Content warning: this article contains mentions of suicide, war, child abuse, murder/femicide and racism.
Hispanic Heritage month is a great time to support the Latinx community through our entertainment choices. The following TV and book recommendations feature Latinx characters and stories.
Gentefield is a comedy series on Netflix. The show chronicles the story of the four owners of a popshop in Los Angeles: Abuelo Casmiro, an immigrant; Ana, a lesbian aspiring artist; Chris, the career-driven grandson; and Eric who works closely with Abuelo. As they chase their American dream, they face challenges such as gentrification, dealing with ICE and assimilation.
Superstore is a sitcom on Hulu about the barriers of being a person of color working in retail. The main character Amy, played by America Ferrera, is Latina. As the show progresses, we can see her character development as she moves from a retail position to a corporate role.
La Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers): This Netflix Spanish series is about a flower company run by a family with many secrets. The husband owns an LGBTQ+ club and the show explores the LGBTQ+ community in Mexico. When the husband’s mistress commits sucide many secrets come to light and this family’s strength is put to the test.
Control Z: Control Z is a Netflix Spanish series. The main character, Sophie, is an outcast who meets Javier, the famous son of a Mexican soccer player. They join forces to find the mystery hacker who exposes the secrets of the popular kids in their school.
Romero: Available on Prime Video, Romero explores the story of Romero Pope, a leader during the El Salvadoran revolution. The film follows the mysterious killings of community members and shows what living through a civil war is like.
Under the Same Moon: This heart-warming film discusses the challenges a nine-year-old Mexican child faces while crossing the border to be reunited with his mother in the United States. This movie is available on Prime Video.
The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez: A Netflix documentary series, The Trial of Gabriel Fernandez discusses the abusive family that tortured and killed eight year-old Gabriel Fernandez. This docu-series illustrates the failure of the social work system in Gabriel’s life.
The Three Deaths of Marisela Escobedo (Las Tres Muertes de Marisela Escobedo): This Netflix documentary and Spanish film is about Mariselda Escobedo, whose husband killed the couple’s daughter. The film focuses on the corruption of the criminal system in Mexico that has normalized femicide. Marisela embodies the strength of Mexican women as she fights for justice for her daughter.
I’m No Longer Here: This Spanish film is available on Netflix and tells the story of a 17-year-old gang member, Ulises, who is kicked out of his home because he is putting his family in danger. As Ulises journeys to America and faces the challenges of assimilation, he stays connected to his Mexican culture through dancing Cumbia.
Reyita: The Life of a Black Cuban Woman Living in the Twentieth Century by Maria de los Reyes Castillo: Reyita follows an Afro-Cuban woman living in Cuba during the Twentieth Century. Reyita discusses the impacts of slavery and generational trauma and fights for justice for freed Afro-Cuban slaves through her work in Cuba’s socialist party.
Moren, Prieto, Brown by Alejandro Jimenz: This book of poetry follows the journey of Alejandro Jimenz as he grows up as an undocumented immigrant in the United States. The book addresses topics such as machismo and cultural identity.
The Blood Poems by Jessica Helen Lopez: This is a collection of poetry where Lopez explores being a single Mexican-American woman facing social injustice.
Finding Latinx: In Search of the Voices Redefining Latino Identity by Paola Ramos: This book talks about the journey Ramos endured while redefining what Latinx means. This book includes communities such as the Afro-Latinx community, the trans-Latinx community, and immigrants.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo: This book follows the main character Xiao while she attempts to discover her identity despite conflict with her family. Xiao releases her emotions by writing poems.
The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villaicencio: A Harvard graduate and National Book finalist, Karla Cornejo Villaicencio talks about her journey as the receptionist for Defered Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the struggles faced by the immigrant community navigating social injustices. These stories range from the undocumented work of clean Ground Zero to two teenage girls whose father is in a sanctuary.
I, Rigoberta Menchu, An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Elisabeth In Burgos-Debray: This book tells the story of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Guatemalan activist, Rigoberta Menchu, and her experiences with social injustice. This book presents community members of Latin America through a feminst and socialist lens.
By Camila Cardoso-Herrera, Contributing Writer