“The Mexican Among Okies” – An Evening with Author Gustavo Arellano

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Tulsa City-County Library continues its month-long series recognizing their achievements and contributions with a special author visit.

Gustavo Arellano, author and managing editor of the OC Weekly, will present “The Mexican Among Okies,” Oct. 14, 7-8:30 p.m. at Martin Regional Library, 2601 S. Garnett Road. He will speak, answer questions and sign copies of his books.

The son of a “tomato canner and an illegal immigrant,” Arellano grew up in California’s Orange County when radical changes were shifting the community. Having an up-close perspective of the modern Mexican-immigrant experience set the foundation for his insights into a wide range of political, cultural and social issues.

Arellano earned his master’s degree in Latin American studies from in 2003. While a staff writer with the OC Weekly, he created “Ask a Mexican,” a weekly column with a circulation of more than two million readers. The column, which answers reader’s questions with fact-based responses, is filled with humor and unflinching honesty.

“Ask a Mexican” has received numerous awards during its seven years of publication. Recently the column was awarded the President’s Award from the Los Angeles Press Club, an Impact Award from the National Hispanic Media Coalition and a 2008 Latino Spirit Award from the California State legislature for his “exceptional vision, creativity and work ethic.”

His first book, “Orange County,” documents his family’s legacy in California since 1918. Part personal narrative, part cultural history, his story chronicles the arrival of his great-grandfather and grandfather in the United States, as well as the locale that inspires him.

In addition to writing for the OC Weekly, Arellano is a contributing editor to the Op-Ed page of the Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on Today, Nightline, NRP’s Talk of the Nation, and The Colbert Report.

“Gustavo addresses the complex issues facing Mexican-Americans and their neighbors in today’s multicultural society,” said Sara Martinez, TCCL’s Hispanic Resource Center coordinator. “Participants will likely leave questioning the status quo and their own preconceptions of the Mexican-American experience in the Unites States, which also plays out in Tulsa.”

Arellano’s visit is sponsored by TCCL’s Hispanic Resource Center, Tulsa Library Trust, BookSmart Tulsa, University of Tulsa Spanish Department, Urban Tulsa Weekly, Hispano de Tulsa and Pancho Anaya Mexican Bakery.

Updated 10-14-2010

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