On September 14 a Latina friend of mine who’s also a college professor said to me, “Brace yourself for Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m already getting phone calls about recommendations for mariachi bands.”
I laughed a bit, but her comment stayed with me. See, she’s half Colombian and I’m Puerto Rican, and the idea of becoming the “go to” people about such things struck me as, well, just another example of how stereotypes about Latinos often work.
The fact that people are asking her about mariachi bands reveals how U.S. society usually lumps us together under the umbrella label “Latino/a” or “Hispanic” despite our cultural differences and diversity.
At the same time, her warning (“brace yourself”) fittingly captured how many Latinxs/Hispanics feel about Hispanic Heritage Month (which I prefer to call Latino Heritage Month because I find it more inclusive, less Spanish-oriented).