How Three Texas Newspapers Manufactured Three Competing Images of Immigrants

In Depression-Era San Antonio, Polarized Portraits of Mexicans Appealed to the Biases of Readers

In August 1930, an editorial writer for the largest newspaper chain on Earth proclaimed: “THE FARMER rids his barn of rats, his hen-house of weasels … the government of the United States should clean house and get rid of undesirable human vermin.”

The writer went on to demand that Congress make citizenship harder to obtain, so the government would be protected “against the vicious and criminal, the incompetent and the unfit.”

Sound familiar?

The Trump administration’s endless, bigoted campaign against immigrants may seem shocking. But the rhetoric accompanying that campaign, down …

Ritchie Valens, Selena, and Filming the American Dream

Producer Moctesuma Esparza and Writer-Director Luis Valdez Talk About How to Tell Stories that Reflect the Reality of America Today

How can a movie with a Mexican-American theme tell the story of all America? Why aren’t there more movies that reflect the increasingly complex racial and ethnic demography of our …

Movies’ Most Memorable Mexican-American Moments

From Stand and Deliver to Giant, These Are Hollywood's Strongest Cinematic Depictions of America’s Third Largest Ethnic Group

For better or for worse, when many Americans think about Italian-Americans, they think of The Godfather. When it comes to Irish-Americans, it’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And for Chinese-Americans, …

When Life Hands You Lemons, Make Cinco de Mayo

In One California Town, a Holiday Co-Opted by Beer Companies Has Roots in a Celebrated Citrus Crop

What’s with Cinco de Mayo, anyways?

Corporate advertisers treat it as the de facto Mexican Day, if not Latino Day, in this country. In 1998, the United States Post Office …

Who Invented the Chimichanga?

In Tucson, Arizona, Giving Birth to the Deep-Fried Burrito Is a Point of Pride

One afternoon while I was navigating the clogged freeways of Phoenix, a fierce argument erupted in the back of my car.

“Of course the chimichanga was invented in Tucson!” yelled one …

Creating a Mexican-Afro-Cuban-American Beat

The Rhythms I Play and Dance Collided on the American Continent—Then I Made Them My Own

The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival was in full bloom on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in late June. Audiences flocked to different stages and exhibits that shared the finest …