Monday January 25, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room
This event is intended for grade 9 - adult
This session is in English and will be presented in Spanish on Wednesday, January 27 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
Explore the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last five centuries when the Ann Arbor District Library presents Latino Americans: 500 Years of History. Created by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, this six-episode series features documentary film screenings and discussions at the Downtown Library.
Dr. Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, U-M Associate Professor of History and American Culture leads tonight’s screening and discussion. After the film, Dr. Hoffnung-Garskof will introduce the legal and political status of Puerto Rico, its inhabitants, and migrants to the mainland in the wake of the Cuban-Spanish-American War, making comparisons and drawing contrasts with the simultaneous experience of immigration from Mexico.
Tonight’s film is "Empire of Dreams (1880-1942)." Widespread immigration to the U.S. from Latin countries begins – first with a small group from Cuba, then a larger one from Mexico. Both flee chaos and violence in their home country and are attracted by opportunities in the United States. In 1898, the U.S. helps liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain but then seizes Puerto Rico as its colony. The first Puerto Rican arrivals (now U.S. citizens) establish a network in New York.
During the 1920s, immigration is encouraged with the expanding U.S. economy. Mexicans and Mexican Americans build a thriving community in Los Angeles and look forward to a bright future. But when the economic boom of that 1920s ends with the catastrophic Depression of the thirties, the pendulum swings. Immigrants encouraged to immigrate in the 20s are deported en masse in the 30s.
Puerto Ricans, also caught in the depths of the Depression, rebel against U.S. rule on the Island, and eventually gain Commonwealth status from the U.S. Government.
The Ann Arbor District Library is one of 203 sites nationwide to host this series, which has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The AADL series is also co-sponsored by Michigan Radio and the U-M Latina/o Studies Program and is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities In the Public Square. For more information about this AADL series, visit aadl.org/latinoamericans.