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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Celia Cruz's shoes, 1990sCelia Cruz's shoes, 1990s

Cruz, the Cuban-born vocalist known internationally as the "Queen of Salsa," began her musical career performing for Havana radio in the 1940s. She rose to fame in the 1950s singing for the Cuban band La Sonora Matancera and has been electrifying audiences ever since. During the 1990s curators began collecting and documenting contemporary Latino culture to broaden the Smithsonian's view of America. In 1997, at a ceremony honoring her fifty-year musical career, Cruz donated her flamboyant stage costume, including these custom-made platform shoes.

See also: Latino History, Popular Culture Memorabilia, Shoes

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