Monday, September 21, 2009

Latino Heritage Month


First let me say that my weeks seem to get busier by the day and coming up with blogs have proven to be difficult. I know that I have been basing many topics on love and life because of the many issues that I am facing. However, I do have another passion and that is mi cultura. I started writing this blog because I felt that Afro Latinos are just not represented enough and I wanted to carve my niche. I wont say I haven't, but I know I do not write much about being Latino.

I remember a few month back, I would talk to people about my blog and I said to one woman that I do not talk much about Latino issues as I should. Her response was classic. She told me that the subject does no matter, since I am Latino...then the blog is about Latino issues. I am always amazed about how people view the world. So, I never gave my subject matter a second thought.

For those who do not know, Latino Heritage Month is really called "Hispanic Heritage Month". Hispanic Awareness began in 1968 under the Lydon Johnson administration. It was once called Hispanic Heritage Week. Years later, under President Regan, it was expanded to a Month between September 15th and October 15th. The reason for the oddity of the dates is because of the numerous amount of independence days that Latin American countries celebrate within that 30 day time period. It was voted into law in 1988.

I was never crazy about the idea of having an "awareness" month actually being in between 2 months, but I do understand the reasoning. It made me think that how funny it is that Black History Month is during the shortest month of the year and that includes leap year. Now Latinos cant even have a real month we just have to bits of 2 months and call it our own. Sounds like good old fashioned colonialism to me, but I digress..

Speaking of that...I prefer saying Latino Heritage Month because I feel that is what is should be called. I have explained before how Hispanic is not a term I consider myself. Do I look Hispanic? No... I look black. Probably because I am a direct reflection of people who were indigenous to the Latin American Diaspora which does include the Caribbean. While I do get that this is a national month of recognition that that was created by the U.S. Government to celebrate diversity within our country, we have the ability to change the name. It was not so long ago that the term Latino was not even on the Census chart.

There are several blogs & social networks that I have listed on the side that more or less talk about the Latino experience. Depending on where you live or where you go there are tons of things to see and do during this month. The big thing that everyone on twitter is talking about is the LATISM (LATinos in Social Media) Conference. Although I cannot make it, I would really like to wish them the best when it comes to their events.

Syracuse University is doing some good things for this month as well. Here are some events that I know I will be attending or managing here on campus:

9/25 - 8pm Schine 304ABC - Poetry Nught Featuring Willie Perdomo
9/26 - 7pm Goldstein Aud - Fiesta Latina (Food & Dance, with live music)
10/8 - 6:30pm Goldstein Aud - Cafe con Leche with Rosie Perez & Mike Robles
10/10 - 7pm - Goldstein Aud - Phi Iota Alpha 15th Anniversary Baquet

There are just highlights in a great month that we plan on having. I know the city of Syracuse has some event going on as well. The one thing I will highlight is the Third Annual Latino Upstate Summit, which is on 10/23. I plan on being there.

I hope you all get a chance to enjoy a little bit of dance, a little bit of food, and a whole lot of culture.

4 comments:

EccentricGirl said...

Nice blog :O)

Corina said...

I'm with you on the Hispanic/Latino nomenclature. I always say that I am no one's PANIC so don't call me that.

For a while we had the month of September as our month but maybe that was just in California where I grew up. I do remember it. I was in high school then, I think, so it would have to have been during the early 70's.

I remember that for September 16 one year we were allowed to go to a concert but only if we went to school, signed in and got on their bus. The concert featured MALO! There were also some bands playing Santana and Tierra titles. I didn't get to go. My parents didn't sign the permission slip so I had to go to regular school that day and then hear about the awesome concert the next day.

Morena's Bohio said...

Excellent blog! I myself am one of those Latino's that doesn't look Latino....most times I love that simple fact because I get to "school" the nonbelievers....lol....and as I always say when it comes to this time of the year, Latino Heritage Month....we shine year round baby!

Pa'lante!

Anonymous said...

There is no such thing as "looking" latino contrary to popular and confused belief because being latino is a cultural/linguistic thing not RACIAL. Latino is NOT a race and has no racial connotation what so ever even though in the US it is racialized but even that is a fallacy. True "latin" people are white from europe or have pure european bloodlines and they know it. Most people in latin america are just mixed race who are a result european colonization. Realize this people! If your of the african, indigenous, mixed or asian phenotype your just as latino culturally as someone of the european phenotype. So dont let anyone tell you dont look "LATIN" because looks have NOTHING to do with it.

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