Ken Burns: Latinos plan protests of "The War"





Cartoonist Hector Cantu decided if Ken Burns didn't tell the stories of Latinos in his World War II documentary, he'd have Baldo do it.

This week, Cantu and co-creator Carlos Castellanos unveiled Benito "Benny" Ramirez in their syndicated comic strip "Baldo," which appears in 200 newspapers.
Ramirez is a composite of the actual stories of several Hispanic World War II veterans featured in a book by University of Texas journalism professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez.

"When I saw the controversy that Ken Burns was being accused of leaving out Latinos, my initial reaction was, 'Just tell the story yourselves,' " Cantu of Dallas said. "Since I have Baldo, I thought, 'Put my money where my mouth is and use the comic strip to tell the story.' "

In Monday's installment, Ramirez began his war story by removing his artificial leg. In Tuesday's, he's shown in front of a men's restroom that bears a "Whites Only" sign.

The Baldo strips, running through the 27th, are one of many activities planned around the Sunday start of Burns' World War II series, The War, a 15-hour series.

Four protests of Burns' documentary at local PBS stations are planned Sunday in California; a Capitol rally is to be held in Austin, Texas; others will hold exhibits, commemoration days and panel discussions in their cities. Some events have already been held and others will continue through the month.

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