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At age 11, me and my mama became houseless, and I had to drop out of formal institutions of learning. I enrolled full-time in the skoo of hard knocks to survive, where my Xingona warrior, indigenous, disabled, poverty skola Mama Dee was my writing teacher. Mama was a “G” and not user-friendly or easy on me, but she was insistent that the AristoKrazy didn’t own writing, history, art, poetry, theory and storytelling and that it was extremely important for poor and houseless, “uneducated” people like us to take that lie back and write powerful poetry and prose about our struggles and our lives. This is for you, Mama—I miss you everyday.
In 21 years of collective love and struggle, the poor, unhoused, disabled, Black, Brown, Indigenous, elder and youth leaders, artists, and cultural workers of POOR Magazine/Prensa POBRE, PoorNewsNetwork (PNN)/Homefulness have never called the Po’Lice.
When Mama and Me Lived Outside chronicles one year in a mother and daughter’s decade-long journey through homelessness and its related experiences of criminalization, police harassment, eviction, and grinding poverty. It tells of an experience specific to houseless families who must go into hiding to survive as they face the constant threat of separation and criminalization for the sole act of being houseless. Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia, author of Criminal of Poverty - Growing Up Homeless in America created this story from her own experience as a 10, 11 and 12 year-old child of a disabled, traumatized mama. She, like thousands of other unseen houseless children, loved her mama, no matter what, and her life was forever changed by poverty and homelessness in Occupied Turtle Island, aka the US.
It’s always been an emergency for us Po’ folks. From Katrina to COVID-19, the poorest and most oppressed are always hit hardest during disasters—while banks get bailed out, we get left behind. In this collection, poverty skolaz from across Turtle Island and Mama Earth speak out and share their survival stories through words, art, and images along with news stories, health info, and resources to help folks in struggle during this pandemic and the ongoing virus called poverty.
In February of 2018 Tiny will be releasing The HardWorker- El Trabjador Fuerte,a bi-lingual tale for all generations, her 3rd revolutionary children's, focused on telling the story of a criminalized elder, Afro-Puerto Rican recycler who struggles with gentrification, criminalization, police harassment and displacement in the Bay Area and triumphs because of a revolutionary child who joins him to build a collective recycling center. Her goals with the book are to raise awareness, love and the concept of self-determined, poor people-led solutions to all children and families who read this story
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