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“Mi Historia: Unificación de Culturas” Hispanic Heritage Month 2009

By Emily Gatzke

Section: Arts

October 15, 2009

This year, ¡AHORA! celebrated its 21st anniversary of Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), a month dedicated to the great contributions Latinos have made to our nation. This year’s HHM theme, “Mi Historia: Unificacion de Culturas” (My Story: Unification of Cultures), represents the many facets of our culture and commemorates unity of diversity. As such, we found it fitting to be chosen as the first ICC club to write an article for Diverse City. Through events encompassing this year’s theme, we enriched the Brandeis community by celebrating nuestra historia (our history), and also reflecting on nuestra cultura (our culture).

Our first event was held on Sept.14. The HHM Opening Ceremony featured Bobby González, a multicultural motivational speaker from New York. Señor Gonzáles traced Latino and Latin American history back through its origins of New World conquests. As he highlighted the key moments in our history, he reminded us of the positive enrichment by both Native American and European cultures, while equally depicting its animosity and misunderstandings.

On Sept. 17, we co-sponsored an event showcasing the 2009 Eleanor Roosevelt Speech given by Maria Hinojosa, a journalist “activista” who has worked with news outlets such as NPR and currently has her own show on PBS. Through inspiring words and witty persona accounts, Hinojosa encouraged us to find our own voices, as women, Latinos, or simply young people trying to make a difference or attain success in life.

On Sept. 26, AHORA co-sponsored a party, ABLAZE, with BBSO, that had a great turnout. More than 300 people attended to raise more than $700 for charity. The money is going to Montaña de Luz, an organization in Honduras that provides shelter and resources for children living with HIV/AIDS.

The Stein became a hub of Latino culture as two of the last official ¡AHORA! events were hosted there. The Latino Comedy Night on Sept. 30 featured Tom E. Morello, a Boston native and famed comedian, voted Comedian of the Year by the Latino Pride National Awards. Morello kept the crowd laughing and made everyone feel like a part of rich Latino culture with his witty and inciteful cracks at both Latino and American culture. The last event on Oct. 7, was a slam poetry night featuring Ol’ Soul, a Nuyorican Hip Hop Poet. The crowd enjoyed the smooth words and passionate ideas that emerged from his intense prose, and at some points, humor.

¡AHORA! is proud to announce that while Hispanic Heritage Month 2009 may be over, Latino-inspired events on campus are not! From Wednesday, Oct. 21 to Saturday Oct. 24, ¡AHORA! will be co-sponsoring, along with “Music Unites Us,” numerous events with Afro-Cuban artist Obbini Tumbao. Check out http://www.musicunitesus.info/world.html for more information, and for music clips and a video of the group in action. Or take a look at their official website at http://www.obbinitumbao.com/Obbini_Tumbao/Home.html.

Obbini Tumbao will be having the main concert on Sept. 24, a quick show on Thursday, Sept. 22, and will be holding open class workshops from Wednesday through Friday. On Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 5 – 6:30 p.m., the music group taught the basics of Latin American music to an open class. It was the perfect opportunity for those that wanted to have some experience before the amazing concert that Saturday.

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