© 2018 Gloria L. Velasquez. 

WRITE ME A LETTER

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BOOKS

ANKIZA

When an interracial couple begins to date, they’re mildly surprised (in ways good and bad) by the unexpected reactions of some of their friends.

“The author tackles a powerful social issue with compassion and honesty. A good discussion starter with a satisfying ending.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS

TEEN ANGEL

Celia is a beautiful young girl on the brink of her sophomore year of high school. But when Celia discovers she is pregnant, problems spiral around her. What happens when her fellow students at Roosevelt High find out?

“[T]he characters and situations are true to life... this book would be an excellent choice for classroom discussions and for reading groups.” — VOYA

“...one of the best young adult novels on the market today. It is difficult, hopeful and loving.” — NEWS PAGES

TYRONE'S BETRAYAL

In this seventh novel in the popular Roosevelt High School Series, Tyrone must deal with his feelings of anger and betrayal as the son of an alcoholic, absentee father while struggling to fulfill his dream of attending college.

“...this book will hold teens’ attention, especially reluctant readers.”

— SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“[This series] provides not only positive role models but also constructive ideas for resolving social and cultural issues often facing multiracial teens.”

RUDY'S MEMORY WALK

Rudy's Memory Walk is the eighth novel in Gloria Velásquez's popular Roosevelt High School Series. This engaging novel for young adults tackles the problem of elderly family members who begin to suffer the effects of Alzheimer's.

"Educational and at the same time compelling, the novel raises teenagers' awareness on [Alzheimer's]." — KIRKUS REVIEWS

TOMMY STANDS TALL

Tomás “Tommy” Montoya is a senior at Roosevelt High, previously suicidal and bullied at school because he is gay. The ostracism of gays and lesbians—particularly in Hispanic communities—is a strong theme in the book, though other members of the LGBTQ community are rarely mentioned. When Albert, a fellow student, is badly beaten, Tommy reaches out, sensing Albert is gay and the victim of a hate crime, an action that eventually leads Tommy to found a Gay/Straight Alliance Club. Velásquez paints the issues with a broad brush, portraying the students from the school’s Christian Club as intolerant and giving all characters who display homophobic behavior religious reasoning—an easy polarization that does not line up with reality. Strangely, Tommy’s first-person narration is interspersed with chapters in the voice of therapist Ms. Martínez, an adult, whose story revolves around her suspicion that her younger brother, who committed suicide, was gay. With sometimes-clunky dialogue and minimal characterization, this book is admirable primarily for addressing the plight of gay and lesbian teens in Latino communities.

FORGIVING MOSES

Moses Vargas hates his life. He has been forced to move four times in as many years, and he’s tired of starting at another school, having everyone stare at him and trying to make new friends. Most of all, he doesn’t want to have to deal with questions about his father—an inmate in the California Department of Corrections.
When Moses discovers that someone has been sending out text messages with a photo of him and his father in a prison uniform, he ends up in a fight and then suspended for three days. School counselor Ray Gutiérrez reaches out to Moses, inviting him to an after-school support program called Círculos for students dealing with absentee fathers.

Moses grudgingly attends the sessions that draw on indigenous and cultural roots to empower the boys. Realizing he is not the only one with a problematic home life—and the new friendship of a pretty classmate whose father is also in prison—helps Moses to begin talking about his anger and embarrassment. But will he really be able to overcome his resentment towards his father?

The tenth installment in Velásquez’s acclaimed Roosevelt High School Series that focuses on social issues relevant to teens, Forgiving Moses addresses the painful issue of children, particularly brown and black youth, whose fathers are not present in their lives. Touching on the disproportionately high number of men of color in prison and its effects on society, this short novel for teens will generate conversations about the possible consequences of making bad choices, responsibility to family and the impact of incarceration.

J'AIME QUI JE VEUX

Depuis que Hunter et Ankiza sortent ensemble, les gens autour d'eux ont de violentes réactions. Regards insistants, remarques désagréables, insultes. Tout ça parce que Humer est blanc et Ankiza métisse ! "Personne ne pourra nous empêcher de nous aimer", se promettent-ils. Mais comment lutter contre la haine et la bêtise ?

POETRY

ODE TO RODNEY KING

Michael Brown 

He shot and killed you.

He murdered you 
for being African-American.

No justice for young
being African-American. 
Black men 
in Sundown Towns like Ferguson 
where military police tactics rule. 
“Has anybody here seen my old friend, Bobby?

 

Can you tell me where he’s gone? 
He’s freed a lot of people but it seems 
the good they die young 
I just looked around and he’s gone.”

