Entertainment

Here Are The Most Anticipated Latino-Written Books Coming Out This Year

@janellemilanes / Twitter

Growing up, the only time we heard stories that resonated with us was reading that one Latino authored book during Hispanic Heritage Month. Thankfully, the number of Latin-American authors have skyrocketed since grade school.

Whether you’re searching for the next memoir to grip your heart, a work of fiction to expand your imagination or an anthology of poems to take in, we’ve got you. Here are the most anticipated Latino-authored books that have already been released, or are scheduled to be released in 2019.

“The Affairs of the Falcon” by Melissa Rivero

CREDIT: @melissarivero_ / Instagram

Peruvian author Melissa Rivero’s “The Affairs of the Falcon” marks her debut into the world of fiction. You can bet her experience as an undocumented immigrant living in Brooklyn seeps all the fear, dreams and determination into each page and each reader’s heart.

“Native Country of the Heart” by Cherríe Moraga

CREDIT: @thefeministreader / Twitter

Activist Cherríe Moraga is giving us a heart full of love and loss—from everything she learned about her mother’s immigration story from Mexico to the U.S. before she passed from Alzheimer’s to her lesbian coming of age story in a Mexican-American family. Moraga gives us it all.

“In the Dream House: A Memoir” by Carmen Maria Machado

CREDIT: @carmenmmachado / Instagram

Machado is taking us inside a world that is so evasive and difficult to describe: her experience in an abusive same-sex relationship. The way she places you smack dab in the emotional whirlwind of her past is pretty creative and worth reading.

“Mouthful of Birds” by Samanta Schweblin

CREDIT: @librarypoweruser / Twitter

Schweblin has been lauded by The New York Times as “the most acclaimed Spanish-language writers of her generation.” Her newest release is exquisite and bizarre in its own right. One Amazon reviewer described it as “Eerie, chilling, heartbreaking, thought-provoking. A must read.” You just have to read it to understand.

“Analee in Real Life” by Janelle Milanes

CREDIT: @janellemilanes / Twitter

Milanes does an incredible job of describing the rift of self between an online sense of self–confident, brave, and adventurous–and the reality of living with social anxiety out in the real world. The story of Analee Echevarria is something that every person immersed in technology can relate with.

“The Scandal of the Century: and Other Writings” by Gabriel García Márquez

CREDIT: @timhoiland / Twitter

While Márquez is best known for “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” he is famous for saying that he wants to be remembered for his journalism. This is the first ever complete anthology of Márquez’s journalism.

“Things We Lost in the Fire” by Mariana Enriquez

CREDIT: @annabookdesign / Twitter

Argentine Mariana Enriquez is the only person who could describe the grim realities of contemporary Argentina. This isn’t a feel-good read. Enriquez speaks truth to paper, entrenching her readers in the stark inequalities, the pervasive fear in a military dictatorship and how you go on living life.

“The Spirit of Science Fiction” by Roberto Bolaño

CREDIT: @penguinpress / Twitter

Set in Mexico City, this book has found a home with Spanish-language world. This will be the first time it meets the English speaking world thanks to a translation by Natasha Wimmer.

“With the Fire on High” by Elizabeth Acevedo

CREDIT: @acevedowrites / Instagram

Caption: “This is the story of Emoni Santiago, a teen mom who wants to be a chef but isn’t sure if following that dream is best for her family. This character arrived to me fully formed and whispering in my ear and on May 7th she will be in the world.”

“Superman: Dawnbreaker” by Matt de la Peña

CREDIT: @alexperc92 / Twitter

De La Peña is a New York Times bestselling author and Newbery award winner. Thanks to his pen, we now have the Superman edition of the DC Icons series.

“Dealing in Dreams” by Lilliam Rivera

CREDIT: @kima_jones / Twitter

Rivera’s debut novel, “The Education of Margot Sanchez,” would be hard to beat… until you meet Nalah. After she builds her own girl gang, she wants more and must cross borders to make all her dreams come true.

“Don’t Date Rosa Santos” by Nina Moreno

CREDIT: @christineexists / Instagram

Call this the Cuban Rom-Com you needed on paper. Nina Moreno is giving us the novela level of drama and love curses that Latinas can relate to.

