This article was originally published on February 20, 2015
At first glance, it may seem like the Latino community cannot relate to the struggles and history of African-Americans in the United States. But, if you take a closer look, you will see we have much more in common than you think.
First, in some way or another, the African-American community’s contributions have benefited other minorities. That, in itself, is more than enough reason for the Latinos to commemorate Black History Month.
For instance, when you think of civil rights, black and Latino children were both segregated in schools. But, it wasn’t until the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education that segregation ended.
But, seven years before that, the Mendez family in California fought for integration and brought “a class-action lawsuit with other Latino families against four Orange County school districts that had separate schools for whites and Mexicans,” according to NPR. The Mendez v. Westminster case went all the way to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1947, they won, and segregation for those districts ended.
Second, who better to understand the African diaspora identity more than Latinos? Especially considering that more slaves from Africa were trafficked to Latin America than to the United States.
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