 

“Has anybody here seen my old friend, Michael? 
Can you tell me where he’s gone? 
He’s freed a lot of people but it seems 
the good they die young 
I just looked around and he’s gone.”

 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
August 16, 2014, San Luis Obispo

 

SELF-PORTRAIT:
FRANCISCA MOLINAR VELÁSQUEZ

The Measure of a Man 
Sydney Poitier 
The Measure of a Woman 
Francisca Molinar Velásquez 
Proud African-American 
Proud Mexicana Xicana 
Cat Island in the Bahamas 
Johnstown in Colorado 
Two Different Lives 
Both from the Same Generation 
One a Hollywood Actor 
The Other a Sugarbeet Worker 
One Tall Dark and Handsome 
The Other Short Brown and Beautiful 
One Articulate 
The Other Bilingual 
Both endured History 
The History of Being Poor and Oppressed

 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
June 11, 2007 , Los Angeles, CA

 

hijos del sol

Hijos del sol y la luna 
y la Madre Tierra 
Escúchame bien 
Amar 
Vivir 
Soñar 
To love 
To live 
To dream 
To seak God's truth 
Ver la flor 
Y probar su esencia 
Ver al niño desemaprado 
Y darle tu amor 
Y limpiarle las lágrimas 
Ver al inmigrante trajador 
Y ofrecerle tu compasión

 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
June 16, 2013, For MLL Commencement

 

DARE TO DREAM

Dare to dream as I have done From the Farmworker Fields

of Colorado

To Stanford University

From days of government staples

Food stamps

No Mexicans Allowed Signs

To United Farmworker Strikes

Anti-Vietnam War Rallies

Hoover Tower Protests

And “the Times They  are a Changin…” 
 
Dare to Dream

Dare to shout out loud

I can change the World

I believe

I believe

I believe that I have the power

To be a Voice for the Voiceless

To make Visible those who

Are deemed  Invisible

To Speak Out for Social Justice

Gay rights and Human rights. 
 
And on this 9th day of June

Surrounded by Chumash spirits

By those who have guided me

With their Knowledge and Wisdom

I Dare to Dream

I Dare to Believe

I Dare to Spread my Wings

And Soar High like the Eagle. 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
June 4, 2010, San Luis Obispo, California

 

EDUC-ACCIONISTAS

My brown-eyed chavalitos

de Nogales

de Sacra

de Colorado

de Southside Chicago schools,

Edúquense bien.

Aprendan bien el inglés

So that you can become our future

Leaders

Teachers

Scientists. 
 
Nuestros hijos del sol,

olvídense de las pandillas

y las drogas—“We’re only

killing each other.”

Sean orgullosos

Educ-accionistas

daring to challenge

leyes que explotan

como lo hizo César. 
 
Indígena warriors

Indígena Adelitas

en uds. pongo toda mi fe

y mi cariño sabiendo que  

el día que ya no esté aquí,

mi espíritu

mis huellas

mis palabras

en uds. quedarán.

¡Adelante chavalitos!

¡Pónganse trucha con su FUTURO!

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
April 1, 2004, SacraAztlan

HEINMOT TOOYALAKET

Chief Joseph,

How could they have shamed you

and your people in this land of plenty,

forcing you into concentration camps, contaminating you with diseases,

raping your children’s identity? 
 
Chief Joseph,

How could they have ignored your greatness

and the suffering of your people,  

writing stories about the early pioneers,

Basque settlers,

The Oregon Trail,

Lewis and Clark

While the history of the Nez Percés,

The Piaute

The Shoshone

And other exterminated nations

is neatly tucked away in museums,

DEAD INDIANS on display,

EXTINCT like pre-historic remains. 
 
Chief Joseph,

Today I shed tears of vergüenza

For you and your people

For my Navajo ancestors,

For all my indigenous brothers and sisters

Who remain INVISIBLE in this mythical

Land of the AMERICAN DREAM. 
 
Chief Joseph,

How could they have shamed you? 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
Oct. 9, 2004, Ontario, Oregon

EDUCATE

Edúcate, Raza  

Young Chicanitos  

Aztec warriors of Aztlán. 
 
 Hey, homeboy,  

I’m not ready to have babies  

smoke dope or die  

from gang wars on the Rez. 
 
 I want to spread my wings,  

soar high above the skies.  

Get a Ph.D.  

Become a scientist  

Teach our children in the  

classrooms on the Rez. 
 
 Edúcate, Raza,  

young Chicanitas  

Women warriors of Aztlán 
 
 Hey, homegirl,  

I don’t want to hang out  

get pregnant  

or be a drop out    

 

I want to be somebody  

write verses, create dreams  

be a leader  

like Dolores Huerta. 
 
