“Chicano I & II: The Mexican American Heritage Series” was a groundbreaking television series that first aired in July 1971 on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles. NBC also aired the twenty-program series on its stations in Chicago, New York, Cleveland and Washington DC.For the first such production by a national commercial television network, several of California’s first Chicano studies professors were recruited to examine history and culture from a Chicano perspective as well as explore contemporary issues facing the Mexican American community. The creators of the individual programs of the “Chicano I” programs were Jose H. Cuellar, Frank H. Cruz, Richard Romo, Carlos Arce, Manuel Ramirez PhD., Tomas Martinez PhD., Ernesto Galarza PhD., Federico Sánchez, Paul Sánchez, Ron Lopez, Simon Gonzalez PhD., And Julian Nava PhD. History teacher Frank H. Cruz facilitated each of the programs.
Fifty years after the series first aired, 10 programs including “Chicano I” were recently digitized by Hugh M. Hefner Motion Picture Archive of USC Cinematic Arts Hefner Motion Picture Archive and are available here online. for academics, students and the general public. Public. Although there are no films of the “Chicano II” part of the series, the transcripts of the 20 programs are available in many university libraries: here
The story of the series’ creation is detailed in Frank Cruz’s memoir, “Straight Out Of Barrio Hollywood: The Adventures of Telemundo co-founder Frank H. Cruz,” which he co-wrote with Rita Joiner Soza. If you have any questions regarding the Chicano or Frank Cruz series, please send an email to [email protected]
Episode 1: Aztlan
Host Frank Cruz introduces Jose B. Cuellar, MA, Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, who describes the contributions of Mexican ancestors to “Aztlan” or as we know it in the Western Hemisphere. The program also examines the cultural influences exerted and how these influences have affected the Southwestern United States, even in contemporary times.