Hispanic heritage month is a celebration of the contributions of the Latino community to the United States. It is celebrated annually from September 15 to October 15. The United States government has designated the first week of September as Hispanic Heritage Month. This celebration is not only about culture and traditions, but it also honors influential Hispanics.
In the United States, the Hispanic population has grown the fastest racial group after the Asian population. Currently, the Hispanic population accounts for about 18 percent of the total population. During 2010, the Hispanic population grew by 13%. By the year 2021, the Hispanic population will have surpassed the Asian population by nearly a full percentage.
A number of organizations are celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. One example is Que Pasa, HSIs, a nonprofit organization dedicated to Latino-Serving Institutions (HSIs) that promotes Latino culture in the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. As part of its activities, it is launching the PALABRA Archive, a collection of 800 original audio recordings of Luso-Hispanic writers. Another example is the National Museum of the American Latino’s “Family Day” program, which includes a dance party, concert, and gallery opening.
The National Museum of the American Latino has a number of programs and events to honor and educate visitors about the history of the Hispanic population. In addition, the National Park Service and the Library of Congress are participating in the celebration. They will host a range of events, including a Hispanic music festival, a Day of the Dead Celebration, and a Latino and Hispanic Heritage Artifact Showcase. Several museums will host their own events, as well.
Although the National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to celebrate the rich history and cultural contributions of the Hispanic population, the public education system is often left out of the mix. There are several reasons for this. Among them is the lack of diversity in public school curriculum. Moreover, public school teachers may not know how to adequately teach students about the rich history of the Latino population.
In the 1960s, the civil rights movement and multicultural awareness gained much attention and led to a push to recognize the contributions of the Hispanic population. During this time, the NEH held summer seminars and events for educators. In addition, President Gerald R. Ford encouraged schools and organizations to participate in the Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.
The NEH has put together a list of resources to help educators, parents, and the general public better understand the contributions of the Latino community. Additionally, there are several NEH summer seminars and other programs designed to teach K-12 classrooms about the Hispanic community. For more information, visit the NEH’s website.
Other libguides and websites have similar content, but the HHM Libguide, developed by ULS faculty, is a useful resource because it is geared towards the University of Pittsburgh community. You can learn about the hottest Latinx happenings in town and share your own personal Hispanic-related artifacts with the University’s social media channels.