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Resources: Multicultural Education

Prepared by Dr. Haroldo Fontaine, Florida SouthWestern State College, Dr. Debbie Giambo,
Florida Gulf Coast University, Dr. Eileen DeLuca, Florida SouthWestern State College
1. Alvarez, Julia. How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books,
2010. Print.
Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarezs brilliant and buoyant and beloved first novel
gives voice to four sisters recounting their adventures growing up in two cultures.
Selected as a Notable Book by both the New York Times and the American
Library Association, it won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for books
with a multicultural perspective and was chosen by New York librarians as one of
twenty-one classics for the twenty-first century. Ms. Alvarez was recently
honored with the 2013 National Medal of Arts for her extraordinary
storytelling. In this debut novel, the Garca sistersCarla, Sandra, Yolanda, and
Sofaand their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after
their fathers role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered.
They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence
in the Caribbean. In the wild and wondrous and not always welcoming U.S.A.,
their parents try to hold on to their old ways, but the girls try find new lives: by
forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell
bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between
the old world and the new.How the Garca Girls Lost Their Accents sets the
sisters free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home
and not at homein America (from the description found in
2. Alvarez, Julia. Return to Sender. New York: Knopf, 2009. Print.
Winner of the Pura Belpre and Americas Awards. The seed for the novel came
when I got involved translating at local schools for the children of Mexican
migrant workers who have now made their way up to Vermont. (And boosted our
compromised Latino population!) These workers are now doing the milking on
many of our dairy farms. Without them, many of our small farmers could not
survive, as they, too, are being squeezed by the high cost of farming and a dearth
of workers. Seeing how baffled the Mexican children and their classmates were
about how to understand this situation that had thrown us all together, I thought:
we need a story to understand what is happening to us! The title comes from a
dragnet operation that the Department of Homeland Security conducted in 2006,
named, Return to Sender. Work places were raided and undocumented workers
were seized. Their children were the biggest casualties of this operation -- left
behind to be soothed and reassured until they could be finally reunited with their
parents (
3. Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.
Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from
inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over
the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza






Cordero. Told in a series of vignettessometimes heartbreaking, sometimes

deeply joyous it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago,
inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time
have touched so many readers (from the description found in
Danticat, Edwidge. Breath, Eyes, Memory. New York: Vintage Books, 1994. Print.
At the age of twelve, Sophie Caco is sent from her impoverished village of
Croix-des-Rosets to New York, to be reunited with a mother she barely
remembers. There she discovers secrets that no child should ever know, and a
legacy of shame that can be healed only when she returns to Haiti--to the women
who first reared her. What ensues is a passionate journey through a landscape
charged with the supernatural and scarred by political violence, in a novel that
bears witness to the traditions, suffering, and wisdom of an entire people (from
the description found in
Danticat, Edwidge. The Farming of Bones. New York: SoHo Press, 1998. Print.
It is 1937 and Amabelle Dsir, a young Haitian woman living in the Dominican
Republic, has built herself a life as the servant and companion of the wife of a
wealthy colonel. She and Sebastien, a cane worker, are deeply in love and plan to
marry. But Amabelle's world collapses when a wave of genocidal violence, driven
by Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, leads to the slaughter of Haitian workers.
Amabelle and Sebastien are separated, and she desperately flees the tide of
violence for a Haiti she barely remembers. In this harrowing story of love and
survivalfrom one of the most important voices of her generationis an
unforgettable memorial to the victims of the Parsley Massacre and a testimony to
the power of human memory (from the description found in
El Norte. Dir. Gregory Nava. Perf. Zaide Silvia Gutirrez, David Villalpando, and
Ernesto Gmez Cruz. Cinecom Pictures, 1983. Film.
Mayan Indian peasants, tired of being thought of as nothing more than "brazos
fuertes" ("strong arms", i.e., manual laborers) and organizing in an effort to
improve their lot in life, are discovered by the Guatemalan army. After the army
destroys their village and family, a brother and sister, teenagers who just barely
escaped the massacre, decide they must flee to "El Norte" ("the North", i.e., the
USA). After receiving clandestine help from friends and humorous advice from a
veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling through Mexico, they make their
way by truck, bus and other means to Los Angeles, where they try to make a new
life as young, and undocumented immigrants (
Freedom Writers. Dir. Richard LaGravenese. Perf. Hilary Swank, Imelda
Staunton, Patrick Dempsey. Paramount Pictures, 2007. Film.
A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply
themselves and pursue education beyond high school (
Gonzales, Christina Diaz. The Red Umbrella. New York: Yearling Books, 2011. Print.

