‘The Hispanicization of America:’ Forty Years Ago to Today
At the 5th annual Hispanic Leadership Summit, USHLI President Dr. Juan Andrade detailed just how far Hispanics have come in the United States.
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When Dr. Juan Andrade Jr. thinks back to the cultural climate of the U.S. 40 years ago, he notes that it was an era characterized by thought leaders as “the Hispanicization of America.”
“It described the phenomena that was taking place and playing out in America. In short, everything Hispanic was catching on,” said Andrade Jr. during a session at the 5th annual Hispanic Leadership Summit in New York City.
He shared tidbits like Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine dominating the music world, Antonio Banderas appearing in movie after movie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Raquel Welch revolutionizing the movie industry, Roberto Clemente being rated the best player in Major League Baseball, Latino food was flying off the shelves in grocery stores, and countless others.
“Without a doubt, the Hispanicization of America was underway,” Andrade Jr. noted.
However, fast forward to today, and he expressed that the Hispanicization of America has shifted gears.
Today, Latinos are graduating high school at the highest rate ever; the percentage of Hispanics in college is skyrocketing, when 40 years ago, the rate was under 2%; and there are now 6 Latino U.S. Senators when 40 years ago, there was one.
Latinos own millions of businesses across the country, creating over 80% of new jobs in the past decade. Latino purchasing power is over $2 trillion a year, and the Latino GDP is the fifth largest in the entire world.
Voting among Latinos is higher than ever, with nearly 20 million registered voters. The Latino population in the U.S. is 62 million strong, which Andrade Jr. notes outnumbers the total population of 33 states in America combined.
“For the first time in American history, Whites will become a minority, too. Not a people of color minority, but a numerical minority just the same,” said Andrade Jr.
In addition, he noted that no ethnic or racial group will comprise a majority of the population in America as the consistently growing Hispanic population continues, and until the Hispanic population becomes the new majority in America.
As Andrade Jr. thinks about the continued growth of the Latino population, he thinks about his youngest grandson, who is five years old.
Forty years from now, the Latino population in the U.S. will likely double to well over 100 million people.
“Our job today is to get America ready for a future that will transform the world,” said Andrade Jr. “The future has begun.”
“Our day has come. We are the ones that we have been waiting for. We are America’s future,” he continued.