24th.

Velazquez was sent to New Orleans as a child to live with an aunt, who was supposed to "finish" turning Velazquez into a proper young lady. Alas, love had a different plan.

How this headstrong Cuban woman went from eloping with a Texan Army officer to becoming a Confederate soldier, then a spy for the Union is filled with tragedy and yearning. Velazquez fulfills her dream of following in the steps of her idol, Joan of Arc, but quickly realizes how unglamorous war actually is.

What is known of Velazquez we know from her 1876 memoir A Woman in Battle. She published it a few years after the Civil War ends and it is scandalous! So scandalous that the book is quickly labeled a hoax. Some who do admit that Velazquez was in the Army, accuse her of being a prostitute.

Velazquez is literally erased from history because her memoir challenges the view of Southern men, the valor of war and the real reason that the Civil War was fought. Her narrative does not fit the official view of the Civil War, on either side.

Her story is fascinating, but the controversy over her memoir is equally amazing.

After viewing "Rebel," you will be left pondering how history is written, what we know, and why. Which is exactly what writer and director Maria Agui Carter wants us to do.


Watch Rebel - Preview on PBS. See more from VOCES.

Velazquez's book is still in print and can be purchased from Powells or Indiebooks.  

Disclaimer: Latino Public Broadcasting provided me with a preview DVD of the episode. Book links are affiliate links and if you purchase a book, I might make enough money for a soy chai latte. 

18 May 2013

10 Years

Mom & Me circa 1977
Undated photo of Mom

12 May 2013

Mother's Day Giveaway

Happy Mother's Day to everyone who has mothered in any way. And to celebrate, thanks to My Yoga online, I'm giving away a year-long membership to their website.

Feel like you don't have time to go to a yoga class? And DVDs are just not for you? Why not try this online yoga site?

Videos are available not just on your computer, but also tablets, TVs and mobile devices.

There's more than just yoga too! There are also pilates and wellness videos available.

So here's the deal:

To enter just leave a comment and leave your email address or tweet this giveaway (@veronicaeye so I know you did this!). It's that simple. One entry per person. Deadline is 5 pm Central Time May 17, 2013.

Disclaimer: I am also getting a year-long membership in exchange for working with My Yoga online on this giveway.


09 May 2013

EVENT: Choice Rocks! (New Mexico)

If you live near Albuquerque, New Mexico, what are you doing on May 18th?

May I suggest you head out to "Choice Rocks! 2013"

It's a benefit for Planned Parenthood of New Mexico and tickets start at $20 for general admission and $50 for VIP tickets.

It looks like a great time and at an affordable price too.

So what are you waiting for?


07 May 2013

IMOW Muslima

Did you know that there is an online museum of women? The International Museum of Women is totally online and showcases some great art. Their latest exhibition is  MUSLIMA: MUSLIM WOMEN'S ART & VOICES  and features the artwork, stories and ideas of Muslim women who are standing up for their rights, reforming Islam from within, and reclaiming their religion for themselves.

The curator, Samina Ali, led the peaceful protest at a West Virginia mosque that prompted the American Muslim group CAIR to change its policy about admitting women through a mosque's main doors.

The best part of IMOW is that they usually have an interactive aspect, so you too can lend your voice to the exhibit. Go check it out!

05 May 2013

Book Review: Yoga Wisdom at Work

Part of my mission to get myself healthy involves doing yoga. When I was contacted about a new book about yoga at work, I was all, "Yay!" And due to my hectic life I skim a lot of my emails. So...yes, when I was contacted I thought, "Oh, a book to help me do yoga at work..." well, it is and it isn't that kind of book.

I will admit that I have not read the whole book yet. I wanted this review up quickly as when, Yoga Wisdom at Work: Finding Sanity Off the Mat and On the Job, goes on sale May 6, 2013, authors Maren and Jamie Showkeir will donate a percentage of that day’s sales to Namaste Charter School in Chicago. Considering the controversy that happens at some schools for teaching yoga, I thought I would support this campaign.

What this book focuses on is getting us to think in a yoga-like way at work. To use the breathing methods we would use in yoga class at work. Essentially to take that peaceful zone we are in at yoga class and be like that at work.

If you think that yoga is merely an exercise class, this book looks like it will push you to consider making yoga a way of thinking and being. And I bet you don't even need $100 yoga pants to make it happen either. Ironically, after my hectic semester is over, I'll read this book in an attempt to bring a sense of balance back to my life.

Get your copy through Powells or Indiebooks.

Disclaimer:  I received this book via a publicist, which is also how to able to offer the giveaway items.

* Book links are affiliate links. If you buy your book here I could make a very small amount of money that goes towards this blog by helping me purchase books for school. Thanks!  

02 May 2013

Feminist Mother's Day Gift Guide

Yup, it's time for Mother's Day! And yes, you have that awesome lady in your life who is your mom, mom to your kids or just acts like your mom. Most moms I know just want a relaxing day, a hug, a kiss and maybe a trip to the spa. Don't buy into the ads that say you must buy her something sparkly and fancy*. But if you do want to get her something, why not something that will do more than just burn a hole in your wallet?


You can send all the fab mamas in your life an  e-card thanks to Strong Families

Peace

Since the origin of Mother's Day is as a day of peace, here are some great organizations working for peace. Donate to them and insert the Mother's Day Proclamation in the card to the mom in your life:

Support Mothers


What better way to say, "Thanks" than to support other moms? Heartland Alliance has "gifts" so you can support through child care or a new mom pack.



You can't go wrong with a gift from Heifer International. Bees...goats...rabbits...hens...pigs...sheep!

Give a gift to the mom in your life that will help another mom out.

Buy the mom in your life a book for her relaxing Sunday and you can support this mama's blog through Powells.

Gifts

Until May 12, 2013, Demeter Press is offering 40 percent off all Demeter Press titles (with the exception of Maternal Theory: Essential Readings [O'Reilly, ed.]),
plus five percent tax and free shipping. PDF Catalog.

To take advantage of this offer, please send order to:
aoreilly@yorku.ca by May 12, 2013



Sure you can head down to the local big box and grab a soothing candle...But won't the mom in your life relax even better knowing that the candle was purchased thru this social enterprise? Prosperity Candle trains women across the world how to make candles and how to be business owners. They work with women in their home country, but also with refugees who now live in the USA. I have never used one of these candles, but I know someone is going to go out and spend money on a fancy candle for Mother's Day, so why not buy one that makes a difference in the world?

International Rescue Committee has their Rescue Gifts store. IRC "responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. At work in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities to restore safety, dignity and hope, the IRC leads the way from harm to home."

Also check out my 2011 Gift Guide for other ideas. 



* Don't get me wrong, I love sparkly and fancy. But the pressure most people get at Mother's Day is to hit the mall and bring something home in a cute box with a bow on it. Most moms I know just want a relaxing day to themselves and a yummy brunch with the family.

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