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Latinx and Hispanic Americans Today

Latinx experiences are diverse and varied. Despite challenges, achievements are celebrated.

President Barack Obama talks with Justice Sonia Sotomayor prior to her investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court September 8, 2009 

Terminology

The United States government first used the term Latino officially in 1997 to accompany the term “Hispanic”Coming originally from an area where Spanish is spoken and especially from Latin America as a wider identifier for people having roots and culture connected to Latin and South America.

Whereas Hispanic is used to mean that someone is from a Spanish-speaking country, Latinx is used to mean that someone’s heritage is from Latin or South America. Although Spanish is often the language most widely spoken, it is certainly not necessarily the only language in which Latinxs communicate. Hispanic as a language identifier and Latinx is a geographical one.

Overarching Issues in Minnesota

The Minnesota Latinx population faces various barriers that limit their access to political engagement including voting. Among them are acculturation The changes that occur in a culture from contact with another, usually leading to people “straddling” more than one set of cultural ideas, assimilation The process by which an individual’s or group’s language and culture come to resemble another group, often a more dominant or colonizing group and being grouped together by the government without one unified identity.