Gregorio Luke: Cinco de Mayo
All Library locations will be closed on Monday, September 1, in observance of Labor Day.
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla in1862. Now one of the most popular celebrations in the Latino community, it is an inspiration for the oppressed everywhere and an example that no army however powerful can overcome a united and determined people.
On Wednesday, May 4, 2011, distinguished Mexican lecturer Gregorio Luke offers a blow by blow description of the battle plus historical background on the attempt by France to turn Mexico into a colony during the 1860s in a multimedia presentation featuring period paintings, illustrations, and maps. The program takes place at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., and begins at 6 p.m.
“Cinco de Mayo is more than a military triumph,” explains Luke. “It is a symbol of national unity that boosted the morale of the Mexican people and left them with the conviction that victory over the French, then considered the best soldiers in the world, was possible. The Fifth of May was not only a struggle of power, but a fight over ideals culminating in the victory of democracy over tyranny.”
Luke is an expert in Mexican and Latin American art and culture. He has given over 1,000 lectures in Mexico, United States, Europe, China, and South America in institutions such as The Library of Congress, The Smithsonian, the San Francisco Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and universities such as Harvard and Columbia, among others. He was director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, consul of cultural affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles, and first secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C.
A 6 p.m. reception precedes the presentation. Admission is free. Free parking is also available.
The Cinco de Mayo program is sponsored by the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City.