How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

My airplane reading this week: 'Into the Beautiful North'

Photo by Nathan Gibbs/Flickr (Creative Commons)

A family looks north into the United States from Playas de Tijuana, January 2009

Flying to Chicago for the Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) conference this week involved, as usual, a good book – one I’ll be reading again tonight on my flight home. So allow me to share a bit of my airplane reading, the novel “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea.

Urrea, a Tijuanense by birth, is one of my favorite authors on all things related to the border and Mexico. In 2004, just as I was taking a job covering immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border, I was inspired by the remarkable narrative storytelling of his nonfiction “The Devil’s Highway.” The book pieced together the last, desperate days of a group of men who perished in the dessert near Yuma, Arizona. Urrea retraced their journey via court documents, survivors’ accounts and time spent with the Border Patrol, filling in the blanks with the imagined conversations of their final hours. The book also provided a glimpse of the difficult work done by agents who patrol the border desert.

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Encore: 'The New American Reality' (Video)

I've been attending the Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) conference in Chicago, where during a panel this morning, I saw once more the moving Univision video titled "The New American Reality." I posted the video several months ago, after first seeing it during the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Orlando.

It's just as good now as it was then, with simple lines and graphics that not only bring to life the census data on the growing Latino population in the U.S., but which describe the dual identity lived by children of immigrants a way that is spot-on. So here's an encore.

One of my favorite lines: "I live at the intersection of my two cultures. I take from each what I choose."

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Greetings from the Windy City and #LATISM

Photo of postcard by stevehorgan/Flickr (Creative Commons)


Greetings from Chicago, where I’ve just landed at O’Hare en route to the Latinos in Social Media (#LATISM) conference taking place here this week. It  looks a tad chilly outside, but I’m looking forward to some great panels in the next two days and to meeting (in person!) the many bloggers and other fellow Latino digital media types I’ve gotten to know via, well, social media.

So with that, compañeros, how to find me: Me pueden twitear @Multi_American, or feel free to drop me a line at lberesteinrojas@scpr.org. Hasta pronto.

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