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  City Hall Library Notes, September 2011

SPOTLIGHT ON: Hispanic American Heritage

By Christine Bruzzese

Since 1988, the period of September 15 to October 15 has been designated as National Hispanic Heritage Month.  Hispanic Americans have made many important contributions to New York City history, politics and culture.  This article features some resources on Hispanic heritage that can be found in the City Hall Library.

Sonia Sotomayor: the True American Dream by Antonia Felix chronicles the life of the woman who became the first Hispanic judge to be selected for the United States Supreme Court.  Judge Sotomayor grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Princeton University, worked in the New York County District Attorney’s office and served as a judge on two federal courts before joining the Supreme Court.  This book examines Judge Sotomayor’s life and career, her ideas and accomplishments and hopes fur the future.

The Report of the Mayor’s Commission on Hispanic Concerns was published in December 1986.  The Commission, composed of sixteen members of the Hispanic community, was appointed by Mayor Edward Koch.  They studied various issues such as education, economic development, housing, health.  Additionally, the Commission held meetings with the public d city leaders.  This report presents their conclusions and suggestions for improvement.  A follow-up Annual Report was published by the Commission from 1987 to 1989.

Hispanic New York: a Sourcebook, edited by Claudio Ivan Remeseira, is an anthology of scholarly, journalistic and historical essays on issues concerning Hispanic Americans in New York City.  The book begins with a section on historical perspectives including the development of the Latino communities in New York and the immigrant experience. There are also essays on language, literature and music and the place of Hispanic culture in New York City.

Be sure to consult the City Hall Library catalog at, as well as vertical and biographical files for more resources on the Hispanic-American experience in New York City.

For more info on the City Hall Library, please visit our website.

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