The Red Umbrella is the moving tale of a 14-year-old girl's journey from Cuba
to America as part of Operation Pedro Panan organized exodus of more than
14,000 unaccompanied children, whose parents sent them away to escape Fidel
Castro's revolution (from the description found in
9. Grande, Reyna. Across a Hundred Mountains. Chicago: Washington Square Press, 2007.
Winner of the American Book Award, Across a Hundred Mountains is a
stunning and poignant novel about a young girl who leaves her small town in
Mexico to find her father, who left his family to find work in Americaa story of
migration, loss, and discovery. After a tragedy separates her from her mother,
Juana Garca leaves in search of her father, who left them two years earlier. Out
of money and in need of someone to help her across the border, Juana meets
Adelina Vasquez, a young woman who left her family in California to follow her
lover to Mexico. Finding themselvesin a Tijuana jailin desperate
circumstances, they offer each other much needed material and spiritual support
and ultimately become linked forever in the most unexpected of ways. In Across a
Hundred Mountains, Reyna Grande puts a human face on the controversial issue
of immigration, helping readers to better understand those who risk life and limb
every day in pursuit of a better life (from the description found in
10. Jimenez, Francisco. The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. Albuquerque:
University of New Mexico Press, 1997. Print.
After dark in a Mexican border town, a father holds open a hole in a wire fence
as his wife and two small boys crawl through. So begins life in the United States
for many people every day. And so begins this collection of twelve
autobiographical stories by Santa Clara University professor Francisco
Jimnez, who at the age of four illegally crossed the border with his family in
1947. "The Circuit," the story of young Panchito and his trumpet, is one of the
most widely anthologized stories in Chicano literature. At long last, Jimnez
offers more about the wise, sensitive little boy who has grown into a role model
for subsequent generations of immigrants. These independent but intertwined
stories follow the family through their circuit, from picking cotton and
strawberries to topping carrots--and back agai--over a number of years. As it
moves from one labor camp to the next, the little family of four grows into ten.
Impermanence and poverty define their lives. But with faith, hope, and backbreaking work, the family endures (from the description found in
11. Lauture, Mireille. Gade yon kado Remi jwenn / Remi's Magical Gift (Mancy's Haitian
Folktale Collection) (Haitian and English Edition). Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2012.
Mancy's Haitian Folktale Collection is a series of 10 folktales told by the
authors mother, Mrs. Hermance (Mancy) Garon. In the past, Haitian-Creole was
only a spoken language, and these stories were only told out loud. Today, HaitianCreole is, along with French, an official language in Haiti, and is also taught
abroad. The author, therefore, chose to publish a selected few of her favorite
folktales to continue her mothers wondrous legacy by reaching out to a much
larger audience (from the description found in

