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Hispanic Heritage Month: Home



Explore books, streaming videos, databases, and more from the SCC library and learn about Hispanic Heritage in the United States.

What is Hispanic Heritage Month?

"Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period."


Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera became U.S. poet laureate in 2015, capping a career in letters that began in the gritty outsider-arts scene in Southern California. The first Hispanic American to serve as poet laureate, Herrera has produced several volumes of verse as well as bilingual books for children. "I'm a political poet," he cheerfully admitted to Washington Post writer Ron Charles, further describing himself as "a poet that's concerned with the plight of people who suffer. If words can be of assistance, then that's what I'm going to use."

Read more about Herrera and his work.

"Juan Felipe Herrera." Newsmakers, vol. 3, Gale, 2015. Gale In Context: Biography, Accessed 23 Aug. 2023.


Browse selected titles below from the SCC Library then search for more print books and ebooks.

Browse Non Fiction ebooks from the SCC Library

Death and Dying in Hispanic Worlds

To many observers, the topic of death and dying in the Hispanic cultural tradition is usually limited to that of Mexico and its transmogrified religious festival day of Dia de los Muertos. The studies presented in the ten chapters, and editorial introductions to the themes of the book, seek to widen this representation, and set forth the implications of the binary aspects of death and dying in numerous cultures throughout the so-called Hispanic world.

Thriving in the Fight

Social justice work is more crucial than ever, but it can be physically and emotionally draining. Longtime activist Denise Collazo offers three keys to help Hispanic women keep their focus, morale, and energy high. Winner of the gold medal at the International Latino Book Awards for Best Latina-Themed Book and Best Self-Transformational Book! .

Latinx Photography in the United States

Latinx photographers have documented fights for dignity and justice as well as the daily lives of ordinary people. Their powerful, innovative photographic art touches on family, identity, protest, borders, and other themes. Through individual profiles of more than eighty photographers from the early history of the photographic medium to the present, Elizabeth Ferrer introduces readers to Latinx portraitists, photojournalists, and documentarians and their legacies. 

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The Taco Truck

Icons of Mexican cultural identity and America's melting pot ideal, taco trucks have transformed cityscapes from coast to coast. The taco truck radiates Mexican culture within non-Mexican spaces with a presence--sometimes desired, sometimes resented--that turns a public street corner into a bustling business. Robert Lemon illuminates new truths about foodways, community, and the unexpected places where ethnicity, class, and culture meet.

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Barrio America

The compelling history of how Latino immigrants revitalized the nation's cities after decades of disinvestment and white flight Thirty years ago, most people were ready to give up on American cities. We are commonly told that it was a "creative class" of young professionals who revived a moribund urban America in the 1990s and 2000s. But this stunning reversal owes much more to another, far less visible group: Latino and Latina newcomers. 

Latinas in the United States

Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia records the contribution of women of Latin American birth or heritage to the economic and cultural development of the United States. With more than 300 photographs, Latinas in the United States offers a mosaic of historical experiences, detailing how Latinas have shaped their own lives, cultures, and communities through mutual assistance and collective action, while confronting the pressures of colonialism, racism, discrimination, sexism, and poverty.

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In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams. From Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to singer Selena Quintanilla to NASA's first virtual reality engineer, Evelyn Miralles, this is a book for aspiring artists, scientists, activists, and more.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Since mid-2018, when she registered one of the biggest primary election upsets in the nation, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has emerged as one of the most influential voices of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Few politicians have experienced a rise as meteoric she has. This book examines how the telegenic lawmaker--a life-long New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent--engineered that startling victory, why her life story and ideas made her such a focus of national attention.

Browse Books by Hispanic American Fiction Writers

Olga Dies Dreaming

It's 2017, and Olga and her brother, Pedro "Prieto" Acevedo, are boldfaced names in their hometown of New York. Prieto is a popular congressman representing their gentrifying Latinx neighborhood in Brooklyn, while Olga is the tony wedding planner for Manhattan's power brokers. Despite their alluring public lives, behind closed doors things are far less rosy. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico's history, Olga Dies Dreaming is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream--all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

Mexican Gothic

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She's not sure what she will find--her cousin's husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region. Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She's a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she's also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid. 

L. A. Weather

L.A. is parched, dry as a bone, and all Oscar, the weather-obsessed patriarch of the Alvarado family, desperately wants is a little rain. He's harboring a costly secret that distracts him from everything else. His wife, Keila, desperate for a life with a little more intimacy and a little less Weather Channel, feels she has no choice but to end their marriage. With quick-wit and humor, Alvarado family wrestles with impending evacuations, secrets, deception, and betrayal, and their toughest decision yet: whether to stick together or burn it all down.

Diamond Park

A fast-paced YA novel about four Mexican American teenagers from Houston, a '59 Chevy Impala, and a murder that changes their lives forever. Flaco isn't the kind of kid who gets in trouble. He doesn't want to give his mom or his aunt Ana Flor any grief-they've had enough since his cousin Carlos died serving in Afghanistan. But he finds a whole lot more trouble than he bargained for when he and his friends Tiny, Magana, and Susi ride the bus from their Houston neighborhood to Diamond Park to buy a used car. 

Mexican WhiteBoy

Mexican WhiteBoy is a story of friendship, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions. Danny is tall and skinny. Even though he's not built, his arms are long enough to give his pitch a power so fierce any college scout would sign him on the spot. Ninety-five mile an hour fastball, but the boy's not even on a team. But at his private school, they don't expect much else from him. Matt de la Peña's critically acclaimed novel is an intimate and moving story that offers hope to those who least expect it.


The sparkling story of friendship and self-empowerment that features a little boy in a wheelchair who is given a special pet by his father. 

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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

Perfect Mexican daughters do not go away to college. And they do not move out of their parents' house after high school graduation. Perfect Mexican daughters never abandon their family.  But Julia is not your perfect Mexican daughter. That was Olga's role. Then a tragic accident on the busiest street in Chicago leaves Olga dead and Julia left behind to reassemble the shattered pieces of her family. And no one seems to acknowledge that Julia is broken, too. 

Watch Streaming Videos from the SCC Library

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Raul Julia: The World's a Stage

Raúl Juliá: The World’s A Stage examines the life and career of entertainer Raúl Juliá. The documentary is a revealing portrait of the actor, who earned recognition for his versatility on stage and on screen.

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From Dos Laredos to Mars

Pati Jinich, chef and James Beard Award-winning host, travels from Laredo and Nuevo Laredo to Brownsville, Texas. She learns how family bonds are an underlying theme connecting everything in the Laredos, and throughout La Frontera

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Frida Kahlo

Who was Frida Kahlo? Everyone knows her, but who was the woman behind the bright colors, the big brows, and the floral crowns? Take a journey through the life of a true icon, discover her art, and uncover the truth behind her often turbulent life. Making use of the latest technology to deliver previously unimaginable quality, we take an in-depth look at key works throughout her career.

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Diego Maradona

From Oscar®-winning director Asif Kapadia, HBO Sports presents the extraordinary story of Argentinean soccer legend Diego Maradona, the most celebrated and polarizing player of his generation.

Library Databases For Researching Hispanic Heritage

Find articles, images, and more in these library databases. 

Streaming Videos

Browse more streaming videos from the SCC Library.

General Research Resources