Two Arizona State University professors have put together a two-volume set of encyclopedias designed to explore the impact of Desi Arnaz, Jennifer Lopez and other Latinos on American pop culture.
The Encyclopedia of Latina and Latino Popular Culture in the United States is designed to give readers a comprehensive look at the diversity among Latinos in the United States and examines pioneers in literature, art, music, religion, politics, sports and other areas. It is expected to be released in the fall.
Cordelia Candelaria and Peter Garcia, university professors and co-editors, focused attention on the three largest Latino populations in the United States - Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican.
The essays examine the popularity of the subjects and their lasting influence. For example, Arnaz, the Cuban actor who played Ricky Ricardo on TV's I Love Lucy, helped introduce an innovative technique involving three cameras instead of one to make filming sitcoms easier.
"Things like that give a fuller perspective and put some flesh where often we (Latinos) are a caricature," Garcia said. "I'm hoping it will encourage readers to delve deeper."
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