This Thursday, December 1 at 6:00 p.m. sharp, U.C. Berkeley’s famous “Story Hour” series will host me reading from and providing literary analysis of my novel, Barrio Bushido. At the beautiful Morrison Library inside of the Doe Library building on the U.C. Berkeley campus, with arms extended, I welcome you to attend this unique, unprecedented event. Never before has U.C. Berkeley, ranked as having the best English department in the United States, opened its doors for urban literature. Many times urban fiction is portrayed as senseless and ultra-violent. At this event I will explain how Barrio Bushido both reinforces and smashes those stereotypes.
Many of you know my story and work. I come from the streets, the Marine Corps, and academia. Many of our gente can relate positively to my background. I have performed throughout the state and have led functions that go beyond the literary level, including a first ever Ya Basta! Leadership Conference and more recently a successful Leadership and Education conference entitled “Inventing Your Destiny.”
Do not miss the creation of our history. Do not allow only professional intellectuals to analyze for us; we must represent with our heads held high. I volunteer my head for our love! Please come to this U.C. Berkeley event and make it a field trip for your friends and family. If you are a student, ask to receive extra credit for attending this event that may change your life.
If you would like to find out more about this event, please click on the link below.
Benjamin Bac Sierra
Barrio Bushido is relevant literature for all people. It represents a new genre of literature that portrays the Latino street homeboy as a homeboy philosopher. Most have never seen or read about Latino homeboys who can dialogue or think about existentialism or a will to power. Barrio Bushido delivers the full human range with many different themes, such as the concepts of good, evil, purpose, sacrifice, guilt, shame, love, the sublime.
This book is an entertaining, twisted story, a roller coaster ride of action and reflection, great intensity and even greater downfall. All emotions are explored and poked at with a fire iron. This book shocks and transforms. It is a book that speaks from the first person perspective of locos, locos as philosophers, capitalists, community friends, and men of flesh and blood with all the lust, love, and paradoxes that all humans experience. While reading and learning about Latino homeboys and homegirls in the most intense situations, we learn about ourselves in the most intense situations.
Right now we have only a handful of urban Latino books that are used in our university curriculums: Always Running, Parrot in the Oven, A Place to Stand. While those books are great in their own right, Barrio Bushido speaks to a contemporary generation, one that is no longer a pure cholo generation. Our current generation has been heavily influenced by rap, international war, globalism, and the modern technological media. Modern student readers can identify with the characters and the book. This book also has a gigantic literary value, especially for the way it deals so rawly with timeless pressing issues such as machismo, violence, purpose, and the metaphysical. This book does not pretend to have answers. Because it is fiction, it does not attempt to offer tidy solutions. There is no neat conclusion, except that we know for certain that there is much work that needs to be begun and done.
If you still have questions about the book, you can visit my blog https://todobododown.wordpress.com/questions-and-answers-with-benjamin-bac-sierra/.
Benjamin Bac Sierra
The son of Guatemalan immigrants, Ben Bac Sierra was born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission district, at one time the heart of Latino culture in Northern California. Living the brutal “homeboy” lifestyle, at seventeen he joined the United States Marine Corps and participated in front line combat during the first Gulf War. After his honorable discharge, he completed his Bachelor’s degree at U.C. Berkeley, a teaching credential program and a Master’s in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Currently, he is a professor at City College of San Francisco.