National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. According to the National Hispanic Heritage Month website, the purpose of this month is… “celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America."
For those who wonder why the celebration starts on the 15th instead of the 1st, the 15th of September marks the anniversary of independence for the Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
Since the very beginning, the United States has become a melting pot of different races and cultures from across the world. Despite the diverse backgrounds represented in our nation, many groups are often forgotten or underrepresented. National Hispanic Heritage Month is a time when Hispanic Americans and other Americans can take time to appreciate the culture and contributions of its Hispanic citizens.
I researched some notable Hispanic Americans and I wanted to share two of their stories with you.
Sotomayor has been serving as a Supreme Court Justice since 2009. Her position creates history, marking her as the first justice to come from Hispanic heritage, along with being the first Latina justice and the third female justice.
Sonia Sotomayor received her bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and her J.D. from Yale Law School. Prior to serving as a Supreme Court Justice, Sotomayor has also served on the board of directors at the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, as well as the New York City Campaign Finance Board. She has also served on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Sotomayor has also been a professor at New York University and Columbia Law School.
Despite her humility, Sonia Sotomayor has achieved wonderful things. Her life is an example of the American dream and it is a reminder of the amazing things that Hispanic Americans have accomplished.
Sanatana is a Mexican American guitarist and songwriter, creating music that mixed Latin, jazz, blues, salsa, and African rhythms all together. The music of his band called “Santana" grew in popularity after a 1969 performance at Woodstock. Santana’s success continued to bring him hit singles, including “Oye Como Va" and “Black Magic Woman".
He also released the albums “Amigos," “Zebop!" and “Blues for Salvador." During his time as an artist, he has won 10 Grammy Awards , 3 Latin Grammys, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Carlos Santana’s music shows us how valuable and awesome American art can be when it incorporates the different cultures in America.
During this Hispanic Heritage Month, we should honor all Hispanic Americans who have contributed meaningful things to our country. Their history and culture is essential to the fabric of America, and we should take some time to celebrate it.