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A Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights Cases and Events in the United States

This Hispanic Reading Room research guide focuses on 20th and 21st century American court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on civil rights in Chicana/o/x, Hispanic, Latina/o/x, Mexican-American and Puerto Rican communities


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 Reading Room at the Library of Congress focuses on 20th and 21st century court cases, legislation, and events that had important impacts on civil rights in Chicana/o/x, Hispanic, Latina/o/x, Mexican-American, and Puerto Rican communities 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 Civil Rights resources includes references to search and seizure, legal representation, self-incrimination, immigration, medical care, and equal access to educational resources. The Hispanic Reading Room will link this guide to webinar and podcast content in which scholars and communities members help contextualize these court cases, legislation, and events. Since civil rights events are ongoing in Latinx communities, these references aim to connect the past with the present.

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.