“In the Dead of Night” by Linda Castillo

CREDIT: “In the Dead of Night” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

Bestselling New York Times author Linda Castillo is rereleasing an old murder mystery classic. Sara Douglas can’t seem to shake the nightmares from her parents’ murder and partners with the chief of police to get to the bottom of it.

“The Moscow Rules” by Antonio & Jonna Mendez

CREDIT: “The Moscow Rules: The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

The power couple that gave us Argo is now sharing their own personal accounts of working as CIA operative in Moscow during the Cold War. We’re just waiting for the film adaptation.

“The Daughter’s Tale” by Armando Lucas Correa

CREDIT: @amycnickless / Twitter

In a similar vein, “The Daughter’s Tale” tells the story of two French sisters who must escape occupied France during World War II and flee to Cuba. Correa has received many awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications and the Society of Professional Journalism.

“The Other Woman” by Daniel Silva

CREDIT: “The Other Woman (Gabriel Allon Series #18)” Digital Image. Barnes and Noble. 24 April 2019.

Daniel Silva places us in the south of Spain, circa the end of WWII, with an international mystery to unravel. Spies from both Russia, Israel and the U.S. all come together for a suspenseful plot twist on the Potomac River outside Washington state.

“The Wind That Lays Waste” by Selva Almada

CREDIT: @kglyder / Twitter

Selva Almada takes us to the Argentinian countryside to meet a father-daughter missionary duo traveling Argentina right before their car breaks down. As they spend the day with two strangers, Almada gives us the nuanced tensions and intimacies that evolve between four stranded people throughout the day.

“Lima :: Limón” by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

CREDIT: @Poetry_Daily / Twitter

Scenters-Zapico bears it all in this collection of stories that depict life between borders. We meet Mexican women living in the U.S. and Mexican women living in Mexico. We become intimate with the realities of domestic violence and machísmo; of the double standard in pain tolerance women are expected to bare. Her stories are urgent, grounding and chilling.

“Sabrina and Corina” by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

CREDIT: @mariposachula8 / Twitter

Fajardo-Anstine’s experience as an Indigenous Latina raised in white-washed Denver, Colorado is giving us the short stories we need. You’ll have to read “Sabrina and Corina” to find out their stories.

“Tell Me How It Ends” by Valeria Luiselli

CREDIT: @litinquiry / Twitter

Luiselli has expanded on her 2016 edition of “Tell Me How It Ends” because the obstacles facing undocumented Latino youth in America have significantly expanded. Luiselli humanizes these young people and the choice between violence charged with racism in America and gang violence back home.

READ: 24 Children’s Books You Should Read To Your Child Now

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

Entertainment

This Short Film Centers Around A Black Father Doing His Daughter’s Hair

When it comes to grooming a daughter’s hair, Black fathers haven’t been shy about expressing the difficulties that come along with the morning ritual. And Afro-Latino fathers are no exception. In Latinx communities with large Afro-Latino populations, having “good hair” is a label we all have to contend with. Young girls have a lot of pressure put on them to look put-together so, by extension, our families look put together. 

We all have memories of our mothers making sure our baby-bangs were smoothed down and our outfits were washed and pressed to perfection. 

Being well-groomed is so important to Afro-Latinos who face societal pressure to look perfect in order to combat bias.

Kickstarter

So, when fathers occasionally have to groom their children when their mother is unavailable, the pressure, needless to say, is on. We’ve all seen the genre of viral videos where fathers struggle to part, brush, braid and secure their daughters’ hair–obviously not previously aware of all the labor that goes into daily hair upkeep. Even celebrities have gotten in on the trend with men like Alexis Ohanian, husband to Serena Williams, joining “Natural Hair” groups on Facebook to learn more about their children’s rizos

Writer/director Matthew Cherry wanted to explore the topic of Black fathers doing their daughters hair, so he decided to make an animated short about it.

Kickstarter

According to Cherry, the short, titled “Hair Love” is about a Black father (who has locs himself) who does his daughter’s hair for the first time. “You know how guys are, a lot of times we’re hard-headed and we think we can figure everything out by ourselves without asking for help,” said Cherry during an interview. “[The father in the short] thinks it’s going to be an easy task but he soon finds out her hair has a mind of its own”. 

