BY JEANETTE LENOIR
Hispanic Heritage Month is a national celebration of our diverse American culture. From the Arts to the culinary and agriculture industry, including social movements inspired by the African American civil rights struggles, Hispanics have and continue to shape American society.
Here are 10 things you need to know about Hispanic Heritage Month:
- The annual month-long celebration and recognition of Hispanic culture runs September 15 to October 15.
- President George H. W. Bush issued a Presidential Proclamation on September 14, 1989 to recognize the month-long celebration of Hispanic culture. It was a weeklong celebration before the change.
- The significance of the date is to include the recognition of independence days for Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Chile.
- Celebrations of Hispanic culture typically includes events focused on food, music, costume, dance, film, art and more.
- Justice Sotomayor is the first Hispanic American appointed to the Supreme Court and the third woman.
- This year’s theme for the celebration is, “Hispanics: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future.”
- As of July 1, 2019, the Hispanic population of the United States was 60.6 million people, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority (18.5% of the total U.S. population).
- The United States has the 2nd largest population of Hispanic people in the world, second only to Mexico.
- The U.S. Government carried out many propaganda activities during World War II. One was an effort to appeal to Hispanic Americans and the people of Latin America to foster a united front against the Axis powers. Featured in this endeavor were the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs and the Office of War Information. These offices hired artists with ties to Mexico to illustrate posters.
- Hispanics are the fastest growing population in U.S. Military, making up 15.8 percent of active Military personnel.
There are numerous ways to take part in celebrating Hispanic or Latino culture. Unfortunately, the on-going pandemic has limited the opportunities for normal festivities to take place but many organizations and communities all across the country are finding ways to highlight this part of our diverse American culture. Here are just a few ideas to consider taking part in: The Smithsonian Institution, The 6th Annual Official Latino Film and Arts Festival, The National Portrait Gallery, and Immigrant Food restaurant is offering a special in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Let’s embrace the future together!