Today marks the first day of Latinx/e heritage month! The month runs through September 15th to October 15th. Most independence days for Latin American countries happen between this timeline. To be more specific, today’s festivities (however you celebrate) begin with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua’s independence from Spain.
My hope for this month’s celebrations is for the Latinx/e community to center Black and Indigenous voices, who are often pushed out of view during this month. Afterall, the essence of Latin American culture begins with Black and Indigenous people who have built our customs, developed the Spanish language, and formed our food traditions.
Here is my list for this year’s Latinx Heritage Month!
1. We Are Owed
We Are Owed by Ariana Brown just came out this summer! I have been very excited to read this book, and am hoping to finally get to it this month (my list of books is so long at the moment). Ariana’s book examines, “Black relationality in Mexican and Mexican American spaces“. Ariana Brown is a Black Queer Mexican poet currently residing in San Antonio, TX. Read more about Ariana here.
2. When My Brother Was an Aztec
By Natalie Diaz. Natalie was born in Needles, California in the Fort Mojave Indian Village. This book highlights Mojave life through the perspective of one family with the focus of a Brother who’s addiction influences the family’s dynamic. Read more about Natalie here.
3. Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien
By Alan Pelaez Lopez. Alan is an AfroIndigenous poet from Oaxaca, México. Intergalatic Travels: poems from a fugitive alein, is a book of poetry book of multimedia poems that assesses the experiences of growing up undocumented in the U.S. as an “alien”. Read more about Alan here.
4. Nepantla: An Anthology Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color
This anthology of queer poets of color developed by Christopher Soto has a range of poems to sift through- if you’re looking for more poets to your radar check out this anthology. Christopher Soto is a Salvadoran poet based in Los Angeles, California. Read more about Christopher here.
5. My Mother Was a Freedom Fighter
By Aja Monet. Aja is Afro Latina poet, storyteller, and organizer from Brooklyn, NY. My mother Was a Freedom Fighter is an “ode to mothers, daughters, and sisters—the tiny gods who fight to change the world”. Read more about Aja here.
6. Vital Signs
By Juan Delgado. Juan is a Mexican American poet from San Bernardino, CA. Vital Signs is a walk through Juan’s hometown (San Bernardino) and holds a story of a city that became forgotten – a city often presented as a city of high crime and poverty. Read more about Juan here.