Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month 2018

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15 to October 15

Each year from September 15 to October 15, the United States officially observes Hispanic Heritage Month to recognize the contributions of Americans whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. National recognition of Hispanic Heritage Week began under President Lyndon Johnson in 1968 and was expanded to a month by President Reagan in 1988. September 15 was chosen as the start date of the month-long celebration since numerous Latin American countries celebrate their independence days on this date and throughout the month.

As a Latinx woman, historian, and librarian, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the contributions and sacrifices made by my family, friends, and local community. In San José, I feel like the younger generations have forgotten about the rich history of Latinx people in the Santa Clara Valley. The good news is that we have an abundance of Latinx historical resources at the San José Public Library and all around our wonderful city.

Recently, as I have started to explore my personal history and city, I now understand and appreciate the immense contributions made by the Latinx community within the Santa Clara Valley. A good resource for local Latinx History are the California Room at the King Library and Mexicans in San Jose, a work compiled by local authors and scholars Arturo Villarreal and Nannette Regua that documents the early roots, culture, and the organizing efforts made by Cesar Chavez and other local Chicano activist groups throughout the 20th Century. In addition, the Cannery Life online exhibition curated by History San Jose documents the important role Latinx cannery workers played in their families & our local community.

Most importantly, in trying times like these, Hispanic Heritage Month is a call to action, a time where our local and national Latinx communities can come together and map out a vision for a more inclusive and equitable community both within the City of San José & the nation.

Written by SJPL Librarian, Frankie de Vera

Hispanic Heritage Month Special Events & Programs

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), the San José Public Library will offer dynamic special events and a variety of programming including author discussions & book signings, dramatic performance arts, film screenings, and arts & crafts.

Special Events

author Victor VillasenorVictor Villaseñor - ​​​The Burro Genius Story: How to access the Genius in Yourself

The New York Times best-selling author will passionately discuss his personal challenges as a Latino youth, and how he overcame and recreated himself includes discussion & book signing. Sponsored by San José Public Library & San José State University.

  • Thursday, October 11, 2018, 5:30 - 7:30 PM in King Library, Room 225 (2nd Floor)

cover of Mexicans in San Jose by Arturo VillarrealMeet the Author: Arturo Villarreal

Meet Arturo Villarreal, co-author of Mexicans in San José! He will share some local history from his 2018 new book, Jose Manuel Gonzales: Apache Mayor of San José.

Cuentos de Peregrinacion artwork - Woman, Butterflies Flying, Man with a HatCuentos de Peregrinación

Cuentos de Peregrinación (Tales of Pligrmage) is a opera-cycled composed by Héctor Armienta & produced by San José-based Opera Cultura that passionately tells celebrates the stories of immigrants. This event will include an art workshop & exhibition by Roberto Romo (1:00-3:00 PM), live singing by soprano, Alexandra Anderson, and screening of a recorded performance followed by a discussion.

Additional Programs

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