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The Importance of Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage month celebrates the achievements and accomplishments Hispanic  Americans and Hispanics have brought to America. It is being celebrated from Sep. 15 to Oct. 15.

Originally, Hispanic Heritage Month was only celebrated in the span of a week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was then expanded in 1988 by Ronald Reagan and began being celebrated over a 31-day period. During this month many Latin countries celebrate their independence on Sep. 15  (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua), Sep. 16 (Mexico), and Sep. 18 (Chile).

Every year there is a new theme for Hispanic Heritage month. This year’s theme is “Unidos, inclusivity for a stronger nation.”  Inclusivity is something that is important in all aspects of the world and what helps bring a community together. To bring the community together many Hispanics gather at Hispanic Heritage Month Festivals, watching Latin festivals, etc in celebration of the month. 

Gabriela Navarro (12) shares what makes inclusivity important in the Latinx community. 

“Inclusivity is important to our Latin community because it gives us a chance to be out there and have more of the Latinx community be leaders and be heard. It gives us more chances in life,” says Navarro 

Hispanic Heritage month gives people, businesses and the media the chance to honor and acknowledge the accomplishments many Hispanics have made in the world. This is where much Hispanic representation can be praised, in art, music, film and dance. Bad Bunny, a music artist from Puerto Rico, made history this year by becoming the first non-English-language performer to win Artist of the year at the VMA’s. Target honored Hispanic heritage month by selling a collection in celebration of the month, where all the pieces were designed by an LGBTQ+ and Latina-owned business from South Texas. In addition, Marvel has recently started showing representation of all people by introducing America Chavez, a Puerto Rican superhero from the Utopian Parallel who can open star-shaped portals between planes of existence. 

Underrepresentation is something many in the Hispanic community experience, Denise Robles (12) explains why Hispanic/Latino representation is such a big deal to those in the Hispanic community. 

“Hispanic representation is important for me and many others in the media because it is nice to see people who share your background representing your community in the media. Since white people have more of an advantage in Hollywood I feel like Latinos are underrepresented in the media so it means a lot when the Hispanic/Latino community sees someone who shares their experiences, make it big.” Denise explains.

Not only does Hispanic Heritage month acknowledge the positives we have overcome, but also the difficulties. For many years the Latinx community has faced much discrimination even now. The Zoot Suit riots that happened in Los Angeles, California on June 8 1943 were where Latinos were stripped of their zoot suits by civilians and off-duty police officers because Mexican American youths who wore the zoot suits were seen as non-American because they were ignoring the rationing regulations.  The history of the Zoot Suit riots impacted the future by offering an example of fashion discrimination as this style gained mass appeal. 

Thanks to Hispanic Heritage Month being such a largely celebrated month, many get to share and get the attention they deserve on their stories, traditions and so much more as Hispanics. 

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