Latinos in Michigan



Untitled theater production May 1986.
Julio Perazza Collection, box 1, folder 4,


"Latinos have been an integral part of Michigan's economy, society, and history throughout the 20th century. Beginning in the 1920s, Mexicans comprised a substantial percent of the workforce in Michigan agriculture and industry before large-scale repatriation during the Great Depression drastically reduced the population. The Latin-American community was revitalized during the 1940s and became especially concentrated in cities while working for wartime industries, though Mexicans and Puerto Ricans continued to work in farm labor throughout Michigan. By the 1960s and 1970s, those communities became more vocal through social movements and civic organizations advancing Latino interests and celebrating their heritage. The largest group of Latinos in Michigan is composed of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans from other states, along with Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and other Central and South Americans." 1

The Bentley Historical Library is actively collecting documentation on the Latino communities in Michigan. This guide lists all collections currently held at the Bentley Library. Any interested person may use these collections for research at the library (unless specific restrictions are noted in the collection descriptions).


This online guide was created in January of 2010, by Matthew Adair, a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Information.

1. “Michigan Latino History Project: Home,”