Opinion: LatinX Heritage Month is important for all Americans.

Matthew C. Woodruff

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National Hispanic Heritage Month banner(shutterstock)

Celebrating the contributions and cultures of the Latinx peoples began in 1968. President Reagan expanded the celebration, and it became known as ‘Hispanic Heritage Month’, from September 15th through October 15th.

The average person doesn't necessarily understand what the meaning behind Hispanic Heritage Month is, most believe it's a Mexican holiday, even though there are 22 other countries that are either Spanish-speaking or "Latin in essence." LatinX Heritage Month honors the vibrant histories, languages and traditions that transcend borders and unite Latinx people across the Americas and Caribbean islands.

the U.S. public education system does such a poor job of teaching Latino history, that often Hispanic Heritage Month is the only opportunity for any students to learn about things like the lynchings in South Texas in the 1910s, the Zoot Suit Riots, the segregation of Mexican kids in schools, or the Chicano-led high school walkouts of the 1960s that permanently changed higher education enrollment for Latino students. Through these historic struggles of Chicanos, Mexican-Americans and others we have been able to achieve more social justice in this country and more education for the members of the LatinX communities.

It is important we highlight and show appreciation for the rich history, heritage, and contributions of the LatinX community throughout our nation and beyond. In the U.S., the LatinX population has reached over 60 million in 2020, making them the nation’s second-fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.

To learn more about the struggles, history and culture of the LatinX peoples, you might want to check out these highly rated books:

"Dominicana" by Angie Cruz.

"I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter" by Erika L. Sanchez.

"Solito" by Javier Zamora.

"Postcolonial Love Poem" by Natalie Diaz.

"What Would Frida Do? A Guide to living Boldly" by Arianna Davis.

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

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