Richard Rodriguez to discuss Browning of America during ALA Midwinter Curley Lecture

Contact: Larra Clar, Press Officer


Macey Morales, PR Coordinator


For Immediate Release

December 5, 2003

Richard Rodriguez to discuss "Browning of America“ during ALA Midwinter Curley Lecture

Author and essayist Richard Rodriguez will deliver the fifth annual Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture, at 3 p.m., Saturday, January 10, 2004. The lecture entitled “
The Color Brown, and the Meaning of the Library," will be held at the San Diego Convention Center Room 16 A/B during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting (January 9 – 14, 2004) in San Diego.

Rodriguez will discuss the
mixing of races and cultures taking place throughout the world, but particularly in America. Rodriguez refers to this mixing of cultures and races as “browning” of America, and will discuss how “browning” impacts the way we think about libraries.

At the core of his latest book,
“Brown: The Last Discovery of America,” Rodriguez gives an assessment of the meaning of Hispanics to the life in America.
Reflecting upon the new demographic profile of the United States, Rodriguez observes that Hispanics are becoming Americanized at the same rate that the United States is becoming Latinized.
Hispanics are coloring an American identity that traditionally has chosen to describe itself as black and white.

Known for his critically acclaimed books, the autobiographical

Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez”
and the Pulitzer Prize-nominated “

Days of Obligation: An Argument with my Mexican Father
,” Rodriguez writes about the ever-present concepts of race and diversity in American culture and what this means in an ever-changing global culture.
He believes that assimilation between races and cultures is not a concept-good or bad-but a fact of life.

A native of San Francisco and son of Mexican immigrants, Rodriguez entered school at the age of six, and primarily spoke Spanish. Despite language barriers, he went on to earn degrees in English at Stanford University and philosophy at Columbia University; pursued a doctorate in English and Renaissance literature at UC Berkeley; and spent a year in London on a Fulbright Scholarship.

Rodriguez is an editor at Pacific News Service, and a contributing editor for
Harper's Magazine, U.S. News & World Report, and the Sunday "Opinion" section of the
Los Angeles Times. He has published numerous articles in
The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The American Scholar, Time, Mother Jones, and
The New Republic, as well as other publications.

Rodriguez's awards include the Frankel Medal from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the International Journalism Award from the World Affairs Council of California; and a 1997
George Foster Peabody Award for his NewsHour Essays on American life.

Sponsored by the ALA Public Awareness Committee, the Arthur Curley Memorial Lecture series is delivered each year at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and honors ALA past president Arthur Curley. Curley served as president of ALA in 1994 – 1995 and was director of the Boston Public Library. He was a champion of the arts and of the library’s role in providing for them. The lecture series aims to present speakers who will examine many different aspects of the broad intellectual, cultural, artistic and political life in which librarians play a crucial role.

The ALA will welcome more than 10,000 librarians to the San Diego Convention Center, for its Midwinter Meeting.