Leguizamo Does America

For the past six weeks John Leguizamo’s whirlwind road trip has taken him across the United States to reveal the inherent unity and variety in the Hispanic culture. It has been both a close examination of values and an exuberant celebration of talent.

This docuseries unfolds as the host, John Leguizamo, travels to six particular destinations: Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C. and San Juan, Porto Rico. He samples each of these especially Hispanic, although thoroughly American, locations. It is through the testimony of his talented guests that we learn that all of these individuals are absolute originals regardless of the labels, positive or negative, they have been given.

And, yes, it is a complex and changing matter being Hispanic in the USA, A Pew Research poll in 2012 showed that a majority (51%) of Hispanic Americans identified by their family’s country of origin such as MexicanPuerto Rican, Cuban, Spanish, Salvadoran, Dominican, Colombian or Venezuelan, rather than than being grouped in the Hispanic category, which simply means they speak Spanish. The remainder of those polled who were born in the U.S.A said that they preferred the more general label like Hispanic or Latin. The survey also found that, regardless of where they were born, 87% of all those who are considered Hispanic said that life in the U.S. was better than in their family’s country of origin.

The story must be changing because another Pew poll in 2018 revealed 37% of Latinos said that they had experienced discrimination in the past year, basically being called offensive names, being told to go back to their home country, being criticized for speaking Spanish in public, or experiencing discrimination or unfair treatment due to being Hispanic. Six-in-ten (62%) said they were dissatisfied with the way things were going in the USA at the time, up from 50% in 2017. One-in-five (20%) say issues related to immigration were the most important problem facing the nation, with family separation and deportation among the issues cited. Another 20% of Hispanics say issues related to the country’s wealth gap the economy are the most critical problem.

And the Hispanic story continues to change here in America. As of 2021, 81% of Latinos living in the country are U.S. citizens, up from 74% in 2010. 72% of Latinos ages 5 and older spoke English proficiently, up from 59% in 2000. About 44% of U.S. Hispanic adults ages 25 and older had at least some college experience in 2021, up from 36% in 2010.  And it was found that the number of Latinos who say they are multiracial had increased dramatically. This is also the period when some figures suggested that Latinx was a more appropriate term than Hispanic and Latin.

Throughout the six week tour Leguizamo purposely uses Latinex for Hispanic. I don’t know why Latinx is contentious, but it’s contentious. People get so riled up about it.“To me, it’s ridiculous. Just the fact that we have a name, and that we’re checking a box, is huge. I mean, I know none of us want to be checking boxes. None of us want to be constantly talking about race, but you have to because otherwise you get excluded. Your communities don’t get funding. Your schools don’t get funded — unless you check that box and vote. You know what I mean? But I love Latinx.” “I use the travel show method as a way to smuggle content because I want all of America to have Latin envy and want them to feel like they wish they had been born Latin. That’s my mission, and for Latin people to feel very proud of being Latin.”

Well, only twenty percent of Americans are Hispanic, but we can all appreciate the contributions made by these deserving citizens. The colors, the food, and the beat of their music express a way of life that expresses true enjoyment and just appreciation. The creative figures that Leguizamo has profiled on his trip are persons of authenticity, talent and joy. Leguizamo’s travels can be followed on the interactive map provided by Entertainment Weekly.

July 22, 1960
John Leguizamo

John Leguizamo was born on a Friday in the zodiac sign of Cancer. Venus is the ruler of his INNER SELF and The Moon governs his OUTER SELF. Individuals with the #64 Dayology Signature find a certain amount of privacy necessary, yet they are very entertaining in certain instances. Generally they have good hearts, and are able to express their kindness in various ways.

The charisma that John naturally radiates can be attributed to two additional astrological facts. One is that he was born on a cusp between Cancer and Leo. Actually his Sun is located on the 29th degree of Cancer which gives his personality a special boost of excitement where his many relationships are concerned. It also provides a generosity and leadership in matters which can give all Hispanic people a shot at creative self-expression and a share of the social equality.

Leguizamo was born in Bogotá, Colombia. His appearance on PBS / Finding Your Roots revealed that his heritage includes Indigenous South American, European (especially Iberian) and some African roots. When Leguizamo was 3 years old, his family immigrated to New York City. He claims that his childhood experiences as an immigrant were often difficult but he learned to be “funny” so that he would not get “hit.” In 1984 he started out as a stand-up comic on the New York nightclub circuit and in time that exposure led to performing on stage, television and film.

According to his Wikipedia entry Leguizamo has appeared in over 100 films, produced 20 films including documentaries, over 30 television appearances, and created various television projects, and still comes across as an earnest, down-to-earth and very likable person. On the IMDB Site we can familiarize ourselves with all his all his awards for his positive efforts.

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