Monday, September 21, 2015

Rhode Island Latino Voices on Rhode Island PBS

Pawtucket City Councilor-at-Large Sandra Cano

The Spanish word raíces means "roots" in English. This explains what the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island is all about: the roots, the history of the Latino community of Rhode Island.

Project Director Marta V. Martínez interviews Sandra Cano,
with Mark Smith behind the camera.
The director of this project is Marta V. Martínez, independent oral historian and member of the Rhode Island PBS Community Advisory Board. First begun some years ago, the latest chapter of this project of Nuestras Raíces (Our Roots) continued in the Rhode Island PBS studios during August 2015, when members of the Rhode Island Latino community were filmed telling their stories of coming to America and arriving in Rhode Island.

The vignettes - short stories combining video, photos, and other archival documents and letters - feature interviews with Luis Aponte, Sandra Cano, José González, Roberto González, Carlos López Estrada, Miriam Gorriaran, Patricia Martínez, and Lydia Pérez, all of whom have contributed to and helped shape Latino history in Rhode Island over the past 60 years. Produced and edited by Marta Martinez in partnership with Rhode Island PBS, the eight vignettes will air throughout October as part of Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond.

Broadcast of the vignettes also coincides with the Rhode Island PBS encore of the six-part PBS series Latino Americans: 500 Years of History. Rhode Island PBS will air two episodes per week for three consecutive weeks, beginning Thursday, October 1 at 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Latino Americans: 500 Years of History is the first major documentary series for television to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have helped shape North America over the last 500-plus years and have become, with more than 50 million people, the largest minority group in the U.S. The changing and yet repeating context of American history provides a backdrop for the drama of individual lives. It is a story of immigration and redemption, of anguish and celebration, of the gradual construction of a new American identity that connects and empowers millions of people today.

For more information about Rhode Island Latino Voices and the Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island - including an extensive collection of fascinating stories, photos, and video - visit the Nuestras Raíces (Our Roots) Website at