Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

September is Hispanic Heritage Month. Join us at several of our branches as we celebrate with cultural events, including “Arts & Science Council Culture Blocks: Carolinas Latin Dance” at Independence Regional on September 16, and “Traveling Through Latin America with Music” at Myers Park on September 19.

In addition to our events, our wealth of digital and print materials can help you celebrate all month long. For our younger Charlotteans, Teaching Books has a rich collection in its Latino Culture & Heritage section. Teaching Books offers Meet the Author videos, book guides, lesson plans, and other enrichment for children’s and young adult literature. It’s a great tool for young readers, parents, and educators.

Also for our younger readers, our online catalog provides a list of Pura Belpre Medal winners. The Pura Belpre Medal is awarded to Hispanic writers and illustrators who celebrate the Latino cultural experience in literature for children and young adults. Past recipients include I Lived on Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosin; Juana & Lucas, by Juana Medina; and The Dreamer, by Pam Munoz Ryan.

For our older audiences, the PBS Video Collection includes “Food for the Ancestors,” a film on the culinary history of Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico. Films on Demand offers the series “Americano as Apple Pie: The Latino Experience in America,” “The Latino Americans,” and “Latin Music U.S.A.”  

To highlight just a few works of literature on the Hispanic experience in the United States, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz, is available in every format the library offers: print (English and Spanish), large print, audio disc, digital audio, and ebook (English and Spanish). Oscar Hijuelos’ The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love is available in print and from Freading. The Book of Unknown Americans, by Cristina Henriquez, is available in print and from OverDrive.

Our collection includes memoirs on Hispanic identity, such as When I Was Puerto Rican, by Esmeralda Santiago and Butterfly Boy: Memories of a Chicano Mariposa, by Rigoberto Gonzalez, and My Beloved World, by Sonia Sotomayor. Another notable work of nonfiction is Latino Americans: The 500-Year Legacy That Shaped a Nation, by Ray Suarez, available in both book and documentary film versions. The North Carolina Home Grown eBook Collection offers The Latino Migration Experience in North Carolina: New Roots in the Old North State, by Hannah Gill. The North Carolina Home Grown eBook Collection provides digital access to more than 1,200 books from North Carolina publishers.

How about some culinary adventures to complement your celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month? Check out The New Southern-Latino Table: Recipes That Bring Together the Bold and Beloved Flavors of Latin America and the American South, by Sandra A. Gutierrez, or My Sweet Mexico, by Fany Gerson. Hoopla offers The Sizzling History of Miami Cuisine: Cortaditos, Stone Crabs and Empanadas, by Mandy Baca; and, from the Great Courses series “Everyday Gourmet: How to Master Outdoor Cooking,” Episode 7: Latin American-Style Grilling.