During Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15, 2016, the San Antonio Public Library celebrated Latinos and Latinos in public service in honor of the centennial of Henry B. Gonzalez’s life. As an extension of that celebration, Central Library has displayed an altar dedicated to Gonzalez, with photos and personal mementos from the late Congressman and his family.
"Dia de Los Muertos altars in honor of people like my father and Choco Meza serve to remind us of the good deeds of people that are no longer with us," explained Charlie Gonzalez, son of the late Henry B. Gonzalez. “Of equal importance, the altars should also inspire us to follow the examples set by my father and Choco in making life a little better for everyone.”
On October 9, 2016 the San Antonio community lost another powerful and dynamic political activist, Choco Meza. Meza was a Democratic Party organizer and longtime fixture in West Side politics. Her passion for change and social justice could be felt throughout the city, but particularly on the West Side and in Council District 5. Collins Garden Branch Library is honoring her memory with an altar displayed at the front windows of the building.
“These altars beautifully express our values as a community,” District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said. “The celebration of Choco’s transformational work for women and the legacy of Henry B. Gonzalez represent the immeasurable contributions of Latinos in America.”
The San Antonio Public Library will leave the altars on display throughout the month of November, so that community members can have the opportunity to see them and to learn more about these two important community members.
“It is clear that Henry B. Gonzalez and Choco Meza have inspired so many people throughout the San Antonio Community,” said Ramiro Salazar, Director of the San Antonio Public Library. “They both fought for justice, fairness, and equality. These beliefs are the same as what is at the core of the Library’s mission, and we are honored to host these altars in their memory.”
For more information about Dia de los Muertos and a map of San Antonio Public Library locations, visit mysapl.org.