From September 15 to October 15, the US celebrates its National HispanicHeritage Month on the occasion of which the nation celebrates in unison the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The Hispanics’ ethnicities are so diverse and cultural, that their contributions to our nation have been done in many ways.
They have contributed majorly to our national politics, art, music, culture, and films in so many forms. This month, let’s remember their achievements and heritage that we should honor. Here are some of the most amazing Hispanic women who changed the world with their talent and determination!
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sonia made history as the first Latina ever to serve on the Supreme Court in 2009. She earned a scholarship to go to Princeton University and went on to get a law degree from Yale University. She worked relentlessly for criminal justice reform and women’s rights. She was first appointed as a Judge in the District Court by former US President George H.W. Bush. It was in 1997 that her role was elevated to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by former US President Bill Clinton. She was made the first Latina Supreme CourtJudge by former US President Barack Obama, and brought utmost pride to the community!
Frida Kahlo is a feminist icon and Mexican artist known to depict female strength in all forms through her iconic folk art. Despite being the wife of a famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera, she made a name for herself as a world-class artist through her contemporary work on women and feminism. In the late 1930s and 40s, Frida’s surrealist painting titled “The Frame” was purchased by Le Louvre in Paris. Her surrealist style of paintings propagated her political activism, she was very vocal through her art. Today, her art is celebrated for its depiction of Mexican traditions and the early years of the feminist revolution.
From Peru, Isabel Allende is the world’s most widely read Spanish-language author. She has written more than 20 books that have been translated into more than 35 languages worldwide. She has sold more than 67 million copies of her books in total. Isabel’s stories mostly focus on powerful women who have a mythical flair which she has converted into many historical works. Her family’s ancestry has had difficult experiences as her godfather was the former Chilean President Salvador Allende who was overthrown in a military coup in 1973. She even fled her country in 1975 to live in exile for 13 years. Her book, “The Sum of Our Days: A Memoir” is about her life after the death of her daughter at the age of 28. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014 by President Barack Obama and earned an honorary degree from Harvard.
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
The Congresswoman has had a particularly tough life and difficult life journey. She escaped Cuba at the age of 8 years when the country was still under Fidel Castro’s regime. When she emigrated to the United States, she earned and studied for a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Florida InternationalUniversity in Miami. In the 1980s, she became the first Latina who was elected to the Florida House of Representatives. Thereafter, she went on to serve in the state senate. In 1989, she became the first Latina and the first Cuban-American to serve in the United States Congress.
A Puerto Rican actress, she is the first Latina to ever earn a Peabody, an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony award making her the third ever PEGOTwinner. She has done some iconic films in the 50s and 60s, such as “The King and I” and “West Side Story”. She is also remembered for her HBOaward-winning performance called “Oz”. Her roles in Hollywood made way for more diverse roles for many Hispanic actresses who were otherwise given stereotypical roles. Breaking stereotypes, facing difficulties, and various other societal challenges, these women still conquered the world with their talent. Let’s keep honoring!