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Spotlighting Hispanic Voices

Brightview Senior Living

Hispanic Heritage Month, running from September 15 to October 15, is a time to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Hispanic Americans to our culture. Hispanic Americans infuse the cultures, languages, food, religions, and more of Mexico, Spain, Central and South America, and the Caribbean to the American experience. Hispanic American voices are unique, broad, and diverse, and our country is richer when those voices are heard. To learn more about the joys and struggles of Hispanic Americans, we’ve compiled a few suggestions for your next movie night or book club.

Books

  • Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas Contreras
  • Synopsis: Seven-year-old Chula lives a carefree life in her gated community in Bogotá, but the threat of kidnappings, car bombs, and assassinations hover just outside her walls, where the godlike drug lord Pablo Escobar reigns, capturing the attention of the nation. When her mother hires Petrona, a live-in-maid from the city’s guerrilla-occupied slum, Chula makes it her mission to understand Petrona’s mysterious ways. Petrona is a young woman crumbling under the burden of providing for her family as the rip tide of first love pulls her in the opposite direction. As both girls’ families scramble to maintain stability amidst the rapidly escalating conflict, Petrona and Chula find themselves entangled in a web of secrecy. Inspired by the author’s own life, Fruit of the Drunken Tree is a powerful testament to the impossible choices women are often forced to make in the face of violence and the unexpected connections that can blossom out of desperation. – penguinrandomhouse.com

  • Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria
  • Synopsis: In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors shares the borders they have crossed, the struggles they have pushed through, and the two cultures they continue to navigate as Mexican Americans. Living Beyond Borders is at once an eye-opening, heart-wrenching, and hopeful love letter from the Mexican American community to today’s young readers. Twenty stand-alone short stories, essays, poems, and more from celebrated and award-winning authors make up this YA anthology that explores the Mexican American experience. – penguinrandomhouse.com

  • A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
  • Synopsis: In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Together with two thousand other refugees, Roser and Victor embark on the SS Winnipeg, a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda, to Chile: “the long petal of sea and wine and snow.” As unlikely partners, the couple embraces exile as the rest of Europe erupts in world war. Starting over on a new continent, they face trial after trial, but they will also find joy as they patiently await the day when they might go home. Through it all, their hope of returning to Spain keeps them going. Destined to witness the battle between freedom and repression as it plays out across the world, Roser and Victor will find that home might have been closer than they thought all along. – penguinrandomhouse.com

  • Finding Latinx by Paola Ramos
  • Synopsis: Young Latinos across the United States are redefining their identities, pushing boundaries, and awakening politically in powerful and surprising ways. Many of them—Afrolatino, indigenous, Muslim, queer and undocumented, living in large cities and small towns—are voices who have been chronically overlooked in how the diverse population of almost sixty million Latinos in the U.S. has been represented. No longer. In this empowering cross-country travelogue, journalist and activist Paola Ramos embarks on a journey to find the communities of people defining the controversial term, “Latinx.” She introduces us to the indigenous Oaxacans who rebuilt the main street in a post-industrial town in upstate New York, the “Las Poderosas” who fight for reproductive rights in Texas, the musicians in Milwaukee whose beats reassure others of their belonging, as well as drag queens, environmental activists, farmworkers, and the migrants detained at our border. Drawing on intensive field research as well as her own personal story, Ramos chronicles how “Latinx” has given rise to a sense of collectivity and solidarity among Latinos unseen in this country for decades. A vital and inspiring work of reportage, Finding Latinx calls on all of us to expand our understanding of what it means to be Latino and what it means to be American. The first step towards change, writes Ramos, is for us to recognize who we are. – penguinrandomhouse.com

 

TV & Film

  • LATINO AMERICANS, available on PBS
  • Synopsis: LATINO AMERICANS is a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series. It was the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. – pbs.org

  • East Los High, available on Hulu
  • Synopsis: East Los High is a breakthrough Hulu Original that centers around romance, dance, and the struggle of a group of Latino teens living in East Los Angeles. East Los High was Hulu’s first series to feature an all-Latinx cast and crew. – hulu.com

  • True Colors, available on Peacock
  • Synopsis: An intimate and vivid portrait of the stories of successful Hispanics living in the United States. Enlightening audiences and showing their True Colors through a closer look at their beginnings, struggles, family, and close friends. – peacocktv.com

  • Selena: The Series, available on Netflix
  • Synopsis: Iconic Mexican-American performer Selena rises to fame as she and her family make sacrifices in order to achieve their lifelong dreams. – netflix.com

  • Roma, available on Netflix
  • Synopsis: Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón delivers a vivid, emotional portrait of a domestic worker's journey set against domestic and political turmoil in 1970s Mexico. – netflix.com

  • Coco, available on Disney+
  • Synopsis: An aspiring young musician named Miguel embarks on an extraordinary journey to the magical land of his ancestors. There, the charming trickster Héctor becomes an unexpected friend who helps Miquel uncover the mysteries behind his family’s stories and traditions. –disneyplus.com

Podcasts

  • Latino USA
  • Synopsis: Latino USA offers insight into the lived experiences of Latino communities and is a window on the current and merging cultural, political and social ideas impacting Latinos and the nation.– latinousa.org

  • Latina to Latina
  • Synopsis: In this interview series, host Alicia Menendez talks to remarkable Latinas about making it, faking it, and everything in between.– latinatolatina.com

  • Spanish Aquí Presents
  • Synopsis: (to be read in the voice of Pitbull) Raiza, Oscar, Tony and Carlos bring you the best of the best of lo mejor of Latinx comedy. Join them as they ask, ¿Que te Pica? (What’s itching you?), chat with their special guest, and wrap up the show with an improv set that’s muy fuego. DALE! – earwolf.com

  • Latino Rebels
  • Synopsis: Humor, commentary and analysis of the US Latino world. Engaging traviesos. – latinorebels.com

Other Resources

  • National Hispanic Heritage Month
  • September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic American Heritage Month. The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. – hispanicheritagemonth.gov

  • The Smithsonian Latino Center
  • The Smithsonian Latino Center empowers a greater understanding and deeper appreciation for the enduring contributions of Latinos to our country. It preserves a growing collection of diverse stories and experiences that reflect Latino presence in our history and culture, and convenes conversations, inclusively, about the stories and connections that continue to inspire generations to come. – latino.si.edu

  • The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture
  • Since 1989, the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures has delivered programs that stabilize and revitalize the US Latino arts and cultural sector via funding, leadership training, convenings, research, and advocacy. – nalac.org

  • LatinoJustice PRLDEF
  • LatinoJustice works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education.– latinojustice.org


Brightview Senior Living builds, owns, and operates award-winning vibrant senior living communities in eight states along the East Coast: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia. We offer senior Independent LivingAssisted LivingEnhanced Care, and Wellspring Village®, a specialized neighborhood for people living with Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Schedule a personal visit to experience our communities firsthand.

 


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