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Before his Ku Klux Klan-promoting film “Birth of a Nation” (1915), D.W. Griffith codified Mexican characters and themes that persist today. The reprobate father. The saintly mother. The wayward son. And especially the “greaser,” often with white actors darkening their skin to play either thieves and rapists or doomed souls whose noble nature cannot be rewarded because they’re, well, Mexicans. Griffith’s “The Greaser’s Gauntlet” (1908) was the first to use the slur in its title.

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When a dog is rescued from his abusive owner and protected by his new family, an instant bond forms. Despite the fact that the new owners are now exposed to Shiloh’s former owner’s wrath, they protect their beloved new pet like only the most devoted owners could.

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A sequel to Nguyen’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “The Sympathizer,” this new book follows the main character — an unnamed, conflicted spy — as he arrives in 1980s Paris with his brother. Grove, March 2

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A widowed single mother with dreams of being a singer winds up working at a greasy spoon diner after her car breaks down. That might not sound like a recipe for hilarity, but that premise made for a Martin Scorsese-directed, Oscar-winning movie (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), followed by a CBS sitcom. “Alice” featured Linda Lavin in the title role and a host of memorable characters, including Polly Holliday’s Flo, who earned her own self-titled spinoff.

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