Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The four hour Latino in America documentary with CNN”s Soledad O’Brien is set to air this week. I had the pleasure of attending a prescreening at El Museo De Barrio in New York City this past Saturday (10-17-09). O’Brien was on hand for a Q & A session along with a 45 minute prescreening of the documentary. What I found fascinating is that a lot of people told the correspondent that the prescreening highlighted immigrations as dominate, “Latino Issue.” There were a lot of audience members critiquing the screen both good and bad. One person said that it doesn’t do justice for “us” Latinos. The panel discussion lead by Frances Negron-Muntaner, Director of the Study of Ethnicity and Race at Columbia University asked O’Brien, “What’s different about Latinos in America and Black in America?” The response was quick and savvy, she says Black in America has more a historical feel to it, Latino in America is introducing you to people’s stories.” One person in the audience said really so does that mean that Latinos don’t have history here in the U.S? Another point that I thought was interesting is whether this documentary is showcasing the Latino population a victims? She disagrees says once the full-length is show that the viewers will see that it’s not showing Latinos as victims but of working with the opportunities and obstacles put inform of them. “This shows immigration as our number one issues and I don’t think that is correct. O’Brien response saying that she feels it’s more of an “identity” issue that’s showcased in the piece. When she went on to explain it made sense to where you see several different stories where Latinos are assimilating and cultivating their culture. It sounds easy to do, but if you think about it interracial marriage is becoming more popular, so can that mean that the face of Latinos is changing as we know it? Identity as an issue. Take the time if you are a Latino bore and raised here or had crossed the border when you were five. What do you consider yourself and American first and Mexican second or are you a Mexican –American?

Checkout Latinos in America Wednesday and Thursday night on CNN at 9 PM eastern.

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