News

October Celebrations: Filipino-American, Hispanic, and LGBT History Month(s)

Spring semester of 2017 we ran a series of features on the blog. We celebrated Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), and National Poetry Month (April).

For Black History Month, we focused in particular on the role of African Americans in literature. All month long, we featured African American authors, as well as keeping you informed about various CSU Black History Month events of interest. It was an opportunity to profile amazing authors, scholars, educators, and speakers who enrich our studies, our understanding, and our lives.

For Women’s History Month, we honored the wisdom, innovation, determination, creativity, compassion, humor, and strength of female authors, scholars, educators, and speakers.

One of our favorite poets, Camille Dungy, reading some of her poetry.

One of our favorite poets, Camille Dungy, reading some of her poetry.

For National Poetry Month, we featured poets and poems. It was a challenge to limit ourselves to just a month’s worth of influential poets and poetic forms, while including space for CSU’s own poets. Poetry is a powerful magic, a potent medicine, and poets are the ones we look to when “she cannot find the words/for the nothing in her center.”

We really enjoyed these celebrations. Not only did we get to honor those who had an impact on us, we got to share them with you. In particular, we hope you learned about someone you hadn’t heard of before, and maybe that led you to read something you’d never read. Communications Coordinator Jill Salahub was reminded of Octavia Butler, an award winning science fiction author who we featured during Black History Month, and has since read three of her novels and is looking forward to more.

This semester, we wanted to continue the celebration. Much to our surprise, rather than being one per month, we found that THREE history celebrations converged in October: Hispanic Heritage Month (which actually starts mid September and runs to mid October), Filipino-American Heritage Month, and LGBT History Month. For the rest of October, we are excited to share with you authors, scholars, educators, and speakers from each of these communities, to honor the ways in which they’ve enriched our studies and our lives. For today, here’s a quick introduction to each celebration.

Hispanic American Heritage Month

Photo Credit: U.S. Army graphic

 

National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) is when we recognize the contributions made by Hispanic and Latino Americans to the United States, celebrating their heritage and culture. It was first celebrated for a week, enacted by President Lyndon Johnson in 1968. In 1988, it was expanded for a full 30 days, beginning on September 15, the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries. This year’s presidential proclamation explains, “During National Hispanic Heritage Month, we celebrate the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape our great Nation. We are grateful for the many contributions Hispanic American men and women make to our society and the vibrancy they weave into our American culture.”

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Isabella Villacampa holding sign with facts about Filipino American History Month

Photo by Isabella Villacampa

Filipino American History Month was established by the Filipino American National Historical Society in the year 1988. In 2009, it became a nationally recognized celebration in the U.S. In a message about the celebration in 2016, Barack Obama said, “They have been the artists who challenge us, the educators who keep us informed, and the laborers of our growing economy. And throughout our history, they have served as members of our Armed Forces, helping safeguard our Nation and the values upon which we stand” and “As we mark this special month, we celebrate the ways Filipino Americans have lent their unique voices and talents to changing our country for the better. Their immeasurable contributions to our Nation reaffirm that as Americans we will always be bound to each other in common purpose and by our shared hopes for the future.”

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Image credit: http://lgbtoctober.tumblr.com/

LGBT History Month is a month-long annual observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements first celebrated in 1994. In the United States, it is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.

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