Saturday, April 23, 2011

Houston the Texan & Houston the author

Tejanos Unidos!

If you're from Texas, like me, you received a public school indoctrination, practically from the delivery room through graduating from high-school, in one version of the history and culture of the state. Their version. The website aims to correct dominant, Anglo historical revisionism with facts, facts, facts. Here's info from their homepage:

"Hola! Bienvenidos a Tejas!" (Hello! Welcome to Texas!) That is how our Spanish Mexican ancestors welcomed Anglo U.S. citizens who first moved to Texas. The second part of the greeting was: "Mi casa es su casa!" (My house is your house.) The only problem is that our ancestors didn't think the Anglos would take the offer so seriously.

"Tejanos Unidos is committed to preserve early Texas history. We have a great story to tell. We are Tejanos (descendants of the first Spanish Mexican citizens of Texas). Our Roman Catholic Tejano ancestors established thriving communities from Louisiana to the Rio Grande from the Gulf of Mexico to the San Elizario area in West Texas where the First Thanksgiving in the U.S. was celebrated in 1598. These early settlements include the early communities of Los Adaes, Nacogdoches, Bexar (San Antonio), La Bahia (Goliad), and the communities of the Villas del Norte on the Lower Rio Grande.

"Modern-day Spanish-surnamed people whose ancestors originated in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, California and other parts of the U.S. Southwest are the product of the strong inter-marriage between the Spanish and the Native American people. We are united by our Spanish names and language, as well as a common heritage that is bonded by both Old World and New World characteristics. Additionally, many Tejanos have Anglo, French, Italian, Irish, German, and many other non-Hispanic names. Our extended family runs deep into Central Mexico, since that is where our ancestors came from. Like the "coat of many colors", we are united in our "keep it simple" purpose. That is, to re-discover and share pre-1836 Texas history.

"The more that Spanish Mexican descendants learn about their lost history, the higher their self-esteem. The more that others learn about early Texas history, the more they will see that "Texas history without Tejanas and Tejanos is like a story with no beginning".

Their website contains an extensive listing and summaries of books on state history, bios of tejanos that played significant roles despite Anglo dominance, and other materials.


The truth about the Battle of San Jacinto

If you go to another site, for the Rio Grande Guardian, you can search for the Wed. March 16, 2011 article about historian and civil rights activist José Antonio López, a member of Tejanos Unidos, where he takes "exception," to a Texas state senator's jingoism about "remembering the Alamo." As Lopez states, "It’s time to stop using ‘Remember the Alamo’ slogan." Turns out, Sam Houston didn't lead any great cavalry charge against Santa Ana's army. Plus, there's more. I love it when the truth comes out.


Call for Submissions

The publishers Heyday are looking for first-rate fiction or nonfiction written by an emerging author. Friends and family of the late Santa Cruz author James D. Houston have established a fund to honor his memory and further his legacy. Known as a masterful writer in both fiction and nonfiction genres, Houston was also a dedicated teacher and passionate promoter of emerging authors. The James D. Houston [no relation to the Texan] Legacy Fund will support publication of books by writers who reflect Houston’s humane values, his thoughtful engagement with life, and his literary exploration of California, Hawaii, and the West.

The first James D. Houston book will be published in the fall of 2012, and the writer whose manuscript is chosen will receive a $5,000 advance upon submission of a mutually acceptable final manuscript.

The fund will be administered by Heyday, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit publisher, which will publish one book per year in honor of James D. Houston. The following are examples of the types of manuscripts we are looking for: novels, literary memoirs, creative nonfiction (book length or collection of essays), short story collections. The editorial committee especially favors works by emerging writers (this would be his or her first or second published book). Works with a California focus would play best to Heyday’s strengths.

To submit a manuscript for consideration, please mail a hard copy of the following to Acquisitions—James D. Houston Legacy, Heyday, P.O. Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709:

• a cover letter (concrete ideas and opportunities for the promotion of your book would be appreciated; please include an email address if you want us to acknowledge receipt of your proposal);

• a summary and outline (especially for collections of shorter pieces) of the project, including estimated word count(s);

• an excerpt of the proposed manuscript not to exceed thirty pages (double-spaced, standard font and font size);

• a CV, especially listing previous publications;

• a SASE to notify you if our decision. (Please include the necessary postage if you want your materials returned to you; otherwise, our policy is to recycle proposals that do not meet our needs.)

Submissions are due by June 1, 2011. There is no entry fee. Decisions on publications will be made collegially by Heyday’s publisher, Malcolm Margolin, by the Houston family represented by Houston’s wife Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and by friends of the late author. If we are interested in a full manuscript, we will contact you by July 15, 2011. Please, no phone calls or emails.

No comments: