The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Editorial-Heritage influences future generations

Illustration by Amber Davis/ The Collegian

Hispanic Heritage Month is a celebration of the history and culture of Hispanic Americans.

What started out as a weeklong event in 1968 is now a month-long celebration each year. The first day, Sept. 15, marks the independence won by Costa Rica, El Salvador,Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Following that is the independence of Mexico, Chile and Belize, with the festivities continuing through Oct. 15.

As a Hispanic American, even without throwing huge parties or attending parades, it is still important to recognize and reflect over the hallmarks that have led us to where we are today.

The Texas Tribune analyzed the U.S. Census and found that the Hispanic population has significantly risen throughout the last decade, growing by 2,064,657.

As of right now, Hispanics are on track to be the largest population in Texas by the middle of next year.

Out of the biggest counties in the state with a Hispanic population, Tarrant County is
currently home to the fastest growing amount of Hispanic residents.

With the increased population of one group of people comes a fusion of different ethnicities and cultures.

To this day, we are still learning about one another and striving to coexist in harmony. Hispanics are also a minority group through a nationwide lens.

Within this past decade, we’ve seen dual language classes for students who don’t pos-
sess English as their first language, as well as an influx of first generation college students in community colleges and four-year universities.

In the world we’re living in today, it’s more important than ever for unity among everyone regardless of race, religion and sexual orientation. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to
learn from one another and to see importance in the history that’s shaped them to be who
they are.

We appreciate the legacy artist Frida Kahlo left behind, and milestones like Oscar Hijuelos being the first Hispanic to win a Pulitzer Prize for his fiction work.

It is important to remember the Hispanic culture that’s been integrated through music, literature, as well as movies and TV shows. Plus, the amazing food the culture brings en-
riches everyone’s lives.

We recall the first Latina astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Richard Cavazos who became the first Hispanic four-star general in the Army and Puerto-Rican Sylvia Rivera, an LGBTQ activist and Civil Rights pioneer whose impact created the Sylvia Rivera Law Project to aid an protect unrepresented communities.

We celebrate Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the first Latina to serve in Congress, and Octa-
viano Larrazola who was the first Hispanic American to be a U.S. Senator.

We honor our first Hispanic MLB Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente, as well as
chef and activist José Andrés who supported families with meals after Hurricane Maria in 2017 and workers throughout the month-long government shutdown last year.

There have been many firsts. History that has been made that people never thought could happen. These notable figures among so many others have paved the way for this generation and the ones to come. Not only to rewrite history, but to create one that’s their
own.

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