January 24-30, 2020
Edition 91

Minnesota Latinx Insights

This Weekly Newsletter shares local and national trends and events of interest to the Latinx community and those who feel Latinx.

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A Look at Kobe’s Life

Kobe Bryant, the NBA MVP who had a 20-year career with the Lakers, was killed Sunday when the helicopter he was traveling in crashed and burst into flames in the hills above Calabasas. His daughter Gianna, 13, was also on board and died along with seven others.

The mood at El Camino Real in Fullerton was somber during the Sunday lunch rush, despite the steaming bowls of menudo in front of nearly everyone in the packed Mexican restaurant. Its most famous regular, Kobe Bryant, had died earlier that morning in the crash. Families shook their heads in disbelief as they scrolled through their smartphones for the latest updates between sips of the tripe soup. “He [Bryant] loved this place because people treated him like a normal person,” El Camino Real general manager Rodolfo Garcia said. Kobe Bryant had a special kinship with Latino fans and culture.

“My Latino fans are very important to me because they were the first ones who embraced me the most when I first got here,” Kobe Bryant said in Spanish in 2016. Bryant added that his Spanish was “not that good,” but this appeared to have been a modest assessment, as he routinely conducted full-length interviews in Spanish, which endeared him even more to Latino fans. He said that he was inspired to learn the language because of his wife and because his Latino fans “mean everything” to him. He told Univision in a separate interview that he learned Spanish through watching telenovelas with his family. Kobe, his daughter, Gianna, and the 7 other people aboard the helicopter, will be missed dearly in the United States and around the world.

And the Latinx Grammy Goes To…

If you were sitting at home last Sunday during the 62nd annual Grammy Awards waiting for Bad Bunny, Jessie Reyez, Juan Luis Guerra, or some other Latinx artist of your liking to walk onstage at the Staples Center and give a gloriously strewn out thank you, it wasn’t gonna happen. The Grammys aired not a single Latin categorized award on television. Nearly all of our Grammy’s were handed off at the pre-GRAMMY Gala Show, and the list of winners proved to be consistent in tradition. As if they knew that would be the case, nominated artists like Maluma and J Balvin didn’t even show face. Here are the night’s Latinx, Latin American and Spanish winners, who accepted their awards behind the stage:

As for the award show itself, some of the Latinx contributions included Camila Cabello singing a sweet ballad to dedicated to her dad, Rosalía reminding everyone and herself that she’s from Spain with a lovely flamenco performance, and Demi Lovato stunning in her first grand, glorious performance since her overdose scare in 2018. ¡Fantástica!

Café Libre

Welcome to Café Libre, a weekly program in Spanish featuring NewPublica’s very own owners: Alberto Monserrate and Melisa Franzen. In this brand new talk show you can keep up with the latest things that are happening in Minnesota including politics, health, immigration and more. Tune in every Saturday at 10am for the latest events at Univision Minnesota, also in collaboration with your online media source New Prensa. Pour a cup and join the conversation!

Culture Matters

Mexican actress Salma Hayek is apologizing for promoting and praising “American Dirt,” a novel by author Jeanine Cummins that has sparked debate and criticism over its portrayal of immigrants. “American Dirt” tells the story of a middle-class Mexican bookstore owner who flees to the U.S.-Mexico border with her 8-year-old son after her journalist husband and other family members are killed by a ruthless drug cartel. Salma Hayek said she “rushed into sharing my excitement” after Oprah chose the novel for her book club and that she was unaware of controversy around the book. The highly publicized book was praised by high-profile authors such as Stephen King and Ann Patchett and was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club. On Saturday, it ranked No. 4 on Amazon.com’s bestseller list, The Associated Press reported.

If books aren’t your thing, check out these 10 Latinx artists whose works are muy noteworthy. From the maternal and Mexican art of Anna Alvarado to the Aztec-inspired work of Jorge Garza, these 10 artists all have eclectic styles that empower and fascinate viewers and you may mind yourself connecting with their unique visions and message. ¡Increíble!



We’re Queen B and Aya. Communications Specialists at NewPublica by day, and forever remembering Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna, and the 7 others involved in the crash. Have articles you would like to share or general suggestions? Feel free to shoot us an email at info@newpublica.com. Or subscribe below to keep up with all the latest news.