Posted by NILP
The Bucket List of Places, Ideas and
Historical Evidence to Reconnect
Americans with their Hispanic Roots
By Miguel Perez (2012)
This is a summary of the website, Hidden Hispanic Heritage, five years in the making, which also has a Spanish version, is illustrated and has audio and video. See Table of Contents below.
Which came first: the Spanish conquistadors or the British colonists? Jamestown or St. Augustine? The Spanish language or the English language? Hernando De Soto or Lewis and Clark?
For many Americans, finding the answers to those questions is not as easy as it should be.
When I asked those questions in a 2007 column for the Creators Syndicate, I found that the answers depend on when you begin counting American history.
If you begin with the British, as most historians have chosen to do, and if your education is based on U.S. history books and school curricula, you probably omit almost a century of Spanish exploration and colonization of North America.
“And perhaps that’s why there is so much apprehension regarding Latinos and their language in this country nowadays,” I wrote. “Many Americans simply don’t know that Latinos have a very long history of planting language and cultural roots in what is now U.S. territory. Latinos also have a huge record of very positive and unappreciated contributions to American society.”
At that time, I vowed that, “In the interest of reawakening perhaps-lost knowledge and reminding my fellow Americans that Latinos should not be assumed to be illegal immigrants or even foreigners,” my column would occasionally “rewind to the past to fill the gaps in the history books and the classrooms and to explain why Latinos have many reasons to be proud Americans.”
Five years and 26 history columns later, that commitment has turned into this web site.
You may have read some of these columns when they were distributed by the Creators Syndicate and published in web sites and newspapers, but you didn’t see them as you will now, alongside the many photographs I’ve taken during my travels to many historical landmarks.
My pilgrimage in search for America’s hidden Hispanic heritage has turned into a bucket list of places, ideas and historical evidence to help reconnect Americans with their Hispanic roots.
And this is a web book in progress. I’m just getting started!
My bucket list is much longer and there are many more places for me to visit, photograph and write about. Stay tuned!