Latino Americans: 500 Years of History Series Part 6: "Peril and Promise (1980-2000)"

Monday March 21, 2016: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

This event is intended for grade 9–adult.

This film and discussion will be presented in English. This program will also be presented in Spanish on Wednesday, March 23.

Cristhian Espinoza-Pino, Lecturer IV in the Spanish Department and PALMA Faculty Advisor at the University of Michigan Residential College leads this screening and discussion of the film Peril and Promise (1980–2000). In the 80s, the nature of the Latino Diaspora changes again. From Cuba a second wave of refugees to the United States—the Mariel exodus—floods Miami. The same decade sees the sudden arrival of hundreds of thousands of Central Americans (Salvadorans, Guatemalans, and Nicaraguans) fleeing death squads and mass murders at home, including activist Carlos Vaquerano. By the early 1990s, a political debate over illegal immigration has begun. Globalization, empowered by NAFTA, means that as U.S. manufacturers move south, Mexican workers head north in record numbers. A backlash ensues: tightened borders, anti-bilingualism, state laws to declare all illegal immigrants felons. But a sea change is underway: the coalescence of a new phenomenon called Latino American culture as Latinos spread geographically and make their mark in music, sports, politics, business, and education. Gloria Estefan leads the Miami Sound Machine creating crossover hits in Spanish and English. Oscar de la Hoya, a Mexican-American boxer from L.A., becomes an Olympic gold medalist and the nation's Golden Boy. Is a new Latino world being created here as the Latino population and influence continues to grow? Alternatively, will Latinos in America eventually assimilate into invisibility, as other groups have done so many times?

Latinos present a challenge and an opportunity for the United States. America's largest and youngest growing sector of the population presents what project advisor Professor Marta Tienda calls The Hispanic Moment. Their success could determine the growth of the United States in the twenty-first century; however, their failure contributing to an underclass could also pull this country down. The key, according to Tienda and Eduardo J. Padron, Ph.D., President of Miami Dade Community College, is education.

The Ann Arbor District Library is one of 203 sites nationwide to host this series, which has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The AADL series is also co-sponsored by Michigan Radio and the U-M Latina/o Studies Program and is part of an NEH initiative, The Common Good: The Humanities In the Public Square. For more information on Latino Americans: 500 Years of History programs at AADL, please visit aadl.org/latinoamericans.

Co-sponsored by:
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