Secondary school history classes can frequently be white-and male-driven. The achievements, commitments, and penances of ladies, particularly ladies of shading, aren’t constantly included as a major aspect of your normal history educational program. In any case, there are such huge numbers of Latinx activists who you didn’t find out about in history class who changed the social and political scene in the U.S. what’s more, past.

However, they will in general be discarded from standard course readings. As Vox detailed in August 2019, many significant secondary school reading material overlook the mistreatment that Black individuals have looked in the U.S. since they reduce the abhorrences of bondage, or even allude to individuals who were oppressed as “migrant specialists.” Moreover, concurring The Atlantic, investigations of U.S. history course books have likewise uncovered that Latinx people group and verifiable figures are infrequently referenced, alongside other chronicled figures of shading. The Smithsonian Magazine announced that a recent report found for each three male authentic figures educated to understudies in a standard secondary school social examinations class, just a single lady was referenced. Of the 178 female verifiable figures educated in the educational programs that were incorporated into the report, the investigation found just 8% of the authentic female figures were Latinx.

Regardless of this, Latinx activists — particularly ladies — have constantly assumed an essential job in making social and political change from the beginning of time. Here are nine Latinx activists who presumably weren’t in your course books you should think about.

  1. Felicitas “La Prieta” Méndez

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A long time before Brown v. Board, a #AfroLatina mother-turned-lobbyist named #FelicitasMendez battled and won against @westminstersd in a Supreme Court case making a significant blow lawful isolation in California schools. More by means of @CentroPR: #WHM2019

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As Hunter College’s Center for Puerto Rican Studies revealed, Felicitas “La Prieta” Méndez — was conceived in Puerto Rico, however was enrolled to Arizona during the 1920s to chip away at cotton fields at 12 years of age. During the 1940s, Mendez’s three kids, who were of Mexican-Puerto Rican plunge, were denied entrance into Westminster, CA, school locale after overseers guaranteed their skin was excessively dull.

Accordingly, Mendez and her significant other recorded a legal claim against four school locale inside Orange County. As indicated by the U.S. Branch of Interior, four different families filled in as observers for the situation, and the suit accumulated help from the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Lawyers Guild, the American Jewish Congress, and the Japanese American Citizens League. Despite the fact that Felicitas and her better half were offered the opportunity to take into consideration their kids to go to the “white” school in return for dropping the claim, the Mendez family denied in their battle for social equality.

In 1946, the Mendez family won their case, and California finished isolation inside their schools in 1947. This case set the trend for Brown v. Leading group of Education of Topeka, which finished legitimate mass isolation in state funded schools over the U.S. in 1954.

Sylvia Mendez, Felicitas’ little girl, has proceeded with her mom’s battle for racial correspondence by going to address at universities about the memorable case, and how it affected the social liberties development. As indicated by the Los Angeles Times, Sylvia was granted the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama in 2011.

  1. The Mirabal Sisters

The Mirabal sisters were significant Latinx activists. Photograph Credit: Alvaro Diaz and Adony Flores/Wikimedia Commons

The Mirabal sisters — Patria, Minerva, María Teresa, and Dedé — were three Dominican activists who battled against the political system of Rafael Trujillo, who was despot of the Dominican Republic from 1930 to 1938, and again from 1942 to 1952. The Mirabal sisters established a dissident gathering called the Movement of the Fourteenth of June as an endeavor to reestablish majority rule government in the Dominican Republic, and oppose Trujillo’s fascism, as per the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The sisters, nicknamed “Las Mariposas” (“The Butterflies”) of the development, were detained, hijacked, beaten, and struck on various events for their work, as indicated by UNESCO. Three of them, Patria, Minerva, and María Teresa, were killed in 1960.

In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly assigned November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to recognize the Mirabal sisters.

