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What you should be reading and watching this Hispanic Heritage Month 

Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and talents of Hispanic Americans. First established 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, it was later expanded in 1988 to cover a 30-day period by President Ronald Reagan. 

The month honors Hispanic achievements and also celebrates the independence of various Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Chile. 

Another area of focus is celebrating Hispanic art and culture. Hispanic culture is diverse and vibrant, with each country bringing their own unique traditions and style. From literature to film and arts, Hispanic Americans have contributed greatly to American culture producing stunning and thought-provoking works. 

To honor Hispanic Heritage Month, here are a few books and films by Hispanic creators to celebrate and educate. 

Books to read this Hispanic Heritage Month 

For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts by Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez  

The founder of Latina Rebels and a “Latinx Activist You Should Know”(Teen Vogue) arms women of color with the tools and knowledge they need to find success on their own terms. — Google Books 

In For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts, Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez  offers wisdom and a liberating path forward for all women of color. She crafts powerful ways to address the challenges Brown girls face, from imposter syndrome to colorism. She empowers women to decolonize their worldview, and defy “universal” white narratives, by telling their own stories. Her book guides women of color toward a sense of pride and sisterhood and offers essential tools to energize a movement. 

Living Beyond Borders by Margarita Longoria

 In this mixed-media collection of short stories, personal essays, poetry, and comics, this celebrated group of authors share 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. 

A powerful exploration of what it means to be Mexican American. — Google Books 

Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz 

Winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, Natalie Diaz weaves together her Latina and Indigenous identity in a collection of tender, heart-wrenching and defiant poems that are an anthem against erasure of people like herself.

Postcolonial Love Poem is a timely piece that explores various aspects of identity and life as a Latina and Indigenous woman in America today and what it means to love and be loved in an America troubled by conflict and racial injustice.

Latinx Art: Artists, Markets, and Politics by Arlene Dávila  

 In Latinx Art Arlene Dávila draws on numerous interviews with artists, dealers, and curators to explore the problem of visualizing Latinx art and artists. Providing an inside and critical look of the global contemporary art market, Dávila’s book is at once an introduction to contemporary Latinx art and a call to decolonize the art worlds and practices that erase and whitewash Latinx artists. Dávila shows the importance of race, class, and nationalism in shaping contemporary art markets while providing a path for scrutinizing art and culture institutions and for diversifying the art world. — Google Books 

You might be interested: 10 Books by Latinx authors to read summer 2021 

Hispanic Cultural films to watch 

In the Heights – In the Heights is a celebration of Hispanic culture and community set against the backdrop of Washington Heights. The film weaves together the stories of various members of the community, telling a tale of love, family, friendship, and culture. 

Lights up for In the Heights, a joyous celebration of heritage and community fueled by dazzling direction and singalong songs.” —Rotten Tomatoes 

Coco – A movie for the whole family, Disney’s Coco tells the story of a young boy in a fictional Mexican village who dreams of becoming a famous musician like his idol. The moving coming-of-age story celebrates culture and family in a fun-loving, heartfelt tale about learning from our elders. 

Frida – Celebrating a cultural icon, Frida tells the bold and controversial life of artist Frida Kahlo. The biopic chronicles the artist’s life, starting in Mexico City, and explores her relationships, politics, and art in a poignant and moving film. 

 

The Graduates – This documentary mini-series explores the many issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States, shining a necessary light on the hardships Latinx students face. 

“These student profiles offer a first-hand perspective on the challenges facing many Latino high school students, including over-crowded schools, crime-ridden neighborhoods, teen pregnancy and pressure to contribute to the family finances.” — IMDB

The series can be viewed on PBS.

10 Books by Latinx authors to read summer 2021 

Summer is officially here! Which means it’s time to break out that summer 2021 beach-side reading list, right? If you’re struggling to find your next read, check out some of the latest and most anticipated 2021 books by Latinx authors below! Whether you’re looking for a fun piece of fiction to escape into, a poignant memoir, or self help and empowerment, there’s surely to be a book for you on this list of vibrant and diverse novels. 

summer 2021, summer reading,

Check out these books by Latinx authors released in 2021 and add them to your summer reading list. (Book photo created by freepik – www.freepik.com)

10 books by Latinx authors to read beach-side this summer  

Fiction

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia 

Cuban-Mexican author Gabriela Garcia’s debut Of Women and Salt takes place in present-day Miami, where Jeanette, who is battling addiction, seeks to learn more about her family history from her Cuban mother, Carmen, who is still wrestling with her own trauma of displacement. Eager to learn more about her family’s history and repair her relationship with her mother, Jeanette travels to Cuba seeking answers from her grandmother. Following five generations and taking place in several countries, Of Women and Salt examines the relationships between mothers and daughters.

