In the 1970s, a string of devastating fires would help make the South Bronx a symbol of urban decay. In her documentary "Decade of Fire," co-director Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, who grew up in the South Bronx, tries to dissect and counter that negative image through a personal lens. The documentary analyzes how the city, state, and federal governments abandoned the Bronx in the 1970s, and how despite the fact that black and Latino residents suffered the most, they were also the ones blamed for this catastrophe. Maria Hinojosa talks with Vázquez Irizarry about how that negative image came to be, the residents that rebuilt the neighborhood, and the new challenge of gentrification.
Portrait Of: Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades is a singer, songwriter, actor, lawyer, and politician, born in Panama and a New Yorker since 1974. After four decades in the public eye, 17 Grammy Awards, and some of the best-selling records in salsa history, his unique storytelling across music styles has kept him relevant to this day. He's worked with a wide range of musicians including Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Sting, Michael Jackson, and Calle 13. Latino USA sits down with the author of the song Pedro Navaja to discuss highlights of his monumental career. This story originally aired in October of 2018.
The Diary Of An 'Undesirable'
Anthony Acevedo was the first Mexican-American Holocaust survivor registered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Latino USA follows Acevedo as he takes us through his journey as an Army medic stationed in Europe during World War II, to the moment when he was captured by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp known as Berga in Germany. He recorded what he saw in a secret diary. Little did he know that his diary was going to become physical evidence of the horrors that American soldiers and other prisoners faced inside Berga. This story originally aired in May of 2018.
Two-Step Into 2020
Happy 2020! If you're a long-time listener, you might know we have a tradition of doing a special music show around New Year's Day. Today—a selection of music pieces, including a few that we have not previously aired on our podcast. First up, Michael Brun, a Haitian DJ and producer aiming to show the world Haiti's rich sonic landscape. Then, we hear about a family's musical legacy with cousins and singers Miguel and Mireya Ramos from the all-women mariachi group Flor de Toloache. Finally, we end with dreamy boleros from the Puerto Rican satirical music group Los Rivera Destino.
Portrait Of: Ranchera Royalty Ángela Aguilar
If there is a ranchera royal family, that is the Aguilar family. And Ángela Aguilar is the youngest heir. Her father, Pepe Aguilar, has sold over 12 million albums worldwide and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. And her grandfather, Antonio Aguilar, recorded more than 150 albums which sold more than 25 million copies. Now it's Ángela's time. Last year, she was nominated for a Grammy for best regional Mexican album with her album "Primero Soy Mexicana". In this episode from the vault, Ángela talks to Maria Hinojosa about singing on stage for the first time at the age of 3, and how she uses social media. This story originally aired in February of 2019.