“Latino Americans” A History of Latinos in the U.S.A.

If you want to understand Hispanic or Latino culture and history in the U.S.A. and the Americas, the PBS program “Latino Americans” is an excellent start.  I believe this program series will a have a significant impact on the perception of Hispanic/Latino culture and its contribution to our society, since today’s marketing has made visual media dominant in our “global village.”

Hispanic Heritage Month www.hispanicheritagemonthmrsfig.wikispaces.com

Hispanic Heritage Month www.hispanicheritagemonthmrsfig.wikispaces.com

Last Tuesday night, I watched Part 1 of a 3 part series of this important program entitled “Latino Americans” on PBS.  You can catch it on www.pbs.org at your convenience or watch it every Tuesday evening (8 p.m. EST) for the next two weeks.

Oh, and by the way, it’s no accident that this series is being aired during the annual celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month in the U.S.A. which is September 15-October 15.  You can read about it here.

“Latino Americans” tells a story, maybe history, but, more importantly, it’s a milestone in raising the awareness of the general populace.  Since much of history is written by the “conquerors,” every once in while there’s a chance to write the “other history” to purposely rewrite or correct it.

It appears that “Latino Americans” will attempt to do this.  Let’s hope it succeeds.

One of my favorite parts of the program so far regards the early history of Spain in North America and how the former colony of Spain which later became the Republic of Mexico of the now U.S.A. developed in different ways.  Spain sold her colony of Florida to the U.S.A., the rest of her colony lost by a war of independence which became the state of Mexico, and Mexico lost it’s provinces to the U.S.A. through the Mexican-American War.

Better yet is the interesting but brief description of how each part of the now U.S.A. territory develops and deals with its Spanish/Mexican population with a mixture of Tejanos, Nuevos Mejicanos, and Californios and how each were assimilated or not.  I have lived both in Texas and New Mexico and even today there is a very clear difference of how its population perceives its history – different destinies for all.

“Latino Americans” acknowledges and heralds the de facto major shift in the U.S.A., and I would argue the rest of the world,  regarding the significant influence of Hispanic/Latino culture and language on the world stage.

This is a trend that I wrote about last year starting with the blog “Hispanics in the U.S.” where I pointed out statistics regarding the rise of the Hispanic population and language.  Indeed, this is one reason why I founded Hispanic Globe in the first place.

If you want to know a trend, follow the money.  In the last decade, tons of marketing dollars have been invested into the Latino target market.  Look at Univisión.  Proctor & Gamble alone has captured a lion’s share of the Latino market in this country and dominates in Latin America.  Fox has even created their own Latino channel.  The smart money has already been invested, and lots more cash will follow.  Does a market make a trend, or does a trend make a market?  Chicken and egg.

The change is here to stay and we’re on an upward trend.  Yes, I know American English is the official language of the U.S.A.  But, let’s face it, we live in a de facto bilingual society.  Spanish, anyone?

There are rising Latino stars in the Republican Party.  That should tell you something.

The PBS program “Latino Americans” adds another block to the foundation of understanding Hispanic/Latino culture in the U.S.A and abroad.  The cultural trend is here and developing.  Culture is closely tied to language and visa versa.

You might consider learning Spanish.

 

Again to find the PBS program “Latino Americans” click on the link here.

 

 

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