Latino USA

Posts Tagged ‘History’

Surviving The Mexican Revolution

Some lessons are learned in school. Other lessons are taught in the home. Or more specifically, in the kitchen. Two generations of women  - a mother and daughter – remember what they learned from Jesusita, who fled Mexico for Texas during the Mexican Revolution. She was the matriarch that made them the women they are today.

 

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McClurgLesley McClurg is a reporter and producer for Colorado Public Radio’s daily interview program, “Colorado Matters.” She came to CPR after getting her start in public radio as a freelance reporter and producer for KUOW in Seattle, Washington.In addition to her work as a journalist, Lesley also has extensive experience in documentary filmmaking and writing. A seven-time Emmy Award nominee, she won an Emmy Award in 2009 for the documentary, “Green Prison Reform.” Lesley holds a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Louisiana State University

 

 

 

Photo of immigrants fleeing the Mexican Revolution, courtesy of U.S. History Scene

 

 

 

 

#1418 – A Latino History Of The U.S.

Before you head out for a Cinco de Mayo margarita, take a trip around the country with host Maria Hinojosa to learn about Latino history. Hear about the patriotic celebrations of Laredo, Texas andthe first colony in the US—it’s not where you think it is. Also: could Zorro be the first American superhero? A high school class in East LA learns about the Chicano movement. And just where did the term “Hispanic” come from?

Feature photo courtesy of Mimictrash

Celebrating George Washington, Border-style

We start our Latino history special with a trip to Laredo, Texas – a 96 percent Latino city rich with Spanish and Mexican history, located on the US-Mexico border. It also happens to host the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the country.

 

Every year around President’s Day, there are galas, parades, ceremonies and parties in honor of the first American president. But the marquee event is a colonial-themed debutante event called the Society of Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, in which wealthy Mexican-American girls, many from oil families,  are presented to society dressed up as the wives of America’s founding fathers.

 

The pageant is a big deal in Laredo. Generally, only girls from the oldest high-society families are invited to present. But it’s the dresses themselves that get the most attention. The gowns are massive, featuring endless ruffles of fabric and exquisite beadwork. They can weigh over 100 pounds and are rumored to cost tens of thousands of dollars.

 

The Washington’s Birthday Celebration is also a major event for South Texas politicians – this year, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar was selected to play George Washington at the pageant.

 

Listen to our story to get the full scoop on this fascinating event, and check out our slideshow below for pictures of the pageant.

 [slideshow id=18]

 

reynolds_fernandez_armestoBorn in 1950, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was raised in London by his Spanish born father and British born mother, both active journalists. As a historian, he has written numerous books on a variety of subject from American History to the Spanish Armada. He currently teaches at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of “Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States.”

 

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of Marlon Bishop

 

 

 

The First U.S. Colony: St. Augustine, Florida

The first European colony in what is today the continental U.S. isn’t where you probably think it is.

Every American kid in grade school learns that it was the British who first settled the U.S. at Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. That just happens to be false. The Spanish arrived at St. Augustine, Florida decades earlier, in 1565. They came to protect their sea routes to the Caribbean, and built several forts and missions in the area over the years.

Today, a massive, star-shaped Spanish fort still stands over the city. St. Augustine has become a colonial-themed party destination where a man dressed as a pirate will take you on a pub crawl. But it’s also, as the city’s historian calls it, “the most important archeological site in the U.S.” Latino USA takes a trip to St. Augustine to shine some light on the United States’ Hispanic past. We visit historical sites such as the Castillo de San Marcos, join in on an archeological dig, and reflect what the city’s story tells us about our nation’s past.

 

Warren_cropped+12-24-10Warren Miller is a writer and producer based in St. Augustine, Florida. He has contributed to public radio and television stations in Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida for more than 20 years. He’s also written for and edited national and regional magazines. Currently, Warren is the producer and host of “Closing the Loop,” a weekly interview program on WJCT-FM, the NPR affiliate in Jacksonville.

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service

 

 

Don’t Mess With Tejanos

“If it weren’t for the Tejano, Texas would be Ohio,” says Andrés Tijerina, a scholar of Texas history at Austin Community College. Tijerina argues that Texas culture – the boots and the hats, the mavericks and mustangs – all traces back to the state’s Mexican and Spanish roots.

