The Latino Americans: Prejudice and Pride
About This Episode
In the 1960s and 1970s, a generation of Mexican Americans, frustrated by persistent discrimination and poverty, find a new way forward through social action and the building of a new "Chicano" identity. The movement is ignited when farm workers in the fields of California, led by César Chavez and Dolores Huerta, march on Sacramento for equal pay and humane working conditions.
Through plays, poetry and film, Luis Valdez and activist Corky Gonzalez create a new appreciation of the long history of Mexicans in the southwest and the Mestizo roots of Mexican Americans. In Los Angeles, schoolteacher Sal Castro leads the largest high school student walkout in American history, demanding that Chicano students be given the same educational opportunities as Anglos. In Texas, activists such as José Ángel Gutiérrez, create a new political party and change the rules of the electoral game. By the end of the 1970s, Chicanos activism and identity have transformed what it means to be an American. Chicano and Latino studies are incorporated into school curriculum; Latinos are included in the political process.
Latino Americans is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape the United States over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S.