According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current Hispanic population as of July 1, 2019 is at 60.6 million, making people of Hispanic origin the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority. Hispanics constituted 18.5% of the nation’s total population.
And every year between September 15 – October 15 during Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM), we celebrate even stronger But why does this year’s HHM celebration feel different?
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the contributions Americans tracing their roots to Spain, Mexico, Central America, South American and the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean have made to American society and culture. The observance was “born” in 1968 when Congress authorized the president to issue an annual proclamation designating National Hispanic Heritage Week. Just two decades later, lawmakers expanded it to a month-long celebration, stretching from September 15 to October 15. Again I ask, why is this year a little different?
For one we are still in the middle of a pandemic. With no end in sight for COVID-19, events have been canceled, people are not traveling, sales from a variety of industries are low, and so on. The other part is the current racial injustice that is happening across the country. Black men and women are being murdered, families are still being separated, and people are still being held in cages. So how can we celebrate a group of people that are not being treated fairly. That part.
I normally get so many emails about HHM, but this year I only saw one about watching Hispanic centered TV shows on Hulu. I am actually also surprised the White House released a proclamation.
So what can you do to contribute during this year’s HHM? The place to start is to support the Latino economy and buy from Latino business owners. Also, go vote!