July is French-American Heritage Month, a celebration spearheaded by the Alliance Française to acknowledge the many contributions of French immigrants to the history and culture of the United States. While the French did not immigrate to these shores in great waves, as did other groups, the Huguenots did arrive here as far back as 1538, seeking the freedom to practice their Protestant faith. They settled in nearby New Rochelle in addition to establishing communities in Harlem, Staten Island and New Paltz. Years later, the military prowess of the Marquis de Lafayette contributed enormously to the successful outcome of the Revolutionary War. And, who could imagine New York Harbor without the iconic Statue of Liberty, created by French sculptor, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi? This month provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the shared history, language, cuisine, art and political thought that have shaped our communities for centuries. Read more about French-American Heritage Month here; and click on the book jackets below to be taken to links in our catalog. And, instead of tossing another burger on the grill this month, try beef bourguignon. Or, exchange that bagel for a croissant. Adventure awaits. Enjoy!
“So ask the travelled inhabitant of any nation, ‘In what country on earth would you rather live?’ Certainly in my own, where are all my friends, my relations, and the earliest and sweetest affections and recollections of my life. Which would be your second choice? France.” Thomas Jefferson