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.
I asked my father why he came to the United States. Below is his story, and essentially the beginning of my story, for if it wasn’t for my father’s sacrifice I wouldn't be here today to share this with you.
"At a young age, I always knew that I was going to be drafted into the Iraqi Armed Forces. It was a nightmare of mine because while I was proud and honored to serve my country, the president was an absolute dictator. To say “No” would mean death to me, my family, and everyone who ever knew me.
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.
What’s your favorite color? What color do you wear to feel good? What color brings you happiness? Maybe you have more than one favorite color and maybe you love all colors equally. Colors speak louder than words, especially if you don’t feel like talking.
I get asked this question almost every day, and a million reasons pop into my head. It’s my religion, it’s an act of worship, the hijab gets me closer to God, it’s my identity, and so forth. Yet the resonating voice, that soul-stopping and heart-pounding answer, is that my hijab is my freedom.
This past June, the Library of Congress announced that the new Poet Laureate of the United States will be California writer Juan Felipe Herrera. He is the first Latino author to hold the post. He was also the Poet Laureate of California from 2012-2015.
Herrera has been called "an American original," whose poems "champion voices and traditions and histories, as well as a cultural perspective, which is a vital part of our larger American identity.”
The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called music the "universal language of mankind," an old idea with some new scientific backing.
Music, like all languages, is constantly evolving, mixing ideas, identities, and cultures. Globalization and the internet have enabled more and more of us to listen to and create music that crosses the borders between languages, ethnicities, and nations.
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.
TheBiennial of the Americas, established by Governor John Hickenlooper in 2010 when he was Mayor of Denver, is a series of events, art exhibitions, workshops, and talks devoted to exploring the economic and cultural ties between countries in the Western hemisphere.
Heading into the July 4th weekend, it's good to remember that independence movements aren't ancient history--numerous countries have fought for independence during the past 100 years, and there are active separatist movements across the globe.