Some fantastic films, books and podcasts to enjoy, in honor of Latinx Heritage Month.
Qué tal familia? Happy Latinx Heritage Month!
Every year September 15 – October 15th, is federally recognized as “National Hispanic Heritage Month.” You may have noticed, that I chose to use the term “Latinx” instead of Hispanic.
“Latinx” has entered the cultural lexicon fairly recently, and has been on fire with controversy ever since. It is an inclusive term, that removes the rigid gendering of the term Latino/a, opening it up to members of the community that do not identify as male or female, simultaneously sidestepping the inherent preference the language gives to the “masculine” over the “feminine.”
There is a lot of controversy and debate about the term, but what is certain is that the language we use and hear, undeniably shapes our views and attitudes about the world and ourselves, so it’s important to determine the appropriate language to use, especially when describing people and their identities.
This is a relatively complex subject, so I will be releasing two-part Latinx Heritage Month post. The follow up to this, will unpack the terms: Latinx, Hispanic, race vs. ethnicity, and how the census is inextricably linked to Hispanic and Latin American identity. Stay tuned mis amigos y amigas.
In the meantime, I’d like to share some of my and my Venezuelan/Puerto Rican partner’s, favorite pieces of art that come from Latinx creators or represent the Latinx community.
Roma is a BEAUTIFUL and moving, Oscar-winning film, unlike anything you’ve seen before, I’d guess. It’s intimate, artistic, and authentic, placing you right inside the recreated childhood home of Director, Alfonso Cuarón.
It’s pace is intentionally slow, life-like, almost hyper-realistic. If you can get past that, and open yourself up in an emotionally vulnerable state of mind, you will absorb the love, pain and mystery that the film portrays of the experience of childhood and family.
Available to stream on Netflix.
Madre Nuestra, Que Estás en Maracaibo
by Ana Hurtado on Levar Burton Reads
Levar Burton Reads is one of my favorite Podcasts. It has Levar Burton and he reads! What more can you ask for? I’ve heard dozens of extremely captivating short stories from this, some that will stick with me for years. His most recent episode, fits perfectly into celebrating Latinx heritage.
Madre Nuestra, Que Estás en Maracaibo is about a woman named Ysenia, who moves back home to Maracaibo, Venezuela to take care of her family, including her Grandmother suffering from dementia and is growing more ill everyday. She discovers her Grandmother’s interesting past of praying to the lost souls in purgatory, who the come back to haunt her…
Check it out here or find it on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.
Tell Me How It Ends
Valeria Luiselli, tells her own story of traveling to the U.S.-Mexico border, to conduct intake questionnaires of migrant children, just arriving in the United States.
Written in 2015, one year before Trump takes office, it eerily foreshadows the many atrocities that would follow in the subsequent years. It’s even more relevant today, as she provides insight on the process of immigrating or seeking asylum in the U.S., the insanely complex system of hurdles and redundancies, migrant families face seeking a better life, and captures the perspective of the children thrust into these dangerous and unforgiving situations.
Available for $9.64 on AbeBooks.com
Seis Manos is muy badass.
Set in the fictional town of San Simon, Mexico, we follow three friends who are being trained in Martial Arts, until… SOMETHING HAPPENS (*no spoilers here).
Don’t let the animation fool you, this is NOT FOR KIDS. Put the niños to bed for this one, it’s violent and GORY, yet tasteful, colorful and warm. It’s essentially a “Mexican Anime,” that wonderfully blends Chinese culture and martial arts, with Latin American culture in a fun, exciting and compelling story.
I highly recommend to animé and action fans looking for something fresh. Season 1 is out now, Season 2 is rumored to be released some time soon.
Available to stream on Netflix.
El Tecolote is an awesome, bilingual newspaper, that represents the Latinx and greater BIPOC community.⠀Based in the Mission District of San Francisco, they just celebrated their 50th Anniversary of bringing quality news and journalism to the community, and providing important representation of issues, that are routinely overlooked by major news outlets.
I’ve had the privilege of writing for them in the past. They featured my article on, The Asian American Role in BLM, in an edition from July, 2020.
It’s imperative to support local newspapers that bring up-to-date and truly vital information, to the communities that it directly impacts the most, now more than ever. Additionally, support journalism that highlights people of color, minorities and caters to other languages, to include the full span of stories and issues happening in the world that ultimately affect us all.
Find El Tecolote’s articles, art and much more great content, on their website eltecolote.org. Their latest September issue, here. Also available in print, throughout many businesses and shops in the Mission District of San Francisco.
- Breonna Taylor’s killers have NOT received justice. Attorney General, Daniel Jay Cameron, chose to not charge officer Brett Hankinson for murder. WE CAN NOT LET THIS STAND. Contact Kentucky State offices to remove Daniel Jay Cameron and VOTE this November for leaders who oppose the cruel agendas of people like him and his mentor, Mitch McConnell.
- Disturbing news of ICE performing involuntary hysterectomies has surfaced, sign the petition here and write your elected leaders to officially abolish ICE.
- COVID-19 is still here, please wear a mask.
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