In the latest endeavor to capture the emergence of the Latino community in the U.S., last night PBS aired the first episode of Latino Americans. The epic documentary charts five centuries of Latino immigration, social movements, racism, labor and political activity to show how deeply entwined Latino communities are with U.S. history.
From prominent activists such as Dolores Huerta to film stars such as Rita Moreno, the series aims to paint of picture of how Latinos grew to be one of the most influential ethnic groups in the U.S. But as when any documentary makes long brush strokes over several centuries, some critics have said the documentary falls short of conveying the subtleties and richness of Latino identity, while others have criticized the film for relying too closely on an assimilationist narrative.
The three-part series continues on PBS in the coming weeks, and full episodes are available online.