Growing up as a Nuyorican kid in the Bronx, Bobby Sanabria first watched "West Side Story" in the movie theaters, on the 10th anniversary of the film's release. "I was mesmerized," said the Latin Jazz drummer and composer. In 2017, the Broadway classic celebrated its 60th anniversary and to honor this milestone, Sanabria re-envisioned what Latino New York City actually sounds like. The result was his album, "West Side Story Reimagined." Maria Hinojosa talks to the drummer and composer about what the iconic musical means to him and how he paid tribute to its legacy.
Brazil recorded its first death from COVID-19 on March 17th and by mid-June the country was the world leader in daily deaths. Overall, Brazil is only behind the United States both in the number of cases and deaths due to coronavirus. But Jair Bolsonaro, the country's right-wing nationalist president, continues to be dismissive about the threat posed by the virus. In this episode, we find out why Brazil, one of the largest economies in the world and a nation often in the forefront of innovative public health treatments, has failed to combat the pandemic.
On Thursday, June 18th, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. This comes over two years after the Trump administration moved to eliminate the program. About 700,000 people are currently enrolled in DACA, which grants temporary stays of deportation to undocumented immigrants who moved to the U.S. as children. As DACA recipients and supporters celebrate this win, they're also looking to the future. DACA could still be challenged by this administration. Meanwhile, many are calling for comprehensive immigration reform and a path to citizenship for both DACA recipients and the 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. today.
According to Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat, stories are a way of finding inspiration and comfort during the times we're living through. Her award-winning writing portrays the immigrant experience, Haitian-American identity, and loss. In conversation with Maria Hinojosa, Danticat dives into the history of resistance to the police violence that was all around her as a young adult in New York City, the loss of her own uncle who died at the hands of immigration authorities, and how she's making sense of the current moment.
In 1919, an intrepid Texas state representative, José Tomás Canales, decided to lead an investigation into the abuse of power by the Texas Rangers. For several years, residents of South Texas had been reporting that members of the law enforcement agency were going rogue: beating, torturing, and even killing people, in the name of protecting Anglo settlers. The subsequent investigation into these abuses would illustrate the difficulties of reforming and creating oversight over policing on the border—and would leave behind a narrative about justified violence against the Mexican-American community, that lingers to this day.
The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality. To many, this moment seems inevitable — and for the Latinx community, it's bringing up complex conversations on identity, race, and allyship with the Black community. In the first of several conversations we will be having on Latino USA, we're joined by Afro-Puerto Rican activist, organizer, and scholar Rosa Clemente to understand how we got to this crucial moment. We talk about what useful allyship looks like and where the next generation of Black and Latinx activist leaders go from here.