User:Henriettapussycat/Hispanic and Latino American Women in Journalism

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Hispanic and Latino women in America have been involved in journalism for years, using their multilingual skills to reach across cultures and spread news throughout the nineteenth century until the common era. These Hispanic presses provided information important to the Hispanic and Latin American communities and helped to foster and preserve the cultural values that remain today. These presses also "promoted education, provided special-interest columns, and often founded magazines, publishing houses, and bookstores to disseminate the ideas of local and external writers."[1]


Late 19th century[edit]

One prominent journalist to come out of the Hispanic newspapers during the nineteenth century was Emilia Casanova de Villaverde, a political activist[2]and Cuban abolitionist and activist. Though she came from a conservative family,[3] Casanova de Villaverde wrote for América Latina and focused on revolutionary articles about freedom for Cuba. Emilia Casanova de Villaverde later married Cirilo Villaverde, a writer who also took on controversial subjects in his novels. After moving to New York, Casanova de Villaverde and her husband took part in the exile community and continued to fight for Cuban independence.[1] She also founded the political organizations, Las Patriotas de Cuba and La Liga de las Hijas de Cuba, which helped support Cuban soldiers,[3] and petitioned the United States government several times on behalf of the Cuban people.[1]

Early 20th century[edit]

During the early twentieth century, several women along the Texas-Mexican border in Laredo were instrumental in spreading word about their concern for the civil rights of Mexicans and disdain for then dictator, Porfirio Díaz, through their writing in Hispanic newspapers.

Jovita Idar, a teacher in Ojuelos, began to write for her father's newspaper, La Crónica.[4] In 1910, Jovita's family led the organization of the first Mexican Congress in Texas to protect Mexican-American rights and helped to found La Liga Femenil Mexicana, a women's organization led by Idar herself that focused on education reform.[5][6] At the same time another educator, Leonor Villegas de Magnón, began to write for covert revolutionary publications.[7] Villegas "rejected both the ideals of the aristocratic class and the traditional role assigned to women in Mexican society."[8] After moving to Laredo, she began to write for a local newspaper and became a member of Junta Revolutionaria. Villegras and Idar both worked together in La Cruz Blanca, a small organization that helped wounded soldiers which Villegras founded and financed.[7] As a result, Villegas wrote about the experiences of the nurses and people of Juárez in The Rebel, which was not published until 1994 by Arte Público Press. Sara Estela Ramírez was an educator who joined Partido Liberal Mexicano, a progressive Mexican political party that consisted of mainly men. Ramírez had her writing published in La Crónica and another Hispanic newspaper, El Democrata Fronterizo, including two of her own self-publications, La Corregidora and Aurora. Ramírez's most popular work was Rise Up!, a poem urging "readers to look beyond traditional definitions of woman’s place [...] It (urged) women to look beyond their role as passive and supportive, finding meaning and action within domestic tasks."[9][10]During this time, Colombian born Blanca de Moncaleano was also working on Pluma Roja an anarchist newspaper based in Los Angeles that contained articles targeted toward women and challenged them to increase their knowledge to create an egalitarian society.[11]


Later, during the Chicano Movement, feminist Anna Nieto-Gómez helped to found a student Chicana newspaper, Hijas de Cuauhtémoc,[1] at California State University in Long Beach and "called for a critical view of sexism, citing its presence in Chicano families, in communities, and within the male-dominated Chicano movement."[12] Through Nieto-Gómez's writing, she pointed out what she called "maternal chauvinism" and her views about women and stereotypes about them in the Chicano culture.[13] During this period Francisca Flores, another women's rights activist, began writing for La Luz Magazine and Mas Grafíca. Like Nieto-Gómez, Flores found certain elements of the Chicano movement to be sexist and supported rights for Chicano women.[1] Flores wrote about her opinions on women's rights in her own magazine, Regeneración, and founded the Comisión Femenil Mexicana Nacional.


In 1982, while writing for the Washington Post, Alma Guillermoprieto broke the story of the El Mozote massacre in spite of incredible risk to her life, where Salvadoran armed forces killed hundreds of people who had been thought to be guerrilla sympathizers.[14] Guillermoprieto would go on to write for Newsweek and The New Yorker, reporting on subjects in South America.

In the early 1990s, Achy Obejas, a Cuban immigrate who grew up in Indiana, started writing for the Chicago Tribune, Latina, POZ, The Advocate, and reported on high profile stories such as the Gianni Versace and Matthew Shepard murders. While writing for the Chicago Tribune in 2001, Obejas and her team were eventually awarded a Pulitzer Prize for their work on "Gateway to Gridlock," an article on the American air traffic system.[15] In her writing Obejas was able to detail her experiences as a lesbian, Jewish, and Cuban immigrant in her fiction and short story collections throughout the nineties.[5] With her novel Memory Mambo, Obejas explored the life of a conflicted Cuban American lesbian and won a Lambda Literary Award for her story.

Presence of Hispanic and Latino American Women in Journalism[edit]

In 2002, 33% of journalists were women. Considering Hispanic and Latino journalists (3.3% total), 46.2% were women. [16]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Ruiz, V. (2006). Latinas in the United States: a historical encyclopedia. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. p. 353. ISBN 0253346819. 
  2. ^ Lazo, R. (2005). Writing to Cuba: filibustering and Cuban exiles in the United States. North Carolina: The University of North Carolina Press. p. 5. ISBN 0253346819. 
  3. ^ a b "Latinas in History". Brooklyn: City University of New York. 2008.  Unknown parameter |dateaccessed= ignored (help)
  4. ^ Handbook of Texas Online - Idar, Jovita. Retrieved on July 28, 2011.
  5. ^ a b Kanellos, N.; et al. (2003). Herencia: the anthology of Hispanic literature of the United States. New York: Oxford University of Press. p. 142. ISBN 0195138252. 
  6. ^ Villegas, L. et al. (1994). The rebel. Houston: Arte Público Press. ISBN 1558850562.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ a b "Great Texas Women". Austin: University of Texas.  Unknown parameter |dateaccessed= ignored (help)
  8. ^ Arrizón, A. (1998). "'Soldaderas' and the Staging of the Mexican Revolution". TDR. The MIT Press. 48 (1): 90–112. 
  9. ^ Enoch, J. (2008). Refiguring rhetorical education: women teaching African American, Native American, and Chicanoa students, 1865-1911. Illinois: Southern Illinois Univ Press.. ISBN 0809328356.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  10. ^ Johnson, K. (April 26, 2010). Adventures in feministory: Sara Estela Ramírez. Bitch, Retrieved from
  11. ^ Gutiérrez, R. (Ed.). (1993). Recovering the U.S. Hispanic literary heritage . Austin: Arte Público Press. ISBN 1558850589.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Hernández , E. (2009). Postnationalism in Chicanao literature and culture. Austin: Univ of Texas Press. ISBN 0292719078.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Garcia, A. (1997). Chicana feminist thought: the basic historical writings. New York: Routledge. p. 198. ISBN 0415918006.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  14. ^ "The O.A.S. to Reopen Inquiry Into Massacre in El Salvador in 1981". New York: New York Times. 2005.  Unknown parameter |dateaccessed= ignored (help)
  15. ^ "The Pulitzer Prizes Explanatory Reporting". New York: Columbia University. 2011.  Unknown parameter |dateaccessed= ignored (help)
  16. ^ Weaver, D. (2007). The American journalist in the 21st century: U.S. news people at the dawn of a new millennium. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0805853820.  Missing or empty |title= (help)