Celebrating Latin@ Heritage Month

Astrid Ressler, Copy Editor

As a part of the Latina/o Heritage Month events going on around campus, graduate professor Dr. Will Walker hosted a screening of the documentary “The Young Lords: ¡Palante, Siempre Palante!” at the Red Dragon Theatre on Thursday, September 24.

The Young Lords, highlighted in the film, were a group of young people living in New York City, Spanish Harlem especially, but spread to Chicago and other large urban cities in the United States. They were a civil rights group in the 1960s that fought for the rights of Latin American people.

This was during the same time other civil rights groups, such as the Black Panthers, were growing in strength and numbers fighting for the rights of African Americans. Oppression and segregation was very visible in America at this point in history.

The documentary sought to interview those who were involved with the group during this repressive time for minorities. It showed, through old footage, all of the good that this group did for the urban areas and for the people there who were struggling to feed and clothe themselves. They helped every person; race didn’t matter.

Dr. Walker talked to students after the film to get everyone thinking a little deeper about the issues being addressed in the documentary. He asked for everyone to think of a time when they worked in a group to accomplish a change that they wanted to see happen. He also asked students to come up with one small task that they could all do for the school, the neighborhood, their hometowns, or anywhere that would make a positive change for other people.

You don’t have to be Puerto Rican to appreciate this documentary. If you have ever struggled to do something that you thought you couldn’t do because of your race, your ethnicity, your sex or gender, or your social class, then you can relate to the struggles that the Young Lords fought against.

Latina/o Heritage Month has only just begun at SUNY Oneonta. Other events that you should check out are:

  • Ralph Watkins Series featuring Esmeralda Arrizón-Palomera on Thursday, October 1, from 7-9 p.m. in the Alden Room at Milne Library.
  • Latina/o Heritage Month Fiesta! on Friday, October 2, from 8-10 p.m. in the CME Large Room in Lee Hall.
  • Brazil and Brazilians with Joao Sedycias on Monday, October 5, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the CME Large Room in Lee Hall.
  • Sazón on 90.9FM Red Dragon Radio with Susy Salce, every Monday this semester from 2-4 p.m.

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