Hispanic Heritage Month 2013: Latinos and Diversity on Screen

Posted on 9. 19. 13 | By Gina Vergel | 5:24 pm | Updated 11:39 am

Heritage.Month - Slider ResizeAt Vida Vibrante, we celebrate our Hispanidad 365-days per year, but we’d remiss if we didn’t pay special homage to Hispanic Heritage Month, which Americans observe from September 15 to October 15.

It’s a full 30 days of celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2013 comes at an interesting time for Latino entertainment and pop culture in the United States.

From the buzz over the Eva Longoria-produced Devious Maids to the casting of Colombian and Mexican superstars Shakira and Paulina Rubio as judges in primetime reality show competitions, Latinos are commanding attention.In fact, the number three film in last weekend’s box office tally features a Latino cast and is mostly in Spanish. Instructions Not Included, about a playboy who finds himself saddled with a baby and them embraces fatherhood, earned $8 million bringing the movie’s box office total to $20 million.

Those numbers, while not ‘big’ for a major Hollywood film, have mainstream entertainment columnists going loco, but it’s hardly news for Clara Rodriguez, a professor of sociology at Fordham University and author of Heroes, Lovers, and Others: The Story of Latinos in Hollywood, in which she recounts the fascinating history of Latino actors in American film from the silent era to today.

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