Entertainment

Lil Libros Finally Adds Musician Ritchie Valens To The List Of Icons Highlighted In Bilingual Children’s Books

Lil’ Libros has been gifting Latino parents the gift of a single children’s book read in two languages to promote bilingualism in Latino niños around the world. The stories are all about Latino icons that have shaped and defined our culture throughout history, honoring stories like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo and Cuban music legend, Celia Cruz. With nearly 20 books in the collection so far, we thought Lil’ Libros couldn’t get any cuter or more relevant until it added the story of Ricardo “Ritchie” Valenzuela in “The Life of / La Vida de: Ritchie.”

The children’s book will cover all the highlights of Ritchie’s life.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

“Born May 13, 1941, Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American singer, songwriter, and guitarist,” reads the book description. “His musical journey began at age 5 when his father encouraged him to take up guitar. In high school, he made his performing debut with the band The Silhouettes. At 17, Ritchie recorded his final record, which included classics like “Donna” and “La Bamba”. That record went on to sell over one million copies. To this day, Ritchie  Valens’ music lives on in the hearts of many!”

Ritchie followed his passions, and they became a gift to the music world.

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Ritchie is considered the father of the Chicano rock movement. He was the son of two Mexican immigrants, born in the Los Angeles valley as Richard Steven Valenzuela. Even though Ritchie was left-handed, he taught himself how to play the guitar, trumpet, and drums, and was so in love with music, he learned it all with a dominant right hand. He was always bringing his guitar to his high school to play for his friends. By the time he was 16 years old, he was invited to join The Silhouettes, and eventually became the lead singer. He only released two records during his lifetime, and is best known for “La Bamba.” He’s also known for being the first Latino to successfully cross over into the U.S. mainstream rock genre, inspiring Selena, Café Tacuba, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, and even Carlos Santana to fuse Latinidad with rock.

We *doubt* they’ll include that Ritchie dropped out of high school.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

He became a raging success with the release of his first and only three records and dropped out of school to keep up with his career. Ritchie actually didn’t know any Spanish, and his family only spoke English and Spanglish in their house. He learned to sing “La Bamba” in Spanish by learning the song phonetically. Just this year, The U.S. Library of Congress selected “La Bamba” to be preserved in the National Recording Registry as “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”

Or Ritchie’s tragic death by a plane crash at just 17 years old.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

Ritchie had a fear of flying that he eventually overcome throughout his short-lived music career. His fear started during the second term of his junior year in high school. Two airplanes collided over the school’s playground on January 31, 1957, killing and injuring several of his friends. It all happened while Ritchie was at his abuelo’s funeral. His first flight was to Philadelphia to appear on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand show, where he performed “Come On, Let’s Go.” The following month, he was flying to Hawaii to perform with Buddy Holly and Paul Anka.

Ritchie won a coin toss that fateful February 2, 1959 winter day in Iowa that won him a spot on a small plane that would later crash and kill everyone on the plane. His band had been traveling by tour bus throughout the Midwest without adequate heating, causing them all to catch the flu and, in one case, even frostbite. They were desperate to get on a flight out, and only the guitarist, Tommy Allsup, and bassist Waylon Jennings were spared, simply because they lost their coin tosses. 

Ritchie took off at 12:55 am and crashed just minutes later.

Credit: lil_libros / Instagram

Still, nobody knows why the plane crashed. It killed everyone on impact. Ritchie suffered a blunt force trauma to the chest and unsurvivable head injuries, dying at just 17 years old. His death inspired Don McLean to write “American Pie,” forever remembering February 3 as “The Day the Music Died.” The music may have died by Ritchie’s legacy continues to live on, now in both Spanish and English at storytimes.

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White Students Burned A Book After A Latina Called Them Privileged, Not Realizing That Burning Books Is A Privilege

Fierce

White Students Burned A Book After A Latina Called Them Privileged, Not Realizing That Burning Books Is A Privilege

lina Kapyro / EyeEm / getty images

Truth hurts, white privilege exists and it’s beyond toxic. Students at a predominantly white university in Georgia took umbrage with this truth however when a Latina author delivered a lecture at their school about the issue. In protest of the notion that they were privileged, several students who had attended the lecture committed one of the most privileged acts of all time and burned her book.

Jennine Capó Crucet spoke at Georgia Southern University on Wednesday night about her book “Make Your Home Among Strangers.”

Her novel is a fictional piece about a young Latina from a lower-middle-class family living in Miami. The book follows her journey as she attends school at a prestigious college in New York state and struggles to keep up both socially and academically in the new “predominantly white” school setting. According to Georgia Southern University, the book was required reading for some of its First-Year Experience classes.

After speaking about the book at Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center on Wednesday she opened up her lecture to audience questions.

According to GSU’s school newspaper the George-Anne, the question and answer section of the lecture quickly turned into a rush of questions about her criticisms of white people.

