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Sunday June 26th

'Our stories being told by us': CLC and University Libraries launch book collection

<p>"Racism Without Racists" by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, housed at the Undergraduate Library, is one of several books included in the AfroLatinx Authors &amp; Stories collection, a collaboration by University Libraries and the Carolina Latinx Center.</p>
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"Racism Without Racists" by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, housed at the Undergraduate Library, is one of several books included in the AfroLatinx Authors & Stories collection, a collaboration by University Libraries and the Carolina Latinx Center.

UNC University Libraries and the Carolina Latinx Center are collaborating on a new AfroLatinx Authors & Stories book collection.

From poetry to nonfiction and everything in between, this collection offers a range of AfroLatinx stories from a variety of authors and genres.

Marcela Torres-Cervantes, assistant director of the CLC, said the collection brings more inclusion and diversity to University Libraries. This collaboration provides a long list of new Latinx narratives, specifically focusing on the experiences of AfroLatinx peoples, Torres-Cervantes said.

She said the project is incredibly important to the representation of AfroLatinx stories and narratives that can sometimes go unseen. 

“It's really important that our stories are being told by us so that there can be that level of ownership and storytelling,” Torres-Cervantes said. “Oftentimes, we only know the stories that we have been told firsthand, whether that is with the people of Latinx identities, or people that are just learning about it as allies.”

The books are available for students and faculty to access on an online system called OverDrive.

University Libraries previously worked with the CLC for a collection of audiobooks and ebooks on OverDrive to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month.

“We were pleased to partner again with the Carolina Latinx Center to create this AfroLatinx list for Black History Month," Melissa Salvanish, acquisitions and serials coordinator at the House Undergraduate Library, said in an email. "It incorporates titles from our existing OverDrive collection of ebooks and audiobooks, as well as 15 additional newly purchased titles."

Salvanish said that OverDrive allows the libraries to quickly add timely and topical digital books for campus community members. The libraries are open to requests for collaborations with different campus centers and organizations, she said.

Senior Jacqueline Santillan, a student ambassador for the CLC, said the center also wanted to find a way to celebrate Black History Month.

The collection is not only for people who identify as part of the AfroLatinx community, but for people who want to learn about AfroLatinx culture, she said.

Santillan said the compilation of literary works showcases various experiences through different perspectives from people within and surrounding the community. The collection includes titles like, "An African American and Latinx History of the United States" by Paul Ortiz, "Color Me In" by Natasha Díaz and "The Poet X" by Elizabeth Acevedo.

“I think that having this collection available to students provides more opportunities, not only for the Latinx communities on campus, but everyone to learn stories from diverse perspectives," Santillan said. "And it shows what our libraries have to offer not only to the AfroLatinx community but to everyone on campus."

Torres-Cervantes said she has read and listened to some of the books from the collection. In particular, she enjoys work from Acevedo, saying it captures big experiences while conveying significant emotion.

"She is Dominican, and I always really enjoy her work because she does poetry as well as narrative writing … She’s really playful with her analogies, the Spanglish she uses and even with the art on the covers of her books," Torres-Cervantes said. "So being able to see that and understand that (Dominican) perspective is nice."

The AfroLatinx Authors & Stories collection is available for use in both audio and ebook forms through the University Libraries website.

@zoefrederick12

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