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. What’s Mine and Yours by Naima Coster 

Naima Coster, the Afro-Dominican author of Halsey Street, delivers another stunning novel delving into issues of race, identity, family and legacy. Told through multiple points of view, What’s Mine and Yours centers on two families, one Black and one white, and how their lives become integrated and messy when a county initiative draws students from a largely Black town into predominantly white high schools. The story spans 20 years and centers on identity, family, and race, exploring the ways families break apart and come back together in a thought-provoking read. 

books by Latinx authors

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a sweeping fantasy of manners set in a world inspired by the belle époque. In a world of etiquette and polite masks, no one is who they seem to be. Part historical fiction, part fantasy and romance, this novel will surely sweep you off your feet and cast you off into a dizzying world of scandal, romance and fairytale. The Beautiful Ones is a charming tale of love and betrayal, and the struggle between conformity and passion, set in a world where scandal is a razor-sharp weapon. 

books by Latinx authors

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  1. One of the Good Ones by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite 

The highly anticipated novel One of the Good Ones, by Hatian-American sisters Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite, tackles issues such as police violence, racism, prejudice, and the impact of allyship, social justice, and sisterhood. Following  the death of Kezi Smith, a teen social activist, who is killed after attending a rally, her sisters Happi and Genny set out to honor her. But as Kezi is remembered as “one of the good ones,” Happi begins to question why only some people are worthy of sympathy. The book is a powerful exploration of the lasting impact of prejudice and what it truly means to be an ally in our current age.

books by Latinx authors

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  1. Thirty Talks Weird Love by Alessandra Narváez Varela 

Alessandra Narváez Varela’s debut book follows a 13-year-old girl in Mexico meeting her 30-year-old future self. Reminiscent of the film 13 Going on 30, and novels such as The House on Mango Street and The House of Spirits, Alessandra Narváez Varela takes us back in time to ‘90s Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, where young Anamaria battles what seems like depression and the mystery of stolen girls in her city. The novel teaches the importance of self-care and loving those around us in a beautifully written coming of age novel. 

Non-fiction 

books by Latinx authors

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  1. The Soul of a Woman by Isabel Allende 

From literary household name and New York Times bestselling author, Isabel Allende, comes a new book that has been described as “a bold exploration of womanhood, feminism, parenting, aging, love and more” (Associated Press).

The Soul of a Woman is reflection on feminism, power and family rooted in the Chilean writer’s upbringing and experiences. The autobiographical work seeks to answer the question: What feeds the soul of feminists – and all women – today? For her, it’s safety, value, peace, resources, connection, autonomy and love, but these battles haven’t all yet been won. The inspirational read aims to ignite a fire in younger generations to continue to carry the work of feminism forward.

books by Latinx authors

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  1. My Broken Language by Quiara Alegría Hude 

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes is well known for writing the book for the musical In The Heights, and now she’s sharing her story with My Broken Language. This memoir tells a coming of age story against the backdrop of a Philadelphia barrio and shares with us the beauty of her Puerto Rican family. Weaving together Hudes’s love of books with the stories of her family, this is an inspired exploration of home, memory, and belonging–narrated by an obsessed girl who fought to become an artist so she could capture the world she loved in all its wild and delicate beauty

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  1. Healing Leadership by Dr. Ginny Baro 

Author of the #1 Bestseller, Fearless Women at Work, Dr. Ginny A. Baro delivers her second book, exploring the secrets of healing leadership and recommends high-performance habits for improving self-leadership and developing a growth mindset and resilience.

Healing Leadership will transform the way you view your role as a leader, how you lead yourself and contribute to others. In this valuable guide based on in-depth experience, heartfelt stories and interviews with distinguished industry experts, Dr. Ginny A. Baro takes you on a delightful, thought-provoking journey to discover the critical leadership skills leaders must possess to overcome any challenges and thrive in a shifting world.​

You might be interested: Dr. Ginny Baro shares mindfulness practices for coping with Covid-19 stress

books by Latinx authors

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  1. Latinx Photography in the United States: A Visual History by Elizabeth Ferrer

Pieced together through more than 80 interviews, Elizabeth Ferrer introduces readers to Latinx portraitists, photojournalists, and documentarians and their legacies. She traces the rise of a Latinx consciousness in photography in the 1960s and ’70s and the growth of identity-based approaches in the 1980s and ’90s. Latinx Photography in the United States is the first book to offer a parallel history of photography, one that no longer lies at the margins but rather plays a crucial role in imagining and creating a broader, more inclusive American visual history.

(Image source: Amazon)

  1. We Are Here: Visionaries of Color Transforming the Art World by Jasmin Hernandez 

Confidently curated by Jasmin Hernandez, the dynamic founder of Gallery Gurls, We Are Here presents the bold and nuanced work of Black and Brown visionaries transforming the art world. Centering BIPOC, with a particular focus on LGBTQ+ visibility featuring queer, trans, nonbinary, and BIWOC, this collection features fifty of the most influential voices in New York, Los Angeles, and beyond. Striking photography of art, creative spaces, materials, and the subjects themselves is paired with intimate interviews that engage with each artist and influencer, delving into their creative process and unpacking how each subject actively works to create a more radically inclusive world across the entire art ecosystem. 

What are some of your current favorite books by Latinx authors? Share your recommendations in the comments below or on social media! Follow Latinas in Business on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.