(Rochester, New York) – Latino Americans, a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt, airs on WXXI-TV on three consecutive Tuesdays, September 17, 24 and October 1, 2013 at 8 p.m. 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.
In addition to the broadcast, WXXI will host a special screening of highlights from Latino Americans on Tuesday, October 1 at 6:30 p.m. It will be followed by a reception catered by Juan & Maria's Empanada Stand in the Little Café. The event is free and open to the public.
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, providing 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/.
The companion book to the series, authored by Ray Suarez, will be published by Celebra, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA), and will be available in both English and Spanish on-sale September 3.
Pictured: Narrator Benjamin Bratt
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