12. Phelan, James, and Gerald Graff. The Tempest: A Case Study in Critical Controversy
(Case Studies in Critical Controversy). New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2008. Print.
Designed for "teaching the conflicts," this critical edition of Shakespeares The
Tempest reprints the authoritative Bevington text of the play along with 21
selections representing major critical and cultural controversies surrounding the
work. The distinctive editorial material helps readers grapple not only with the
plays critical issues but also with cultural debates about literature itself (from
the description found in
13. Skyhorse, Brando. The Madonnas of Echo Park: A Novel. New York: Simon and
Schuster, 2010. Print.
We slipped into this country like thieves, onto the land that once was ours. With
these words, spoken by an illegal Mexican day laborer, The Madonnas of Echo
Park takes us into the unseen world of Los Angeles, following the men and
women who cook the meals, clean the homes, and struggle to lose their ethnic
identity in the pursuit of the American dream (from the description found in
14. Stand and Deliver. Dir. Ramn Menndez. Perf. Edward James Olmos, Lou Diamond
Phillips. Warner Brothers, 1988. Film.
Jaime Escalante is a mathematics teacher in a school in a Hispanic
neighborhood. Convinced that his students have potential, he adopts
unconventional teaching methods to help gang members and no-hopers pass the
rigorous Advanced Placement exam in calculus (
15. Walkout. Dir. Edward James Olmos. Perf. Alexa PenaVega, Michael Pea, Yancey Arias.
Home Box Office, 2005. Film.
Walkout is the true story of a young Mexican American high school teacher, Sal
Castro. He mentors a group of students in East Los Angeles, when the students
decide to stage a peaceful walkout to protest the injustices of the public school
system. Set against the background of the Civil Rights Movement of 1968, it is a
story of courage and the fight for justice and empowerment (
16. You may also visit for a longer list of
multicultural films.
1. Barker, Holly M. Bravo for the Marshallese: Regaining Control in a Post-Nuclear, PostColonial World. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
This case study describes the role an applied anthropologist takes to help
Marshallese communities understand the impact of radiation exposure on the
environment and themselves, and addresses problems stemming from the U.S.
nuclear weapons testing program conducted in the Marshall Islands from 19461958. Through archival, life history, and ethnographic research, the author





constructs a compelling history of the testing program from a Marshallese

perspective (from the description found in
Bennett, Christine I. Comprehensive Multicultural Education: Theory and Practice. 8th
ed. New York: Pearson, 2014. eBook.
Taking the view that the primary goal of public education in the United States is
to foster the intellectual and personal development of all children and youth to
their fullest potential, Christine Bennett aims to help prepare teachers who are
informed and caring advocates for students from all cultural, racial,
socioeconomic, linguistic, and national backgrounds. Comprehensive
Multicultural Education provides a curriculum model with six goals and
numerous lesson plans illustrating how each goal can be implemented in the
classroom. It emphasizes diversity within and across ethnic groups to help
teachers understand students' cultural and individual differences. (Beginning with
the sixth edition, the 8th also) features five new lesson plans including one in
physics, one in mathematics, and one in technology as well as an organizational
chart to illustrate the content area, grade levels, and multicultural curriculum goal
for all 26 lessons (from the description found in
Cepeda, Raquel. Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. New York: Simon and
Schuster, 2013. Print.
In 2009, when Raquel Cepeda almost lost her estranged father to heart disease,
she was terrified shed never know the truth about her ancestry. Every time she
looked in the mirror, Cepeda saw a mysterya tapestry of races and ethnicities
that came together in an ambiguous mix. With time running out, she decided to
embark on an archaeological dig of sorts by using the science of ancestral DNA
testing to excavate everything she could about her genetic history (from the
description found in
Christiansen, Paul D., and Michelle Young. Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow: Meeting the
Challenge of Our Multicultural America & Beyond. San Francisco: Caddo Gap Press,
1996. Print.
A volume of human stories, personal experiences, and anecdotes that display the
multicultural diversity of the United States and the global community (from the
description found in
Danticat, Edwidge, ed. The Butterfly's Way: Voices from the Haitian Dyaspora in the
United States. New York: SoHo Press, 2003. Print.
In four sectionsChildhood, Migration, First Generation, and Returnthe
contributors to this anthology write powerfully, often hauntingly, of their lives in
Haiti and the United States (from the description found in

6. Diaz, Carlos F. Multicultural Education in the 21st Century. New York: Longman, 2001.
This collection of readings examines the goals, possibilities, and challenges of
multiculturalism in the new millennium. It offers students a wide range of
perspectives from today's most renowned multicultural educators and will inspire
critical reflection and lively classroom debate(from the description found in
7. Fadiman, Anne. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her
American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures. London: Macmillan, 1997. Print.
This ethnography explores the clash between a small county hospital in
California and a refugee family from Laos over the care of Lia Lee, a Hmong
child diagnosed with severe epilepsy (from the description found in
8. Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. Richard Philcox. New York: Grove
Press, 2004. Print.
A distinguished psychiatrist from Martinique who took part in the Algerian
Nationalist Movement, Frantz Fanon was one of the most important theorists of
revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history. Fanons
masterwork is a classic alongside Edward Saids Orientalism or The
Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it is now available in a new translation that
updates its language for a new generation of readers. The Wretched of the Earth is
a brilliant analysis of the psychology of the colonized and their path to liberation.
Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the
role of violence in effecting historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin
perils of postindependence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses
by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the
other. Fanons analysis, a veritable handbook of social reorganization for leaders
of emerging nations, has been reflected all too clearly in the corruption and
violence that has plagued present-day Africa. The Wretched of the Earth has had a
major impact on civil rights, anticolonialism, and black consciousness movements
around the world, and this bold new translation by Richard Philcox reaffirms it as
a landmark (from the description found in
9. Food Chains: The Revolution in Americas Fields. Dir. Sanjay Rawal. Perf. Forest
Whitaker. Screen Media Films, 2014. Film.
In this expos, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4
trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program,
which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm
laborers in the United States. The narrative of the film focuses on an intrepid and
highly lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida the Coalition of

