Jessie Reyez sings sad songs, but it's those songs along with her soulful voice and brutally honest lyrics that have garnered her fans around the world. Most recently, the Colombian-Canadian singer received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Urban Contemporary Album category for her EP, "Being Human in Public." In our latest "How I Made It" segment, Jessie Reyez talks about the role of music in her childhood, how she writes through her own emotional pain, and how even when her fans sing along to her saddest songs—she feels more connected to them than ever.
Death Of A Blood Sport
In December 2019, a congressional ban made cockfighting illegal in U.S. territories. Animal rights activists argue the sport is cruel and inhumane. But Puerto Ricans say cockfighting is an integral part of their culture and economy. They also say they are tired of the U.S. imposing its values on the island, and much like their roosters, they're prepared to fight to the death to protect their heritage.
Looking Back On A 'Decade Of Fire'
In the 1970s, a string of devastating fires would help make the South Bronx a symbol of urban decay. In her documentary "Decade of Fire," co-director Vivian Vázquez Irizarry, who grew up in the South Bronx, tries to dissect and counter that negative image through a personal lens. The documentary analyzes how the city, state, and federal governments abandoned the Bronx in the 1970s, and how despite the fact that black and Latino residents suffered the most, they were also the ones blamed for this catastrophe. Maria Hinojosa talks with Vázquez Irizarry about how that negative image came to be, the residents that rebuilt the neighborhood, and the new challenge of gentrification.
Portrait Of: Rubén Blades
Rubén Blades is a singer, songwriter, actor, lawyer, and politician, born in Panama and a New Yorker since 1974. After four decades in the public eye, 17 Grammy Awards, and some of the best-selling records in salsa history, his unique storytelling across music styles has kept him relevant to this day. He's worked with a wide range of musicians including Héctor Lavoe, Willie Colón, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Sting, Michael Jackson, and Calle 13. Latino USA sits down with the author of the song Pedro Navaja to discuss highlights of his monumental career. This story originally aired in October of 2018.
The Diary Of An 'Undesirable'
Anthony Acevedo was the first Mexican-American Holocaust survivor registered at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. Latino USA follows Acevedo as he takes us through his journey as an Army medic stationed in Europe during World War II, to the moment when he was captured by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp known as Berga in Germany. He recorded what he saw in a secret diary. Little did he know that his diary was going to become physical evidence of the horrors that American soldiers and other prisoners faced inside Berga. This story originally aired in May of 2018.