Over the years, navigating, and braving, the mountainous shape-shifting literary and cinematic waters has proven to be an exciting yet harrowing adventure.
There have been many periods, especially at the beginning of my career, in which I’ve felt completely alone and defeated. I’m grateful to say that the disconnection and powerlessness I originally felt as a young filmmaker & writer in “the biz” has changed drastically over time for the better. Thanks to the priceless support and guidance of niche communities within both businesses — such as the Latino, GLBTQ and women communities — I have found my footing and made my home. Since September 15 – October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, I’d like to honor the Latina/o community that has so abundantly, lovingly embraced and supported me by publicly acknowledging how blessed I feel to be Latina aka form part of them.
- Most recently the amazing Thelma Reyna, PhD listed me as one of the “Prominent Latino Authors” in her phenomenal 2-Part article “The Evolution of American Latina/o Writers”, which she wrote for PowerfulLatinas.com & American Latina/o Writers Today.
- The popular website The Latino Author added me to their illustrious database of Latino Authors.
“There Are Countless Reasons I Love Being Hispanic”
There are countless reasons I love being Hispanic.
Many of these were born in my childhood before I became aware of the shameful way we were portrayed in American news and movies. Before junior high when white kids and their self-loathing Hispanic sidekicks chuckled while calling me “Pocahontas” and “dumb Mexican”. Long before then, I learned to love being Hispanic when the outside world did not exist and there was just my family.
During those times, they frequently spoke with pride about the entrepreneurial brilliance and loyal hearts of our seaside Cuban people. When my grandmother Mamaita would talk about her native Cuban-Indian grandmother fleeing from cruel Spanish colonialists to live hidden in the mountains “los montes” where she sat daily on a rock in the stream and combed her long strong white hair. When my mother would throw one of her regular Sunday get-togethers and all the Cubans and their Mexican and Puerto Rican friends ages 3 to 85 would dance to Benny More and Celia Cruz and roar a laughter that reverberated in my chest. When my grandfather, once a poor immigrant from the roughest barrio in Cuba “El Barrio De Jesus Maria” who was now an engineer and self-made businessman, would hold my tiny hand in his big rugged tender one and walk me through his aircraft parts manufacturing business. I remember kicking the curled shavings of metal at my feet and feeling profoundly proud.
I could go on about the numerous ways my Hispanic pride grew as I did and how every year it continues to deepen and expand, but my childhood laid down its vital foundation. The penchant my Cuban family has had for honoring the unique power and spirit of their culture during my formative years cemented a pride for my Hispanic roots that remain unshakeable. ♥
Vanessa Libertad Garcia is a Cuban-American writer & filmmaker who has completed a myriad of successful projects in both the film & literary worlds. Her debut book THE VOTING BOOTH AFTER DARK: DESPICABLE, EMBARRASSING, REPULSIVE is available for purchase online at numerous well-known and independent sites such as Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com and GiovannisRoom.com. Ms. Garcia is currently in development for her first feature film titled Dear Dios, which is based on the book’s characters, and a collection of love poetry. ”
- Last but not least, La Cosmopolatina featured me in their “Many Faces of Latinas” spotlight. You can read the interview below.
Speak Fluent English, Spanish, & Spanglish.
Favorite Latin food you can’t live without:
Comida Cubana, Chica .
What is your Latina contradiction?
I don’t desire to give birth to or raise children.
When you think of Latin culture, what are the first words you think of?
Diverse, Profound, Passionate.
What is your ethnicity? Or where is your family from?
My Family is from Cuba, Chica ;p.
Latina? American? Both?
I identify as both Latina & American. More specifically as Cuban-American.
Favorite Latin artist or music?
Favorite Latin Artist: Manu Chao.
Favorite Latin Music: 1940′s Cuban Music i.e. Benny More, Olga Guillot, and old time Spanish ballads i.e. Eydie Gorme, Flamenco.
iPhone or BlackBerry?
How do you describe your style?
Artsy Eccentric Loquita.
What media in English and/or Spanish do you prefer/consume, as in what magazines, newspapers, TV shows, etc?
Although I read both languages, I prefer reading in English.
I consume liberal-based news & all other information online through English radio stations, magazines, newspapers and blogs such as Hispanically Speaking News, Ms. Magazine, NPR, Reader Supported News, Democracy Now, Daniel Hernandez’ Intersections Blog, Zen Habits Blog, The Daily Love Blog, Get Rich Slowly Blog, The Book Designer Blog, Seth Godin’s Blog, The National Association of Latino Independent Producers E-Newsletter, etc.
Documentaries & a diversity of Fiction — El Norte, Paraiso For Sale, Remember Me in Red, All About My Mother, Female Trouble, Casino, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Kid Stays in the Picture, The Neverending Story, Killer of Sheep, My Best Fiend, Schooling the World, etc.
What’s your favorite Latin restaurant?
“Tropicana Bakery & Cuban Cafe” on the corner of Paramount & Florence in Downey, CA.
—–Thanks for sticking with me, my beloved hermanas y hermanos!—–
——————-Hope you enjoyed the read!——————