(Note: This was supposed to be posted by Oct.15th, but I forgot)
I’ve discussed my ambivalent and somewhat strained relationship with Columbus Day in the past (October, 2008 & again in October, 2013). Suffice it to say, that this “holiday” more than most others gives me pause to reflect, not just on my personal identity, but on the history of the world during the last half millennia.
Columbus may not have been the first European, or even the first “outsider”, to travel to what would later become the Americas. His voyages, however, were obviously the catalyst for what would become centuries of invasion and plunder, colonialism and expansion, war and conquest. The modern world we live in was born from this clash of civilizations, and it continues to have to look back to try and make sense of it.
Hispanics and Latinos are both groups of people who were birthed from these conflicts and confrontations. I don’t believe that we have a collective identity, because like all Americans (North, Central, and South) it depends on where you start our narrative, and it depends on which branches in our bloodlines you decide to follow. That’s not to say that we don’t share something. We share a language, and at least in my circles, a love of life that is rooted not in the so-called American Dream, but in America itself.
There is something special about this half of the world. The so-called Old World sensed it the moment they stumbled upon it. The great expanses of open land, the pristine nature that invited explorers and pioneers to venture into what they thought was mostly uninhabited space. It seemed like a great place to continue doing what they had been doing for centuries back in Europe, the Mideast, and Asia.
It has been a bloody, violent, hard-fought history that has us where we are in 2019. For better or worse, we have already written two hundred and twenty plus years of our history in the Western Hemisphere, and Hispanics have been here since the beginning. Thus, as we say goodbye to another Hispanic Heritage month, I would like to take some time to recommend some books you can find in our collection. Here then, are ten (click on the link to read the descriptions)
- The Hispanic 100: A Ranking of the Latino Men and Women Who Have Most Influenced American Thought and Culture by Himilce Novas published in 1995 Cesar Chavez,
- Cool salsa : bilingual poems on growing up Latino in the United States edited by Lori Carlson published in 1995
- Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music and Puerto Rican Cultures by Frances Aparicio published 1998
- Harvest of Empire: a history of Latinos in America by Juan Gonzalez published in 2000
- Cesar Chavez: a biography by Hal Markovitz published in 2003
- Ellen Ochoa : First Female Hispanic Astronaut by John Wukovits published in 2007
- Once Upon A Quinceanera by Julia Alvarez published in 2008
- 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago published in 2011
- Blurred borders : transnational migration between the Hispanic Caribbean and the United States by Jorge Duany published in 2011
- Our America : a Hispanic history of the United States by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto published in 2014
Thank you for reading and I hope you found something useful.
Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2019. All rights reserved.