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Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Culture > History > PBS gives the green light for new documentary highlighting the historical experience of Latinos in the military

PBS gives the green light for new documentary highlighting the historical experience of Latinos in the military

LatinaLista — Who can forget about the outrage that veteran PBS documentarian Ken Burns created when he left out mention of Latino contributions in his epic World War II film?
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If it had not been for the organized protest from the Defend the Honor who alerted Latinos far and wide to the outrageous insult, Burns would not have been forced to include the measly snippets recognizing Latino accomplishments.
To say it was done grudgingly would probably be an understatement.
Well, in the process, it seems PBS honchos got the message that Latinos were not going to take such an insult without making a lot of noise. In these times when public television is more dependent than ever before on public contributions, it’s a bad business decision to alienate such a large demographic who is increasing in influence and buying power.
So, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that PBS has suddenly seen the luz and has announced that it is providing preliminary funding for a two-hour doc examining the Latino experience throughout the years while serving in the U.S. armed forces.
The film will be titled “The War Within” and will be written by San Antonio Express-News columnist Carlos Guerra with documentarian filmmaker Hector Galan. The film is tentatively scheduled for broadcast on PBS in September 2010.
Galan was the documentarian that PBS hired to provide footage to amend Burns’ original piece. As a result, the final 14.5-hour Burns’ film featured interviews with two Mexican American veterans and one Native American veteran.
Burns’ omission of mentioning the proud and many accomplishments of Latino and Native American veterans in his film underscored the urgency to fight for inclusion. Otherwise, history would not be accurate and generations to come would grow up thinking that not everyone takes pride in being an American — which is as far from the truth as saying that no people of color served in the military.

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