Alcorn State University (ASU) proudly celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month (NHHM) from September 15th – October 15th, 2020. It is a time to celebrate the history, culture, and diversity of all Hispanic and Latino American citizens. Alcorn recognizes the influence and contributions of Hispanics toward American culture.
NHHM began when George Edward Brown, a representative from California, submitted a bill into the House of Representatives called the H. J. Res 1299. This bill ratified National Hispanic Heritage Week. The bill was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson on September 17th, 1968. During this week, tributes are paid to many Hispanic Americans who were Civil Rights activists and who contributed to the American Dream. In 1987, a Representative from California, Estaban Torres, submitted a bill named H. R. 3182 to have National Hispanic Heritage Week extended to a month. Torres’ argument for the extension to a month was that he wanted people to know more about Hispanic culture and traditions. The bill was passed through the House of Representatives and signed by Ronald Reagan on August 17th, 1988.
The reason NHHM lies between September 15th – October 15th is because most Hispanic holidays fall between this period. The following are some of the holidays that happen throughout the month.
⦁ September 15th- Independence Day (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua)
⦁ September 16th- Independence Day (Mexico)
⦁ September 18th- Independence Day (Chile)
⦁ October 12th- Independence Day (Spain) and Día de La Raza (The Day of the Race)
ASU has a rich history of diversity and contributions from other cultures. Alondra Martinez, a Freshman Criminal Justice major from Mission, Texas, stated, “National Hispanic Heritage Month to me is who I am and everything my whole family represents to be.” Martinez, who is a member of Alcorn’s Soccer team, explained that she looks forward to celebrating NHHM with her teammates, who she says a third of them are Hispanic. She and her teammates wish to keep their culture alive while they deal with the burdens of being away from home. They look forward to coming together to eat their native entrees and converse in their native languages to keep their spirits alive during NHHM. “Hispanic is what I eat, what I do, and what I sing,” said Martinez.