On Thanksgiving Day, hundreds of people gather on Alcatraz Island, the famous former prison and one of the largest tourist attractions in San Francisco, for a sunrise ceremony to honor Indigenous culture and history. Almost 50 years ago, an intertribal group of students and activists took over the island for over 16 months in an act of political resistance. Richard Oakes, a young Mohawk from New York, was one of the leaders in this movement dubbed the "Red Power Movement." Latino USA tells the story of Oakes' life, from his first involvement in activism to his untimely death at the age of 30.
A week before the midterm elections, President Trump announced that he wanted to end birthright citizenship in the United States. To help explain what realistically could happen, we spoke with professor Martha S. Jones of Johns Hopkins University. She's the author of "Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America."
Then, Latino USA follows the story of a 2013 court decision in the Dominican Republic that stripped citizenship from the children of Haitian immigrants. One young man embarks on a quest to get documented—in the country where he was born.
Until recently, Raúl Castillo was known primarily by those who watched HBO's "Looking," a show about thirty-something gay men in San Francisco, and saw his performance as sensitive barber Richie. Four years after the end of that show, Castillo's everywhere. He has appeared on the Netflix series "Atypical," landed a spot on the Starz show "Vida" and most recently played one of the leads in the breakout film "We the Animals." Maria sits down with Castillo to discuss how he went from a punk band bassist in McAllen, Texas, to a playwright in Boston, and then to a celebrated actor in New York City.
The recent midterm elections highlighted a divide in the Democratic Party between its more centrist incumbents and a rising wave of young, progressive candidates. One of the most consequential races was in California. It featured longtime senator Dianne Feinstein and Kevin de León, who served as the leader of the California State Senate. Feinstein had the money, name recognition and poll numbers. But de León, the son of an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant, hoped to win by positioning himself as the more progressive choice. As de León tried (and failed) to become the first Latino senator from California, Latino USA shadowed his long-shot campaign to see what it can tell us about the future of the Democratic Party.
This Election Day, a record-breaking number of women are on the ballot, and 2018 has been a year in which women all across the country have been speaking up—in the workplace, in protests on the street, and in confirmation hearings. In partnership with WNYC's "United States of Anxiety" podcast, we sit down for an intimate conversation with a woman who helped pave the way: lifelong civil rights activist Dolores Huerta. Interviewed by her daughter Juana Chávez, Huerta speaks frankly about their experiences with gender and power.
25-year-old Rosalía Vila Tobella is a Spanish flamenco singer and five-time Latin Grammy nominee. She grew up in Catalonia and found herself drawn to a musical genre with roots in Spain's southern region: flamenco. Rosalía first became known for bringing fresh air to traditional flamenco, but most recently she has been combining accents of flamenco with hip-hop and other modern sounds on songs like her recent hit "Malamente," currently nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the Latin Grammys. Soon, we'll be hearing more of her urban-meets-flamenco vibe in her upcoming album, "El Mal Querer." Latino USA producer Antonia Cereijiido sat down with Rosalía to talk about her upcoming album and some surprising dark themes that come up in her music.