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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SAU chapter.

after Danez Smith’s “Dinosaurs in the Hood”

Let’s do arts and crafts in the barrio

preschool meets college art seminars meets ‘this is going on the fridge’.

There should be a paper where the little Mexican girl with a braid is 

taping and gluing and ripping and creating,

creating because all she wants is for her own hands to get a chance to hold

something beautiful.

Don’t let this workshop be led by Andy Warhol. In his class, Hispanic girls play

with dirty laundry, the metaphor: Mexican girl tries to wash her dirt away,

the foreshadow to her end, she follows Mami and Abuela.

F*ck that, the girl has a crayon or a paintbrush 

and this is proof of love for the Virgin Mary or love for not virgin older sisters. I want a canvas

where oceans become waterparks, a painting

where water rolls its way off your back. Don’t let 

white men in this art class. I don’t want any racist shit

about African Americans or overused Muslim stereotypes.

This art is for a neighborhood of royal folks – 

children of immigrants and laborers and asylum seekers – making their own block 

into a beautiful land. I don’t want some progressive 

girl next store with perky boobs and 

nepo power. This is not a vehicle for white girls to 

get into college. I want ninos, children, making a mosaic of a new world

with the memories in their head and in Abuelo’s grave. I want those

one-hundred-dollar markers, I want Sandra Cisneros to write a poem or two.

I want Selena to write a new song and cumbia on the stage,

one last time. But this can’t be

a Latino statement piece. This can’t be a Latino statement piece. This art can’t be dismissed

because of the hands that molded it or the story it tells. These crafts can’t be a metaphor

for Hispanic families and childlike attempts to be something. This art can’t be about race.

This art can’t be about Latin pain or cause Latino pain.

This art can’t be about a long history of having a long history with hurt.

This art can’t be about race. Nobody can say sp*c  in this class

who can’t say it to my face in public. No wet-back jokes in this class. 

No handcuffs on fathers. And no one takes the Mexican girl away from her family. And no one takes

the Mexican girl away from her family. And no one takes the Mexican girl 

away from her family. Besides, the only reason 

I want to do arts and crafts is for one masterpiece: the Mexican girl with a braid in her hair

writes a poem  and hangs it on her fridge 

and her words, tell our story, right there.

Elena is an Editor and Social Media Content Creator at HC @SAU. She oversees writing, edited articles, and posting on our media accounts. Beyond HC Elena is involved in theatre, Quercus, TAC, and is a member of the education preparation program. She also if the workstudy for theatre department, works at SAU Children's Campus, and at a local bookstore. Elena is majoring in Early Childhood Education with an endorsement in Special Education as well as getting a minor in both theatre and writing. In her freetime, Elena enjoys reading, writing poetry, and buying tote bags. Fun fact she is working writing a book.