When my eldest discovered that this month is Black History Month her first question was “Is there a Brown History Month?”
My initial response was a mental, “Ummm.”
I then said, “I don’t know. I’m sure there are months set aside to recognize the histories of other racial populations, but I’m not sure when they are.”
“Is there a Chinese History Month or Mexican History Month, because I am Chinese and Mexican and I think there should be a month for us?” She proclaimed.
“I don’t think so, but let me do a little research.”
Knowing that I did not have a good immediate answer she said, “Give me your phone. I can ask Siri.”
There you have it. All is settled…or not.
“But why isn’t there one for Mexicans and the Chinese?” She said.
“Well, probably because Mexican people and Chinese people haven’t had enough power with the senators, representatives, and presidents who create months that would recognize their heritage and history. Remember, there has and still is a lot of discrimination against Mexican people and Chinese people.”
“But why do we have Black history month. There’s still discrimination against them.”
“Yes, it’s similar to the reason why there is Asian Pacific Heritage Month and Hispanic Heritage Month. All the populations are much more than just Black, just Asian Pacific or just Hispanic. Just like people in Asia have lots of different traditions and identities depending on where in Asia they from, such as China, Japan, Thailand, and Korea so do Black people.”
“Like they’re from different countries in Africa?
“Yes, and different places in the United States.”
“What about Mexican people? Is there a history month for them?” She asked.
“That’s Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic is a word some people use for Latinx.”
“Oh, so like, people from Central America and South America, except Brazil are Hispanic?”
“Mommy says Latinx because she does not like the association with the Spanish. People prefer different names for their identities depending on their experiences.”
“Dad, I’m going to go play.”
“I love you.”
“Love you too.”
It was a good learning experience for both of us. I have a lot more learning to do. And she has to play.
If you are wondering why we have months explicitly designated to recognize histories and heritages, please read this blog or do a google search. For an overview of the designation for other months, review this blog.