As you know, Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off on September 15th and we’re celebrating by watching LATINO AMERICANS with our family! If you haven’t heard this series documents the history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500 years. It’s narrated by Benjamin Bratt and LATINO AMERICANS is truly a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration and of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects millions of people today.
The Ford Motor Company is providing corporate funding for this series. Ford has been one of the longest standing partners of the Hispanic community, and is one of the most respected brands of Latinos of all walks of life because of their multi-faceted and on-going commitment. I love that Ford has supported the Hispanic community for so long and I respect the fact that they have funded such a prolific series to showcase Latino History. It’s truly a testament to the brand to showcase their belief in diversity and the support of Latino Americans today.
The three-part, six-hour series airs Tuesdays, September 17th, September 24th, and October 1st from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. (EST), but check your local listings for times it will play in your area. On the west coast it aired at 8pm PST. This amazing series features interviews with Puerto Rican star of West Side Story, Rita Moreno; Mexican-American author and commentator Linda Chavez, who also became the highest ranking woman in the Reagan White House; and Cuban singer and entrepreneur Gloria Estefan.
Did you tune into episode #2 of Latino Americans yesterday on PBS? I did and it was so eye opening to learn about the history of Latinos in American history. It was also amazing to learn so much about my Puerto Rican heritage. It touched upon the thousands of Latinos who served in World War II but still face discrimination and fight for civil rights during the World War II years and the years to follow. It also touched upon “The New Latinos” (1946-1965) a large scaled immigration happens from Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Dominican Republic, seeking economic opportunities.
Our household consists of me being Puerto Rican and Cuban as well as my teen and my fiance’ who is Mexican, Italian , and native American. So we loved hearing about all that our people had to go through to get us to the point we are today. It truly showcased how much Latino Americans have earned the right to be Americans. We learned that 65 thousand Puerto Ricans served in World War II! They were drafted as Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States in case you didn’t know.
We are born American Citizens. Puerto Rico was hit harder by the depression than U.S. Mainland due to sugar industry losses and lots of Puerto Ricans settled in the NYC barrios. Two of those people happened to be my grand parents who then raised 5 children in NYC.
It was inspiring to watch and I can’t wait to see episode #3 airing Tuesday, October 1st. Episode 3 will cover “Pride and Prejudice” (1965-1980) tells the story of “Chicano Movement” in the late 1960’s. These activists pushed for better education opportunities for Latinos, and empowerment in the political process. And “Peril and Promise” (1980-2000) takes viewers through the past 30 years. Enlightening the many Cubans, Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Guatemalans fleeing civil wars in their own countries arriving in a new land, transforming the United States along the way. The debate of undocumented immigrants and branding them as felons, English only laws will be some of the topics brought up in this series. At the same time we have many Latinos influencing music, sports, media, politics and entertainment business.
If you’d like to see it in Spanish, LATINO AMERICANS will premiere in Spanish on Vme TV with one new chapter every Friday at 10 pm EST, beginning September 20 through October 25. For local listings, please visit www.vmetv.com.
I hope you’ll join me in watching LATINO AMERICANS on Oct. 1st on PBS!