If you want to understand Hispanic or LatinoÂ culture and historyÂ in the U.S.A. and the Americas, the PBS program “Latino Americans”Â is an excellent start.Â I believe this program seriesÂ will a have a significantÂ impact on the perceptionÂ ofÂ Hispanic/Latino culture and its contributionÂ to our society, since today’s marketing hasÂ madeÂ visual media dominant in our “global village.”
Last Tuesday night, I watched Part 1Â of a 3 part series of this important program entitled “Latino Americans”Â on PBS.Â You can catch it on www.pbs.org at your convenience or watch it every Tuesday evening (8 p.m. EST) for the nextÂ 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.Â You can read about it here.
“Latino Americans” tells a story, maybe history, but, more importantly, it’s a milestoneÂ in raising the awareness of the general populace.Â SinceÂ 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.Â 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.Â Spain soldÂ her colony of Florida to the U.S.A., the rest ofÂ her colony lost by a war of independenceÂ which became theÂ 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 populationÂ with a mixture of Tejanos, Nuevos Mejicanos, and Californios and how each were assimilated or not.Â I have lived both in Texas and New Mexico and even today there is a very clear difference of howÂ its population perceives its history – different destinies for all.
“Latino Americans”Â acknowledges and heraldsÂ the de facto major shift in the U.S.A., and I would argue the rest of the world,Â regarding the significant influence of Hispanic/Latino culture and languageÂ on the world stage.
This is a trend that I wrote about lastÂ year starting withÂ the blog “Hispanics in the U.S.”Â where I pointed out statistics regarding the rise ofÂ the Hispanic population and language.Â Indeed, this is one reason why I founded Hispanic Globe in the first place.
If you want to know a trend, follow the money.Â In the last decade,Â tons of marketing dollars have been invested into the Latino target market.Â Look at UnivisiÃ³n.Â Proctor & Gamble alone has captured a lion’s share of the Latino market in this country andÂ dominatesÂ inÂ Latin America.Â Fox has even created their own Latino channel.Â The smart money has already been invested, and lots more cash will follow.Â Does a market make a trend, or does a trend make a market?Â Chicken and egg.
The change is here to stay and we’re on an upward trend.Â Yes, I know American English is the official languageÂ of the U.S.A.Â But, let’s face it, we live in a de facto bilingual society.Â Spanish, anyone?
There are rising Latino stars in the Republican Party.Â 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.Â The cultural trendÂ is here and developing.Â Culture is closely tied to language and visa versa.
Again to find the PBS program “Latino Americans”Â click on the link here.