Your browser is not supported. please upgrade to the latest version of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari or Microsoft Edge.

Latinx Heritage Month: More Than One Word, More Than One Heritage

Milagros Chirinos

09/13/2019

As we mark the start of Latinx Heritage Month, HRC is proud to celebrate the cultures, contributions and resilience of Latinx, Hispanic and Latino-identified communities around the world.

More than 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson’s Proclamation 3869 launched a week-long celebration of the histories, cultures and contributions of citizens of Hispanic origin to America’s national heritage. 

Since then, the one-week event has grown into what is known by many as Hispanic Heritage Month -- a commemoration from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 that is intrinsically linked to the independence anniversaries of several Latin American nations and uplifts the cultural legacy of a group deeply-rooted in rich traditions. 

This celebration has become a vital opportunity to dispel ignorance, prejudice and fear through education about multiculturalism and the history of the countless contributions of Latinx communities. 

HRC has adopted the term “Latinx” rather than Hispanic or Latino to represent the identities of non-binary, gender non-conforming and gender-expansive people. “Latinx” also centers the lives of indigenous, Brazilian and other non-Spanish speaking people in this celebration. 

For Juliana Martínez, author and assistant professor at American University, choosing definitions and labels matter because some words often can have problematic implications. She argues that the terms “Hispanic” and “Latino” became institutionalized through the U.S. Census and may not resonate or encompass all identities and populations they have historically been used to refer to -- including a majority of primarily U.S.-born citizens of all generations that includes immigrants and descendants of Latin American migrants. 

“Puerto Ricans, Mexican-Americans, Chicanos, Cubans and Central Americans have very specific histories,” Martinez said. “There is a lot of doubt that one single term can define and group all these populations together, but at the same time the use of one term does have the potential to help consolidate these communities and create a broader political group to defend their rights and defend collective action.”

Read More on HRC

    Racial Equity/Diversity

Load older comments...

Loading comments...

Add comment

19

August 2019

Nike Removes Contract Reductions for Pregnant Athletes After Backlash

05

October 2019

Why all women should learn to self-promote like a politician

19

October 2019

Where Net Promoter Score Goes Wrong

19

October 2019

Stephen Colbert Signs a New ‘Late Show’ Deal Through 2023

17

June 2019

How one gay Dallas couple's surrogacy journey convinced PwC to change its benefits

You've Been Timed Out

Please login to continue