There has never been anyone like Celia Cruz. She was known by fans as the “Queen of Salsa.” We honor this talented Grammy award-winning singer this Hispanic Heritage Month.
Here is a PBS special ” A Night of Salsa” featuring Celia Cruz and many other well known performers.
Find out more about Celia Cruz:
Celia Cruz Foundation
Biography: Celia Cruz
During this Hispanic Heritage Month we honor Sylvia Mendez who helped change life for Mexican children in California when legal action ended segregation.
Sylvia was the daughter of Gonzalo Mendez,a Mexican immigrant and Felicitas Mendez, a Puerto Rican immigrant. Like most parents, they wanted Sylvia and her two brothers to get a good education but they were not allowed to enroll into a “white” school.
Sylvia’s parents and other parents filed a class action lawsuit in 1945 on behalf of more than 5,000 children who attended segregated schools. They won the lawsuit.
In February 2011, President Obama awarded Sylvia Mendez the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Today Sylvia Mendez continues to share her story in schools across the country.
History on Sylvia Mendez
Katy Jurado decided early when she got to Hollywood that she would determine her career path and not fall into the stereotype of playing Mexican sexpots on film. She was already an actress in Mexico when she was discovered by an American director at a bullfight. Aside from acting, Jurado was also a movie columnist, radio reporter and bullfight critic in Mexico.
Jurado was offered her first American film in the early 1950’s. Her performance in the film “High Noon” won her a Golden Globe award. She was the first Latina to win that award.
For more on Jurado and her acting successes and work in Mexico and the U.S. go to the following sources:
During this Hispanic Heritage Month we honor Dr. Antonia Pantoja. One of her favorite saying was “We make the future, I make the future.” The Puerto Rican New Yorker committed her life to helping Latino high school students get an education and move forward in life.
More about Dr. Pantoja:
1922 – Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico
1942 – Graduated from the University of Puerto Rico
1944 – Arrived in New York City
1952 – Graduated with Masters of Social Work
1958 – joined a group of young professionals creating the Puerto Rican Forum, Inc.
1961 – Founded ASPIRA
1970 – established the Universidad Boricua and the Puerto Rican Research and Resource Center
1972 – Fought for bilingual education in New York City
1997 – President Clinton awarded Dr. Pantoja the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She became the first Latina to receive the highest honor the nation bestows on a civilian.
ASPIRA: Our founder
National Association of Social Workers
This Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15- Oct. 15) we will be honoring Hispanic women who have worked to make life better for others, especially the Hispanic community.
These are women who have made an impact in education, politics, art, journalism, science, civil rights, tech and other fields. Some of these Hispanic leaders are still with us today and some are not, but their legacy lives on.
MARIA L. DE HERNANDEZ FOUGHT AGAINST SEGREGATION IN TEXAS SCHOOLS
Read more about Maria Rebecca Latigo de Hernandez and her hard work.
Texas State Historical Association