Hispanic Heritage Month Presentation

Kyle Swallow, Staff Writer

“The best way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to reassert Hispanics’ history,” Stacy L. Davis of Truman State University said during a presentation at the Kanter Student Center.

For the past five years Hispanic Heritage Month has moved from history to the present. Davis explained why so many Hispanics were able to come to the Americas. 50 million people left Europe to come to the Americas during the Great Migration in search of a better life. Davis said most came to work in local mines or on plantations but were not recognized for their work. Many began work with cigar manufacturers and eventually almost ran a monopoly in the Americas.

Davis said from 1950s to the 2000s more Spaniards came to the Americas than in the last 400 years. Spaniards left Spain because of drought, famine, war and lack of labor. According to Davis, in the Americas, they would set up events and clubs to unite the Spanish immigrants. They had picnics, parades, clubs and sports.

Hispanic Heritage Month should not be about the present or future, but it should be about reasserting their history, Davis said. Davis calls the Spaniards, “The hands of the Americas.” She said the movement was much more than an uprooting from their home society. Even though some people saw them as crazy to travel to a place different from Spain, they followed what they believed in and shaped the Americas into what they are today.