Watch September 18 -19, 2014 at 7pm on WORLD
LATINO AMERICANS, a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt will air nationally on PBS. LATINO AMERICANS is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. A companion book by Ray Suarez, Senior Correspondent for PBS NEWSHOUR, will be released to coincide with the series. The television broadcast will also be accompanied by a nationwide public engagement initiative, and bilingual digital engagement and public education campaigns. Click here for more information about the program.
LATINO AMERICANS is led by Emmy Award-winning series producer Adriana Bosch and documents the evolution of a new “Latino American” identity from the 1500s to the present day, featuring interviews with close to 100 Latinos from the worlds of politics, business and pop culture — including Herman Badillo, Dolores Huerta, Gloria Estefan and Rita Moreno — as well as deeply personal portraits of lesser-known Latinos who lived through key chapters in American history.
“In six episodes of first-rate television, LATINO AMERICANS covers centuries of history about native-born Latinos and immigrants from throughout the Americas,” said Bosch, a Cuban-born filmmaker whose previous PBS projects include LATIN MUSIC U.S.A. and a number of documentaries for the series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. “We do not shy away from addressing key issues of legitimacy, justice, discrimination and the very meaning of citizenship. The series has great cinematography, incisive interviews, evocative archive materials — but what I am most proud of is that we were able to tell history in the first person. LATINO AMERICANS is history ‘con nombre y apellido’ — with first and last name. And that is what makes our stories compelling and profoundly human.”
LATINO AMERICANS also includes a bilingual digital engagement campaign, the first phase of which launched in early May and provides an interactive way to approach and understand Latino American history, its contribution, and its role in American society. The project has created an integrated digital media experience designed to motivate viewers, listeners and digital media users to engage in discussions, explore their communities and share their stories, bringing texture and immediacy to the LATINO AMERICANS series. Individuals and communities can share their experiences and thoughts on cultural traditions and identity at pbs.org/latino-americans and be a part of the conversation by using the project hashtag #LatinosPBS on Twitter. The public can submit video submissions now at pbs.org/latino-americans/en/send-videos/.
Additionally, the LATINO AMERICANS project is accompanied by a major bilingual public education campaign, including the development of a school-based curriculum that will be available in late summer 2013.
The diversity of the Latino American experience is reflected in both the on-camera interview subjects and the filmmaking staff. The production team, most of who are Latino Americans, includes individuals who are of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Salvadoran and Dominicans heritage, among others. In addition to Bratt as the narrator, the musical score for LATINO AMERICANS is by award-winning composers Joseph Julián González, a native of California’s Central Valley of Mexican descent, and Claudio Ragazzi, a native of Argentina; and the acclaimed singer-songwriter Lila Downs, born in Oaxaca, Mexico, will serve as the featured artist for the series, performing the closing song in LATINO AMERICANS.