These 11 Latino leaders have made history and children should know them
Only 5% of children's books published in the Anglo-Saxon world have a Hispanic as the main character.
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Daughter of Mexican migrants and born in Los Angeles, journalist Naibe Reynoso is a well-known media personality. Tired of President Trump treating migrants as traffickers and rapists during his presidential campaign, she did not want her 7-year-old son to grow up renouncing his Hispanic roots.
Reynosa sat down to think about how many great Latino personalities are making a difference in the United States with the intention of getting her son to have positive male role models, and the result was Fearless Trailblazers, 11 Latinos who made U.S. History, an illustrated children's book written in English and Spanish that has been available on Amazon since April 20.
"I did it in response to the negative things Donald Trump was saying about Latinos," Reynoso told La Opinión. "I'm very proud of my Mexican roots, and I want my son to be proud of that side of him too."
The list includes great personalities from politics, the arts and space science, such as Democratic politician Julián Castro, activist Cesar Chavez, astronaut Jose Hernández, designer Oscar de la Renta and musician Carlos Santana. All have left a great legacy in this country so lacking in visibility for Latinos.
"I think Latinos, in general, need to see examples of men who made an impact in the United States," she said. "That's why I wanted there to be diverse examples, not just Mexican ones."
If someone was thinking, 'Well, what about women?' Naibe Reynosa also has a children's book that highlights the stories of 11 powerful women in the United States and their contributions.
It's called Be Bold! Be Brave! and you'll find celebrated Latinas in fields including science, sports, art and politics, such as Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space, surgeon Antonia Novello, actress Rita Moreno, librarian activist Pura Belpre and Texas music diva Selena.
Both the first book and its recently published sequel are products of Reynoso's need to deal with the tense political climate and tell positive stories about the community.
According to the journalist, in a country where only 5% of children's books have Latinos as their main characters, she was forced to start her own publishing house instead of waiting with crossed arms for someone to take an interest in this type of story. That's how she founded Con Todo Press, the imprint under which she publishes her own books.
Forbes magazine recently highlighted Con Todo Press' efforts, among other publishers, to help families educate their children during the coronavirus pandemic.