“I noticed that you made a lot of generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged,” one student said to Capó Crucet, according to the school paper. “What makes you believe that it’s okay to come to a college campus, like this, when we are supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what we’re taught. I don’t understand what the purpose of this was.”

In response, Capó Crucet explained that she had been invited to the university to speak about white privilege “It’s a real thing that you are actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question,” she reportedly replied.

It didn’t take long for her response to spur more questions about race and white privilege from students present. According to Buzzfeed News, students became upset when the author asserted that most white people “needed to be removed from authority positions because two-thirds of people in high positions should not be white.”

That evening a group of students organized a burning of her book on campus.

According to reports, some students also gathered outside of the hotel that she had been staying at.

“Last night’s discussion with the author devolved into accusations of her demonstrating racism against white people. Some students burned copies of Crucet’s book and even gathered outside her hotel. We assert that destructive and threatening acts do not reflect the values of Georgia Southern University,” Dr. Russell Willerton, the department chair, said in a statement.

In response to the burning, Capó Crucet tweeted “This is where we are, America.”

In response to the book-burning incident that took place on their campus, the university’s vice president for Strategic Communications and Marketing John Lester said the school is “not planning any actions against any of the students involved in this incident… While it’s within the students’ First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southern’s values nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas.”

Truth is that whatever you think of white privilege and the contents of this author’s book is never really a good look.

READ: A Viciously Racist Video Has Gone Viral In Which Two Girls Call For The Return Of Slavery And The KKK

Watch This Little Dude Repeat His Adorable Self-Affirmations While Walking To School

Culture

Watch This Little Dude Repeat His Adorable Self-Affirmations While Walking To School

@yashar / Twitter

We all know what self-affirmations are. They are simple phrases we repeat to ourselves to undo negative thoughts or self-doubt that cna plague us or undermine our own goals. Self-affirmations can set us on a path that sets us up for success by keeping us accountable and positive through the ups and downs of life. One little boy seems to already know this and has gotten an early start on his own self-affirmations.

A young boy is going viral on Twitter for repeating his self-affirmations while walking to school.

Credit: @yashar / Twitter

“I am smart. I am blessed. I can do anything,” the little boy repeated as he walked to school. The simple, yet effective, practice of self-affirmations is scientifically proven to have a lasting, positive impact on a person’s mental well-being. So, it is safe to say that this little one is already off to a stronger start in life than most adults.

The video is encouraging people to start their own self-affirmation routines.

Credit: @maurametolove / Twitter

According to PositivePsychology.com, the act of self-affirmation is proven to manifest in a positive mental outlook on life. Self-affirmations let us take control of the global narrative we tell of ourselves and lets us be flexible and moral as we adapt to the ever-changing environment we are constantly in.

The video is striking an emotional chord with adults and children alike.

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It is never too early to start children on their path to positive thinking. There is a lot of stuff in the world that can hurt you and stunt your development. It is never a bad idea to get your own little ones started with positive self-affirmations and start the habit.

The overall cuteness level of the video is enough for some people to just celebrate.

One of the most important parts of the self-affirmation practice is the ability to create a more flexible and adapting self-identity. By creating this self-identity, it will keep you from thinking of yourself as one kind of person, such as a “writer” or “wife.” Being able to grow within yourself offers a freedom that can set you on whatever path you choose.

Some people on Twitter are even cosigning the little dude’s words to encourage him to keep going.

Keep it going, Ayaan. There is nothing that can stand in your way, little man. It is clear that you know that you are capable of doing anything you set yor mind to and that is one of life’s most valuable lessons. There are few things in this world more empowering than knowing you can do anything and letting yourself know that you can do anything.

Some people are even wanting to have their own kids now.

Credit: @HudsonRiverCroc / Twitter

While there is a movement in the millennial generation not to have children, Ayaan might be changing minds. Who doesn’t want a little dude who can show the world the power of self-affirmation? Maybe his own idea that he can do anything means he grows up to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

His positivity is inspiring other people to be more positive in their own lives.

Credit: @crookson1506 / Twitter

It’s exciting what someone else’s own enthusiasm can do for other people. Some people are really into listening to little dude celebrate his own pathway to positive thinking.

Some people are not being fooled by the little boy.

Kids are not for everyone. That is okay. However, it is easy to see how this video would make some people want to have a little self-affirming dude of their own.

Basically, some people are just falling in love with the kid.

Credit: @AllisonRFloyd/ Twitter

It’s hard not to fall in love with this little one. His words and attitude are so inspiring.

Way to go, Ayaan!

Keep up those self-affirmations. They will take you far.

READ: This Elementary School Held A Flash Mob Where Kids Dressed Up And Danced To Selena And Celia Cruz And I’m Crying At My Desk