I haven't been this excited about a documentary as I am about the upcoming Latino Americans. The landmark six-hour series will air nationally on PBS starting tomorrow Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. EST and the following two Tuesdays thereafter in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and will be narrated by actor Benjamin Bratt (who's of Peruvian heritage).
In case you weren't aware of this amazing project, here are five reasons why you should make it a point to watch it.
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1. It's the first major documentary of its kind. Latino Americans will chronicle the 500-plus years of the rich and varied history of Latinos in the United States. The documentary starts in the sixteenth century--way before the Mayflower and the Pilgrims--and goes on to present day covering historical, political, cultural and sociological aspects of the Latino population in the States.
2. You'll learn something new. Featuring nearly 100 interviews with Latinos from different backgrounds and with different stories, I'm sure you'll learn at least one or two new pieces of information regarding our history. For example, did you know that one of the first casualties of WWII was Manuel Gonzalez, a Mexican American Navy pilot who was killed in Pearl Harbor?
3. Teach your kids about their Latino heritage. My children are still too little to sit in front of the TV and watch this series, but you better believe I'll be buying the DVD and saving it for future reference. If you have older kids, you should take advantage of the 14 multi-media lessons and activities that are available to go in conjunction with the documentary. You should also check out Latino Americans the companion book to the documentary written by PBS NewsHour Senior Correspondent Ray Suarez.
4. Become part of history. Go to the Latino Americans website on PBS.org and upload your own story on what it means to be Latino. The video can be about anything related to being Latino, including family traditions, ways in which you celebrate our culture or just the story of your life.
5. You'll be proud to be a Latino American. This excellent documentary gives us all the information we need to be proud of our amazingly rich history and experience as the largest minority in the U.S. While I think it's great to celebrate Hispanic Heritage during one whole month, I hope this documentary shows us how much there is to admire and we learn to celebrate being Latino every day.
Image via PBS.org