Multicultural Book Talk
That's Not Fair! : Emma Tenayuca's struggle for justice
Information About the Book
Title: That's Not Fair! Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for JusticeAuthor: Carmen Tafolla & Sharyll Teneyuca
Illustrator: Terry Ybanez
- Civil Rights
About the Authors
Dr. Carmen Tafolla
Ms. Sharyll Teneyuca
About the Illustrator
Ms. Terry Ybanez
This is an illustration from the book, which is nearly identical to the actual photograph taken of Emma to the right.
Here we can see a photograph of Emma leading a rally in front of city hall. Photos like this one shown here are what Terry Tbanez based her illustrations on for the book.
Paint is the media that the Illustrator used for the book. In the illustration you can clearly see the misery and pain of the workers in the pecan shelling factory as their wages get cut and they struggle to provide for their families.
Criteria for High Quality Multicultural Literature
1. Names of characters should be culturally authentic and their personalities should reflect believable attributes.
- As the book is Non-Fiction, the main character Emma Tenayuca was a real person and the story depicted is historically and culturally authentic. Real photographs of the actual events illustrated in the book are shown at the back of the book along with a personal biography of Emma. Emma is portrayed as using her compassion for others to right the injustices in her community. These values have continued in her family line and her niece wrote this book in order to tell her story and continue her aunt's legacy.
2. Social issues and conflicts related to cultural groups should be treated honestly, accurately, and openly.
- The book depicts Mexican American workers and their struggle for civil rights and justice. It reflects the conditions the workers had to suffer through to try and provide for their families through the illustration shown above and the descriptions of the Mexican American families portrayed in them.
3. Illustrations should reflect accurate cultural setting.
- The illustrator for the book based her illustrations on historical photographs of Emma and San Antonio as well as her own observations and experiences from growing up there. Both authors and the Illustrator are from San Antonio and are familiar with the cultural setting. The illustrations depict accurate scenes from events that actually took place and the real photographs are shown in the back of the book, which verify their authenticity.
Classroom Teaching Application
Common Core ELA Standard: RL.4.2. Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Teaching Objective: The student will identify the theme of a text, summarize the main ideas, and relate the theme to their lives.
- The lesson will begin by asking the students what justice and fairness means. The students would share their ideas and then I would define justice and fairness.
- I would ask them if they had ever been in a situation that they thought was unfair or unjust. I would have them share their examples.
- Then I would read the book aloud to the students and I would have them discuss how Emma shows compassion to the struggling Mexican Americans in her community.
- Afterwards the students would identify the theme of the book in pairs. Then I would have them come up with examples of injustice from the book and we would record them on the board together.
- Then I would have them write in their literacy journals their reaction to the book and how they might have responded to the injustices in the book if they were Emma.
Introduction and Reading