Join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month! Founded in 1968 and running annually from September 15th to October 15th, this month recognizes the history, achievements, and culture of those from Latinx communities. 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be speaking with leaders from Birmingham’s Hispanic & Latinx communities about this month’s importance to themselves and to broader culture. 

First, we welcome Carlos Alemán.

Carlos is a new Homewood City Council member for Ward 2 and the deputy director of ¡HICA!, a “community development and advocacy organization that champions economic equality, civic engagement, and social justice for Latino and immigrant families in Alabama.” An active leader in the greater Birmingham community, Carlos is also a board member at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Red Mountain Park, and the Literacy Council of Alabama. 

Here’s what Carlos had to say about the importance of this month: 

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to celebrate the histories, cultures, contributions, and diversity of our Latinx neighbors. It’s important to note that many of our Hispanic residents have been in the United States for generations, while others may have just recently arrived, all for a myriad of reasons and under a variety of circumstances. 

As an immigrant from Nicaragua, a historian of U.S. and Latin American immigration, and someone who works with and serves Hispanic immigrants every day, I appreciate the opportunity to reflect on how to better build bridges between communities. 

This book list will allow all of us to learn a little more from our neighbors whose families come from Latin America, the challenges they may face, and the systems that can make integration difficult. Given our national conversation on immigration, the majority of my recommendations focus on the immigrant experience.

My hope is that we, as a community, can strive for greater understanding and become a more united people.

Thank you, Carlos, for all you do for our beloved hometown! We look forward to following along with your inspiring work both at HICA and on our City Council.

Visit Carlos’ picks for:

Nonfiction & Memoirs


Middle Grade Readers


September 25, 2020 — Jonathan Robinson