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Latinx Civil Rights in the United States: A Resource Guide

This research guide, curated by the Library of Congress Hispanic Division, focuses on 20th-century court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on Latino and Latin American people in the U.S. though timelines and research materials.


Shepard Fairey, artist. We the people - defend dignity. 2017. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Courtesy of Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant Art.

This research guide from the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress focuses on 20th-century court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on Latinx Civil Rights in the United States. Each page provides an overview and timeline of a civil rights topic and some breadth of research material for further study at the Library of Congress or your local library. The facts presented draw from Library of Congress materials and external sources listed.

The first of its kind, this comprehensive online compendium of Latinx Civil Rights resources includes references to search and seizure, legal representation, self-incrimination, medical care, and equal access to educational resources. The Hispanic Division will release and link to this guide a webinar in which scholars of Latinx civil rights help contextualize these court cases, legislation, and events. Since Latinx civil rights events are ongoing, the webinar aims to reflect on connections between the past and present.

Definitions: Latinx and Civil Rights

The term Latinx addresses Latino and Latin American identities in the most inclusive and intersectional way possible. In addition to addressing gender, it acknowledges U.S.-born Latinx individuals who do not speak Spanish, and mixed Hispanic and Indigenous communities, many of which are either nongendered or multigendered.

Civil rights refer to an individual's set of rights to be free from discrimination or repression in society.

General Information at the Library and Beyond

The diverse collections of the Library of Congress can provide a grounding in the study of civil rights in the United States as well as Latinx history and culture. The resources below are a great place to start when researching these topics and include relevant research guides, published books available at most libraries, and free resources available on the Internet.

Staff in the Hispanic Reading Room can provide access to these books at the Library of Congress. If you cannot visit the Library in person, please contact us using Ask a Librarian for assistance. In many cases, you can also find these materials at your local library.

The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.

The following external websites can be useful for expanding your research on Latinx Civil Rights.