Hispanic Americans make up the largest immigrant group in the United States. In Mecklenburg County, an estimated 14% of the population, or 148,000 residents, is Hispanic. Each year, from September 15 to October 15, we honor the contributions of American citizens from Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, according to the Library of Congress’ official website. Here’s how the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library will celebrate this community:
Explore Caribbean, Central and South American countries without leaving town. Join the Library for the Hola Festival on October 12, 2019 in Uptown Charlotte. Look for the Library’s table in the Cultural Pavilion! Many of our library branches are also hosting special events during the month-long celebration; here are just a few of our recommendations:
- Thursday, September 26: Hispanic Heritage Celebration and Festival, West Boulevard Regional Library.
- Saturday, September 28: Open Mic Poetry, Morrison Regional Library.
- Monday, September 30: Business Seminar, Matthews Library.
- Saturday, October 5: Stories in 2 Languages: Spanish!, Plaza Midwood Library.
- Monday, October 7: History's Mysteries: Mayan Revelations, Decoding Baqtun, Independence Regional Library.
If you can’t make it to one of these events, the following selections showcase the diversity of the largest immigrant group in the United States.
- Carrie Gibson’s recent book El Norte provides an excellent overview of the 500-year history of Hispanics in North America.
- Michael J. Martinez’ poetry collection, Museum of the Americans, explores cultural and imperial appropriation of Mexican Americans.
- Learn about the reconstruction efforts and enduring spirits of Puerto Rico in chef José Andrés’ We Fed An Island.
- Joseph Cassara’s debut novel The House of Impossible Beauties follows the world of transgender youth in 1980s Harlem.
- The 2018 National Book Award winner (Young People’s Literature) The Poet X is a coming-of-age story written as a novel-in-verse.
- Reyna Grande’s memoir A Dream Called Home, is a follow-up to her 2021 immigration memoir, The Distance Between Us.
- Laura Wides-Muñoz'’s The Making of a Dream follows the lives of five immigrant DREAMers and the repercussions of the DACA act.
For more recommendations, see this year’s list of 2019 International Latino Book Award finalists. If you are looking for children’s works, the Pura Belpré Award honors the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library.
Open your ears to new music styles by these artists:
- Dominican-American Amara La Negra has a distinct Afro-Latina sound.
- Reggaeton combines rapping, Caribbean music, and Spanish and is popular in Puerto Rico; we suggest artists J. Balvin and Wisin.
- Chicano rock is also known as Mexican American rock and includes well-known artists Carlos Santana and Lobos, to newer artists like Katzu Oso and Chicano Batman.
- The film Latino Americans focuses on the 500-year history in the United States.
- Just in time for back-to-school, Edward James Olmos’ inspirational film Stand and Deliver follows an inner-city Los Angeles schoolteacher.
- Our film streaming resource Kanopy has a wide selection of Hispanic American films and documentaries. We suggest Between us (Entre nos) and Los Punks.
For more recommendations, search our online catalog for staff-curated lists. Be sure to check out all the resources the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers in celebrating our culturally rich and diverse neighbors!