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Explore Hispanic Heritage

National Hispanic Heritage Month

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated every year from September 15 through October 15. As defined by the Law Library of Congress, this month "celebrates and recognizes the contributions Hispanic Americans have made to American society and culture and to honor five of our Central American neighbors who celebrate their independence in September." For legislation, Presidential Proclamations, and Executive Orders pertaining to this commemoration, visit the Law Library of Congress' National Hispanic Heritage Month: A Commemorative Observances Legal Research Guide.

While we honor the intent of Hispanic Heritage Month, the SJR State Library also understands, as Stef Bernal-Martinez explained in Teaching Tolerance, that "we must also do the important work of understanding how and why the distinct histories of a multinational, multicultural and multilingual group of communities were consolidated into Hispanic heritage in the first place... Understanding the history behind these shifting identifications—and particularly the history of the word Hispanic—can help us better understand the challenges this term has created." The Library will strive to foster this understanding through its curation of resources and features. 

Online Resources for Hispanic Heritage Month   

"This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration."

Latino History at the National Museum of American History 

Exhibitions, collections, and resources

National Park Service: Commemorations and Celebrations

More than 500 years of Hispanic and Latino history and heritage can be found in national parks or shared through National Park Service programs and partners in communities across the country.

The Hispanic Reading Room  

This Library of Congress site "is the primary access point for research related to the Caribbean, Latin America, Spain and Portugal; the indigenous cultures of those areas; and peoples throughout the world historically influenced by Luso-Hispanic heritage, including Latinos in the U.S. and peoples of Portuguese or Spanish heritage in Africa, Asia, and Oceania." 

The PALABRA Archive at the Library of Congress  

The PALABRA Archive is a collection of original audio recordings of 20th and 21st century Luso-Hispanic poets and writers reading from their works. With recorded authors from all over Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, the Caribbean, and other regions with Hispanic and Portuguese heritage populations, this archive has to date close to 800 recordings.

About Hispanic Origin 

 An explanation from the U.S Census Bureau of the term "Hispanic or Latino" that is used by the agency as an ethnicity designation for data collection purposes.

Latino and Hispanic identities aren’t the same. They’re also not racial groups.   

A resource recommended by Teaching Tolerance to help understand race and ethnicity specifically regarding the term Hispanic and Latinx. 

Latino Civil Rights Timeline, 1903 to 2006

Mendez, Hernandez & Beyond: A Conversation on Latinx Civil Rightsa panel of experts and public figures discuss civil rights cases -- such as Mendez v. Westminister and Hernandez v. Texas and Latinx Civil Rights in the United States: A Resource Guide from the Library of Congress 

Latino History and Culture in Parks

Now Streaming - Critical Thinking

"Based on a true story from 1998, five Latinx and Black teenagers from the toughest underserved ghetto in Miami fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher."

John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo, Michael Kenneth Williams, Rachel Bay Jones, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

: Vertical Entertainment


: Drama

2020 - 1hr 57min


Current SJR State students and employees can stream this film free on the Kanopy platform.

Latinas Talk Latinas

Latinas Talk Latinas

The Latinas Talk Latinas series introduces you to the lives of 10 Latinas, as told by curators, scientists, and educators across the Smithsonian. Join them as they explore stories of labor organizing, fashion, music, science exploration, performance, and art that have shaped the United States.

Online Exhibit: National Museum of American History


¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues

"Baseball is the national pastime. But it’s also an American export, one with a tradition that’s constantly evolving. ¡Pleibol! shares the experiences of Latinas and Latinos whose love for the game and incredible talent have changed baseball and transformed American culture forever." Visit this online exhibit from the National Museum of American History!