Recognizing Hispanic contributions

Seeking better opportunities, Hispanics dramatically migrated to America. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that there were 48.4 million Hispanics scattered throughout the United States as of July 1, 2009, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic minority.In honor of the burgeoning U.S. population, Hispanic Heritage Month is now being celebrated.

Starting as a weeklong event on Sept. 17, 1968, under the leadership of President Lyndon Johnson, it was extended by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Sept. 15 was the start of Hispanic Heritage month, which lasts through Oct. 15.

According to www.biography.com, this month gives Americans whose roots trace back to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America and the Caribbean a chance to celebrate their heritage.

Because Sept. 15 is the independence date of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, it proved to be the perfect day to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.

Although Hispanics have a month to call their own because of their contributions, many believe that Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 should not be the only time they’re celebrated. And many feel the same way about Black History Month.

Being an HBCU, Grambling students should be able to understand the struggles of Hispanics.

Hispanics are all around us; but, do not get the recognition they deserve. Many might know some famous Hispanics such as Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez and Oscar De La Renta.
But there are many other Hispanics who have contributed to the American lifestyle of today.

There have been many prominent Hispanics who have been pivotal in American history.

These include Sonia Sotomayor, who became the first Hispanic Justice and third woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and Antonia Novello, who was both the first woman and first Hispanic to serve as the U.S. Surgeon General.

Hispanics have been a part of the U.S. culture dating back to the country’s beginning. Not only have they contributed to our entertainment, fashion, music, sports, civil rights, etc., they also assisted in the U.S. becoming the independent country it is today.

They proudly fought in the Revolutionary War that freed the United States from England and all wars to the Persian Gulf War. More than 400,000 Hispanics served the U.S. during World War II, and about 25,000 served in the Persian Gulf War. From the Civil War to present day, there have been more than three dozen Hispanic Americans who have been recipients of the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military honor awarded for extraordinary bravery under fire.

But when you are to read a history book, you don’t see too many of these contributions made by Hispanics.

Many ethnic groups, including Hispanics, built this country. One month is not enough time to recognize the contributions of those who helped give us the opportunities available today.