Nuestra Communidad: Our Community

For Hispanic Heritage Month 2022, the CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies created a special webpage for researchers who want to learn more about the Latinx/Hispanic community of Arkansas:

The Butler Center also recorded nine oral history interviews with Arkansas community members who are either part of the Latinx and Hispanic communities in Arkansas or work closely in Latinx and Hispanic community development in the state. With help from CALS Community Liaison Maria Aguilar, Danielle Afsordeh—who is the Butler Center/CALS Roberts Library Community Outreach Archivist—made connections with nine members of the Latinx and Hispanic community to interview. The nine interviews from this year are available here, with more available here.

The webpage has additional resources for genealogy research, general historical research on Hispanic and Latinx communities, and resources for conducting oral history interviews.

Afsordeh also created this short “How To” video to assist people using smart phones and Zoom to record oral history interviews at home.

The CALS Roberts Library put together two programs for Hispanic Heritage Month, one now available as a recording and one still upcoming (register here for the Sept. 29 event):

  • September 15’s Capturing Your Hispanic Heritage: Watch on YouTube here.

On the Oral History Features/Programs:

Afsordeh said that she is very excited to be given the opportunity to engage with the Hispanic and Latinx communities through the oral history project and featured programs for the month. She said, “There is value in both having staff at the Butler Center capturing these stories and also in empowering members of the community to record stories with their own family members and conduct genealogy research. Additionally, having our Sept. 29 speaker, Dr. Maria Escobar, share her research on how folks in these communities find belonging in Arkansas is sure to be a powerful addition to the month’s programming.”

On the Donation from Journalist and Publisher Enrique Fuentevilla:

The Butler Center is thankful for newly formed connections with the Hispanic and Latinx communities facilitated by Maria Aguilar, CALS’s Hispanic Community Liaison. Aguilar connected the Butler Center with Enrique Fuentevilla, a journalist and publisher who serves as the CEO of the Spanish-language publications company Cinco Media & Communications Group, LLC. Over the last two decades, Fuentevilla has collected Spanish-language newspapers from all over the state, from cities as large as Little Rock and as small as De Queen.

La Prensa – Northwest Arkansas
Enlace Latino – Little Rock, Arkansas
Amigo – Hope, Arkansas

Afsordeh said, “Enrique Fuentevilla has generously donated this collection to the Butler Center, so that CALS may preserve and provide access to these resources that document the development of the Spanish-language community in the state. We look forward to further additions to the archival collection that are reflective of Hispanic and Latinx community development in Arkansas.”

Read more about the Hispanic community in Arkansas on the CALS Encyclopedia of Arkansas here and find the EOA’s eight major time-period entries translated into Spanish here.





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