Reviews and Blog Posts: immigrant experience

Plaza Voices: Remembering the Dead

With Halloween creeping up right around the corner, you’ve probably also seen the iconic skull (calavera) and skeleton decorations commonly associated with the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos. Did you know Día de los Muertos is a public holiday in Mexico, and did not always coincide so directly with Halloween celebrations? Prior to 16th century colonization, it was celebrated during the beginning of summer, its roots going back almost 3,000 years to traditional Aztec festivities.

Plaza Voices: Global Hip Hop

Although hip hop was formed during the late 1960’s in the Bronx and has roots in traditional Jamaican music, there is no doubt its influence has traveled across the globe. Nearly every country in the world brings its own unique flavor of rap, mixing and re-mixing old familiar elements with foreign. Swedish rap, anyone? Ultimately, hip hop music tells a story that is distinctly individual and yet also reflective of a greater narrative, which is part of what gives it such wide appeal (well, this and a great beat!).

Just like us [the true story of four Mexican girls coming of age in America]

by Helen Thorpe

Reviewer Rating:

The book can be a little hard to get through because there are some very strong political views expressed, not by the writer, but by both sides of the debate. You wish that things had been different for these girls, especially since it can be seen as if there fate...

Plaza Voices: Immigrant Bazaar - "Far from home...homemade goods"

Naghem S., a Plaza staff member, writes:

On Saturday September 19, 2015, the Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales Branch Library hosted the Immigrant Bazaar. Merchants from all walks of life showcased their beautiful homemade goods. Along with tasty food and a gorgeous late summer day, this event is one to be remembered for days to come. Sitting under tents and enjoying the energetic environment, vendors supplied customers with an extensive variety of food, art, clothing, jewelry, and film.

Plaza Voices: Celebrating Citizenship Day!

According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, 654,949 people were welcomed as citizens in 2014. On September 17th, Citizenship Day will commemorate this milestone for new Americans. Becoming a citizen in the United States is often a joyous experience for new immigrants who spend years studying for the naturalization test.

Plaza Voices: The Boulder County Latino History Project

Cover of "La Gente," available at DPL

According to the Pew Research Center, Colorado is home to 1,071,000 Latinos, including immigrants and their descendants as well as Colorado natives, whose families were here before Colorado was part of the United States.

Just so happens

by Fumio Obata

Reviewer Rating:

This is one of the most elegant, perfectly illustrated comics I’ve seen in a long time. I literally gasped at each page: Obata’s control with watercolor is masterful without being overstated and his minimal approach to color perfectly fits the story. If you're looking for a thoughtful break from mainstream...

Plaza Voices: Second Generation

Cover of Legacies: The Story of the Immigrant Second Generation

Of the many reasons people leave their home countries to start lives in a new place, "opportunity" has to be one of the most common.

The first generation makes the leap, leaving friends, family, and history behind. What happens to their children, the ones born here? What opportunities do they embrace, and what do they value?

Plaza Voices: Telling Our Stories

Cover of Purpose, by Wyclef Jean, available at DPL

Personal stories are fascinating. They enliven history, putting events into a context we can understand. They bridge the gaps between our own experiences and those of others, as we see common human concerns arise in circumstances vastly different from our own. More than anything, personal histories help us to empathize with people whose lives we may have never imagined.

Plaza Voices: Immigrant Women

Cover of Danticat's Behind the Mountains, available from DPL

March is Women's History Month, and a time to explore the experiences and contributions of immigrant women here in America.

Both the Migration Policy Institute and the American Immigration Council offer demographic information on immigrant women, detailing country of origin, occupation, and education level.

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