From September 15th to October 15th, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated, but what exactly is it celebrating or who are we celebrating? And why isn't it dedicated a complete month like other heritage months (Black History Month, Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month, or Women's History Month). I want to share the answers to these questions and I promise to give a book list at the end.
The beginning of Hispanic Heritage month is September 15th because many Latin American countries celebrate their independence days on or around September 15th. The close of the month, is close to October 12th, and this date has been known by many different names: Columbus Day, Dia de la Raza, and Indigenous Peoples' Day. From a personal standpoint, these days bring out a great sense of pride for those who have connections to Latin American countries. In many cases, it can give others some empowerment to learn about themselves and their family.
Who are we celebrating? Anyone and everyone who feels like they have roots to Latin American countries. I enjoy seeing how others celebrate becuase Hispanics, Latinos/Latinx, Chicanos, etc., are so diverse in the way we look, the food we eat, and the places we call home, but a language has connected us. That connection is very powerful! I appreciate the diversity because it means there is representation. And representation means that a teen feels like they are being seen because they see a person who looks like them be celebrated. I can go on and on about how important representation is, but I will save that for another post.
I know this blog is slim on the topic of this month, but I encourage to do your own research. Look up an athlete (Roberto Clemente), an actor (Wilmer Valderama), an author (Elizabeth Acevedo) and it might open up your eyes to all the people we are celebrating this month.
As promised, here is a booklist one of my colleagues compiled for you: Hispanic Heritage Books for Teens