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Friday, October 16, 2015

“Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” Continues Saturday with Dr. Francisco Balderrama and “Empire of Dreams” Screening

Latino Americans 500 Years of History pics01

Saturday, October 17th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Barbara J. Pearson Community Room of the Main library, Altadena Library District continues its Latino American Grant award programming with a six-part, NEH-supported documentary film, “Latino Americans.” Created for PBS in 2013 by the WETA public television station, the award-winning series chronicles the history of Latinos in the United States from the 16th century to present day.

With special guest Dr. Francisco Balderrama, Professor of History and Chicano Studies at Cal State University, Los Angeles, Dr. Balderrama will open the program by speaking about the repatriation issue and will lead audience discussion and answer questions following the screening. Co-author of History of Betrayal, Balderrama recounts the forced “repatriation” of Mexican origin residents during the 1930s.

Episode II: Empire of Dreams (1880-1942) chronicles the widespread immigration to the U.S. from Latin countries, beginning with a small group from Cuba and then larger one from Mexico. Fleeing chaos and violence in their home country, both groups are attracted by opportunities in the U.S. In 1898, the U.S. helps liberate Cuba and Puerto Rico from Spain but then seizes Puerto Rico as its colony. The first Puerto Rican arrivals (now U.S. citizens) establish a network in New York.

During the 1920s, immigration is encouraged with the expanding U.S. economy. Mexicans and Mexican Americans build a thriving community in Los Angeles and look forward to a bright future. When the economic boom of the 1920s ends with the catastrophic Depression of the ’30s, immigrants once encouraged to immigrate are deported en masse.

Latino Americans is a part of an ongoing series of Latino-American library programming. Latino Americans: 500 Years of History has been made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The Altadena Library is located at 600 East Mariposa Street, Altadena. For more information please call (626) 798-0833. For a schedule of events, visit the library on the web at


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