Other media workers profiled in the book include Elizabeth Gonzalez, JR Valrey, Tracy Rosenberg, Greg Landau, Maureen Gosling, Josh Wolf, and Jose Manuel Martinez.
In an eye-opening look at the creative lives of twelve San Francisco Bay Area media pioneers, Maiden documents the existence of a progressive social consciousness that was “hidden in plain sight” during years when no one thought there was a movement. Written incisively and illustrated with well-crafted photographs, this volume can be an inspiration to anyone seeking to start or strengthen a media career outside the corporate mainstream.
Here is an excerpt:
It was a struggle for Rodriguez to get a decent education in the Oakland schools. She went to Catholic School until the seventh grade, when her parents sent her to Mexico City for junior high so she would be in a better and safer learning environment. After returning, she broke the rules to go to San Leandro High School while living in Oakland, got caught, and then finished high school at Oakland’s Skyline High.
She likes Oakland, but is concerned about the pervasive violence there... “I grew up in Oakland, attended Oakland schools, I was scared as a child, I was scared as a teen, and now as an adult, I am still scared at times.” Despite the fear, and the sub-par instruction she received in high school, she excelled and took Saturday and summer school classes for teens at UC Berkeley. When she graduated, she was admitted to Cal with a number of community scholarships.
In 1999 she met a Chicana artist who saw her talent, and suggested she should make a trip to Self-Help Graphics, a well-established barrio art center in Los Angeles, and participate in putting together a portfolio of prints done by women. She went, and was the youngest artist there. The effort changed her perspective. “I was introduced into the world that is Chicana art,” she said, “and from there I decided to focus on my art. I really felt like I could succeed at it.”