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Hispanic Heritage

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from mid-September through mid-October each year. The resources in this Special Collection provide an introduction to the culture, identity and direction of the diverse population that is Hispanic.


Arte Latino: Treasures From the Smithsonian American Art Museum by Jonathan Yorba: This book documents 50 Latino artists from the U.S. and Puerto Rico as they explore their identity and influence on U.S. culture over the past two centuries through various media.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Latino History and Culture edited by D.H. Figueredo: Like many similar "Idiot's Guides," this book serves as an overview. The demographics included show that Latino Americans are a mosaic, coming from many diverse cultures and traditions. Each group has its own history, heroes, literature and beliefs. The editor also notes the emergence of new heroes gaining popular acceptance through sports, music, cuisine and political gains. Common misconceptions and stereotypes are covered, too.

Iguana Dreams: New Latino Fiction edited by Delia Poey and Virgil Suarez: This anthology brings together 29 short stories reflecting different aspects of Latino life, including tales of exile and alienation, pride and shame, generational conflicts, poverty and toil, the pressure to conform, and the urge to escape, by authors like Guy Garcia, Jack Lopez and Julia Alvarez.

The Latino Holiday Book: From Cinco de Mayo to Dia de los Muertos - The Celebrations and Traditions of Hispanic-Americans by Valerie Menard: Menard outlines holidays that have Latino origins or a uniquely Latino way of celebrating the holiday. She includes histories of the holidays.


Atlas of Hispanic-American History by George Ochoa: This book traces the routes of the Moors across Africa, into Spain and on towards the indigenous cultures of the New World. It shows how the cultures interrelated and forged new societies, plus the movement of these cultures into the U.S.

American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood by Marie Arana: In this memoir, the author contrasts the Peruvian landscape filled with mysteries and ghosts with the prairie lands of Wyoming while telling the story of her parents who overcame bicultural tensions and prevailed.

Americanos: Latino Life in the United States = La Vida Latina en los Estados Unidos: This is a multimedia presentation--a self-portrait of Latino heritage in the U.S.--created by Edward James Olmos, Lea Ybarra and Manuel Monterrey. The Canton Public Library not only has the photo essay, but also the Musical CD that serves as a sampler. Resource components show family interaction, and the place that religion, education and cultural identity has in their lives.

Fluid borders: Latino power, identity, and politics in Los Angeles by Lisa Garcia-Bedolla: This eBook provides an analysis of Latinos in California and Los Angeles, focusing on the relationships between power, identity and place.

The Hispanic Community in Metropolitan Detroit by the Information and Research Services, United Way Community Services: This study offers demographic and statistical information to provide an understanding of the growing Hispanic community in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

Latina Legacies: Identity, Biography and Community edited by Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sanchez Korrol: This eBook collection contains profiles of 15 influential Latin American women in the hope of re-envisioning Latina history and redefining notions of labor.

Latinos: A Biography of the People by Earl Shorris: The author describes the history of Hispanic people in the U. S., plus the variety of cultures, feelings and beliefs that exist in Latino peoples of the nation. The conditions of their lives have been determined, in large part, by others with vastly different goals and points of view.

Latinos in Michigan by David A. Badillo: This book examines the rich multicultural history of the Great Lakes showing how Latinos have contributed culturally, economically and socially to important developments in Michigan history.

Living in Spanglish by Ed Morales: This book is about the search for a unified American Latino identity and the challenge to unite so many Hispanic cultures into a single entity. Morales calls common cultural elements, "Spanglish."

Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States by H├ęctor Tobar: In his book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Tobar combines his personal story of bi-national identity with a documentary account of the influence of Latinos across the United States.


Out of the Barrio by Linda Chavez: Chavez says that believing yourself to be a second-class citizen is self-defeating, and that community leaders requiring bilingual education and affirmative action to try and get ahead do a disservice to Hispanics. Her emphasis is on the Hispanic Movement of the 1970's and 1980's, especially the desire to move out of the barrios and into middle America.

The Presumed Alliance: The Unspoken Conflict Between Latinos and Blacks and What It Means for America by Nicolas C. Vaca: Attorney Nicolas Vaca discusses the political alliance between Hispanics and African-Americans and reveals that increasing tensions between the two groups, including the backlash against civil rights and the increased competition for employment, threaten their powerful partnership.

