lume 12, Number 15
March 24, 2014
This week we all have a great opportunity to help impact the future of films about Latinos. When César Chávez: An American Hero opens on March 28th, done merely attend, please take several friends and family with you. You will not be disappointed - and with the right success we will guarantee more Latino biopics and Latino themed movies will get made. Make history & see this film. See the articles below for more information.
Today's quote - for your inspiration comes to us from Demi Lovato's very interesting new book: Staying Strong 365 days a year:
"The simple things are the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them." ~ Paulo Coelho
If you find a quote you like let me know. I will be happy to send to our 10,200 plus Hispanic advertising and media executives and give you a plug for sending it!
Our Goal Latino Print Network's goal with each issue is for you to say at least once "Glad I learned that".
Another Great Event
A Movie About a Cause and a Legend
By Katharine A. Díaz
Labor leader César E. Chávez passed away in 1993 after a life's work of fighting for farmworkers' rights. Not only is César Chávez Day commemorated in several states and the César E. Chávez National Monument stands in his honor, now there comes a film about this legendary activist, Cesar Chavez, scheduled to hit movie screens on March 28.
Directed by Diego Luna, actor (Y tu mama también and Milk), director and producer (The Well), the movie stars Michael Peña (Walkout and American Hustle) in the leading role as Chávez; America Ferrera (Real Women Have Curves, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and TV's Ugly Betty) as Helen Chávez, the leader's wife; and Rosario Dawson (Alexander, Rent and Men in Black II) as Dolores Huerta, who co-founded the United Farm Workers union (UFW).
Filmmakers focused on crucial periods of his life during the 1960's that included the Delano march, the grape boycott, his first hunger strike and the coming to the bargaining table with landowners. Peña brings those moments to life with a sensitive portrayal of the labor leader that allows us to feel the personal sacrifices he made in his life. Peña shows us that Chávez had a quiet resolve and respect for all, even the bad-guy growers.
He also brings to life less-known incidences in the labor leader's fight. One such episode takes place during the grape boycott when Chavez travels to Europe to gain support for his cause and to block grape shipments sanctioned by the U.S. government intended for the European market. The scene in which he empties crate after crate of grapes off a bridge is all about sweet victory.
Dolores Huerta, as portrayed by Dawson, is ever present. Her important role in the struggle may not be clearly defined in the movie, but it's clear that she was by Chavez's side every step of the way. Dawson captures her inner strength.
Ferrera's portrayal of Chavez's wife gives us more insights into Chavez's character. Through her we see how he struggled to be a good husband and father and understand how his struggles were hers too.
Actual footage and news clips of the time are seamlessly woven into the movie. Even when paired with the scenery, costuming, props, and casting from the film production, you believe you are back in the 1960's.
Yet, the biggest sigh of relief comes not from the moment that news breaks that growers are willing to meet with the UFW, but for a production that is respectful of the great labor leader. That said, this dramatic biopic of one great Latino leader reinforces the urgency for many more. We need to all get out and support this movie because with its success there will be more. And perhaps the next one will be about Dolores Huerta, who continues the good fight.
Katharine A. Díaz is a freelance writer and author of the award-winning cookbook Sabores Yucatecos: A Culinary Tour of the Yucatán (WPR Books: Comida, 2012).
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA
AT SCREENING OF "CESAR CHAVEZ:
AN AMERICAN HERO"
THE PRESIDENT: Welcome to the White House. We are here to celebrate the life of an American hero. Cesar Chavez was a man who devoted this brief time that we have on Earth to making sure that this country lived up to some of its lofty ideals, the words of our founding, the idea that all of us are created equal -- a man who organized others to widen the circle of opportunity not just for the people he knew, but for future generations.
And some of those future generations are here today. Cesar's son, Paul, is here. (Applause.) There he is. I was looking for him. Some of his children -- some of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren are here. I did not have the honor of knowing Mr. Chavez, but I'd imagine that he'd be pretty proud to know that his granddaughter works in the White House. (Applause.) And not only does she know how to deliver an outstanding introduction -- (laughter) -- but she also does just an extraordinary job carrying on his work organizing people, but now all across the country, to engage on issues that are of importance to all Americans. And Julie just does an extraordinary job. We're so proud of her. So, thank you, Julie, for the great introduction. (Applause.)
A couple of other acknowledgements -- I want to acknowledge an outstanding Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) The great Dolores Huerta, our dear friend who co-founded the United Farm Workers along with Cesar. (Applause.) Rosario told me she was playing Dolores, and I thought I can see that -- there's the same fire. I did have to say Rosario is a little taller. Just a little bit. (Laughter.)
I want to thank the UFW's current president, Arturo Rodriguez, a great friend of ours. Thank you. (Applause.) And I want to thank Diego Luna and the entire cast of "Cesar Chavez." (Applause.) I told him I loved "Y Tu Mamá, También." But we can't screen that at the White House. (Laughter.) It's a great movie, but this is a little more family-friendly here. (Laughter.)
This movie, this film tells the story of a man guided by an enormous faith -- faith in a righteous cause and a loving God, and the dignity of every human being. And it reminds us how throughout our history that faith has been tested, and that it falls to ordinary Americans, ordinary people, to fight and restore that faith.
