Rediscovering Tongva, Los Angeles’s Original Language

LA’s (AB)Original language

TIME

As Los Angeles fourth graders know (because their curriculum includes the study of California Indians), the original language of Los Angeles is Tongva. This American Indian language (also called Gabrielino) used to be spoken in villages all over the L.A. Basin.

These villages have given their names to places all over Los Angeles, including Tujunga (from Tongva Tuhuunga “place of the old woman”) and Cahuenga (from Kawee’nga “place of the fox”). But despite these ever-present reminders, the language has not been spoken for over 50 years.

I first encountered Tongva shortly after I began teaching at UCLA 40 years ago, when my mentor, the late Professor William Bright, introduced me to the field notes of J. P. Harrington, an ethnographer and linguist who worked with Tongva speakers during the early 20th century.

It’s hard to find information on Tongva. There are no audio recordings of people speaking the language…

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Las Cafeteras – A Culture Cast interview with Hector Flores

Las Cafeteras con Hector Flores

Occasional Everything

I occasionally produce a podcast called the Culture Cast with my buddy Tracy Van Slyke. This week Tracy was too busy being awesome (seriously) so I interviewed Hector Flores of one of my favorite bands, Las Cafeteras.  Check it out. 

What’s better than a bunch of young lefty Chicanos playing Son Jarocho on stage while a mixed young crowd sings along clapping and dancing like it’s a punk or hip hop show?

Not much.

Las Cafeteras Las Cafeteras

That’s what you get when you see Las Cafeteras, a seven piece band who’s East LA members met through various social justice campaigns and organizing and who take their name from the East Side Cafe where they first learned to play, most of them not until they were in their 20s.

Las Cafeteras music is political party music that makes manifestos something you can’t help but shake your ass to. It is the kind…

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Halloween, Racism’s Biggest Party

It’s that time of year

Media Diversified

by Shane Thomas

You’re not to know this about me, but I hate Halloween. I always have done. Even when I participated in ‘trick or treat’ on a couple of occasions when I was a child, I was secretly wishing I was back home controlling the adventures of Super Mario on my old NES.

But my problems with Halloween go beyond any individual dislike of crowds of people and dressing up. While many look forward to this time of year – some of my friends among them – this is often a frustrating and enraging time for people of colour.pumpkin

If you’ll indulge me this digression; Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, London society was dominated by the aristocracy during the summer months. A key element of this era being the parties, often used for the purpose of wealthy families arranging for their progeny to be married. One…

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Trayvon Martin’s Mom: ‘If They Refuse to Hear Us, We Will Make Them Feel Us’

Black Moms: the strength and political activism in the movement

TIME

Sybrina Fulton is the mother of Trayvon Martin and the founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. In a letter to the family of Ferguson teen Michael Brown written exclusively for TIME, Fulton reflects on what the families now share.

To The Brown Family,

I wish I had a word of automatic comfort but I don’t. I wish I could say that it will be alright on a certain or specific day but I can’t. I wish that all of the pain that I have endured could possibly ease some of yours but it won’t. What I can do for you is what has been done for me: pray for you then share my continuing journey as you begin yours.

I hate that you and your family must join this exclusive yet growing group of parents and relatives who have lost loved ones to senseless gun violence. Of particular concern is…

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Obama Announces 2014 White House Tribal Nations Conference

A Nation within a Nation

The Lakota Law Project Report

On October 20, President Barack Obama announced the 2014 Tribal Nations Conference via an official press release.

This December 3rd event will mark the sixth White House Tribal Nations Conference held under the Obama Administration. Selected representatives from each of the 566 federally recognized Native American tribes will meet at Washington D.C.’s Capital Hilton hotel to discuss relevant issues with President Obama and members of the White House Council on Native American Affairs.

According to the announcement, Obama strives to “strengthen the government-to-government relationship with Indian country and to improve the lives of Native Americans.”

In June, the President paid a visit to North Dakota’s Standing Rock Indian Reservation during the annual Cannon Ball Flag Day Celebration. Obama’s appearance stands as the first presidential visit to a reservation since Clinton’s in 1999 and the third presidential visit to a reservation in all of our nation’s history.

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The focus of this visit…

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10/9/14 Delano Manongs and My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers

Apex Express

Larry Itliong, arriving at AWOC meeting in Central Valley ©1976 George Ballis/Take Stock / The Image Works Larry Itliong, arriving at AWOC meeting in Central Valley ©1976 George Ballis/Take Stock / The Image Works


Download the audio by clicking here.

In honor of Filipino American History Month, we bring back an interview with Marissa Aroy, director of Delano Manongs: Forgotten Heroes of the United Farm Workers. This short documentary celebrates the unsung Filipino American field workers who laid the foundation to the founding of the United Farm Workers union. For a donation to KPFA, YOU can have a copy of this documentary that reminds us of the unsung heroes of  1965the Delano Grape Strike.

franzMari from the Center for Political Education joins us to talk about the much-anticipated event, My Heroes Have Always Killed Colonizers. Back by popular demand for a third time, this annual event held on Indigenous People’s Day uses storytelling, spoken word and performance to celebrate global warriors who defend the land, people and indigenous ways. This year’s featured hero is…

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Invitation To The World Festival Of Resistances And Rebellions Against Capitalism “Where Those Above Destroy, We Below Rebuild”

Invitation To The World Festival Of Resistances And Rebellions Against Capitalism “Where Those Above Destroy, We Below Rebuild”

dorset chiapas solidarity

Invitation To The World Festival Of Resistances And Rebellions Against Capitalism “Where Those Above Destroy, We Below Rebuild”

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reissued by Enlace Zapatista 13th October, 2014

gracias de verdad

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Invitation from the EZLN and CNI to the World Festival of Resistances and Rebellions

To the brothers and sisters of the National and International Sixth:

In the gathering of our peoples in the Exchange between Zapatista Peoples and the National Indigenous Congress “David Ruíz Garcia,” we shared with each other our pain as well as our words and experiences of struggle, rebellion, and resistance.

Together we know that within our rebellions is our “NO” to the politics of destruction that capitalism carries out across the world. And we know that within our resistances are the seeds of the world that we want.

These rebellions and resistances are not just those of the indigenous peoples of Mexico. They are also…

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