Latino Americans

News Release Date: 
September 5, 2013

For Immediate Release

Latino Americans Premieres on NET Television

LINCOLN, Neb. (Sept. 4, 2013) -- “Latino Americans,” a landmark three-part, six-hour documentary series, premieres on NET Television over three consecutive Tuesdays, Sept. 17 and 24 and Oct. 1, at 8 p.m. CT on NET1 and NET-HD.  It 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.

“Latino Americans” tells the story of early settlement, conquest and immigration; of tradition and reinvention; of anguish and celebration; and of the gradual construction of a new American identity from diverse sources that connects and empowers millions of people today. The series is broken into six chronological episodes that cover the 1500s to the present day.

Premiering Sept.17, the first hour -- “Foreigners in Their Own Land” -- spans the period from 1565-1880, as the first Spanish explorers enter North America, the U.S. expands into territories in the Southwest that had been home to Native Americans and English and Spanish colonies, and as the Mexican-American War strips Mexico of half its territories by 1848.  The second hour -- “Empire of Dreams” -- documents how the American population begins to be reshaped by the influx that began in 1880 and continues into the 1940s, as Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans begin arriving in the U.S. and start to build strong Latino-American communities in South Florida, Los Angeles and New York.

The Sept. 24 episode moves into the World War II years and those that follow, as Latino Americans serve their new country by the hundreds of thousands,but still face discrimination and a fight forcivil rights back in the United States. It also highlights the swelling immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic that stretches from the post-World War II years into the early 1960s as the new arrivals seek economic opportunities.

Concluding on Oct. 1, the series details the creation of the proud “Chicano” identity, as labor leaders organize farm workers in California, and as activists push for better education opportunities for Latinos, the inclusion of Latino studies and empowerment in the political process.

The second hour of the final program takes viewers through the past 30 years, with a second wave of Cubans arriving in Miami during the Mariel exodus and with hundreds of thousands Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Guatemalans fleeing civil wars, death squads and unrest to go north into a new land, transforming the United States along the way. The debate over undocumented immigrants flares up, with a backlash that eventually includes calls for tightened borders, English-only laws and efforts to brand undocumented immigrants as a drain on public resources. Simultaneously, the Latino influence is booming in business, sports, media, politics and entertainment.

NET1 and NET-HD are part of NET Television.  NET Television is a service of NET.  For a complete program schedule, visit NET's Web site (netNebraska.org/television).

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RELEASE WRITTEN BY:  Larry L. Kubert, 402-472-9333, ext. 389, or e-mail at lkubert@netNebraska.org

NET Television:

NET1is Nebraska's first public television broadcast service and includes PBS and award-winning, locally produced public television programming; NET2 World offers live coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral, and other news and public affairs programming; NET3 Create is a 24-hour channel featuring the most popular how-to, travel and lifestyle series; and NET-HD presents high-definition digital broadcast programming displayed in a wide-screen format.