Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading a “banned” book!

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the culture and contributions of Hispanic Americans who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries.  In 1968 President Lyndon Johnson began the tradition with Hispanic Heritage Week.  It’s now a month-long celebration from September 15 to October 15th, and the dates include independence days for several Latin American countries as well as Columbus Day.

In 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a parish priest in Guanajuato, Mexico, called for Mexican independence from Spanish rule.  El Grito de Dolores is now celebrated across the Southwest on September 16th

But a month-long extravaganza isn’t long enough for Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary. Celebrations started on September 4th and will continue throughout 2010.  ¡ Que Viva la Fiesta!

Also falling within Hispanic Heritage Month, is the annual Banned Books Week, September 26th to October 3rd.  This celebration of the freedom to read has been sponsored by the American Library Association since 1982.

This year why not celebrate both events by reading (or re-reading) New Mexico’s own Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima.  It’s this year’s selection for a national reading program that highlights Latino literature and Latino authors which is sponsored by LatinoStories.com.  Bless Me, Ultima, first published in 1972, has won numerous awards, and was the People’s Choice winner at the New Mexico Book Awards in 2007.

 This Anaya classic is also number five on the top ten most frequently challenged books of 2008 as reported by the American Library Association. ¡Que disfrute el libro!





One thought on “Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by reading a “banned” book!

  1. No books have been banned in the USA for about a half a century. See “National Hogwash Week.”

    Also see “US Libraries Hit Back Over Challenges to Kids Books,” by Sara Hussein, Agence France-Presse [AFP], 6 September 2009.

    Given “American Library Association Shamed,” by Nat Hentoff, Laurel Leader-Call, 2 March 2007, I ask anyone reading this to explain why the ALA views book burnings, bannings, and jailed librarians in Cuba as NOT censorship, and why people legally keeping children from inappropriate material IS censorship.

    Why does the ALA not only refuse to assist jailed Cuban librarians, but go further and actually thwart efforts by others to assist them? Why should members of the public consider the ALA to be authoritative on the definition of what is censorship in local public libraries?

    Indeed, why should local libraries care one whit about an organization actively blocking efforts to assist jailed and beaten Cuban librarians and associated censorship and book burnings?

Comments are closed.