Portal:Hispanic and Latino Americans

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Hispanic and Latino Americans are an ethnolinguistic group of Americans with origins in the countries of Latin America or the Iberian peninsula. More generally it includes all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino. Reflecting especially the Latin American population, which has origins in all the continents and many ancestries, Hispanic/Latino Americans are very racially diverse, and as a result form an ethnic category, rather than a race.

While the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, Hispanic is a narrower term and refers mostly to persons of Spanish speaking origin or ancestry, while Latino is more frequently used to refer more generally to anyone of Latin American origin or ancestry, including Brazilians. Hispanic thus includes persons from Spain and Spanish speaking Latin Americans excluding both Portuguese and Brazilians (who speak Portuguese) while Latino excludes persons from Spain but includes both Spanish speaking and Portuguese-speaking Latin Americans. Persons from Portugal, and all other Portuguese-speaking peoples around the World outside the Americas (e.g. Cape Verdeans or Angolans), are neither Hipanic nor Latino. Latino is a broader term encompassing more people. The choice between the terms Latino and Hispanic among those of Spanish speaking origin is also associated with location: persons of Spanish speaking origins residing in the eastern United States tend to prefer the term Hispanic, whereas those in the West tend to prefer Latino.


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Protesters carry the mexican flag during a May 1 2006 boycott march
The Great American Boycott (Spanish: El Gran Paro Estadounidense, lit. "the Great American Strike") was a one-day boycott of United States schools and businesses by immigrants in the United States, of mostly Latin American origin that took place on May 1, 2006. The date was chosen by boycott organizers to coincide with May Day, the International Workers Day observed as a national holiday in Asia, most of Europe, and Mexico, but not officially recognized in the United States due to its Communist associations.

As a continuation of the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests, the organizers called for supporters to abstain from buying, selling, working, and attending school, in order to attempt to demonstrate through the extent to which the labor obtained of illegal immigrants is needed. Supporters of the boycott rallied in major cities across the U.S. to demand general amnesty and legalization programs for illegal aliens. For this reason, the day is referred to as A Day Without an Immigrant in reference to the 2004 political satire film A Day Without a Mexican.

In a show of solidarity, internationally, labor unions and other groups engaged in a one-day boycott of U.S. products called the "Nothing Gringo Boycott", particularly in Mexico and Central American countries. (more...)

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Ted Williams
image credit: Florida

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September - October 2014

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Sylvia Mendez (born 1936) is an American civil rights activist of Mexican-Puerto Rican heritage.

At age eight, she played an instrumental role in the Mendez v. Westminster case, the landmark desegregation case of 1946. The case successfully ended de jure segregation in California and paved the way for integration and the American civil rights movement.

Mendez grew up during a time when most southern and southwestern schools were segregated. In the case of California, Hispanics were not allowed to attend schools that were designated for "Whites" only and were sent to the so-called "Mexican schools." Mendez was denied enrollment to a "Whites" only school, an event which prompted her parents to take action and together organized various sectors of the Hispanic community who filed a lawsuit in the local federal court. The success of their action, of which Sylvia was the principal catalyst, would eventually bring to an end the era of segregated education. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, on February 15, 2011. (more...)


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