 The Spanish first entered the Southwest searching for the seven cities Cíbola, a mythical and wealthy nation believed to exist in the American interior. They found no golden cities, but they did decide to stay and claim the vast territory for Spain.

The Spanish brought cattle ranching and cowboy culture to Texas – many had learned it in the shrublands of Western Spain. The Anglo-Americans who began settling in Texas in the 19th century were adopted Tejano ways. After the Texas War of Independence, those Anglos began to take over Tejano ranches, often murdering whole families and moving on their lands.

Some would call it ethnic cleansing. In this segment, we begin with the story of the search for Cíbola. Then, we speak with scholar Andrés Tijerina about how the narrative around Texas history has long ignored their contributions to the state.

 

 

Andres Tijerina

Andrés Tijerina, a native of Ozona, serves with distinction as Professor of History at the Pinnacle Campus of Austin Community College. He is author of Tejanos and Texas Under the Mexican Flag and Tejano Empire: Life on the South Texas Ranchos, and has edited several other works. Dr. Tijerina is a Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association and an active presenter to gatherings of historians throughout the state. His writings have appeared as chapters, articles, and book reviews in journals ranging from the Southwestern Historical Quarterly to the American Historical Review.

 

 

 

 Photo of Austin’s Tejano Monument, courtesy of Marlon Bishop

Why Latino History Matters

To wrap up our history special, we explore why Latino history matters. We speak with historian Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (author of “Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States). Fernandez-Armesto makes the argument that if the United States wants to be a great nation in the future, it needs to embrace its history as a Latin American nation. Then we return to Laredo, a 96 percent Latino city on the US-Mexico border that’s also hosts the nation’s biggest celebration of George Washington’s birthday, to get a sneak peek at what our country’s Latino future might look like.

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reynolds_fernandez_armestoBorn in 1950, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto was raised in London by his Spanish born father and British born mother, both active journalists. As a historian, he has written numerous books on a variety of subject from American History to the Spanish Armada. He currently teaches at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of  Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States.

Mincho: BBQ, Radio, and The Latino USA Story

Minco Jacob is an Austin staple. It’s probably because he makes sure to enjoy the best of Austin every day. By day, he runs the BBQ hotspot Franklin Barbecue. By night he plays with his band, Como Las Movies. But before all that, he was a producer on Latino USA – way back when it was produced out of KUT FM in Austin. He joins host Maria Hinojosa to talk about the show’s history and how it could only have been born in Austin.

A Life in the Labor Struggle

César Chávez often turned down honors because he knew his success was due to the people he organized and fought for. Josefina Flores is one of those people. She told her story of a life both before and after the United Farm Workers’ grape boycott to reporter Farida Jhabvala Romero.

 

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Farida Jhabvala Romero reporting in Mendota, CA broccoli field

Farida is a reporter for Radio Bilingüe, the National Latino Public Radio Network. She regularly covers health and the environment. Prior to joining Radio Bilingüe, Farida worked as a reporter for El Mensajero, a San Francisco weekly, and other publications. She has a bachelor’s degree from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and currently lives in Alameda, California, with her husband Eric and 2-year old daughter Devika. She can be reached at farida@radiobilingue.org.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of the reporter

 

QUE BONITA BANDERA

The crown of the Statue of Liberty will again be accessible to the public this month after a year of renovation. But in October 25, 1977, it was the stage for a surprising, even poetic protest that has been forgotten by many. A look back at the day Lady Liberty was taken hostage.


Click here to download this week’s show.

Miguel “Mickey” Melendez is an activist for Latino and Puerto Rican rights and a founding member of the Young Lords. He has taught in the Black and Hispanic studies department at CUNY, Baruch and John Jay colleges. He has a MPA from Baruch College and a Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa) from CUNY, Queens College Law. He is the recipient of the Charles Revson Fellowship at Columbia University. And he is the author of We Took the Streets: Fighting for Latino Rights with the Young Lords (St. Martin’s Press, 2003, Rutgers University Press 2006). Currently he can be heard on Pacifica Radio’s Con Sabor Latino on Sundays at 2 p.m. on WBAI 99.5. FM. He is also Assistant to the President of Local 372, NYC, DC37, AFSCME. Photo courtesy of Will Salomon Orellano.

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