September 2012 Archives

Hispanic Heritage Month: Carlos Fuentes

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Carlos Fuentes, 1987

Carlos Fuentes (November 11, 1928-May 15, 2011) was an internationally renowned Mexican Novelist. Fuentes is best known for his masterpiece The Death of Artemio Cruz (1962) and his international bestseller, The Old Gringo (1985). Fuentes was born in Panama. His parents were Berta Macias and Rafael Fuentes, a member of the Mexican diplomatic corp. His father's diplomatic career kept the family moving from country to country in South America. Fuentes started writing in 1940 after the family was transferred to Chile. In 1936, the family was relocated to Washington DC where Fuentes learned to speak fluent English. As a young man, Fuentes studied law in Switzerland and Mexico. His father encouraged him to write but insisted that he also pursue a career in law. After completing his law degree, Fuentes entered the diplomatic corps of Mexico but continued writing in his spare time. His first novel, Where the Air is Clear, was published in 1958. The novel was well received by critics and readers and established his literary reputation. From this point on, Fuentes left the diplomatic corps and devoted his time to writing. Fuentes writings often use the backdrop of history to deal with themes of love, death, and memory. Fuentes received numerous literary awards, including the National Order of Merit (1992), the Cervantes Prize (1987), and Spain's Prince of Asturias Award for Literature (1994). To view works by Carlos Fuentes at Milwaukee Public Library, please click here.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Ruben Blades

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9.29.12.RubenBlades.jpgRuben Blades is an internationally popular salsa singer, songwriter, actor, politician, and political activist. Blades was born July 16th, 1948 in Panama City, Panama. Blades first love was music but he studied law, earning a law degree from the University of Panama in 1972. While earning his law degree, civil unrest broke out in Panama and his school was shut down for a period of time. In 1970, during this hiatus, Blades recorded his first album, De Panama a Nueva York: Pete Rodriguez Presenta a Rubén Blades. The album did not sell well and Blades returned to his law school studies. After the completion of his law degree, Blades worked as an attorney and performed music as a side interest. The Blades family relocated to the United States in 1973. Blades started his musical partnership with salsa musician Willie Colon in 1976. In 1978, they released Siembra. This album featured the international classic, "Pedro Navaja." Blades's music is known for its socially conscious lyrics and complex arrangements. Blades is known for his political activism and political career. Blades ran for the office of the President of Panama in 1994 on the ticket of the party that he co-founded, the Papa Egoro party. Blades came in 3rd place with 20% of the vote. In 2004, Blades was appointed Minister of Tourism in Panama and he continues his involvement in international activism for human rights. Blades's acting career began in 1983, in the Last Fight, where he starred as a boxer who also sang. Blades has gone on to appear in many Hollywood films. Click here to view Blades's items at Milwaukee Public Library.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Tania Leon

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9.28.12Tanialeon.jpgTania León (b. May 14, 1943) is a Cuban-born conductor, composer, pianist and teacher. She was the first music director of the Dance Theater of Harlem, staying with the company from 1968-1980 and music director for the Broadway hit The Wiz. A guest conductor for orchestras across the United States and Europe, her work has been performed by China National Symphony, and the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra. In 1994 León wrote Scourge of the Hyacinths, an opera based off of a play by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka. León has taught at Harvard and Yale, and is an advisor to numerous arts organizations.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Leo Manzano

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9.27.12.LeoManzano.jpgLeo Manzano was born in Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato Mexico on September 12, 1984. Manzano moved to the United States with his family when he was 4. He was raised in Granite Shoals Texas, where he became a nine-time state track and cross country champion. Manzano was the first in his family to graduate from high school. He earned a track scholarship to the University of Texas, where he became a five-time NCAA champion and an 11-time NCAA All-American. He made his Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008. Though he went away from Beijing without a medal he was determined to try again. In 2012, he returned to form and won the 1500 m titles at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships and 2012 United States Olympics Trials. In the 1500 m Final at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Manzano unleashed his signature kick to claim the silver medal. Manzano is the first American to medal in the 1500 m since 1968, breaking a 44 year drought for the U.S. men's middle distance running.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Jovita Idar

