LATINO AMERICANS is the first major documentary series that tells the stories of the rich history and experiences of Latinos who have helped shape the United States over the last 500-plus years. They have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S.
This three-part, six hour series is a massive undertaking, covering the history of different migrations, including Mexican Americans to the Southwest, Cubans to Florida and Puerto Ricans to New York. “The incredible diversity of Latino histories and the regional distinctions of how, when and why make it difficult to capture,” said Anne Martinez, an assistant professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. “We as a nation are not very cognizant of our history.”
The films chronicle Latinos in the United States from the sixteenth century to present day. It is a story of people, politics, and culture, large in scale and deep in its reach. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.
LATINO AMERICANS features interviews with an array of individuals, including entertainer Rita Moreno, the Puerto Rican star of West Side Story and a winner of Academy, Tony, Grammy and Emmy Awards; labor leader and 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta, who in the 1960s co-founded with César Chávez the National Farm Workers Association, which later became United Farm Workers of America; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chávez, who became the highest-ranking woman in the Reagan White House; and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan, who has sold more than 100 million solo and Miami Sound Machine albums globally.
LATINO AMERICANS airs on WLRN TV on Sunday, October 13, Sunday, October, 20 and Sunday, October 27 at 7 p.m.