Sept. 15 - Oct. 15 is National LATINX Heritage Month!

It’s time to celebrate the important milestones, cultural achievements, influence and history of the Latinx communities. It's also time to draw awareness, and strengthen efforts to correct the ongoing prejudices, violence and social inequities that these communities endure.

 

Be proactive! Keep scrolling to learn about the history of Latinx Heritage Month, read about historical and current injustices, find new ways to pay tribute to the Latinx community, and explore other activities to expand your understanding toward equality and social inclusion.

Image by sydney Rae

A brief history of the Observance of National LATINX Heritage Month

National Latinx Heritage Month, celebrated annually from Sept. 15 - Oct. 15, honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latinx American heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.

 

History.House.gov  tells us, Latinx Heritage Month was originally observed as “Hispanic Heritage Week” under President Lyndon Johnson in 1963, but it was later extended to a monthlong celebration during President Ronald Reagan's term in 1988. 

 

The day of Sept. 15 is significant because it is the Independence Day for Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Also, Mexico and Chile celebrate their Independence Days on Sept. 16 and Sept. 18, respectively.  www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov

Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated with events including parades, art exhibits, workshops, symposiums and concerts, and by honoring important Latinx figures. The purpose of Latinx Heritage Month is to affirm all that the Hispanic and Latinx communities have contributed to our country, and to embrace the pride of their cultural heritage and traditions. It is also to further pressurize and raise awareness of the ongoing battle against systemic discrimination and inequity.

Hispanic & Latinx Terms

The terms Hispanic & Latino/a describe groups of people from distinct cultures and nationalities. Recently, the word Latinx has gained traction as a gender-neutral alternative to Latino/a. The terms Hispanic and Latinx are often used interchangeably but have different meanings and are often the subject of debate. According to NPS.gov, the definitions of the terms are generally accepted as Hispanic referring to a person or a descendant of someone who is from a Spanish-speaking country, and Latino/a or Latinx referring to a person or a descendant of someone who is from the geographic region of Latin America, including much of Central and South America and the Caribbean. For example, Portuguese speaking people from Brazil may identify as Latinx, but not Hispanic. However, as the diagram below shows, there is a significant overlap between the two groups

Hispanic_LatinX_Overlap.png
Hispanic & LatinX - Culture & Heritage

Hispanic and Latinx American culture can be very different depending on an individual's ancestry and birthplace. However, the article "Latino/a and Hispanic Culture in the U.S."by InterExchange, tells us that these groups do share some cultural similarities, including language, religion, cuisine, family values and media and entertainment.

 

Pew Research Center reported that in 2019 approximately 18% (60.6 million) of the total U.S. population were Hispanic and Latinx people. Those people bring long-standing traditions and so their numerous cultural contributions have and will continue to influence the United States' diverse culture in countless ways.

Hispanic Countries: 

Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay and Venezuela.

 

Latin American Countries:

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadaloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Scroll through our slideshow to learn more about the distinct cultures of Hispanic and Latinx Americans from select geographical regions.

Brazil

U.S. Population: 451,000 as of 2017

Native Language: Portuguese

Brazil's Independence Day: Sept. 7

Featured Dish : Moqueca 

Featured Holiday: Tiradentes Day, April 21

Click the button below for more detailed information about Brazilian Americans including their history, modern era government, significant immigration waves, settlement patterns, acculturations, traditions, cuisine and more.

Myths and Stereotypes
Five myths about Hispanics

This article by Horacio Sierra covers five myths about Hispanic people and how those myths were born. "Envious of Spain’s conquests in the Americas, British propagandists circulated 'La Leyenda Negra,' the black legend, a series of writings that denigrated Spaniards and the Spanish Empire as cruel, haughty and intolerant, starting in the 1500s. Anglophones have propagated myths about Hispanic cultures ever since. Though Hispanics make up 18.3 % of the U.S. population — the country’s largest minority group — many Americans continue to remix and reuse centuries-old stereotypes about them. Hispanic Heritage Month is a good occasion to shoot down five of the most common myths."

Read the full article ⤴

4 Latino stereotypes in TV and film that need to go

Tre’vell Anderson's  article discusses Latino "representations in Hollywood, often rooted in stereotypes. Most female characters are either cleaning ladies or spicy Latinas. The men are often drug-pushing cholos or dance-floor kings." Learn about  "four cliché-riddled roles seen in film and television over the years that it’s time to bust."

