15 Things You Need To Know About Hispanic Heritage Month
Politics and Activism

15 Things You Need To Know About Hispanic Heritage Month

The Hispanic culture is definitely a rich one with a lot for you to learn.

Public Domain Image

At a time where Hispanics are going through devastation and a government that does not always support us, it is important to take a second and remember that this is Hispanic Heritage Month. This month does mean a lot and our history is rich and beautiful.

It is vital for us to celebrate our culture and remember those that came before us. For generations to come they should know the most influential people in our history.

Now more than ever we need a reminder of how we came to be. Here are 15 things you need to know about Hispanic heritage.

1. Juan Ponce De León founded Florida.

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce De León founded an island he called La Florida. The Spanish became the first to reach the Appalachian Mountains, the Mississippi River and the Grand Canyon. They didn't just explore Florida; they settled here and created the first European settlement.

2. José Martí and Cuba.

A Cuban nationalist, José Martí wrote both in Spanish and English promoting Cuba's independence. He was a journalist, poet, essayist and political activist. He came to Ybor to give lectures about the need for Cuban independence. He became Cuba's delegate in both Tampa and New York.

3. First Hispanic U.S. Senator.

Octaviano Larrazolo of New Mexico became the first Hispanic man elected to the U.S. Senate. He helped write parts of the state's constitution to help Mexico and make sure they did not become disfranchised.

4. Puerto Rico gets its citizenship.

March 12, 1917, marks the day the United States and former President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act and gave Puerto Rico its citizenship.

5. Hispanic Heritage Week starts in 1968.

Between September 15 and October 15, Hispanics celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Former President Lyndon Johnson began Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968. It was expanded to a month by Former President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

6. Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua independence.

September 15 is especially special because Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their independence. Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence September 16 and 17.

7. Hispanic and Latino may have some overlap.

Even though these two terms have some overlap, that does not mean they can be used interchangeably. Hispanic refers to Spanish-speaking countries and Latino refers to countries that have Latin-American descent but are not primarily Spanish-speaking.

8. Hispanics make up the second largest ethnic group in America.

According to Pew Research, in 2015 the Hispanic population came in at 56.5 million. The Hispanic population not originally born in America came in at 19.4 million. The Hispanic population that was born here came in at 37.1 million.

9. California, Texas and Florida have the largest Hispanic populations.

More than half of the Hispanic population live in California, Texas and Florida. California has 15 million Hispanics, Texas comes in at 10 million and Florida at four million.

10. Mendez v. Westminster decision.

This case came before Brown v. The Board of Education. The courts decided it was illegal to segregate Mexican students into bad schools. The postage stamp above is released September 14 in Santa Ana, California in honor of the 1946 case.

11. Roberto Clemente and MLB.

The first Puerto Rican professional ballplayer to reach 3,000 hits, Roberto Clemente also became a voice. He became a symbol of pride for the Hispanic community at a time where there weren't too many of those in major league baseball.

12. NAFTA in 1994.

In 1994, Canada, America and Mexico signed a free trade agreement that made trading easier between the three countries. As a result, many Mexican farmers lost their jobs in Mexico because product from America was so much cheaper. This is a big reason for so many Mexican families wanting to come to America.

13. Prop 187.

California's Governor Pete Wilson backed this bill that would have made it illegal to provide public services to the undocumented. In November of 1994, Los Angeles had its biggest student protest fighting this bill. The bill was eventually denied and never went into effect.

14. Latin music inspires American music.

A lot of the music we listen to in America has been inspired by the sounds of Latin music. Styles like Jazz, Country, Rap, Pop and Blues have all at one time or another used a Latin beat or even Spanish lyrics. From the bridge to "St. Louis Blues" to songs like Despacito, Latin music has integrated its way into America. Latin music has also given us great singers and musicians such as Carlos Santana, Selena, Gloria Estefan and many others.

15. Latinos have a deep presence in American art.

America owes a lot of its art influence to Spanish artists. From Picasso, Dali and Frida Kahlo, America gets a lot of their art from Hispanics. We have Mediterranean-style architecture and religious paintings that have come from Spanish countries. The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York have their own masterpieces from Spanish artists.

We should always find time to remember our past and celebrate it. Especially in dark times, going down memory lane can help us see how far we've actually come. These 15 things are just SOME of what makes up our history and culture.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 17 Black-Owned Businesses Ship Baked Goods, Rosé, And Even Fried Chicken Nationwide

Eat your way through this country's greatest food — from your couch.

Call it the easily bored Gemini in me, but I'm constantly looking for new food to try. Usually, travel quenches my taste for new and exciting cuisines, but given the fact that international travel is not always a possibility, I've begun exploring alternatives.

In the interest of wanting to support the Black community and Black-owned businesses, and also wanting to try some of the country's greatest food without having to get off my couch, I started off (pessimistically) doing research, only to find that the options were vast.

Keep Reading... Show less

24 Beauty And Style Brands Donating To The Fight To End Police Brutality Against Black People

From small, boutique brands to legacy fashion brands.

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments