According to the Library of Congress, National “Hispanic” Heritage Month is a national month of celebration of “the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans … (to) celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.”
At CFA, we call this month – celebrated from September 15 to October 15 – as Chicanx/Latinx Heritage Month. Dr. Michelle Ramos Pellicia, a professor of Modern Languages at CSU San Marcos and co-chair of the CFA Chicanx/Latinx Caucus, explains why:
“We consciously distance ourselves from the term ‘Hispanic’ unless it is used in the question ‘whose panic?’ his-panic, the white supremacist panic. Otherwise, we prefer the terms ‘Chicanx”/Latinx’ to describe our experiences, histories, and cultures. Sandra Cisneros reminds us that, ‘To say Hispanic means you’re so colonized you don’t even know for yourself or someone who named you never bothered to ask what to call yourself.’
“We also want to acknowledge our Afro/Black and Indigenous, Native American community members and the insidious anti-Black racism. We ought to raise and develop our social/racial consciousness by recognizing our collective trauma resulting from migration, warfare, trade. We are all part of overlapping Diasporas and/or Indigeneity all which are byproducts of imperialism, colonialism which are based on the hierarchies of white supremacist ideology.
“We need to study in order to shape our historical consciousness about Black, Blackness. Our notions of the African Diaspora need to be closely studied, understood and we need to interrogate how we have been, as colonized bodies, agents of anti-Black racism in our own communities, and that we also have Black siblings within our Chicanx/Latinx community as well as siblings who are Black and whose identities are intersectional with many other groups.
“Our liberation depends on the liberation of all of us and our siblings; therefore, we need to work towards our collective coliberation. This Chicanx/Latinx Month we commemorate our collective coliberation. We will never be free until all of us are free!”
On October 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m., the Chicanx/Latinx Faculty and Staff Association at Sacramento State invites all members of the campus community to join their inaugural Plática series. In celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day, the first event examines the impacts of COVID-19 on the Chicanx/Latinx community. Panelists include Dr. Alma Itzé Flores of the College of Education, Dr. Mercedes Valadez of the Division of Criminal Justice, Daniel Castellanos of the Academic Advising Center, and Yesenia Carbajal, a liberal studies major.
You can join this inaugural Plática series via Zoom here.
For a list of national celebrations, click here.