By Yesica Balderrama
Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidency. During this time, we celebrate the beauty and diversity of being Hispanic – there is salsa dancing from Cuba, tango from Argentina, mariachis from Mexico, the Guaraní of Paraguay, and Machu Picchu in Peru.
Each country is unique from the others, and smaller subgroups exist within each nationality. For this reason, describing them all using one generalized term prioritizes the whole and undermines the rich diversity of individual Latinx identities.
Who is “Hispanic” – and what implications does this term hold?
A 1978 questionnaire by the National Health Interview Survey listed “Cuban,” “Puerto Rican,” “Mexican,” “Mexicano,” “Mexican American,” and “Chicano” followed by “Other Spanish” and “Other Latin America” in place of a single term. This is an example in a long series of trials and errors in the search for a category. “Hispanic” was then introd...