Read the full article ⤴

Discrimination
Class System - Color in Colonial Spanish America

Colonial Spanish society became a society of groupings based on color.

Read the full article ⤴

Class System - Caste And Class Structure In Colonial Spanish America

During most of the colonial era, Spanish American society had a pyramidal structure with a small number of Spaniards at the top, a group of mixed-race people beneath them, and at the bottom a large Indigenous population and small number of slaves, usually of African origin.

Read the full article ⤴

Workforce Discriminations-Hiring Bias Blacks And Latinos Face Hasn't Improved In 25 Years

"If you are Black or Latino, you have to work harder just to get an interview, even if you are as well-qualified as White candidates."

Read the full article ⤴

Workforce Discriminations-A Latino Professionals’ Views on Employment Discrimination Toward the Latino Immigrant Community

• This is a Master of Social Work Clinical Research Paper (they mentioned it is not a master's thesis).

• The purpose of this research study was to identify the causes and negative effects of employment discrimination towards Latino immigrants.

Anali Crispin Ballesteros' 2015 Clinical Research Paper "Latino Professionals’ Views on Employment Discrimination Toward the Latino Immigrant Community" Retrieved from Sophia, the St. Catherine University repository website: https://sophia.stkate.edu/msw_papers/434

Read the full article ⤴

Workforce Discriminations-Closing Latino Labor Market Gap Requires Targeted Policies To End Discrimination

Labor market conditions for Latino workers consistently lag those of their non-Hispanic white counterparts. This trend, which has held since 1976 when the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics first started tracking employment data by ethnicity, reveals that the Latino unemployment rate has generally remained between 1.6 and 1.9 times higher than the non-Hispanic white unemployment rate, and it has never dropped below a ratio of 1.2.2

The article identifies this gap as evidence that the United States is far from achieving racial and ethnic equity in the labor market, and there exist other employment data that also point to tough conditions for Latinos. Instability, underemployment, and discrimination are common issues disproportionately afflicting Latino workers. Some of the causes and counter solutions are discussed.

Read the full article ⤴

Workforce Discriminations-Latinos in the United States and in Spain: the impact of ethnic group stereotypes on labor market outcomes

Latinos are a well-established minority in the U.S., yet they have increasingly become the target of prejudice and stigmatization, especially because they are often linked to undocumented immigration. The study reveals that regarding job application call backs.  Differences in call-back rates across groups reveal unequal treatment and serve as evidence of discrimination.  The study compared between Spain and the United States examining the effects of two treatments a) competency levels and b) warmth indicator introduced in job applications specific to Latino/a gender and ethnic intersection.

Read the full article ⤴

Latinos Face Disproportionate Health and Economic Impacts From COVID-19

Hispanics and Latinos are 1.7 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than their non-Hispanic white counterparts, as well as 4.1 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 and 2.8 times more likely to die from COVID-19.2 Hispanics or Latinos, along with other communities of color, have also been disproportionately harmed by the economic fallout: They accounted for 23% of the initial job loss due to the pandemic while making up only 16% of the civilian non-institutional population. This articles makes a case from data sources for the need for policy reform to address occupational segregation and systemic racism.

Read the full article ⤴

Colorism - Hair, Skin, Class
Why Understanding Colorism Within the Latino Community Is So important

Giselle Castro discusses the importance of understanding colorism and tells of firsthand experience with it growing up in a Peruvian and Colombian household. 

Colorism is the preferential treatment of those who are lighter skinned than those who are darker within a group of people. City College Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, Iris Lopez explains, “Latinos are very color conscious and use a color classification system which includes categories such as blanco, negro, trigueno, Indio, ...” she says.'

Read the full article ⤴

Mestizo, Negro, Blanco—What Does it Mean? Racism and Colorism’s Effects in the Latinx Community

"Abstract: This study explores how Latinxs understand their racial identity and how colorism emerges, develops and evolves in the lives of Latinxs. We want to look into how racial identity affects race and color perceptions and relationships in the community. Data in this study came from 10 individuals who participated through in-person interviews or submitted a paper survey between March 2018 and March 2019. The patterns that emerged in this research demonstrate a challenge and confusion to Latinx racial identity. Familial influence is a way that colorism and racial identity is formed and understood. Colonial history of Latinxs is also discussed as a mechanism that continues to uphold colorism in the Latinx community. The limitations of the study were also discussed."