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9.26.12.JovitaIdar.gifJovita Idar (1885-1946) was a journalist and an activist for the civil rights of Mexican Americans. Idar was born into a family of journalists in Laredo, TX. In 1903, Idar earned her teaching degree from the Holding Institute, a Methodist school. Idar taught kindergarten at Los Ojuelos, Texas but later resigned when she felt that she could not change the poor conditions under which her students lived. In 1911, Idar served as the first president of the League of Mexican Women. The League's mission was to provide improved and free education to impoverished children. After Idar resigned from teaching, she began writing for her family newspaper, La Crónica, edited and published by her father Nicasio Idar. Idar's articles critiqued the economic and social discrimination Mexican Americans faced. Idar also wrote articles supporting the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). In 1913, Idar traveled to Mexico to help nurse the wounded and later joined the White Cross (La Cruz Blanca), an organization similar to the Red Cross. After returning to Texas, Idar worked on the El Progreso newspaper. When the newspaper printed Idar's editorial protesting President Wilson's decision to send US troops to the border, Texas Rangers attempted to shut the paper down. Idar blocked the door to the newspaper and refused to allow them entry. However, the Texas Rangers were later successful in closing the newspaper down and Idar returned to working at La Crónica. Idar ran the La Crónica after her father's death in 1914. Idar also continued her political activism, becoming an active member of the Democratic Party and opening a free kindergarten.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Pancho Villa

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Pancho Villa bandolier crop

Francisco "Pancho" Villa (1878-1923) was a charismatic and controversial Mexican Revolutionary War general who championed the poor during a time when Mexico was controlled by the wealthy land-owning class. Villa was born Doroteo Arango to a peasant family in Durango, Mexico. He changed his name to Francisco Villa, after a legendary early nineteenth century Robin Hood figure. Villa began as a bandit, robbing banks and trains. He then joined the revolutionary army against Mexican President Porfirio Diaz. After leading a winning attack to capture the important border city of Ciudad Juarez, Villa was promoted to the rank of colonel. Diaz was overthrown and a new president elected democratically. After a period of tranquility, Villa was once again called to service for his country, this time serving under Victoriana Huerta. Huerta had his own motives and soon accused Villa of insubordination and took control of the country as Villa was imprisoned for two years. Villa escaped with the help of his tutor and gathered over 10,000 troops in what was called his División del Norte. Huerta was finally forced to relinquish his hold on Mexico when Villa captured Zacatecas, Huerta's last stronghold on July 15, 1914.

This marked the last great victory for Villa. After losing out to another revolutionary general for political power in the country, Villa's fall from power was nearly complete. He and his few remaining men hid out in the Sierra Madre staging attacks on U.S. soil as well as against current Mexican President Carranza. After the death of Carranza, Alvaro Obregon was elected President and decided to make peace with Villa by offering a general's pension and a track of land called Rancho del Canutillo. Villa lived there with his family, wife Maria Luz and two children, until he and four bodyguards were gunned down by unknown assailants in 1923. Villa is revered by some and viewed by others as a brutal and ruthless outlaw. What is not disputed is his military prowess and his impact on Mexican history. His life has inspired songs, folktales, films, and stories. See Milwaukee Public Library's books and films about Pancho Villa here.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Gabriel Garcia Marquez

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Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Gabriel Garcia Marquez is a Columbian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist. He is best known for magical realism novels. Garcia Marquez was born in 1927 in Aracataca, Columbia. He began his career in journalism while studying law at the University of Cartagena. His first novella was published in 1955 and several other works soon followed. He achieved international fame with the novels Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, a classic of twentieth century literature. Garcia Marquez was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982 and was the first Colombian and fourth Latin American to win the award. Garcia Marquez has been recognized as one of the most remarkable storytellers of the 20th century. Click here to view a complete list of Garcia Marquez's works available at Milwaukee Public Library.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Francisco J. Ayala

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9.23.12.Francisco.Ayala.jpg9.23.12.Francisco.Ayala2.jpg Francisco Ayala (b. 1934) is a Spanish-American evolutionary biologist and a geneticist at the University of California, Irvine. Ayala is best known for his research on evolutionary genetics and his philosophical stance that there that there is no inherent contradiction between science and religion. Ayala became a citizen of the United States in 1971. He has served as the president and chairman for the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2001, Ayala was awarded the National Medal of Science. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Templeton Prize. Ayala donated the 1.42 million dollar prize to charity.