  1. María Elena Moyano

María Elena Moyano was a Latinx dissident who advanced social projects in Peru. Photograph credit: Anthonymlop/Wikimedia Commons

María Elena Moyano was an Afro-Peruvian people group coordinator and extremist who drove a few social and women’s activist associations that intended to help devastated networks living in Lima, Peru, and encompassing zones. As indicated by Amnesty International, Moyano was basic to making the Federación Popular de Mujeres de Villa El Salvador (the Popular Federation of Women of Villa El Salvador, or FEPOMUVES), of which she was chosen president twice. FEPOMUVES set up social administrations, for example, nourishment kitchens, training programs, salary producing ventures, wellbeing councils, and the “Vaso de Leche” or “Glass of Milk” program, which provided kids in poor neighborhoods with milk.

During this time, as Amnesty International announced, Sendero Luminoso, or The Shining Path, was a volunteer army attempting to topple the Peruvian government at the time that killed a large number of regular citizens — especially individuals who ran social associations like Moyano, or the individuals who would not join their gathering. As the book The Autobiography of Marí­a Elena Moyano by Diana Miloslavich Tupac depicted, Moyano left her situation at FEPOMUVES subsequent to being chosen the agent civic chairman of Villa El Salvador in 1989, and she took an open remain against the Shining Path. She was killed in 1992 at only 33 years of age by Shining Path individuals as a notice to different activists.

Her heritage is still recalled today, and she is designated “Mother Courage” by certain individuals. In 2015, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski after death granted Moyano the Special Grand Cross Grade of the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service for her activism, as per Andia, a Peruvian news organization.

  1. Sylvia Rivera


As indicated by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Sylvia Rivera was a Puerto Rican-American social liberties lobbyist who is best known for her conspicuous job in the Stonewall Riots of New York City in 1969. As a trans lady of shading and sex worker, Rivera famously called out the mainstream LGBTQ rights movement for excluding marginalized communities. Rivera also was a founding member of STAR, a shelter for homeless trans youth, as well as the Gay Liberation Front, and the Gay Activists Alliance. The Sylvia Rivera Law Project — a New York-based organization that provides accessible health and legal services to “low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming” — was named after Rivera to honor her work.

  1. Dolores Huerta

Latinx activist Dolores Huerta was key in the labor rights movement in the U.S. Photo credit: Eric Guo/Wikimedia Commons
Dolores Huerta, born in 1930, is one of the most prolific labor activists and community organizers of the 20th century. According to the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Huerta was drawn to activism because of her parents; her father held political office in the New Mexico legislature in 1938, and her mother later owned a hotel in California that housed a diverse community of agricultural and low-wage workers. Though Huerta worked as a schoolteacher for some time after graduating college, she took up activism not long after. According to the foundation, she founded the Agricultural Workers Association, and worked in leadership at the Stockton Community Service Organization (CSO), where she helped set up voter registration drives and pushed local government for improvements in Latinx neighborhoods.

Through the CSO, Huerta met César E. Chávez, and together they formed the National Farm Workers Association, according to the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). As a leader in the organization, she spent countless hours lobbying, organizing boycotts, securing safer working conditions for farm workers, and so much more. Later on, she would also go on to speak out about gender discrimination within the farm workers rights’ movement, too.

As the National Women’s History Museum reported, Huerta has received many awards for her contributions to civil rights, including the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award in 1998, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012. To this day, Huerta still works to empower younger generations to become involved in civil rights activism.

  1. Yvonne Hakim-Rimpel

Laura Wagner
Yvonne Hakim Rimpel, journalist kidnapped, beaten, raped, and left for dead by the cagoulards in the early days of the #Duvalier dictatorship.

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Yvonne Hakim-Rimpel was a women’s rights activist and journalist born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1906. According to the organization The Haiti Support Group, Rimpel was a founding member of Haiti’s first feminist organization, the Women’s League for Social Action, in 1934. The organization focused on legal rights, access to educations, and gender equality. Moreover, she founded Escale in 1951, a feminist newspaper. Rimpel remained the main editor of the newspaper for six years.

According to the book Red Heat: Conspiracy, Murder and the Cold War in the Caribbean, by Alex von Tunzelmann, Rimpel was kidnapped and assaulted in 1958 by henchmen of François Duvalier, then the president of Haiti, whose dynastic regime is suspected of killing around 60,000 people in an attempt to maintain control of the government. After recovering from the attack, Haiti Support Group reports that Rimpel never wrote again.