The father isn’t the only one who learns a lesson in self-confidence in the course of the film, though. In the end, the young girl also “comes into a level of self-confidence in the process” of her father learning how to do her hair. So, in other words, the entire film is an ode to self-love, family, and the priceless experience of bonding.

To finance “Hair Love”, Cherry created a Kickstarter campaign with the initial goal of raising $75,000. The campaign quickly caught the internet’s attention and became a viral phenomenon thanks to celebrity champions like Issa Rae and Jordan Peele. The $75,000 goal was quickly surpassed. All in all, the campaign raked in a total of $280,000–smashing Kickstarter’s short-film financing records. 

Cherry recruited Black animators like “Proud Family”‘s Bruce W. Smith and “WALL-E”‘s Everett Downing Jr. to help him make his dreams a reality.

As for Cherry, he’s candid about the reason he decided to explore the topic of Black hair and Black fathers: because mainstream media’s representation has left much to be desired. According to Cherry, not only did he want to shine a light on the labor of love that doing Black hair requires, but he wanted to highlight the relationships between Black fathers and their daughters. 

“For me, I just think it was really important to shine a light on Black fathers doing domestic things with their kids because mainstream media would lead you to believe that Black fathers aren’t a part of their kids’ lives”, Cherry said. “And there have been a lot of recent surveys that actually show otherwise–that show that Black fathers are just as involved in their kids’ lives as any other racial group”.

Now, “Hair Love” will be played ahead of “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters nationwide

Kickstarter

The nationwide release will provide a massive platform for an under-told story. Not to mention, it will provide Black children with their own images reflected back to them–something many of them haven’t seen before. Not to mention, the security of a theatrical release has made “Hair Love” officially eligible for an Academy Award nomination. 

As for Cherry, he’s over-the-moon about the opportunity for his project to be seen by millions of people. “To see this project go from a Kickstarter campaign to the big screen is truly a dream come true,” he said in a press statement. “I couldn’t be more excited for “Hair Love” to be playing with “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in front of a wide audience and for the world to see our touching story about a Black father trying to figure out how to do his daughter’s hair for the very first time.”

We’ll admit: we didn’t have plans to see “Angry Birds 2” in theaters before we knew about this. But now, you might just see us on opening night, standing in line for the movie right next to our fathers! Catch “Hair Love” before  “The Angry Birds Movie 2” in theaters on August 14th.

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

Culture

Video: This Is How People Reacted When They Heard A White Mom Tell Her Adopted Latina Daughter To Speak English

It seems like every other day there’s a new viral video of an old Trump supporter or a young white bro telling a Latinx person in the US to stop speaking Spanish. Recently, two elder women angrily ordered a Puerto Rican manager of a Central Florida Burger King to go back to Mexico when they overheard him speaking Spanish in a private conversation, while two Mexican-American women were detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection just for speaking Spanish at a Montana supermarket. The xenophobic and racist attacks, both verbal and physical, have made many feel like it’s dangerous to speak their own tongue or like an outcast for communicating to their parents or grandparents in the only language they know.

The English-only movement has further divided a country, with those ignited by the bigotry of the Trump administration unfoundedly threatened by just the sound of a person of color speaking another tongue and others who understand there is no official language in the US supporting the linguistic freedom and multiculturalism that allegedly makes the nation exceptional. 

On an episode of What Would You Do?, host John Quiñones confronts the schismatic topic. 

During the nearly 9-minute-long segment of the ABC series, a white mother tells her adopted Latina daughter to only speak Spanish and instructs her to order a hamburger instead of a traditional Latin American dish. Using hidden cameras to record the very common, but in this case staged, scenario, viewers get a peak of how ordinary people behave when they witness dilemmas that either compel them to intervene or mind their own business.

During the segment, Michele, the mother, and Isabella, the daughter, are grabbing a bite at a diner in Orangeburg, New York. The child asks the Latina waitress for arroz con leche, to which her mother responds, “Isabella, stop speaking Spanish. You’re American. That is not your language. What is wrong with you?” The first person to overhear, an elder white teacher, engages with the duo, telling Michele she doesn’t think she’s going about the situation “in the right way.” 