 Edúcate, m’ijam  

me decía mi mamá,  

me decían mis tías  

their faces tired 
 

 their bodies bent from  

picking strawberries and  

scrubbing floors.  
 
 Edúcate, mujer.  

Adelante chavalitos,  

The future is yours.

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
1997, I Used to be a Superwoman

SONG OF ROSA

Rosa Parks

Eres mi madre.

You are my mother

Hoeing sugar beets all day long

In the fields of northern Colorado. 
 
Rosa Parks

Eres mi abuela.

You are my grandmother  

Crossing the demon river with her children

To create a better life. 
 
Rosa Parks

Eres la mujer fronteriza.

You are the border woman

Enslaved in sweat shops

To feed your hungry children. 
 
Rosa Parks

Eres Zora Neale Hurston.

You are Zora Neale Hurston

Unafraid and daring to cross  

The streets in the white part of town. 
 
Rosa Parks.

Eres Dolores Huerta.

You are Dolores Huerta

Beaten and jailed for daring to take on

Agri-buisness slave masters. 
 
Rosa Parks

Eres los rostros de mis nietos

Your are the faces of my grandchildren

Xicano Black and proud

In the Crossroads of two cultures. 
 
Rosa Parks

Today I bid you farewell

Honoring your legacy,

Speaking of your courage and strength

To our Black and Brown Warriors of Aztlán. 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
October 25, 2005

XICANA POWER TRIP

Speak up, mujer!  

Sube la voz.

Alza la mano,  

no dejes que te encierren  

en tu propio silencio.  

Dare to speak out.  

Dare to be different.  

Dare to create tu propia identidad,  

la de tu madre y abuelita  

y todas aquellas mujeres adelitas. 
 
 Speak up, Xicanita!  

Tell those young loverboy vatos  

Chale, ese!  

I’ve got my own sweet dreams.  

Don’t want to get pregnant at fifteen  

to raise babies alone.  

Quiero ser revolucionaria,  

mujer de valores,  

mujer educada,  

mujer Sor Juana. 
 
 So speak up, mujer!  

Sube la voz.  

Alza la mano.  

Do it RIGHT NOW. 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
January 27, 1999 Christi gig

dine xicana

They tried to take the Indian out of you

colonizing you with cotton shirts and pants making you swallow your Diné words

only to spit out broken American English. 
 
They tried to take the Indian out of you

forcing you to raise your children under

the white man’s rules only to see your sons  

die from alcohol or American made Wars. 
 
They tried to take the Indian out of you

only they couldn’t--you wouldn’t let them

You chanted to the Spirits at night and told

me stories about Taos and my Diné abuela.   
 
They tried and tried but they couldn’t take

the Indian out of you for here I stand tall  

with my proud Diné heart and soul

chanting loudly to the Spirits

to my Ancestors

to Creator to my Diné abuela

in this solitary elite San Luis Obispo barrio. 

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
September 5, 2018 San Luis Obispo, Ca

another veteran's day

Vietnam everywhere
like a shadow,
it sears my soul
like Fini’s remains
in that closed coffin.


Vietnam everywhere
like my recurring dream,
Fini and I playing toy soldiers
on the patron’s ranch,
our childhood inocencia.


Vietnam everywhere
lurking in every solitary space
when I awaken in the morning
when I go to bed each night,
allí está esperándome…


Francisca died with Vietnam
in her broken heart,
Dad died with Vietnam in his sad
alcoholic eyes while they recited
the names on the Wall.


Vietnam
Vietnam
Is Fini still alive in Quang Tri?


Vietnam
Vietnam
Why won’t you leave me alone?

By Gloria L. Velásquez 
November 8, 2017 San Luis Obispo, Ca

 
 

music

Original poems and songs written and performed by Gloria L. Velásquez

 

superwoman chicana

This CD is dedicated to my mother, Francisca Molinar Velásquez, and to the memory of my father, John E. Velásquez and my brother, John Robert Velásquez.

 

double bubbleheads

The Double Bubbleheads CD is a bilingual/bicultural collection of thirteen children’s songs written and performed by the acclaimed author, Gloria L. Velásquez. The Double Bubbleheads songs illustrate a variety of themes to teach children about the rich cultural identity of Chicanos. Included are songs that emphasize the concept of familia in the Chicano/Latino community as well as the significance of historical figures such as César Chávez and Dolores Huerta. Many songs are playful and funny, teaching specific vocabulary in Spanish about parts of the body, colors, and animals. The Double Bubbleheads CD also has a companion songbook, which includes the lyrics for each of the thirteen songs.