November 19, 2012

International Men's Day and Celebrating Great Men

Today is International Men's Day. Never heard of it? That is to be expected. November 19th was not recognized as the official day of celebration for the Y-chromosome in any country until the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago first observed IMD in 1999 and has since been observed by over sixty countries including China, Norway, Jamaica, France, Pakistan, and the United States. The idea of a men's holiday outside of Father's Day caught wind as early as the 1960s, the original proposed day being February 23rd.

Despite what preconceived notions there might be, International Men's Day is not a celebration of misogyny. Rather, IMD serves as a day to focus on Men and Boy's health and education, promote gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. Today, we here at the UH Digital Library, we'd like to celebrate some of the positive male role models found within our own collections!

LULAC Leaders, Alonso S. Perales with José Luz Sáenz
                                               LULAC leaders Alonso S. Perales and Jose Luz Saenz
A civil rights lawyer, diplomat, political leader and soldier, Perales was one of the founders of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1929, helped write LULAC’s constitution, and served as its second president. Alonso S. Perales saw himself as a defender of la raza, or race, especially battling charges that Mexicans and Latin Americans were inferior and a social problem. 

"C" shift firefighters at three-alarm building fire at Voss & Bergoyne District 69
Captain Wayne Rains and another "C" shift firefighter in full gear on a ladder at a three-alarm building fire at Voss and Bergyone, District 69. 

Houston's Fire Department has kept Houstonians safe since 1938. Serving over 2 million people, the HFD is the 4th largest in the nation and is in fact the world's largest fire department accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.These men have bravely, thanklessly dedicated themselves to this civic duty, 61 of which have lost their lives.

Mickey Leland
                                               Mickey Leland speaking at the University Center  

Mickey Leland was a very prominent anti-poverty from the city of Houston. Born In Lubbock, Mickey Went to Texas Southern University after graduating from Wheatley High School and was one of the first minority Texas state representatives since Reconstruction until he became a Congressman for District 18, where he would go on to help remedy the hunger crisis in third world countries until his death.

Images from this post come from the Selections From The Alonso S. Perales, Houston Fire Department, and University of Houston People collections. Make sure you go up to admirable male role model (i.e brother, father, uncle grandfather, neighbor, etc) and show your appreciation today!

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