Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Latino Challenge by Earl Ofari Hutchinson

I worked with Mr Hutchinson to promote The Latino Challenge in the fall of 2006. I live in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and many of the situations mentioned in Mr Hutchinson's book aren't every day happenings in this area. Although, the Latino population is growing in nearby communities. While I lived in a local city that has a large number of turkey plants, I was much more aware of the growing Latino population and how that affected the residents.

As a single, white woman in her early 40's, I don't experience the problems mentioned in The Latino Challenge. But, I feel that the information can help anyone understand many of the stories in the news. Media reports often mention which ethnic groups are involved in skirmishes or problems, but they don't give listeners background. I really appreciated learning more about what has taken place between black and Latino residents in the US.

We have all heard of the problems in large cities - Los Angeles, New York and many other large cities. We hear the news reports of murder, gangs, school problems, racial tension and many other problems. The Latino Challenge gives historic details about what has caused these problems, what has magnified the problems. It also explains how these problems will change and grow as the Latino population has become the largest minority in the United States.

The problem isn't just an immigration problem - there are many other undercurrents that can and will affect everyone. If you have children in school, if you use public services, if you live in a city or town with a growing Latino population - there are issues in The Latino Challenge that will help you understand what is happening.

The Latino Challenge presents the idea that it is time for black Americans and Latino Americans need to have a serious conversation. The increased tensions and problems can hurt each of these ethnic groups.

I found the content in the book enlightening and educational. Don't think that the content isn't important if you aren't black or Latino - there is something to be learned for everyone in the US. As Mr Hutchinson mentioned to me, by reading the book before these situations are a big issue in my area, I'll be ahead of the learning curve as things change near my home. I'm the type of person who likes to be informed and to understand things happening in my area. I now have a much better understanding of news stories near my home.

I look forward to finishing Mr Hutchinson's latest book The Ethnic Presidency. I'll post a review about this very timely book soon.

Nikki Leigh - www.nikkileigh.com/promo.htm

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