Immokalee Workers or CIW who are revolutionizing farm labor

10. Heath, Shirley Brice. Ways with Words: Language, Life and Work in Communities and
Classrooms. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983. Print.
Ways with Words, first published in 1983, is a classic study of children learning
to use language at home and at school in two communities only a few miles apart
in the south-eastern United States (from the description found in
11. Hedges, Chris, and Joe Sacco. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. New York: Nation
Books, 2014. Print.
Pulitzer Prizewinner Chris Hedges and award-winning cartoonist and journalist
Joe Sacco set out to take a look at the sacrifice zones, those areas in America that
have been offered up for exploitation in the name of profit, progress, and
technological advancement. They wanted to show in words and drawings what
life looks like in places where the marketplace rules without constraints, where
human beings and the natural world are used and then discarded to maximize
profit. Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt is the searing account of their travels
(from the description found in
12. Herrera, Socorro. Biography-Driven Culturally Responsive Teaching. New York:
Teachers College Press, 2010. Print.
''Biography-driven instruction is one powerful way to find common ground
among all students in the classroom. Everyone has a biography that is distinct and
unique. The author uses concrete examples and 'how to' approaches when
describing theory and its application. The book is very much needed!'' (from the
description found in
13. Holloway, Kris. Monique and the Mango Rains: Two Years With a Midwife in Mali.
Long Grove: Waveland Press, 2006.
This is an inspiring story of Monique Dembele, an accidental midwife who
became a legend, and Kris Holloway, the young Peace Corps volunteer who
became her closest confidante. In a small village in Mali, West Africa, Monique
saved lives and dispensed hope every day in a place where childbirth is a life-anddeath matter and where many children are buried before they cut a tooth (from
the description found in
14. National Human Genome Research Institute. National Institutes of Health, 18 March
2014. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.
The Human Genome Project (HGP) was one of the great feats of exploration in
history - an inward voyage of discovery rather than an outward exploration of the
planet or the cosmos; an international research effort to sequence and map all of
the genes - together known as the genome - of members of our species, Homo
sapiens. Completed in April 2003, the HGP gave us the ability, for the first time,
to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for building a human being

15. Nieto, Sonia, and Patty Bode. Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of
Multicultural Education. 6th ed. New York: Pearson, 2012. Print.
Explore how personal, social, political, cultural, and educational factors affect
the success or failure of students in today's classroom in this best-selling text by
Sonia Nieto and Patty Bode. Expanding upon the popular case-study
approach, Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Context of Multicultural
Education examines the lives of real students who are affected by multicultural
education, or the lack of it. This social justice view of multicultural education
encourages teachers to work for social change in their classrooms, schools, and
communities (from back cover).
16. Ratner, Vaddey. In the Shadow of the Banyan. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.
For seven-year-old Raami, the shattering end of childhood begins with the
footsteps of her father returning home in the early dawn hours bringing details of
the civil war that has overwhelmed the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia's
capital. Soon the family's world of carefully guarded royal privilege is swept up in
the chaos of revolution and forced exodus (from the description found in
17. Said, Edward W. Culture and Imperialism. New York: Vintage Books, 1993. Print.
A landmark work from the intellectually auspicious author of Orientalism that
explores the long-overlooked connections between the Western imperial endeavor
and the culture that both reflected and reinforced it. "Said is a brilliant . . . scholar,
aesthete and political activist."--Washington Post Book World (from the
description found in
18. Satrapi, Marjane. The Complete Persepolis. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. Print.
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age
within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the
contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by
political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of
adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible;
and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland (from the
description found in

