San Jose Metropolis School, together with the nation, commemorates the Month of Hispanic Heritage
We celebrate Hispanic Heritage and Culture
San Jose City College celebrates the Month of Hispanic and Latin American Heritage during this festival window from September 15 to October 15. SJCC and the nation will commemorate and honor the cultures of those of Hispanic and Latin American backgrounds.
“Hispanic Heritage Month means finally recognizing a culture that has received maybe three pages worth of information in our textbooks and allowing Hispanics to use their culture in an academic setting and to enable others to learn about it “SJCC student Matthew Said Valdez.
In honor of and to participate in # HispanicHeritageMonth2020, the SJCC president emailed poetry on Tuesdays and Fridays. These poems were written by Latinx people from the Bay Area to reflect the difficulties and struggles that lay ahead.
“It’s a great time for people to learn about other cultures. It helps expand knowledge among everyone,” said former SJCC student Alyssa Lepik.
Hispanic Heritage Month has more history by the name. From 1968 by President Lyndon Johnson, it began as a week of appreciation until President Ronald Reagan expanded it to a month in 1988.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is absolutely necessary as it helps people feel more encouraged, share their cultures and be their true selves,” said Cheyenne Rayford, a student at the SJCC. “In a world where a lot of the media is focused on white people, we need to see and hear the other voices of other cultures. A month dedicated to that really inspires.”
The month of celebration also begins on Independence Day for Latin American countries like Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. After this day, Mexico and Chile will celebrate their Independence Days on September 16 and 18.
Here is SJCC President Freeway 280’s first poem by Lorna Dee Cervantes on the impact of gentrification on poorer families / communities in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.
“Motorway 280” – Lorna Dee Cervantes (1954)
Las Casitas near the gray canning factory,
Embedded in wild abrazos of climbing roses
and head-high red geraniums
are gone now. The highway hides it
everything under a raised scar.
But under the false wind noises of the open streets
in the abandoned lots below new grass is sprouting,
Wild mustard remembers, old gardens
come back stronger than they were
Trees were left in their yards.
Apricot trees, cherry trees, walnut trees. . .
Viejitas come here with paper bags to collect greens.
Spinach, purslane, peppermint. . .
I climb over the wire fence
that would have kept me out.
Once I wanted to get out, wanted the rigid alleys
to take me to a place with no sun
without the smell of burning tomatoes
on swing shift in the greasy summer air.
Maybe it’s here
in the strange fields of this city
Where I’ll find this part of me
like a corpse
or a loose seed.