Read the full article ⤴

Exploring Colorism in the Latinx Community

"Ashley Garcia ’22 reflects on the lack of conversation surrounding issues of colorism within the Latinx community. A member of the Latinx community herself, she began thinking about her own experiences when she returned to her hometown of Miami after beginning her studies at Hamilton..."

Read the full article ⤴

Additional Resources
The Health of Undocumented Latinx Immigrants: What We Know and Future Directions 

Laws and policies that restrict immigrants’ rights can have negative effects on Latinx communities including: 

  • an increased likelihood of Latinx US-born children living without a parent 

  • increased household poverty 

  • lower educational attainment for children  

  • lower civic engagement.  

At the individual level, restrictive immigration policies result in heightened fear, restricted mobility, distrust of authority and, increased stress. These effects are experienced by undocumented individuals as well as their friends, children and extended families (123).   

Read the full article ⤴

United Farm workers 

Begun in 1962 by Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, Gilbert Padilla and other early organizers, the United Farm Workers of America is the nation’s first enduring and largest farmworkers union. The UFW continues organizing in major agricultural sectors, chiefly in California. Recent years have witnessed dozens of UFW union contract victories protecting thousands of farmworkers, among them agreements with the some of the largest berry, winery, tomato, dairy and mushroom companies in California and the nation.  

Read the full article ⤴

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an exercise of prosecutorial discretion, providing temporary relief from deportation (deferred action) and work authorization to certain young undocumented immigrants.  

DACA protections conferred recipients state-issued identification and work permits, which allowed recipients greater mobility, educational attainment and job advancement (2)

Read the full article ⤴

Development Relief Education For Alien Minors (DREAM) ACT 
  • Minors are referred to as dreamers 

  • Conditional Permanent Residencies and lawful permanent residence 

  • Naturalization amongst Latinx communities  

  • Higher Education, military services and work 

Read the full article ⤴

A brief history of the Observance of AAPIHM

According to the United States Census Bureau, a joint congressional resolution was established in In 1978 that declared first 10 days of May as Asian American & Pacific Islander American Heritage Week. These dates coincide with two important events in AAPI history: the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants (May 7, 1843)  and contributions and sacrifices of Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869. In 1992, Congress permanently expanded the observance from one week to an entire month long celebration that is now known as Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Be Proactive! 

6 Ways to Celebrate Latinx Heritage Month

According to the USDA's website, this year’s theme is- 

Hispanics and Latinx Communities: Be Proud of Your Past, Embrace the Future. 

1) Explore Hispanic and Latinx Culture in the U.S.

We suggest starting with, "The most important contributions of Latinos to the United States" by The Latin Way.

2) Attend an Event

2021 Syracuse Latino Festival has been canceled for the second time due to the coronavirus pandemic.

3) Patronize an Hispanic or Latinx + Owned Business

Support a Hispanic owned business near you! Put your money directly back into the community. Yelp offers a convenient list of the best rated Hispanic Restaurants in the Syracuse area.

4) Support or learn about a Hispanic or Latinx artist!

We suggest checking out the work of Mural Artist Eduardo Kobra, whose art is featured on our Brazil culture slide above.  In 2016 Eduardo Kobra made the headlines with his mural ‘Las Etnias’  (The Ethnicities) that lined Olympic Boulevard at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 32,000 square feet, mural beat the record for the largest spray paint mural in that year.

5) Participate in a Equity Challenge

Take the Central New York Business Equity Pledge right now!

6) Spread Awareness

 

Use social media to call attention to the achievements, influence and history of the Hispanic & Latinx community in the United States. Encourage people to stand together against Hispanic & Latinx inequities. Use the suggestions below for ways to make a bigger impact with your posts.

#HASHTAGS

Spread awareness to the masses with hashtags. Don't limit the reach of your social media posts to just your followers, add a hashtag to your content so your message is accessible to all. Here are a few we suggest for Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month:

#hispanicheritage #hispanicheritagemonth #latinosbelike #hispanicsbelike #latinos #orgullolatino #somoslatinos #latinopride #empoweringlatinos #hispanic #latinosstandup #latinx 

HISPANIC & LATINX HERITAGE MONTH GRAPHICS

Please feel free to download and share the following graphics. Don't forget your hashtags!

Click on an image for a full-size view. Hover on or click on image to display share and download options.