19. Sleeter, Christine E., ed. Empowerment through Multicultural Education. Albany: State
University of New York Press, 1991. Print.
This book reframes questions about student diversity by probing the extent to
which society serves the interest of all and by examining the empowerment of
members of oppressed groups to direct social change. It examines the
empowerment of children who are members of oppressed racial groups, lower
class, and female, based on the ideas of multicultural education. A series of
ethnographic studies illustrates how such young people view their world, their
power to affect it in their own interests, and their response to what is usually a
growing sense of powerlessness as they mature. The authors also conceptualize
contributions of multicultural education to empowering young people, and report
investigations of multicultural education projects educators have used for student
empowerment. Issues in teacher education are also discussed (from back cover).
20. Speed, Shannon. Rights in Rebellion: Indigenous Struggle and Human Rights in Chiapas.
Redwood City: Stanford University Press, 2008. Print.
Rights in Rebellion examines the global discourse of human rights and its
influence on the local culture, identity, and forms of resistance. Through a multisited ethnography of various groups in the indigenous communities of Chiapas,
Mexicofrom paramilitaries to a Zapatista community, an indigenous human
rights organization, and the Zapatista Good Governance Councilsthe book
explores how different groups actively engage with the discourse of rights,
adapting it to their own individual subjectivities and goals, and develop new
forms of resistance to the neoliberal model and its particular configurations of
power (from the description found in
21. Steinberg, Shirley R., ed. Multi/Intercultural Conversations: A Reader. New York: Peter
Lang, 2001. Print.
Multi/Intercultural Conversations brings together voices from all over the world
in the examination of critical pedagogy and the politics of identity in regard to
viewing education as a global endeavor. The authors are teachers, parents,
professors, and writers engaged in projects of social justice and education with the
desire to open a conversation between both students and teachers about education
in the new millennium (from the description found in
22. Takaki, Ronald. A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America. New York:
Back Bay Books, 1993. Print.
A dramatic new retelling of our nations past by todays preeminent
multiculturalism scholar this book examines Americas history in a different
mirrorfrom the perspective of the minority people themselves (from back

23. Understanding Race. American Anthropological Association. Web. 19 Feb. 2015.

Looking through the eyes of history, science and lived experience, the RACE
Project explains differences among people and reveals the reality and unreality
of race. The story of race is complex and may challenge how we think about
race and human variation, about the differences and similarities among people
24. Villaseor, Victor. Burro Genius: A Memoir. New York: Harper Collins, 2005. Print.
Growing up in the 1940s on his family's gracious Southern California ranch,
young Villaseor envisions a cowboy's life, just like he's seen in western movies
and learned from his loving but occasionally abrasive Mexican-born pap.
Reality, however, finds him in the unwelcome company of an American school
system where he doesn't fit in and is ostracized thanks to his undiagnosed dyslexia
and limited English. Throughout this spirited memoir, novelist and nonfiction
writer Villaseor (who has chronicled his family history in Rain of Gold; Wild
Steps of Heaven; Thirteen Senses; etc.) faces an entourage of abusive teachers and
embittered classmates who chip away at his confidence, leading him to the brink
of adopting a personal philosophy of violence-for-respect. He seeks support in the
strength of his close-knit family, especially his brother Joseph. But when Joseph
dies of a rare, unexplained disease, Villaseor tries to embody what made his
brother such a hero. Despite all the humiliation, frustration and hardship
Villaseor encounters throughout his youth, he maintains an astonishingly
positive and compassionate attitude. His retelling of sometimes humorous,
sometimes chilling childhood experience is at once painful and gratifying. He
imaginatively and poetically remembers his tumultuous childhood with the
simplicity of a child and the introspection of a sage (from the description found
25. Walls, Jeannette. The Glass Castle. New York: Scribner, 2003. Print.
Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity
were both their curse and their salvation. This is a story of triumph against all
odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite
its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life
on her own terms (from the description found in