Ayala had published several books including Am I a Monkey?: Six Questions about Evolution, Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion, and On Being a Scientist. Click here to view Ayala's works available at the Milwaukee Public Library.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Cristina Saralegui

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9.22.12.CristinaSaralegui.jpgCristina Saralegui is a Cuban American journalist, actress and talk show host. Saralegui was born in Havana, Cuba, on January 29, 1948 to a wealthy family. They fled to Miami's Cuban exile community in 1960 when Cristina was 12 years old. She attended the University of Miami, majoring in mass communications and creative writing. She got her start in the media world as an intern Vanidades Continentel. She worked for many magazines until 1979 she was named Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan-en-Español. In 1989 she was given an opportunity to become executive producer and host of her own television shoe, El show de Cristina. The show, show which became known for discussing controversial topics was a hit and won an Emmy Award in 1991. She even launched her own magazine Cristina la revista ("Cristina the Magazine"). Though Saragelui's talk show went off the air in 2010 after 21 years, she successfully transitioned into the business world with her company Cristina Saralegui Enterprises, Inc. She has her own lines of furniture and clothing and operates her own television production facility. In 2005 she was named one of the "25 Most Influential Hispanics in America" by Time magazine, and received the Corporate Leader Award from the National Network of Hispanic Women.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Ritchie Valens

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9.21.12.RitchieValens.jpgPhoto by Salina Cavinzales

A pioneer of both rock and roll and the Chicano rock movement, Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) is one of the more tragic figures of early rock. Ritchie began to play music at a young age, teaching himself to play the guitar and also the drums. Ritchie earned a recording contract at the age of sixteen, exemplified by his two greatest hits: "La Bamba" and "Come On, Let's Go", the former being a Mexican folk song blended with rock and roll sung entirely in Spanish. Ritchie's recording success and blossoming popularity led him to appearances on TV and film, eventually leading to a music tour in the Midwest with Buddy Holly and "The Big Bopper". This tour would tragically end in a plane crash that took the lives of Ritchie, Holly, and the Bopper, known as "The Day the Music Died". While his recording career lasted only eight months, Ritchie's music serves as inspiration for a multitude of musicians to this day, a lasting legacy in song and melody. For those interested in his music, the library contains many of Valens' albums.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Dara Torres

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9.20.12.DaraTorres.jpgPhoto by Bryan Allison [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Dara Torres is one of the most decorated competitive swimmers in Olympic history. Torres was born April 15th, 1967 in Beverly Hills, California. Torres attended high school at the Westlake School for Girls where she set California Interscholastic records as a member of the Westlake Swim team. Torres continued her swimming career at the University of Florida at Gainesville. Over the span of her career, she has won twelve medals and competed in 5 Olympics (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, and 2008.) Five of her medals, including two gold medals, were won at the 2000 Summer Olympics. Torres retired from Olympic competition when she placed fourth in the 50 meter freestyle in the 2012 US Olympic Trials. She remains the first and only swimmer from the United States to compete in five Olympic Events.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Roy Benavidez

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9.19.12.Roy.Benevidez.jpgMaster Sergeant Roy Benavidez (August 5, 1935 - November 29, 1998) was born on a farm near Cuero, Texas. He lost both parents before the age of 8. At the age of 19 Benavidez joined the US army. In 1965 he was sent to South Vietnam where he was wounded during a patrol, doctors told him he would never walk again. Despite serious injury to his spine, Benavidez walked out of the hospital in July 1966 and returned to Vietnam. He heard a call from 12 men under attack from the North Vietnamese Army, he volunteered to go with one of the helicopter pilots to rescue the soldiers. Armed only with a knife and bag of medical supplies he jumped from the helicopter to join the trapped soldiers. Through his actions and his refusal to be stopped and despite numerous severe wounds, he saved the lives of at least eight men. For his heroism he received two purple hearts and a Distinguished Service Cross. On February 24, 1981, President Ronald Reagan presented Roy P. Benavidez the Medal of Honor. After retiring from the military he worked to defend disability benefits for wounded soldiers and devoted his remaining years to speaking to children about the importance of staying in school and getting an education.
Books by Master Sergeant Benavidez are available at Milwaukee Public Library. Click here to view the titles.


