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La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans


APT Master Conversations with Ilan Stavans closed captioned APT version

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La Plaza
Conversations with Ilan Stavans
Program Number

LP 107

Series Description

Premiered January 10, 1979- Officially La Plaza as a separate series title ended after season 28 (2006). It was replaced by the interview series: Maria Hinojosa: One-on-One which premiered in 2007.

Producer Raquel Ortiz anticipates that the bilingual series will serve as a plaza for the entire local Latino community. Ortiz also served as the host during the first season along with guest hosts. The program format varied from week to week, between musical specials, documentaries, in-studio debates, both locally produced and acquired. Spanish language programs were subtitled in English and English language programs were captioned in Spanish.

See January 1979 Prime Time Program Guide for cover story. Series release date: 1/10/1979

Program Description

Noted author and cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the idea of "Becoming American" with three acclaimed Latino writers. Stavans, a native of Mexico City, talks with Cuban American Achy Obejas, Chicano poet Luis Rodriguez, and Puerto Rican memoirist Irene Vilar. Chicago Tribune columnist Obejas discusses her flight from Cuba as well as her book about Cuban immigrants in Chicago, Memory Mambo. Chicano poet Luis Rodriguez speaks candidly about what drew him into Los Angeles gang life and the pain of watching his son follow in his footsteps. Rodriguez's memoir, Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Life in LA is considered a classic of US Latino literature. Puerto Rican memoirist Irene Vilar, the granddaughter of Puerto Rican activist Lolita Lebron, shares details about growing up as the granddaughter of a revolutionary icon, and the tragedy of losing her won mother to suicide. Vilar's book, The Ladies Gallery: A memoir of Family Secrets is the story of three generations of Puerto Rican women, Vilar, her mother, and grandmother.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Ortiz, Raquel (Series Producer)
Chicago: “La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans,” 07/25/2001, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 21, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47ADA41D61F8429B8637EF55ACCF01AB.
MLA: “La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans.” 07/25/2001. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 21, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47ADA41D61F8429B8637EF55ACCF01AB>.
APA: La Plaza; Conversations with Ilan Stavans. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_47ADA41D61F8429B8637EF55ACCF01AB
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