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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > History > Cuban journalist vows to reconnect Americans with their Hispanic roots by setting straight the historical record

Cuban journalist vows to reconnect Americans with their Hispanic roots by setting straight the historical record

LatinaLista — According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United States — it’s the 500th anniversary of the nation’s discovery. Not by Christopher Columbus nor British colonists but by a Spanish conquistador named Juan Ponce de León.

Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida.

As Perez says: “Ponce de Leon did not discover Florida because it didn’t exist as a state, he discovered what is now the United States, but he is not given credit for that…”

It’s this example, among hundreds of others, where historians have virtually ignored the true discoveries and contributions of Latinos to US history, that propelled Perez to do something to set the historical record straight.

Perez has launched a new site dubbed Hidden Hispanic Heritage.

On the site, Perez shares a web book he is working on dispelling the myths that surround US history and Latinos. Via videos, archived columns he has written for his syndicated column and ongoing research, Perez shares tidbits of US history that both fascinates and puzzles as to why the information is not more widely learned in our schools’ history books.

Exploring topics ranging from “Our Spanish Heritage” to “We are all Americanos,” Perez vows to reconnect Americans with their Hispanic roots. And for conspiracy buffs, Perez uncovered the madre of all conspiracies that he says is known as “The Black Legend.”

“…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.

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Comment(7)

  • Miami - Film Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe
    January 5, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    […] “According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United Stat…” the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. “. . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . .” […]

  • New York - Film Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe
    January 6, 2013 at 12:07 am

    […] “According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United Stat…” the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. “. . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . .” […]

  • Atlanta - Film Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe
    January 6, 2013 at 2:31 am

    […] “According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United Stat…” the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. “. . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . .” […]

  • Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe |
    January 6, 2013 at 2:56 am

    […] “According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United Stat…” the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. “. . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . .” […]

  • African/Black America - Film Critic Wesley Morris Departs Boston Globe
    January 6, 2013 at 4:27 am

    […] “According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United Stat…” the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. “. . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive ‘Fountain of Youth’ when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . .” […]

  • adrianag7
    January 15, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    I loved this post. It’s so true that historians and others have virtually ignored the true discoveries and contributions of Latinos to US history. I’m currently working on a program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation called, “America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places” http://www.preservationnation.org/11most, in which it asks people to nominate historic places or sites that they would like to save. We would like to get more Latino historic sites on the list. It’s a great program because it’s able to provide the 11 chosen sites with more national exposure and funding. For over a quarter century, this list has highlighted important examples of the nation’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage that are at risk for destruction or irreparable damage. Thanks to this initiative places like El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro have gained more national exposure; it’s known to be one of the largest and most important artifacts of the Spanish Colonial era in the U.S. and one of the most valuable single markers of the Hispanic experience in the Southwest. Los Caminos del Rio Heritage Corridor was also nominated, which reflects a rich blend of Hispanic, Latino and Anglo cultures in Southern Texas.
     
    Let me know if you could help us promote this initiative or if you know of any historic sites you would like to nominate. My email is: agallegos@savingplaces.org
     
    Thanks!

  • michelejackson
    January 22, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    Hello,
     
    Let’s celebrate our past and present. Please read my article, “Something Horrible Happened?,” at my blog: http://www.michelefjackson.blogspot.com.
     
    Let’s chat.
     
    — Michele Jackson

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