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Hispanic American Culture

Like the African Americans, Hispanics have established themselves as a formidable force to reckon with in the fields of entertainment, sports, politics, science, business and education. The Hispanic American culture is as pervasive as Black culture. Hispanic American food, dances and music are now as equally appreciated and accepted by the general public.

The Ties That Bind Hispanic American Culture

The Spanish language and the Roman Catholic religion are among the oldest and most important cultural bonds that unite Hispanics. During Spain's colonial period, which lasted from the 1500's to the 1800's, Spanish missionaries and landowners spread their language and religion throughout the areas they controlled. As a result, nearly all Hispanic Americans can speak Spanish, and a large majority are Roman Catholics.

Hispanics in the United States today speak a variety of Spanish dialects, depending on their country or region of origin. But the speakers of one dialect can usually understand the speakers of another with no difficulty. Although some Hispanic Americans do not use Spanish at all, most continue to speak Spanish in their homes and teach the language to their children. Many adult immigrants have difficulty learning English, but their children usually grow up speaking both Spanish and English.

Another unifying element is the recognition of common problems. Those Hispanics who are not fluent in English face obstacles in schooling and employment. Moreover, some white, English-speaking Americans regard all Hispanics as one group--a group whose ancestry and linguistic and social background are different from their own. Such perceptions have led to discrimination in housing and employment that affect all Hispanic American groups and foster unity among them.

Here is a list of famous Hispanic American people, their biographies, and pictures. Some of these are admirable Latinas who went beyond conquering race and gender discrimination to reach the top positions in their fields.

Famous Hispanic American Biographies

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