Latino history profiled

It’s well-known that Texas, along with many other states, is building a population based on those with Latino heritage.

These new immigrants to the United States in reality, though, are the descendants of those who came to the New World many centuries ago. A PBS series to be shown over three weeks on PanhandlePBS tells the Latino story in the United States.

“Latino Americans” airs over the course of the next three Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. The first installment will be broadcast this Tuesday and it examines the first explorers who ventured from Spain to open up the North American continent.

One of those explorers, ??? Coronado, trekked across the Texas Panhandle and was thought to be the first European to lay eyes on Palo Duro Canyon.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Many Spanish explorers came to our shores. They were met with fierce resistance by indigenous people, such as the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas. The conquest of both American continents — North and South — indeed, was a bloody and brutal affair.

Next week, on Sept. 24, the series examines Latinos’ contributions to helping fight tyranny during World War II and their continuing service to their new country, the United States.

Finally, on Oct. 1, the series concludes with an examination of how labor unions formed to organize migrant farm workers who helped harvest the food we all consume; meanwhile, other activists pushed for educational opportunities.

The Latino influence is huge and is growing. PBS takes us on a fascinating journey to examine how that influence came to be.

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