Friday, May 4, 2012

Cinco de Mayo Celebration, RHC Event At UW-Milwaukee

Photo: HNG

The Roberto Hernández Center held its annual Cinco de Mayo celebration and festivities at UW-Milwaukee.

By H. Nelson Goodson
May 4, 2012

Milwaukee - On Thursday, the Roberto Hernández Center held its annual Cinco de Mayo event at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Escamilla Ballet Folklórico Nacional, including Salvador Villanueva, a local and popular Mariachi singer sang a few songs at the festivites, Ahora dance group performed at the Wisconsin Room and De La Buena played at the Gasthaus in the Student Union.
Today, the Cinco de Mayo day celebrations have become more commercialized in the U.S. and adds to the contemporary  recognition of the Mexican-American culture, its roots and traditional foods, music and dances.
The Cinco de Mayo is also celebrated and recognized for the May 5, 1862 Battle of Puebla in Mexico. A poorly equiped army of Mexican peasants defeated the mighty French army, which wanted to form an independent French empire in Mexico.
Did you know, if the Battle in Puebla Mexico didn't happened the French would have made their way to the U.S. and help the South (Confederates) during the Civil War and they might have won the war with their help. We would probably have slavery today. Not to many people know, it was the Mexican peasants and army that defeated the French army. The Mexicans had won a great victory that kept Napoleon III and French army from supplying the confederate rebels for another year, allowing the northern union forces (U.S.) to build the greatest army the world had ever seen.
The grand U.S. army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the Battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War, which united the nation under President Abraham Lincoln. It might be a historical stretch to credit the survival of the United States to those brave 4,000 Mexicans who faced an army twice as large in 1862.
This summer on August 2012, the Roberto Hernández Center will be celebrating their 42nd Anniversary of the creation of the Spanish Speaking Outreach Institute (SSOI) in 1970, which was renamed the Roberto Hernández Center (RHC) in 1996.
Today, the RHC provides a three-pronged mission: to provide academic services that promote Latino student success, to engage in outreach to the Latino community and beyond and to support applied research pertinent to Latinos. The RHC was stripped from engaging in recruitment and retention of students at UWM when it was renamed the RHC. At least 1,500 Hispanic students attend UWM per semester and 80% are from the Milwaukee area.

The August 27, 1970 historical events that led to the creation of the SSOI and later in 1996, the new RHC.

Revisiting The 1970 Hispanic Takeover At UW- Milwaukee Demanding Equal Access To Education

This is the actual video presentation from the UWM Student Union Ballroom banquet during the 40th Anniversary and Commemoration of the 1970 takeover of Chapman Hall by the Hispanic community, courtesy of UWM and the Roberto Hernández Center at link

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