Racism on Trial: The Chicano Fight for Justice by Ian F. Haney Lopez: The author is a lawyer who focuses attention on how justice was accorded by the legal system following the arrest of 13 Chicanos during race riots in 1968. He contends that the judicial system and its treatment of Chicanos reflected society as a whole, leading Chicanos to demand better treatment for themselves.


The Hispanic Condition: The Power of a People by Ilan Stavans: Stavans has created a work that weaves the U.S. Latino cultures together, investigating differences and similarities, then lacing them together through history, literature and political involvement into a voice of strength and power.

The Latino Wave: How Hispanics Will Elect the Next American President by Jorge Ramos: Emmy Award-winning journalist Jorge Ramos reveals what he thinks really matters to Latino voters and how that differs from other American voters.

Latinos: Remaking America edited by Marcelo M. Suarez-Orozco and Mariela M. Paez: The major themes of this anthology of essays and commentaries are common to almost every book about Hispanic culture in the United States: History, separate cultures, environment, gender and race, unionization, plus two different United States, one for whites and one for non-whites. Coalitions among various factions of Hispanics can be tenuous, but where they have worked, they have created a tremendous impact on U.S. society.

The New Face of Baseball: The One-Hundred Year Rise and Triumph of Latinos in America's Favorite Sport Tim Wendel: This book recounts the Latino experience in baseball, focusing on famous players like Sami Sosa, Jose Canseco, Roberto Clemente, and more.

The Other Face of America: Chronicles of the Immigrants Shaping Our Future by Jorge Ramos: In 49 short- and mid-length pieces, Ramos provides a tour through Hispanic life and culture, including the shooting death of Amadou Diallo by New York City police, plus the Elian Gonzalez affair.


Brown: The Last Discovery of America by Richard Rodriguez: Rodriguez hypothesizes that the U.S. has always been brown--a variety of colors in all shades of the rainbow. Instead of mixing with people who are different from ourselves, the author believes there is a strong tendency to remain with what is comfortable, with people who are similar to ourselves. Through culture, food and music, however, the Hispanic world is seeping into mainstream America and finding acceptance.


My Mexico: culinary odyssey with more than 300 recipes by Diana Kennedy: Referred to variously as the Julia Child, the Escoffier, and the high priestess of Mexican cooking, in this essential volume Diana tells the story behind her discovery of each dish, from the Pollo Almendrado (Chicken in Almond Sauce) she discovered in Oaxaca to the Estafado de Raya (Skate Stewed in Olive Oil) that delighted her in Coahuila.

Salsas that Cook by Rick Bayless: There are many more varieties of salsas than what most of us are accustomed to using, including fruit salsas as a garnish on fish. Bayless, who features many of these salsas in his own restaurant, even has one to spice up macaroni and cheese.

Websites For Fun and Family Conversation

Andanzas al Web Latino: An annotated directory of websites relating to the U.S.-Mexico border and Latinos in the United States, updated by New Mexico State University librarian, Molly Molloy.

Archivos Virtuales: Papers of Latin and Latin American Artists: From the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, this website highlights the archives' extensive holdings of papers of Latino and Latin American artists, including oral history interview transcripts and finding aids.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage: If it's from Scholastic, you know it has an emphasis on children (and teachers). Of most interest might be the pages dedicated to "Hispanic History in the Americas" and "Latinos in History."

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage: These resources from the information and education resource company, Gale, complement Hispanic Heritage Month. Check biographies of notable Hispanics, descriptions of different musical genres, plus a helpful timeline of Hispanic-American history. Chicano Art Digital Image Collection: A collection of nearly 1,400 works from Chicano artists presented by the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA) of the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a glossary, resource guides and critical essays.

Facts for Features: The information included here comes from the U.S. Census Bureau, providing an overview of the economic and social impact of Hispanics in the United States.

Impacto, Influencia, Cambio: This is an attractive Smithsonian webpage that spotlights science, technology and invention in Latin America and the southwestern United States.

Latina Women of NASA: Profiles of 33 Latina women working for NASA, as well as links to educational and statistical resources.

Making a Difference in Our Communities and Our Nation: This webpage from the National Park Service spotlights Hispanic-related sites on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pew Hispanic Center: The site includes research reports from the Pew Hispanic Center, fact sheets on topics such as Hispanics in the military, results of surveys of Latino populations, news, press releases, and other links.