‘Baldo’ to Focus on the Experiences of Latino WWII Vets

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By: E&P Staff

The “Baldo” comic will to pay tribute to Latino WWII veterans this month, according to Universal Press Syndicate.

Starting Sept. 17, Hector Cantu and Carlos Castellanos will create a fictional character named Benny Ramirez, who will recount his World War II experiences. Ramirez — an American Latino who lost his leg while serving in the war — is now in his early 80s and works as a barber.

Ramirez will share his stories (and dicuss how he felt) about serving in a military for a country that discriminated against him.

“This is kind of our answer to the Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on World War II, which is 15 hours long and has less than 20 minutes on Latino veterans,” said Cantu. That documentary reportedly had no Latino representation before an outcry caused Burns to change it slightly.

Cantu worked closely researching the content for the upcoming strips with Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at the University of Texas-Austin who began the U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project in 1999.

In related news, Cantu will speak tomorrow at noon at the University of Texas-Austin about “Comic Strips as Social Commentary.” The event is free and open to the public.

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