Please don't laugh, but it took me roughly 10 hours to get this small, ten minute video complete and uploaded to class. The process of scripting, filming, editing, initializing, uploading is brutal! I may or may not have eaten a few handfuls of trail mix and a nice glass of iced tea solely while I baked away in my studio.
First things first. I am taking a Young Adult Literature class and allow me to shout: I LOVE IT! I am learning so much about YA Lit and how important, specific, and necessary it is to the growth and development of our young people. Thus far, two weeks in, I have already read: Holes and American Born Chinese. Both I loved, and both I devoured in a day. This week we will be reading Speak and let me tell you, I am anxious to start turning pages.
This assignment was to make a five minute (I know, my video is over 10) video reviewing five different YA novels that share a common thread of theme, setting, plot, purpose, subject, genre...whatever. We were instructed to limit the "ums" (I think I have one or two), and to consider the setting and make the video interesting and dynamic.
Well, that's a lot to check off in five mintures if your name is Kiandra "I talk a lot and am not interested in shutting up anytime soon" Jimenez. In fact, my good friend/classmate refers to herself as "Kiandra, Jr." when she does anything long-winded. I have a reputation, and let's just say I won't be giving any graduation speeches. Let's also say that when me and said friend were in a group together, I was strategically placed between two members and was notified that my foot would be stomped on when I started to "Whomp..Whomp..Whomp." (It didn't happen and our group rocked our presentation about Civil War literature! And the double History/English major in our group over talked me--so there!) ;-p
Back on topic. Here is my video. I am sharing it because it took all of yesterday and because my passion is this topic. This is why I went back to school. This is why I am an English major who loves to paint and quilt and not an Art major. This is why I think and dream about Grad school every. stinking. day. This is what makes my heart race, my palms sweat, and my hands start moving around in excitement and expression. This is me.
I could not include my introduction where I explained what Bildungsroman is and also explained why I chose these books and the need for them for our young women of color becoming women in America. The reasons why I chose to focus on this particular demographic also did not make the cut. (I may get grace with a 10 minute video, but not for a 20 minute video).
Easily, I could have taught a whole lesson on multicultural, women's literature (particularly African American women). It is my area. It is what I write and read for. Everything gets filtered through that lens for me and everything that I do in Literature is aimed at building and progressing the subject.
Quickly, I chose this area because I do not believe classic or standard Literature consistently reflects women of color and their needs and issues. We know that women are underrepresented in literature, but when you compound that with being a woman of color you are twice removed. For our Latino, West Indian, Asian, African immigrating sisters, you become three times removed and isolated from the literature. It is imperative that these young women have access to Literature that reflects them physically, but also socially, psychologically, and culturally. Once we provide them with their reflections, we can show them how wonderful Literature is and how apt Literature is as a tool for experessing their world and their worldviews. At this point, they can fully grasp and appreciate the larger picture of Literature and flourish.
Of course, my emphasis, because Literature is my passion, is to bring more young women of color into the fields of Literature--whether they be writers, scholars, or teachers.
As a young adult in high school I was always recognized for my ability to write and work with Literature but I never found it "worthy" of my time because it did not reflect me. No one handed me books with characters who looked like me and sounded like me and had families and issues like mine. I didn't get exposed to this until I went to college and then, then I saw what my teachers saw in me. But as a young girl in South Central Los Angeles witnessing the Riots, riding the RTD bus and working 36 hours a week while in High School--One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich did not matter or pertain to me. But, The House on Mango Street, When I Was Puerto Rican, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, Maud Martha, and The Bluest Eye would have. Now, I can't wait to go back and read One day in the Life, but now, I have the tools to, which I learned by reading Morrison, Hurston, Walker, Brooks, Cisneros, etc.
Thanks for sharing in my passion and if you'd like to know more...holler at your girl and I am more than willing to share my knowledge. I will be willing to share my PP if anyone is interested...all I need is an email.
Be peace and read, read, read!