Pelos y Rizos

I  have been attending the AATSP conference in Denver this weekend, and what I like most about conferences is how something small that is mentioned in a session gives me inspiration. Conferences also free my mind for more creative pursuits that the structure of school does not allow.

I attended a session about Radio Ambulante and how it can be used in upper level classes, and as I scanned the different podcasts on their site, I came across one called “Miss Rizos.” I had been thinking about my first lessons in pre-AP and AP, which are about identity, and how hair can be reflected in that. The podcast is 15 minutes long, which is longer than I usually like to use, but what she says is very interesting. She talks about how, in the Dominican Republic, it is widely accepted to straighten hair and how Miss Rizos decided to eschew that custom and leave her hair natural.

That podcast made me think of the brief chapter in La Casa en Mango Street called “Pelos” where Esperanza describes the hair of the people in her family.

It also made me think of a film from Venezuela that I had heard about called “Pelo malo.” A boy wants to straighten his hair for picture day at school.  From what I read on IMDb, the film is not really appropriate for class. The trailer is more appropriate, but I would say only the first part of it.

I think the Miss Rizos and Pelo malo resources would fit into a series of lessons about the afro-latino identity. I believe they would also fit with the AP theme “Belleza y estética.”

Here is an article from Univisión:


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