Feliz #HispanicHeritageMonth: raceAhead

Feliz #HispanicHeritageMonth: raceAhead

Hispanic Heritage Month, the more generous evolution of the original Hispanic Heritage Week, was born of legislation sponsored by Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Los Angeles) and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. (It was expanded to a full 30 days by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.) It begins every year on September 15 to acknowledge five Latin American countries that declared their independence in 1821: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. At the time Hispanic Heritage Week was born, Roybal was just six years into what would be 30 years of exemplary work representing his district in the U.S. Congress. But he walked into the House with real bona fides: He’d started out as director of health education for the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association. And, in 1949, after a failed first attempt, he became the first Latino elected to the Los Angeles City Council. He filled a seat which represented District 9—for those who know the area, it included Boyle Heights, Bunker Hill, Civic Center, Chinatown, Little Tokyo, and the Central Avenue corridor. For those who don’t, the population was then 45% White, 34% Latinx, 15% African American, and 6% “other,” […]

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