Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the lives, culture and contributions
of Latinos in the United States. Observing Hispanic Heritage Month is therefore important for non-Hispanics.
Hispanic Heritage Month started as one week and was expanded in 1988. Unlike other commemorative months such as Black History Month beginning Feb. 1 or Pride Month beginning June 1, Hispanic Heritage Month takes place from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15; this speaks to its own history. It begins on Sept. 15 to coincide with Guatemala, Honduras, El Sal- vador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica’s national independence days.
The Hispanic population in the United States has increased significantly over the last decade. Personally, I believe it is critical for myself and other non-Hispanics to learn more about the popu- lation’s culture. Hispanics are a part of the United States’ melting pot and should be recognized and celebrated just as other cultures are.
Hispanics have a part written in United States history that should not be overlooked. For example, the plastic heart was created by Dr. Domingo Liotta from Argentina. In 1969 the artifi– cial device was implanted in
a human and kept him alive for three days until a human heart arrived. Unfortunately, the patient died soon after, but the first step was made toward innovation in the medical field.
I would have never known about this without taking time to look it up. This is a major contribution to science that has not been taught. It makes me think about other inventions created by Hispan– ics that have gone unrecog- nized by the masses.
As an African American female, I am accustomed to being overlooked and my communities’ culture and contributions unappreciated. I believe it is my responsibili– ty to do my part ensuring that I am not inflicting the same injustice that myself or the African American community has endured on another community.
I have only gotten a glimpse of what’s to come as I move into the workforce and I am sure Hispanics will have, if not the same, similar hardships.
The least I can do is observe Hispanic Heritage Month and become more ed- ucated on their contributions in science, film, politics, etc.
In addition to observing Hispanic Heritage Month, myself and other non-His– panics can go the extra mile and vote Latino.
For the past 15 years, the political organization, Vote Latino has focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latino voters, all the while creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. As productive
members of society it is
our responsibility to vote in primary, general, and local elections. Considering voting for a Latino representative
is a great way to get more representation and diversity in office.
Non-Hispanic people should learn more about Hispanic heritage and enable them to share it with the rest of the country, includ– ing artists, writers, Olympic champions, and business, government, film, and aca– demic leaders.
I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to high– light discrimination against Hispanics, and celebrate their ancestors and contributions.