SCF Libraries to Screen Second Part of Latino Americans Documentary

(Bradenton, Fla., Sept. 22, 2015) – State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) Libraries will host the second of two screenings of “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the Library at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W., Building 8. The film will be followed by discussion with Dr. Harry Coverston, professor of Humanities at the University of Central Florida (UCF).

“Latino Americans are the country’s largest minority group, with more than 50 million people, and still many people are unaware of their rich and varied history and culture,” said Dr. Tracy Elliott, SCF Libraries Director and the daughter of a Latino immigrant. “I’m thrilled that the SCF Libraries have this opportunity to explore this topic in our community.”

Peril and Promise, the sixth installment in the PBS documentary, will be presented. This segment deals with the period from 1980 to 2000, when Latinos came to represent a new majority minority in urban areas across the country. The key to their success, according to experts, was education.

Dr. Coverston will discuss key issues from the film, but also hopes to engage the audience in a dialogue about the characteristics of Florida's Latinos, and, specifically, the sectors of Latino immigrants prevalent in the Manatee and Sarasota areas. During the first program Sept. 17, attendees shared personal immigration experiences and discussed the contributions to American society brought by the influx of Latinos following World War II, such as music, cuisine and enterprise.

The first program received many positive reviews from the attendees, including one self-described "prospective student” who expressed happiness that SCF was sponsoring programs that “honor his culture.” Another participant called the program a “good conversation starter,” adding, “Many cultures fuse with American culture, and every group has a different reason (for coming)."

The screening is being paid for with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association. The $3,000 award also will support an oral histories project that will begin early in 2016. The Library will invite families in Manatee and Sarasota counties who have immigrant histories to record their stories to share with their families and community.

Locally, according to the U.S. Census, slightly more than 15 percent of the Manatee County population is Hispanic or Latino, a percentage nearly mirrored by the student body at SCF.

The SCF Libraries have many Latino-focused resources, including Informe Académico, a database of Spanish language periodicals among other academic databases, as well as a collection of books and eBooks about Latino Americans and Latino issues. Members of the community with a public library card are able to access the book collections.

For details and a schedule of events, visit or contact Alicia Long at 941-752-5404. Maps and directories are available at

Alicia Long, SCF library specialist, and Dr. Tracy Elliott, SCF libraries director,
display some of the Latino-centric resources available from the SCF Libraries.

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