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That's Not Fair! book coverThat's Not Fair!

by Carmen Tafolla and Sharyll Teneyuca

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Hardback, 64 pages

Illustrated by Terry Ybáñez
Spanish translation by Carmen Tafolla, Translation editors: Celina Marroquín and Amalia Mondríguez, Ph.D.

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ePub ISBN: 978-1-60940-054-5
Kindle ISBN: 978-1-60940-055-2
Library PDF ISBN: 978-1-60940-056-9

See the video That's Not Fair (from Public Studio on Vimeo)

In the 1920s and 1930s, the pecan shellers of San Antonio, Texas, were some of the lowest-paid workers in the nation. They were all Mexican-Americans, who had fled the revolution in their home country. Pecan shellers worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for as little as six cents a pound. In addition, they had to work in dusty, closed rooms. This made many of them ill. And then, in 1938, their wages were cut in half. They needed someone to be a voice for them, someone both brave and caring. They needed a hero. A young woman, barely twenty-one, answered their call. Her name was Emma.

But Emma Tenayuca was not born a hero of the poor. That's Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo! tells how the seeds of Emma's awareness and activism were sown when she was very young.. This story of courage and compassion shows how each of us, no matter how young, can help to make the world more fair for everyone.

The Story

In the 1920s, in San Antonio, Texas, a young girl took a long look around her and decided that life is not fair to some people. She began to do things to change that. She taught other children to read, and she learned the value of sharing what little she had with those who had even less.

Just a few years later, barely out of her teens, Emma Tenayuca led 12,000 poor workers — the pecan shellers — in their historic strike for fair wages and improved working conditions.

Historians regard this as the first successful large-scale act in the Mexican-American struggle for civil rights and justice. No less than a legend in her own time, she is now an honored figure in Mexican-American history. Internationally-recognized Chicana poet Carmen Tafolla, a long-time friend of Emma, and Emma's niece, lawyer Sharyll Teneyuca, tell how the young Emma learned that positive action is the way to justice in this, the first book ever — for children or adults — about Emma Tenayuca. San Antonio artist Terry Ybáñez based her illustrations on historical photographs of Emma and San Antonio, and on her own experiences. She surrounds her pictures with autumn pecan tree limbs, and the many-hued blues of the south Texas sky.

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Read more about Carmen Tafolla

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Buy This Book : $19.95

ISBN 0-916727-33-5 978-0-916727-33-8
US $19.95
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