“Dr. Vega’s brilliant mind and wise words have made me realize for the first time the great Hispanic contribution to the making of the United States for which I, as a Hispanic, feel very honored and proud.”
~a student at an Author’s Event in Jersey CityAnnika Darling CTLatinoNews.com
Carlos B. Vega, Ph.D, has dedicated his entire professional life to fostering better relations and understanding between the Hispanic and American cultures. He is a prolific writer, both in Spanish and in English, and specializes in the Spanish language and Hispanic literature, history, and culture. Vega has been a Spanish professor for over thirty years, an editor for several leading U.S. publishers, and an author of 51 publications to date. His most recent book, Our Hispanic Roots: What History Failed To Tell Us, comes from “a deep-felt desire to right a wrong” and “to set the record straight” regarding the extent of the contribution of Hispanics to the founding of the U.S. and to the American Freedom that we enjoy today.
“By knowing the facts,” says Vega, “we may have a greater understanding and appreciation of our history and how it evolved.” Our Hispanic Roots: What History Failed To Tell Us is an informative exploration of America’s Hispanic roots that took place over a span of 400 years, from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Vega’s book outlines, in distinct detail, the findings of Anglo Saxons in the east, which resulted in the Republic, as well as the forgotten foundings in the south, southwest and west of Hispanics that founded the Country.
He explains how the two fused together to form one nation in the 19th century, which ultimately became today’s United States. While many history books cover the founding of the Republic, mentioning and giving credit to men like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, and Madison, not much information has been relayed about the Country founding fathers, such as Ponce de León, de Soto, Coronado, Cabeza de Vaca, and Father Serra.
“To those unaware of the historical truth, this book is a real eye-opener,” says Vega, “a riveting and fascinating read setting forth solid and well-founded arguments, unquestionable facts—many of them for the first time.”
Our Hispanic Roots explains how North America was discovered by Ponce de León in 1513, and from that moment onward, Hispanics crisscrossed the continent in all directions laying the foundations of the future United States. By 1763—only 13 years before the Declaration of Independence—two thirds of North America was under Hispanic domain, or all lands west of the Mississippi, plus other lands in the south and northwest. Hispanics discovered, explored, and settled the territories of a total of 27 present-day states.
Digging up all the “hidden” historical data took him many years of exhaustive research, both in the United States and abroad. For Vega, the idea for the book began in the 1980s while he was working as a college professor while also serving as assistant to the mayor of West New York, New Jersey, and a Hudson County adviser. In these roles, Vega was personally involved in the repatriation of thousands of Hispanics in the metro New York/New Jersey area. Vega recalls that their suffering and despair was overwhelming as they confronted great challenges in areas such as health, employment, housing and language.
“In talking to many of them it became evident that they felt humiliated, embarrassed, out of place amidst a society that for the most part was oblivious to their precarious situation,” says Vega. “In fact, in many cases, they showed disdain and even contempt towards them as aliens, outcasts, undesirables, unfitted to be integrated into the mainstream. ‘If they only knew who these people were,’—I said to myself—and the idea took wings.” Vega did extensive research for more than five years. He relied mainly on scholarly works from well-known and respected historians.
He was able to gather never-before known information in this regard. Vega says that while his research was a great endeavor, that the biggest accomplishment was in seeing the book published and “to hold the printed copy in my hands after all the hard work.” The book struck a nerve and people across the country are responding very favorably.
Our Hispanic Roots became a finalist in the coveted International Latino Book Awards to be celebrated this June in Los Angeles. It was also recognized by TheLatinoAuthor in their list of the 10 Best Latino Books of 2013 as number five. The review states: “Our Hispanic Roots: What History Failed to Tell Us is a brilliantly written book that covers the huge Hispanic contribution to the formation of the United States and which has largely been ignored by history books in the education system. Only minor contributions by Hispanics are ever noted in most history books and it’s time that this contribution of a people makes it into the mainstream.”
Vega’s honesty and sincerity is one of the book’s greatest strengths. He has a steadfast resolve to tell the truth about American history, and he does it in plain and clear language that is accessible to all readers. “I am hoping that Our Hispanics Roots: What History Failed to Tell Us will make some people realize the true meaning of being a Hispanic in today’s American society,” says Vega, “and how these extraordinary people helped shape what we proudly call the greatest nation on earth—the United States of America.
By knowing the historical facts as put forth in this book, America’s leaders may one day have a different perspective and opinion about the Hispanic culture affording them the high esteem, respect, and dignity they so richly deserve.”
Note: The author is currently writing his next book titled: History’s Black Eye: The Hispanic Contribution to American Freedom — The True Story. It is due to come out in early Fall, 2014.