A great celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month has begun. It spans from September 15 to October 15. This celebration commemorates and celebrates the amazing history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. This community encompasses a term (Hispanic, Latino or Latinx) which is in reference to a person’s culture. Therefore, it is rich in heritage from regions all over the world. This originated as a one week celebration from California Congressman George E. Brown in June 1968. As many civil actions, this celebration stemmed from the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. There was an awareness and push to recognize the numerous contributions from this community to help build America.
This accomplishment derived from Public Law 90-48 which authorized the proclamation for National Hispanic Heritage Week starting on September 15th and 16th. There was a special encouragement for the educational communities to be the forerunners in this celebration. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson who expeditiously moved the same day to make this week official. This date of September 15th was not chosen by chance or mistake. But, intentionally chosen to reflect Independence Day celebrations of five Central American neighbors: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
There are many faces of this community just as many cultures and races display. Some people from this culture such as the Afro Latino community have many stories of struggle that many of us may identify with. This is a great story by a brilliant young Afro Latina woman who speaks to this struggle and triumph. She found her own identity even within her culture. There are many faces that make up this great celebration. Many contributions have come from the Hispanic, Latino, Latinx community that many of us enjoy and appreciate.
They range from astronauts to artists. Too many to name here. But, just to name a few and get your curiosity stimulated, women like Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic woman in space in April 1993, Joan Baez, legendary folk singer who sang ‘We Shall Overcome’ during the 1963 Civil Rights Movement, Dolores Huerta, founded the United Farm Workers organization for fair and improved conditions for farm workers, and Selena who is a world renown pop superstar artist. There are countless more who are in the faces of America’s tapestry.
Though this year due to COVID 19, like everything else, the celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month looks a little different. But, nonetheless a celebration to still commemorate and honor a beautiful culture. Though it is not with parades and prideful crowds, it is still with love, people (socially distanced), gathering and eating great food and helping others that we remember and recognize the heart of this community, the people, culture, and traditions.