Southeastern Sims Library to host series on Latino Americans

Monday, February 1, 2016
by: Tonya Lowentritt

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Sims Memorial Library will host a free, six-week series on Latino Americans beginning Feb. 17.
     Offered in conjunction with the Tangipahoa Parish Public Library and the Hammond Regional Arts Center and titled “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History,” the series will feature two documentary film screenings with scholar-led discussions about the history of Latino Americans from 1946 to 1980. Lectures on Latino American arts, a reading for children, and a dance demonstration are also planned.
     Southeastern is one of approximately 200 libraries, museums, and art and historical associations across the country to host the programs, which will run through March 19. Eric Johnson, program coordinator and director of Sims Library, obtained a grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which made the programs possible.
     “’Latino Americans: 500 Years of History’ is a national grant initiative that provides DVDs of the documentary series shown on PBS, discussion guidelines, resource guides, and Web support,” said Johnson. “I decided to focus on the arts because of the excellent opportunities both in Hammond and in the greater New Orleans area, and to give the series a different focus from other programs across the country.”
     Instructor in Foreign Languages Marianna Kunow will serve as the project scholar, leading the video discussions and providing a reading at the parish library. Programs scheduled are at Sims Library unless otherwise noted and are as follows:
     •    Feb. 17:  “The New Latinos (1946 - 1963),” video and discussion, 6:30 p.m.
     •    Feb. 18:  “From Zorro to Machete: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood,” Dr. Jason Landrum, 2 p.m.
     •    Feb. 24:  ‘The Mexican Muralists and Chicano Variations,” Dr. Marianna Kunow, Hammond Regional Arts Center, 5 p.m.
     •    March 2:  “Prejudice and Pride (1965-1980),” video and discussion, 6:30 p.m.
     •    March 5:  Latin American Dance Demonstration, Javier’s Dance Company, Tangipahoa Library Ponchatoula Branch, 1 p.m.
     •    March 10:  “Chicano Rock and the Influence of Latino Music on Rock Stars,” Dr. Joe Burns, 2 p.m.
     •    March 16:  “Latinas on Broadway,” Eric Johnson, 12:30 p.m.
     •    March 19:  Children’s Reading, Tangipahoa Library, Hammond Branch, 1 p.m.
     “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” is part of an NEH initiative and The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square. The PBS documentary film series was produced by WETA Washington, D.C.; Bosch and Co. Inc.; and Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB); in association with Independent Television Service (ITVS).
     For more information about the series, contact Johnson at 985-549-3962 or via e-mail at

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