“She should be proud of her Spanish language, not to be made to feel like she’s doing something wrong,” she tells the mother. Later, she even advises the mom to learn Spanish and tells the young girl that Spanish is a beautiful language.

When Quiñones, himself a Texas-born Mexican-American, reveals his crew and asks why the woman intervened, she responded, “When it comes to children, I go from a mouse to a lion. I just don’t like anybody taking advantage of a child.”

In another scene, Isabela asks for arroz con pollo. Michele, visibly upset, scolds the girl. “Isabella, in English,” she demands. “I brought you here to give you a better life, and I want you to speak American.

This time, another teacher in a nearby table overhears and decides to offer Michele a quick lesson — in patience.

ABC

When Michele stresses that she just wants her daughter to speak English because they’re in the US, the teacher sympathizes with her. “I know. I’m a teacher, and I get it. But you’re not going to get anywhere demanding it, and you can’t get frustrated by it.”

She then turns to the girl and attempts to rationalize her mother’s actions. When Isabela asks the woman “do you think it’s wrong to speak Spanish,” she replies, “Not to mommy, because mommy doesn’t understand that. It’s good manners if you are with other people that don’t speak it, to speak English.”

When Quiñones pops out and confronts the patron, he asks her why she didn’t flat-out tell the mother she was wrong. The woman, who noted that Michele would have had better results honoring rather than attacking her daughter’s native tongue, said she was “getting very frustrated” and “was thinking maybe it was very bad,” but doesn’t know why she didn’t challenge Michele more on it.

In the next case, it’s a Puerto Rican diner who overhears the conversation. Not immediately making any comment, when Michele steps away, Isabela engages with the patron, who informs her she, too, speaks Spanish. “Yo hablo español,” she says, before asking if the young girl likes living in the US. “That’s good that somebody loving adopted you,” she says.

When Michele returned, she asks the woman if she agrees that her daughter should be speaking English instead of Spanish, to which she responds yes. At that moment, her partner, a white man, appears puzzled and chimes in: “You speak Spanish,” he tells his girlfriend. “I don’t make you speak English.” He then reacts to Michele, saying, “She [his girlfriend] speaks Spanish whenever she wants, and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

When Quiñones comes out, he asks why the couple reacted the way they did. The boyfriend didn’t agree with the mother, explaining, “that’s who she is. That’s part of her identity.” As for the girlfriend, who was more sympathetic to the mom, she disclosed the discrimination she and her family experienced as Latinas in their predominately white neighborhood speaking Spanish and hoped the girl wouldn’t share her same fate. “I was a little annoyed in a way,” she said, “… but I’ve dealt with that.” She continued: “my mother spoke no English, and I had many fights when I was a teenager, people who would make fun a lot of times.”

Finally, in the last performance, it’s a white woman who is married to a Greek immigrant who is shaken by the confrontation. Angry by the conversation she overhears, she checks in on Isabela the moment her mom steps away, asking the girl if she wants her to call someone for her own safety and soon after informing a manager of the situation and urging them to phone officials who could help the girl.

When the mother returns, the woman confronts her. 

ABC

“We’re foreigners, so I don’t really understand what you’re talking about.” After Michele responds, “I just want her to be more American,” the woman questions, “and just forget about where she came from?” She continued: “We’re from Greece. We would never forget where we come from.”

Michele suggests that it’s different because her daughter is from Mexico, to which the woman, furious, says, “so you guys don’t accept Mexicans in your family?”

She added: “This is a melting pot of thousands of different people. My husband is Greek and my kids will speak Greek.”

Quiñones, who appears in the midst of the argument, informs the patron that she is on a TV show. The woman, who says she’s glad it’s fake because she was about to punch Michele, reaffirms that the US is a country where everyone is supposed to be welcomed and could proudly speak with their language. 

Meeting the actress who played Isabela, the woman tells her, “You would have been coming home with me tonight, and you would have been speaking English, Spanish, and Greek.”

Watch the entire segment below! 

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