Image by Texas Woman’s University
By: Anna Boyd
September 15th marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month. This is a month-long celebration of American citizens whose ancestors came from Central or South America, Spain, Mexico, or the Caribbean.
The celebration began on September 15th to align with the anniversary of President Johnson signing the law to honor the Hispanic and Latin American communities. This day also precedes the 16th which is Mexico’s Independence Day.
This celebration was initially only a weeklong until 1988 President Reagan extended the week to October 15th to coincide with the days of independence for Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
Since the 2020 census, the number of Latinos has increased by 3 million in the United States. This increase can be caused by many factors, one being that the modern census form makes it easier to allow people to identify with multiple races. In California, Hispanics have become the largest racial group.
This month is celebrated with many festivals nationwide. This includes art shows, community gatherings and so much more. To start this month off the White House held a roundtable with 4 Hispanic Cabinet leaders: Xavier Becerra who is secretary of Health and Human Services, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, and Isabel Guzman the Administrator of the Small Business Administration. They each shared about the meaning of Latino leadership in their key areas.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15 to October 15 and was created to recognize the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States. September 15th is a significant day because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively. Día de la Raza or Columbus Day, which is October 12, also falls within these 30 days. The observation of Hispanic Heritage month started in 1968 as a week under the presidency of Lyndon Johnson. President Ronald Reagan extended the celebration in 1988 to cover 30 days starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. As we reflect on the historical context, I asked that we keep inclusiveness and acceptance as key values. One of the most courageous things we have in life is that no one has the authority to tell you who you are. It is foundationally important to appreciate where we come from and how that history has shaped us all individually. So, as we shine a light on this moment of preservation realize that celebration of one’s culture does not dim the light of others, so please, join us as we celebrate the history, pride, and culture of Hispanic Heritage Month”Dr. Anthony Jones.
This month is a way for the country to recognize the work that Latinos are doing to support the country. We can make known the many great things that come from this culture, such as art, foods, and stories. The U.S. also raises awareness for those who needs it most in the different Hispanic Countries.