What Quinceañeras Can Teach Adults—as Well as Young Girls—About Values

The Latin American 15th-Birthday Ritual Symbolizes a Generational Transfer of Power

I became interested in the quinceañera a few years ago when a publisher commissioned me to write a book for a series focusing on cultural phenomenon within different ethnic and racial communities. For Latinos, the editors had selected the quinceañera.

With all the hefty issues affecting us (immigration reform, education equity, the fate of DREAMers, the increasing incarceration of Latino youth), I couldn’t believe they’d choose such a Latino-lite topic as the made-in-the-USA quinceañera! Struggling immigrant families were “throwing the house out the window” with expenditures way beyond their …

How Nashville ‘Killed’ Traditional Country Music—and Then Reinvented It

The Genre Created by 'Hillbillies' and Folkies Now Speaks to Pickup-Driving Suburbanites

25 years ago, American Heritage writer Tony Scherman declared traditional country music dead and done with, asking, “How far from its social origins can an art form grow before it …

Every October, on Martha’s Vineyard, We Celebrate Cranberry Day

For as Long as Anyone Knows, the Wampanoag Have Connected to Their History Through the Fruit and the Bogs Where It Grows

Many know the place I live, an island off the southern coast of Massachusetts, as Martha’s Vineyard, a vacation spot for celebrities including Presidents Clinton and Obama. But those of …

The Greatest Muralist You’ve Never Heard Of

The Work of One of L.A.’s Best Chicano Folk Artists Has Largely Been Forgotten

Manuel G. Cruz has produced the best folk art I have encountered in Los Angeles. Through his religious and historical murals, he proves himself a good storyteller and colorist, with …