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Hispanic Heritage Month: Eddie Guerrero

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9.18.2012.EddieGuerrero.jpg
Photo by paddynapper via Flickr
"Viva la Raza!" was often the battle cry of Eddie Guerrero, one of professional wrestling's greatest stars. Born October 9th, 1967 into the second generation of the Guerrero wrestling dynasty, Eddie was the youngest of his tights-wearing brothers. His career would take him all across the globe, grappling in Mexico, Japan, the United States, and beyond. His hard work, technical skill, and charisma took him far, winning over twenty wrestling championships in his 18 years in the ring. As part of his character, he lied, cheated, and stole his way into the hearts of millions of wrestling fans, becoming the second Hispanic wrestler to win the World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Championship. Tragically, Eddie would pass away from heart failure at the height of his popularity in 2005. Posthumously inducted into both the WWE and AAA Hall of Fame, his legacy is felt through the impact he had on his fellow wrestlers, his family, and the wrestling business itself.
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Hispanic Heritage Month: Yuyi Morales

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9.17.12.YuyiMorales.jpgYuyi Morales is an award winning children's author and illustrator. Born in Xalapa, Mexico, Morales moved to the United States with her husband and young son in 1994. Missing her family and feeling isolated due to language barriers, Morales sought refuge in art. Drawing had been a hobby since childhood but had not been pursued professionally. As her son began learning English with children's picture books, Morales also learned the language and discovered the exciting possibilities of being a children's book illustrator. Her first illustrations for an English-language book were for Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez. An immediate hit, her work was said to be organic and beautifully rendered. Morales then moved on to writing as well as illustrating in her next title, Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book. Morales has won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award twice, an award which honors "Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays and celebrates Latino cultural experience in a children's book." She is the author of numerous other works that can be found in the library's catalog here.


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Smithsonian's Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour

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9.16.12.Smithsonian.jpgIn celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Smithsonian Institute is featuring an online, interactive Hispanic Heritage Cultural tour highlighting objects, stories, and people who bring to life the history and culture of Latinos in America. Audio clips from experts describe the objects in the cultural tour and firsthand accounts on how these objects were used are provided. The tour includes an activity section that will appeal to parents and educators.

Smithsonian Institute Hispanic Heritage Cultural Tour: http://heritagetours.si.edu/hhm.html


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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

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9.15.12.HispanicHeritageMonth.jpgToday marks the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month. In 1968 President Johnson established National Hispanic Heritage Week to recognize and celebrate the cultures of Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean, and Spanish-speaking regions and countries of Central and South America. The week long event was expanded to 30 days in 1988 by President Reagan and National Hispanic Heritage Month is now celebrated annually from September 15- October 15. The month begins on September 15th to recognize the independence anniversaries of several Latin American Countries. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua all declared independence on September 15, 1821. Three additional countries celebrate their independence in September: Mexico on September 16th, Chile on September 18th and Belize on September 20th. Over the course of the month, a different event, individual or resource will be highlighted on the Now @MPL blog in celebration of Hispanic heritage.


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Come Meet Zane @ Centennial Hall This Wednesday!

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index_zane.gifZane, bestselling author, editor and publisher of urban fiction, will talk about her latest book, Z-Rated: Chocolate Flava 3, the third installment in Zane's New York Times bestselling series. Zane is the author and editor of dozens of titles and is the publisher of Strebor Books. Her television series, Zane's Sex Chronicles, is broadcast on Cinemax and her bestselling novel, Addicted, has been adapted for a major motion picture. She lives in the Washington, DC, area with her family. Her popular website is www.eroticanoir.com.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Book sales and signing will follow the program. Parking meters are free after 6 p.m. Sponsored by Boswell Book Company. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.


Date: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Time: 6:30 P.M. to 8 P.M.
Location: Centennial Hall of the Milwaukee Public Library


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Noche de Arte at Central Library!

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Sanchez_Diana_Work.jpgPhoto by Diana Sanchez

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 - October 15) Milwaukee Public Library is pleased to present local artists Diana Sanchez and Ishshah Sua Teran for a Night of Art / Noche de Arte on September 18th!

Noche de Arte
Tuesday, September 18th
5:30-7pm, Remarks by the artists at 6:00pm
Rare Books Room, Central Library 814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Each artist will display a several examples of their work and discuss their artistic development and the meaning of the pieces. The art will be on display at Central Library until October 15.

Sanchez's work researches, through photography, the complexity of spaces where humans and animals meet. Teran's jewelry examines nature's models, systems, and elements.



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Well_dressed_pole_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1657285.jpgThe Bay View Kinnickinnic Knitters is a knitting circle dedicated to expanding knitting skills through the participation of knitters of all experience levels. Bring any knitting project along with you the first Wednesday of the month for conversation and camaraderie among knitters. Tap into the knitting resources the library has to offer.

Location: Bay View Library
Date: Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 See calendar for more meetings.
Time: 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.


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