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Exploring Latinx Civil Rights in the United States: La Biblioteca Podcast Season 2

(The following is a post by Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe Partida, Huntington Fellows, and Dani Thurber, Reference Librarian, Hispanic Reading Room, Latin American, Caribbean, and European Division.)

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Hispanic Reading Room of the Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of Season 2 of La Biblioteca Podcast titled “Exploring Latinx Civil Rights in the United States.” Each Tuesday, from October 5 to November 2, listen to a new episode produced by Huntington Fellows, Herman Luis Chavez and Maria Guadalupe (Lupita) Partida, authors of “A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States,” which inspired the new podcast season.

A collage of black and white images showing people doing different activities. Words on the image read: Latinx Civil Rights, Library of Congress.

Figure 1 Collage of images created by Herman Luis Chavez. Images used clockwise from top left – Frank Espada. Reagan la roba a los pobres Migrant farm worker at a demonstration, Washington, D.C. 1981.; Al Aumuller. Group [of Puerto Rican children] in C class. 1947.; Al Ravenna. Puerto Ricans demonstrate for civil rights at City Hall, New York City. 1967.; Dorothea Lange. Cotton picker. Southern San Joaquin Valley, California. 1936. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

La Biblioteca Podcast, which premiered in 2017, explores the collections of the Library of Congress that focus on the cultures of Spain, Portugal, Latin America, and the Hispanic community in the United States. Season 1 of La Biblioteca Podcast, “Exploring the PALBARA Archive,” was produced by Librarians Catalina Gómez and Talía Guzmán-González, who spoke with poets, critics, and experts about a selection of recordings from the PALABRA Archive.

In Season 2 of La Biblioteca Podcast, Herman and Lupita speak with community advocates, scholars, and members of Congress from across the U.S. about Latinx civil rights, identity, and Library collections. This season’s guests include librarian María Daniela Thurber; former HACU Library intern Bianca Napoleoni; lawyer Antonia Hernandez; advocates Crista Ramos, Daphne Frias, and Myrna Pagan; journalist Paola Ramos; U.S. Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández and Joaquin Castro; and scholars Carlos Manuel Haro (UCLA), Cecilia Menjivar (UCLA), Marie Cruz Soto (NYU), Ed Morales (Columbia), and Ruth Ellen Wasem (University of Texas at Austin).

La Biblioteca Podcast can be found on Apple Podcasts and on the Library’s official Podcast page.

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month 2021! See below for a breakdown of this season’s episodes:

Episode 1 – La Biblioteca and Latina Sterilizations in Madrigal v. Quilligan

Herman and Lupita speak with former Mexican American Legal Defense Fund (MALDEF) president Antonia Hernandez about the civil rights class action lawsuit Madrigal v. Quilligan. The episode also includes an introduction to season two of La Biblioteca and the research guide it derives from, featuring Reference Librarian Dani Thurber.

Episode 2 – Central American Migration to the U.S: Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

Herman and Lupita speak with 17 year-old activist Crista Ramos and scholars Dr. Ruth Wasem and Dr. Cecilia Menjívar about the immigration legislation known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS). TPS recipients receive temporary immigration status, work authorization, and protection from deportation until it is safe to return to their home countries without a direct path to permanent residency status.

Episode 3 – Who Are We? Latinx and U.S. Identity

Herman and Lupita speak with journalists Ed Morales and Paola Ramos about Latinx identity and the communities that identify with that term. Key concepts include immigration, gender and sexuality, race, and inter-generational communication.

Episode 4 – Ahora Es Cuando [Now is the time]: Exploring the Latinx Electorate

Herman and Lupita meet with U.S Representatives Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03) and Joaquin Castro (TX-20) to discuss the Latinx electorate. Key concepts include voter engagement, history of Latino elected representatives, cross-community solidarity, and congressional internship programs.

Episode 5 – Student Activism: 1968 Los Angeles Walkouts to Gen Z Justice

Herman and Lupita meet with youth activist Daphne Frias and scholar Dr. Carlos Manuel Haro to discuss Latinx student activism. The episode focuses on the 1968 East Los Angeles school walkouts, one of the largest student-led marches in American history, and the contemporary justice pursued by Gen Z students at the intersection of disability, educational, and civic activism.

Episode 6 – Environmental Activism in Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Herman and Lupita speak with scholar Dr. Marie Cruz Soto and environmental activist Myrna Pagan about Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. The episode also includes a conclusion to season two of La Biblioteca Podcast and the research guide it derives from, featuring former Library intern Bianca Napoleoni.

About the Podcasters

Photo of a student.

Herman Luis Chavez.

Herman Luis Chavez (he/they/él) is the child of Bolivian immigrants. At the Library of Congress, Chavez was a Junior Fellow and Huntington Fellow in the Hispanic Reading Room, where he published an online research guide to Latinx civil rights and conducted research and outreach for the PALABRA Archive. They are a student of Ethnomusicology and Comparative Literature at UCLA, where they are a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Chavez also serves as the Transfer Student Representative for the Undergraduate Students Association Council, representing and advocating for a constituency of over 6,000 students. Outside of UCLA and the Library of Congress, he has worked with local libraries, literary arts non-profits, cultural centers, and in higher education to combine their twin passions for advocacy and creative expression. Chavez plans to pursue graduate studies in the fall of 2022.

photo of a student

María Guadalupe Partida.

María Guadalupe Partida (she/her/ella) graduated from St. Mary’s University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science in May 2020. She is a first-generation Latina, born and raised in the border city of Laredo, Texas. Lupita was a Junior Fellow and Huntington Fellow in the Library of Congress Hispanic Reading Room, where she published an online research guide to Latino/x civil rights and a Story Map titled “Stolen: An Indigenous Messenger’s Own Account of the Aztec Conquest.” Previously, she worked with local, national, and international nonprofits and government entities, advocating for humanitarian policies that benefit Latinx and immigrant communities. Lupita’s life-long commitment to public service empowers her to amplify the voices and needs of marginalized communities. She plans to pursue graduate studies in the fall of 2022.

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