Antonia Hernández, MALDEF President

Happy Birthday to Antonia Hernández, born on May 30, 1948 in Coahuila, Mexico.  Hernández immigrated to the US with her family when she was 8 years old.  Her mother stated in an interview with Parent magazine that, “In my time, women didn’t have the freedom that women have today, but I wanted my daughters to have that, to learn, to travel, to work, to do whatever they wanted to do.”  Hernández is a graduate of the University of California (UCLA) Law School.  She served as president and general counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a Latino civil rights organization.

Frank del Olmo, Writer and Editor

May 18, 1948 is the birthday of Frank del Olmo, writer, editor, and columnist for the Los Angeles Times. Olmo earned a BS in journalism from California State University.  He raised awareness of Latino issues and advocated increased hiring of Latino reporters.  Olmo received an Emmy Award for The Unwanted (1975), a documentary about the border between the US and Mexico and a Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service for his series about Latinos in Southern California.  In 2004, he collapsed from a heart attack while working in his office, and died at age 55.

Esmeralda Santiago, Author, Editor and Documentary Filmmaker

Happy Birthday to author, editor and documentary filmmaker Esmeralda Santiago, born on May 17, 1948 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. Santiago immigrated to the US with her family when she was 11 years old.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University and earned her MFA at Sarah Lawrence College. Santiago’s writings capture the emotional, psychological and intellectual conflicts of human beings living in two cultural worlds.  In her book, “When I was Puerto Rican”, she wrote, “I was told I was no longer Puerto Rican because my Spanish was rusty, my gaze too direct, my personality too assertive … Yet in the United States, my darkness, my accented speech, my frequent lapses into confused silence between English and Spanish identified me as foreign, non-American.”  Her books include “América’s Dream”, “Almost a Woman”, and “Conquistadora”.