Latino USA

Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Dejenme que les cuente una cosa personal…

Maria reflects on Cinco de Mayo, her daughter’s birthday, and a memory from her early days of reporting.


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Cuban Americans Act for Change

A group of young Cuban-Americans, some born here in the United States and some born in Cuba, gathered at Cornell University recently for the third annual conference of Raices de Esperanza (Roots of Hope), a group dedicated to empowering young Cubans. Participants span the spectrum in their views about highly charged issues such as the embargo and travel to Cuba. Lygia Navarro speaks with these college students and young professionals about how their involvement with Raices de Esperanza has challenged and changed their thinking about Cuba and U.S.-Cuba relations.


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La Mission

Benjamin and Peter Bratt tackle homophobia and violence in the town where they grew up.


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Skipping Arizona

Did you grow up with the rope-skipping chant, “I won’t go to Macy’s any more?” Poet and commentator Joe Pacheco is a retired New York City School Superintendent, and he certainly remembers it. And he’s updated the poem for the age.


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StoryCorps: Historias


Two stories of ingenutiy this week from our colleagues at StoryCorps: Historias. We hear from Graciela Kavulla and Claritza Abreu.


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Record Your Story

Produced by Nadia Reiman and Vanara Taing. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

Commentary: Who Wants to be a ‘Minority’?

Demographers say that in many growing areas of the country, Latinos are becoming a “majority-minority.” But the term “minority” has been one Latino USA has sought to avoid throughout the years. Maria Hinojosa explains why.


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StoryCorps Historias

StoryCorps Historias is an initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latinos in the United States. Sharing these stories celebrates our history, honors our heritage, and captures the true spirit of our community. It will also ensure that the voices of Latinos will be preserved and remembered for generations to come. Copies of stories gathered through StoryCorps Historias are archived at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear.

Greer Family of Miami
Dr. Pedro “Joe” Greer has been practicing medicine for more than 25 years and is known for his work in creating medical clinics for the homeless. Serving homeless families has become something of a calling for Dr. Greer, and he tells his wife Janus the story of how he devoted himself to this calling.


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New York’s Pedro Pietri
Pedro Pietri was more than a New York poet. He gave a voice to a generation that initially espoused a Nuyorican identity. Here, Pietri’s friend Jesús “Papoleto” Melendez tells poet Frank Perez about Pietri’s last moments as he died on March 3rd, 2004.


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The next stop on the StoryCorps Historias national tour is Fresno, California.
StoryCorps stories were produced by Nadia Reiman and Vanara Taing. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

Una Cosa Personal

The Ft. Hood shootings left psychological scars that spilled over into the national psyche, as Latino USA’s Maria Hinojosa observes.


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StoryCorps Historias

All across the country many Latino families will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. While many ethnic communities have various forms of the tradition, the American version of Thanksgiving is uniquely a nationalistic celebration.

FERNANDEZ FAMILY
This week, StoryCorps Historias brings the story of one family’s first Thanksgiving meal. 

Jose Fernandez came to the U.S. from Cuba in the 1960s. He was a teenager when his family arrived in Florida. And here, from our StoryCorps booth in New York, he tells his wife, Teresita, about that first November.


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DIAZ FAMILY
Now another story about sharing a meal. 

It comes from Julio Diaz, a social worker from the Bronx. 

Every night diaz ends his hour-long subway commute one stop early just so he can eat at his favorite diner.

 But one night as he stepped off the train and onto a nearly empty platform, his evening took an unexpected turn.


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CARRANZA FAMILY
When he was a poor kid, Adolph Carranza remembers how donations from the Salvation Army would come around the holidays. Among the exotic canned goods he recalls was this strange jelly-like substance called “cranberries” that no one wanted to try in his household.


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Last year StoryCorps launched a new holiday tradition — it’s called the National Day of Listening, which happens on the day after Thanksgiving. StoryCorps encourages you to take an hour on that day to sit down with a relative or loved one and ask them about their life. 
 
StoryCorps has do-it-yourself materials to help you get a great interview and preserve it for your family — and they’re available for free online.

Diaz Family and the Great Depression

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Jones Act, which granted American citizenship to the people of Puerto Rico. The territory had come under U.S. jurisdiction after the Spanish-American War of 1898. Between 1898 and 1917 any Puerto Rican who lived on the U.S. mainland was considered a “resident alien.”

As Puerto Rican citizens, however, the people on the island could not serve in the U.S. military. By making them American citizens, the Jones Act enabled some 20,000 Puerto Ricans to serve in active duty during World War I.

During the 1920s, thousands of Puerto Ricans took advantage of their new American citizenship and came “stateside.” It was a time of economic boom and large cities welcomed the influx of cheap labor.

In 1927, Manny Diaz moved with his family from Puerto Rico to New York. The family had hardly settled in when suddenly the country was in the throes of The Great Depression.

As part of our partnership series Story Corp Historias, here is Manny Diaz’s story.


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