Hispanic Latin(x/e) Heritage Month (HLHM), also known as National Hispanic Heritage Month, is observed from September 15 through October 15 each year. This month celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of Americans with ties to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central/South America. Started as Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, President Ronald Reagan expanded the observance to a 30-day period in 1988.
Significantly, some independence day celebrations fall within this 30-day window: Costa Rica (September 15); El Salvador (September 15); Guatemala (September 15); Honduras (September 15); Nicaragua (September 15); Mexico (September 16); and Chile (September 18).
To recognize and celebrate this month, CEHHS created a curated list of resources centering Hispanic Latin(x/e) voices and stories. We organized these resources into several categories to focus on the unique experiences of the broad community. These resources are available through the UT Library and online.
Hispanic, Latin(o/a), or Latin(x/e)?
Hispanic, Latin(o/a), and Latin(x/e) all refer to the ethnicity and culture of people celebrated during HLHM. Each holds a distinct significance and unique meaning.
Hispanic typically refers to a person who descended from a Spanish-speaking population or speaks Spanish. This identity centers the language identity rather than geographical location.
Latin(o/a) instead refers to geographical culture, describing individuals who are from or descended from people living in Latin America.
Latin(x/e) became an alternative form of Latin(o/a) to be more inclusive and gender-neutral. While Latinx became popular in the 2010s, Latine aligns better with the grammatical format of Spanish, and many Spanish speakers use this term.
Individuals can identify as either, neither, or all of these identities. For example, Chicano (descendants of people from Mexico) could identify with all terms or none based on their cultural experience. Additionally, these terms do not assume race, as these ethnic identifies are inclusive of various racial groups such as Afro-Latines.
- About One-in-Four U.S. Hispanics Have Heard of Latinx, but Just 3% Use It | Article
- On The Census, Who Checks ‘Hispanic,’ Who Checks ‘White,’ And Why | Article
- Latinidad in the US, Latinx, Latina/o, or Hispanic?: Geographies of Oppression, Race, Gender, and Language | Blog Post
- This Comic Breaks Down Latinx vs. Latine for Those Who Want to Be Gender-Inclusive | Article
- The Differences Between the Terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx, Explained | Article
- What Is the Difference Between Hispanic and Latino? | Article
Celebrating Hispanic Latin(x/e) Heritage Month
Here you will find some select HLHM events to join in the celebration in the Knoxville area and virtually.
Help us kick-off Hispanic Latinx Heritage Month with Vol Avenida (Avenue)! This celebration will feature booths from Latin-identifying student organizations across campus, food from a local Latin restaurant, and music from popular Latin artists! Come ready to eat, dance, and connect!
Friday, September 17 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Frieson Black Cultural Center, Outdoor Plaza
1800 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996
Join MSL for an outdoor movie night featuring Spy Kids, one of the most popular family films and one of the first American movies centered on a Latinx family! A brief presentation will be included before the movie begins to highlight the importance of Latino/a/x representation in Hollywood and the trailblazing effort of Director Robert Anthony Rodriguez, a Mexican American filmmaker credited for platforming the American careers of Antonio Banderas and Selma Hayek.
Thursday, September 23 at 8:00pm to 10:00pm
Fred D. Brown Jr. Residence Hall, Outdoor Plaza
1817 Andy Holt Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996
The icon of El Sol is prominent in some Latin American flags, decorations, and traditions. Attendees will learn about its significance and symbolism before getting the chance to paint their own El Sol artwork.
Monday, October 4 at 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Frieson Black Cultural Center, Multipurpose Room
1800 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37996
Join the Pride Center and the Office of Multicultural Student Life for a student-focused small group discussion with author Gabby Rivera. Rivera is an outgoing, outspoken creator invested in fostering better dialogue, inspiring radical creativity, and improving our most vulnerable communities. The author of Juliet Takes a Breath, she’s also the writer of the Marvel series America—featuring the first queer, Latinx teen-girl superhero, ever. It’s catching headlines from The New York Times, Vogue, and beyond: and Marvel Studios and Disney+ just announced a new show based on the series.
This small group discussion is open to a limited number of students at UT.
Register at tiny.utk.edu/gabbyriveradiscuss
Thursday, October 14 at 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Join the Pride Center and Multicultural Student Life in celebration of Latinx Heritage Month and LGBTQ+ History Month for a virtual evening with author Gabby Rivera.
Gabby Rivera is an outgoing, outspoken creator invested in fostering better dialogue, inspiring radical creativity, and improving our most vulnerable communities. The author of Juliet Takes a Breath, she’s also the writer of the Marvel series America—featuring the first queer, Latinx teen-girl superhero, ever. It’s catching headlines from The New York Times, Vogue, and beyond: and Marvel Studios and Disney+ just announced a new show based on the series. To Rivera, it’s vital to encourage people of all backgrounds to create, daydream, and tell their own stories—and in so doing, open a radical space for creativity. Now, in this affecting talk, Rivera unpacks how she navigates the world as a queer, Latinx, millennial woman; how she incorporates her heritage into her writing; how she strives to be a thoughtful ally for others, and how she celebrates the healing power of community. This is a talk about privilege and power, and what we can do to support the ideas of diverse artists working with progressive politics. It asks difficult questions: What if this country made everyone—people of all colors, cultures, orientations, abilities, and genders—feel at home? What if the traumas experienced by marginalized peoples could be reconciled and incorporated into a broader, richer definition of America? What if our non-white ancestors weren’t erased, but represented in pop culture, in our textbooks and classrooms? And what if we could privilege difference as a site of wonder, laughter and celebration, and not as something to fear? With Rivera’s smart, funny talks, we can start imagining these worlds as our reality.
Register for the main lecture at tiny.utk.edu/gabbyriveralecture
Thursday, October 14 at 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Hispanic Latin(x/e) Voices
The below resources highlight some of the voices in the Hispanic Latin(x/e) community through different media formats.
An African American and Latinx History of the United States | Physical Book
Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture | Physical Book
Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border | Physical Book
The Latino/A American Dream | Physical Book
Coco | Movie
Craft in America: Borders | Documentary
Frida | Movie
Maria Full of Grace | Movie
Cerámica de los Ancestros – Central America’s Past Revealed | Virtual Exhibition
Library of Congress – Latinx and Chicanx in STEM | Research Guide
Library of Congress – Latinx Resource Guide: Civil Rights | Research Guide
Library of Congress – The PALABRA Archive | Research Guide
Curated September 2021 by Miranda N. Rutan, Doctoral Student, CEHHS DEI, UT Knoxville