Hispanic Heritage Month

19 Sep 2023 in

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 and Oct. 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

During this period, Arkansas PBS is joining the celebration by highlighting programming which focuses on Hispanic Heritage. 

American Experience: “Zoot Suit Riots”

In June 1943, Los Angeles erupted into the worst race riots in the city to date. For 10 straight nights, American sailors armed with make-shift weapons cruised Mexican American neighborhoods in search of "zoot-suiters" — hip, young Mexican teens dressed in baggy pants and long-tailed coats. The military men dragged kids — some as young as 12 years old — out of movie theaters and diners, bars and cafes, tearing the clothes off the young men's bodies and viciously beating them. Mexican youths aggressively struck back. The fighting intensified and on the worst night, taxi drivers offered free rides to the riot area. One LA paper even printed a guide on how to "de-zoot" a zoot-suiter. When the violence ended, scores of Mexicans and servicemen were in hospital beds.

“Zoot Suit Riots” is a powerful film that explores the complicated racial tensions and the changing social and political landscape that led up to the explosion on LA's streets in the summer of 1943. To understand what happened during those terrifying June nights, the film describes changes in the city's population — the influx of new immigrants, the booming war-time economy, the huge number of servicemen on their way to the Pacific theater and a new generation of Mexican Americans who were more conspicuous, more affluent and more self-confident than their parents had ever dared to be.

American Experience: “Zoot Suit Riots” airs Monday, Sept. 18, at 9 p.m.

“Wonders of Mexico”

Travel south along Mexico's mountain spine, explore the tropical forests of the Maya and journey across the deserts of Northern Mexico to discover its amazing wildlife and culture.

“Wonders of Mexico” airs Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m.



Independent Lens: “Sansón and Me”

Filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes is inspired to make a documentary about Sansón, an immigrant serving life for first-degree murder, but authorities won’t allow the incarcerated young man to be

filmed. In light of this, Sansón’s story is shared through dramatic reenactments of his letters, using members of his own family as actors.

Independent Lens: “Sansón and Me” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 9 p.m.



“Becoming Frida Kahlo”

Explore the life of celebrated artist Frida Kahlo in a three-part docuseries. See the major personal and political events of her life, including her stormy and devoted relationship with artist Diego Rivera, whom she married not once but twice.

“Becoming Frida Kahlo” premieres Tuesday, Sept. 19, 10:30 p.m.



“POV: Bulls and Saints”

After 20 years of living in the United States, an undocumented family decides to return home. Little do they know it will be the most difficult journey of their lives. Set between the backdrop of the rodeo rings of North Carolina and the spellbinding Mexican hometown they long for, “Bulls and Saints” is a love story of reverse migration, rebellion, and redemption.

“POV: Bulls and Saints” airs Sunday, Sept. 24, at 11 p.m.

“American Experience: Roberto Clemente”

On December 31, 1972, Roberto Clemente, a 38-year-old baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates, boarded a DC-7 aircraft loaded with relief supplies for survivors of a catastrophic earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Concerned over reports that the Nicaraguan dictatorship was misusing shipments of aid, Clemente, a native of nearby Puerto Rico, hoped his involvement would persuade the government to distribute relief packages to the more than 300,000 people affected by the disaster. Shortly after takeoff, the overloaded aircraft plunged into the Atlantic Ocean, just one mile from the Puerto Rican coast. Roberto Clemente’s body was never recovered.

“Roberto Clemente” is an in-depth look at an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball’s first Latino superstar. Featuring interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning authors David Maraniss and George F. Will, Clemente’s wife Vera, Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates, the

documentary presents an intimate and revealing portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend.

“36th Hispanic Heritage Awards”

Celebrate the new class of Hispanic Heritage Award honorees, including Grammy-nominee Omar Apollo; Chairman of NBCUniversal News Group Cesar Conde; Grammy and Latin Grammy winning musicians Café Tacvba; Co-Founders of Siete Family Foods Veronica, Miguel, and Aida Garza; and reggaeton and urbano pioneer Wisin.

The “36th Hispanic Heritage Awards” airs Friday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m.



“American Masters: A Song for Cesar”

Trace the life and legacy of labor activist Cesar Chavez. Through interviews with Maya Angelou, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana and more, see how music and the arts were instrumental to the success of the farmworkers’ movement Chavez helped found.

“American Masters: A Song for Cesar” airs Friday, Sept. 29, at 9 p.m.



“La Frontera with Pati Jinich”

Savor the sights, sounds and flavors of the U.S.-Mexico border alongside acclaimed chef and James Beard Award-winning host Pati Jinich as she experiences the region’s rich culture, people and cuisine.

“La Frontera with Pati Jinich” airs Sunday, Oct. 1, at 2:30 p.m.

“POV: The Last Out”

Three Cuban baseball players leave their families and risk exile to chase their dreams of playing in the United States. At the shadowy nexus of the migrant trail and pro sports, “The Last Out” chronicles their harrowing journey, from immigration obstacles to the broken promises of dubious agents. Against all odds, these young athletes try to hold onto their hope while fighting for a better life for their families.

“POV: The Last Out” airs Sunday, Oct. 1, at 11 p.m.

“Austin City Limits: Rodrigo y Gabriela featuring Austin Symphony Orchestra”

Hear a unique fusion of flamenco, jazz and rock from Mexican guitarists Rodrigo and Gabriela.

“Austin City Limits: Rodrigo y Gabriela featuring Austin Symphony Orchestra” airs Oct. 7, at 11 p.m.



“Singing Our Way To Freedom”

“Singing Our Way to Freedom” is a vibrant, multilayered look at the life of Chicano musician, composer and community activist, Ramon “Chunky” Sanchez. The film chronicles Chunky’s life from his humble beginnings as a farmworker in Blythe, California, to the dramatic moment when he received one of his nation’s highest musical honors at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., in 2013.

“Singing Our Way To Freedom” airs Sunday, Oct. 8, at 10 p.m.

“Columbia Wild and Free”

Journey to South America to explore the magnificent flora and fauna of Colombia, from the wild, largely deserted Pacific coast to the snow-covered volcanoes of the Andes, from the plains of the Orinoco region to the rainforests of the Amazon.

“Colombia Wild and Free” airs Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 3:30 p.m.



“Independent Lens: El Equipo”

Legendary U.S. anthropologist Dr. Clyde Snow sets out to train a new group of Latin American students in the use of forensic anthropology. Their goal: to investigate disappearances in Argentina during the “dirty war.” The group expands its horizons, traveling to El Salvador, Bolivia, and Mexico, doggedly working behind the scenes to establish the facts for the families of the victims.

“Independent Lens: El Equipo” airs Sunday, Oct. 15, at 11 p.m.

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See our most recently updated schedule anytime at myarkansaspbs.org/schedule.  

Watch broadcasts on ARPBS-1