National Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo+courtesy+of+Carol+M.+Highsmith
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National Hispanic Heritage Month

Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith

Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith

Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith

Photo courtesy of Carol M. Highsmith

Raven Tyler, Contributor

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In the United States, National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. Throughout the month, the nation recognizes the contributions and successes of Hispanic and Latin Americans. 

This national celebration honors the history, culture and influence of past generations who came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Each year, parades, parties and other exciting events are hosted to commemorate the everlasting impact of Hispanic culture.

The observation began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson. It was then expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover the span of a month.

At N.C. A&T, there is an increasing population of Latinx — a nonbinary alternative to Latino or Latina students from all over.

 The Multicultural Student Center aids to support the university’s mission to protect, educate and inform the community that N.C. A&T does not discriminate based on ethnicity, race, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender, physical ability or religion. 

Organizations within the MSC such as Latin Cultural Student Alliance (Estamos Unidos) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) aims to spotlight and celebrate Hispanic and Latin students and cultures year-round. 

“Being at an HBCU as a Hispanic/Latinx student was a bit of a culture shock. As a freshman, I did not pay much attention to the similarities between my community and the African American community,” said Jasmine Aguilar, senior psychology student.

Now a senior, Aguilar said she feels the university has had a strong influence on who she has become as a Latinx woman.

“Seeing so many professionals who are of color has been very refreshing and made me believe that if they can do it, so can I,” she said.

Celebrating the accomplishments of Hispanic and Latinx trailblazers such as Celia Cruz, Cesar Chavez, Roberto Clemente, supreme court justice Sonia Sotomayor and more gives younger generations the representation they need. It can give them a hopeful outlook that they can achieve all their goals and dreams just as those who came before them.

“I’m proud to be Afro Latino. This month really focuses on the cultural contributions we’ve made from sports, music, cuisine and other aspects,” said William Blackburn, senior biological engineering students. “I love baseball and my favorite team is the Yankees. My boy, Roberto Clemente, was the first Puerto Rican MLB player. I’m proud to say that.”

Being the nation’s largest racial minority, Hispanics/Latinx constitute 17.6% of the United States’ population, or 56.5 million people, according to infoplease.com

Giving and receiving insight into the vast cultures, whether it be from the Caribbean or South America, can help expand knowledge about the many contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage month in Greensboro at the Children’s Museum on Sept. 22 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. There will be art, music and dancing to commemorate the diverse cultures.