November 2022 marks 50 years since the release from prison of poet and revolutionary Raúl R. Salinas (raúlrsalinas) (1934-2008). An Austinite for most of his life, Salinas was a renowned poet, community organizer, prisoner and youth advocate, and intellectual of the Chicano Movement. In November 1972, Salinas was released after more than a decade in four of the countries most brutal prisons. His years of incarceration produced the spark for his poetry which has been celebrated worldwide. Prison also radicalized him and spurred his concientización as a working class, Indigenous Chicano from Texas.
Through his work at Seattle-based Centro de La Raza. He was a member of the International Indian Treaty Council, an organizer of the 1976 Trail of Tears march to Washington, a leader of the Free Leonard Peltier Committee, and an active spokesperson for prison reform. In Austin, he founded Resistencia Bookstore, Red Salmon Arts, Save Our Youth, and advocated for unjustly incarcerated leaders. The community and cultural spaces he established in Austin are still open and still provide resources to local communities.
The second part of Salinas’ first book of poetry was called “Poems of Partial Freedom.” In a letter he wrote the night before his release, Salinas writes to a fellow inmate: “Though I am free, so long as there are loyal brothers in prison, I am not free.” It is this commitment to freedom, justice and radical change that guided his post-prison life and that we honor at this event.
This year, we celebrate the life and legacy of Raúl Salinas by coming together in Austin. We will host academic panels, pláticas, and preview of the jazz documentary Un Trip based on raul poem Un Trip Through the Mind Jail to honor Salinas and set the course for another 50 years of struggle, poetry, and solidarity.
The University of Texas at Austin(room tbd) & Resistencia Books 2000 Thrasher Ln, Austin, TX 78741
Schedule Day 1:
November 11th, Benson Latin American Collection Conference Room, UT Austin
1:00 PM Opening Ceremony, blessing, and land acknowledgements
1:15 PM Welcome and Opening Remarks
1:30 – 3:00 PM Loud and Proud: La lucha continúa
3:30 – 5:00 PM 50 Years of Salinas Scholarship
Schedule Day 2:
Saturday, November 12th, Resistencia Books
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM We remember you ese!
Welcome and Land Acknowledgement
Preview screening of the jazz documentary: “Un Trip“
Flor y Canto/ Poetry and Music
Co-sponsored by UT Austin Latino Studies and ASU
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