Listening to a wonderful teacher read the legend of La Llorona to her class on Mexican Independence Day eve, I began to ponder the intersection of Columbus Day and Latinx Heritage Month. There is irony in the fact that we celebrate an explorer who opened the floodgates of Spanish colonization, which essentially meant the downfall of the original inhabitants of the Americas and the Caribbean, the descendents of whom we celebrate this month.
Armed with that truth, it is fitting that we highlight the societies that were growing and thriving before European contact, especially on holidays when we may not have grown up with the diverse stories that paint a well-rounded picture of historical happenings. Here’s your homework:
Who had dinner with the Pilgrims and what are 5 facts about their way of life?
Who discovered Columbus shipwrecked on their island?
Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights hero, but what were life and death for him like once he started speaking out?
As we near what I now prefer to call Indigenous Peoples Day, let’s get more of the story out there. Telling all the stories is a great way to center narratives that have not traditionally been centered. You’ve got a week to prepare and here are resources.
And for good measure, the legend of La Llorona
Let me know how it goes!