Since the beginning of cinema, Latinos have been an integral part of the U.S. mass media and have also challenged the industries' exclusionary hiring practices and ways of portraying Latinos as well as Latin Americans. Yet, despite decades of media advocacy efforts on the part of Latinos, per capita, there were more Latinos on television and in films in the 1950-1960 decade than in 2007.
To further understand this trend, CSER and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) initiated a collaborative project in 2008. Funded by the Social Science Research Council, the project consists of an unprecedented report on the historic and persistent marginalization of Latinos in the mass media. The report is titled "Assessing for Change: A Study on Latino Media Advocacy."
In anticipation of the report, which will be made public at NALIP's annual conference this coming April 15-17, 2011, NALIP and CSER are launching a Latino media history calendar. Titled "Made in America: This Month in Latino Media History," the calendar offers a window into the contributions and challenges of Latinos in the mainstream and independent film and television industries. The calendar also includes a comprehensive bibliography.
For reasons of space, the calendar is not exhaustive. Our main selection criteria have included: thematic innovation, social impact, and cultural recognition. As the calendar is meant as a living resource, we invite readers to send us suggestions, ideas and corrections that we will incorporate in the project's archives for future reference. In addition, if an organization or individual is interested in running the calendar as part of their site, please write to us for further details.
Click here for bibliography and references.
Frances Negrón-Muntaner serves as principal investigator to the project and the calendar. Negrón-Muntaner is a filmmaker, writer, and scholar, as well as the director of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race. Among her books are: Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (CHOICE Award, 2004) and Sovereign Acts (South End Press, 2010). Her films include AIDS in the Barrio (Gold Award at the John Muir Film Festival, 1989), Brincando el charco: Portrait of a Puerto Rican (Whitney Biennial, 1995), and the upcoming television show, War in Guam. Negrón-Muntaner is also a founding board member and past chair of NALIP, National Association of Latino Independent Producers. In 2005, she was named one of the most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine, and in 2008, the United Nations' Rapid Response Media Mechanism recognized her as a global expert in the areas of mass media and Latino American studies. Most recently, El Diario/La Prensa selected her as one of the 2010 recipients of their annual "Distinguished Women Award."
Marilia Sabalier-Lugo is assistant researcher and writer for the calendar content. She is an MA student in sociocultural anthropology at Columbia University and is interested in Latin America and Spain. She was born and raised in Puerto Rico. After spending three years in Spain, she currently lives in New York City
Catherine Kron is lead image researcher for the calendar. She is a Masters candidate in Curatorial and Critical Studies with a focus on experimental film, a contributing writer to Art in America's online Reviews, News, and Features, and artist's assistant to Ellen Brooks.
Stephen Chou is the graphic/web designer for the calendar. He is a Master of Architecture student at Columbia University.
Our thanks also to Kimberly Ashby for her contributions to the calendar research.