Cesar himself said that he spent his first 20 years working as an organizer without a single major victory. But he never gave up. He kept on going, and the world is a better place because he did. And that's one of the great lessons of his life. You don't give up the fight no matter how long it takes. No matter how long the odds, you keep going, fueled by a simple creed -- sí, se puede.
Sometimes people ask me -- in fact, while we were backstage, somebody said, oh, you look pretty good. You look better than I expected. (Laughter.) The implication being that there might be reason for me not to look good. (Laughter.) But part of what sustains me and part of what I've said in the past -- and some of you who have been in meetings with me when we've experienced setbacks or frustrations on particular issues -- I've tried to remind people change is hard. It doesn't happen easily. It doesn't happen smoothly or painlessly. It happens because you put your shoulder behind the wheel and you keep on pushing. And then, sometimes it's going to roll back a little bit on you. And then, you got to dig in and you've got to push some more.
And Cesar Chavez understood that. You have to push and you create this space. And sometimes you won't even see all the victories that are achieved, but you've invested that time and that effort, and you've inspired others. And, eventually, things change, and you pass the baton and future generations then continue this process.
So we've got a lot of causes that are worth fighting for. We've got to keep fighting to make sure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care. We were very persistent about getting that website fixed. It's fixed now. (Laughter and applause.) And we've got more than 5 million people signed up. But we've got two more weeks to sign them up. (Applause.) So cuidadodesalud.gov -- (laughter) -- get on the website, spread the word.
We've got to keep fighting to make sure that our economy rewards the hard work of every American with a fair and living wage and equal pay for equal work. We've got to keep working to fix our broken immigration system. This is an example of where this is hard, but we've made progress and we are going to get this done. This is going to happen. It's not a matter of if, just a matter of when. And I want it to happen now, so we are going to keep on pushing. (Applause.)
Mr. Chavez once said, "When you have people together who believe in something very strongly -- whether it's religion or politics or unions -- things happen." And today, we've got labor leaders and CEOs and faith leaders and law enforcement, and they've come together and they've said it's time to fix this broken immigration system. We've got Democrats and Republicans who have now passed in the Senate a comprehensive bill. And if we stay united, things will happen, things will get done.
None of us can claim to know exactly what Cesar would have said about this fight, or any other. But I do think he would want us to remember that the debates we have are less about policy than they are about people. They're about the lives of men and women, the young and not so young, who want nothing more than the chance to work hard, support their families, provide a future for their kids and their grandkids, earn their place in our American story. That's what this is all about. They're about our highest hopes and aspirations for this country that we love -- and the country that we leave for future generations.
As this film reminds us, that was the cause of Cesar Chavez's life, and I hope this afternoon it's going to inspire all of us in the causes that we have to fight as well.
The point is I'm going to watch it this weekend. (Applause.) Michelle and the girls are on their way to China. It's very lonely at home, so nothing better than to see an inspiring film. And I'm really looking forward to seeing a chronicled life of one of my heroes and one of the people who inspired me to get into the work that I've gotten into. So thank you for sharing it with us. (Applause.) God bless. (Applause.)
For Everyone Who Loves To Read
By Kirk Whisler
Twenty years ago there was barely any book publishers in the USA targeting topics of interest to the Latino market in either Spanish or English. A lot has happened since then and now hundreds of publishers are targeting books at and about Latinos. The Int'l Latino Book Awards have grown along with the market and this year's 231 Award Honorees are a reflection of that strength. Please see the article below on the growth of this industry segment.
2014 is an amazing year for books for Latinos - and the market's rapid growth is merely one reflection of how solid the market is. Latinos in the USA will purchase over $500 million in books in both English and Spanish. The bottom line is that books targeting Latinos are a growing segment because of the rapid growth of the market and the current gaps in relevant topics being presented.
The 2014 Finalists for the 16th Annual Int'l Latino Book Awards are another reflection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. This year's number of entries was 41% more than the previous record year. In order to handle this large number of books, the Awards had 123 judges, nearly double the number from 2013. The vast majority of the judges glowed about the quality of the entries. The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Amongst the 231 finalists are well known writers like Isabel Allende, Alma Flor Ada, Edna Iturralde, and Rick Najera. Other honorees include Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and celebrities like TV chef Pati Jinich, the late singer and actress Jenni Rivera, singer Linda Ronstadt and TV personality Lilliana Vasquez. Finalists are from across the USA and from 18 countries outside the USA.
In recognition of the quality and variety of books now available, Latino Literacy Now, the organization that oversees the Awards, is carrying out the 2014 Award Winning Author Tour. Displays of the Finalists books and Award Winning Authors will be presented at events like American Library Association Convention; CABE, the largest Latino teacher conference in the USA; the Chicago Latino Book & Family Festival; the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books; the NCLR Annual Conference; the San Bernardino Latino Book & Family Festival; and other key events.
The Awards themselves will be held June 28th in Las Vegas as part of the ALA Conference. The Awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, an organization co-founded by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler, and co-presented by Las Comadres de las Americas and Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos. Here's a complete list of the finalists.