  1. Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral was a Chilean author and activist. Photo credit: The U.S. Library of the Congress/Wikimedia Commons
Gabriela Mistral, the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, was a Chilean poet, educator, and human rights activist. As the Poetry Foundation reported, Mistral was born in 1889, and spent many years as a school teacher before she became famous for her poetry. In addition to her writing, Mistral was dedicated to advocating for the rights of marginalized populations. According to the Library of Congress, she was appointed Chile’s cultural representative to the League of Nations in 1925, and as a diplomat traveled to many countries throughout her lifetime. Moreover, she served as the Chilean delegate to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women up until her death in 1957. Mistral was the first Latinx author to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945.

  1. Rigoberta Menchú Tum

As an activist, Rigoberta Menchú shed light on the conditions of indigenous women in Guatemala. Photo credit: Carlos Rodriguez/ANDES/Wikimedia Commons
According to the the Nobel Prize Organization, Rigoberta Menchú Tum is a K’iche’ activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 at the age of 33 for her extensive work surrounding Indigenous rights, and for exposing the crimes committed against Mayan people during the Guatemalan Civil War (1960–96). Born to a poor, Mayan family in the foothills of Guatemala, under the dictatorship of Efraín Ríos Montt in 1959, her father was subjected to torture.

The Nobel Prize Organization reported that as a young woman, Menchú joined the resistance group Committee of the Peasant Union (CUC) with her father after he was released from prison. Soon after, her father, brother, and mother were all murdered by the occupying military. As Menchú became an increasingly prominent figure in the resistance movement after her family members’ deaths through her demonstrations and education of other Indigenous communities on the resistance, she had to flee to Mexico to escape death herself.

While in Mexico, in 1982, she co-founded the United Representation of the Guatemalan Opposition (RUOG) to oppose the current dictatorship. She also wrote the autobiography, I, Rigoberta Menchu, with the help of a translator. According to the PeaceJam Foundation, an organization that pairs youth with Nobel Peace prize laureates as mentors, the book garnered global attention and brought international awareness to the human rights violations that Indigenous peoples across Guatemala were facing. Menchú became a world-known activist who pursued justice for the Mayan peoples and other Indigenous communities. She is still a leader in the fight for Indigenous rights.

  1. Pura Belpré

Mackenzi Lee

· Sep 16, 2016
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A fitting legacy for a lady who spent her whole life doing that, and making sure Latinx kids could be proud of where they came from.

Mackenzi Lee

Pura Belpré, NYC’s first Latinx librarian who gave Latinx kids in her community mirrors when they’d only had windows

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Though librarian, educator, and author Pura Belpré wasn’t an activist in the traditional sense, her work as the first Afro-Boricua librarian in the New York Public Library system was essential to preserving Puerto Rican culture and the Spanish language among communities in the U.S. According to Reforma, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, Belpré realized her passion for children’s storytelling and literature wile working at the library, but also took notice that there were no stories written in Spanish — despite the large Puerto Rican community in Harlem.

So, Belpré wrote Perez y Martina — a love story between a mouse and cockroach — which became the first Spanish language book for children in the U.S. in 1932, as NPR reported. She hosted bilingual “storytime” hours at the library, and started acquiring more books written in Spanish.

Reforma also reported that Belpré was involved in many Latinx organizations throughout the years. In 1939, she became a member of Association for the Advancement of Puerto Rican People. Moreover, she “helped establish the Archivo de Documentación Puertorriqueña, an early effort to collect original Puerto Rican documents,” and she designed programming for children at El Museo del Barrio.

Later in life, Belpré retired from her position as a children’s librarian to write. She continued to preserve Puerto Rican folklore through children’s stories.

From Indigenous rights, to feminism, culture, and democracy, Latinx women have always been fearless leaders in the fight for human rights. Though they aren’t always included in classroom textbooks, the history of these women and their contributions is crucial to share with future generations. These Latinx activists, and so many more, have change the course of history for the better — and that shouldn’t be forgotten.


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