John Leguizamo Wants to School Mainstream America on Latino History

Lead Photo: Scott Gries / PictureGroup
Scott Gries / PictureGroup
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With his newest comedy project Latin History for Dummies, John Leguizamo is tackling the marginalization of Latinos in United States history. Leguizamo previously detailed his experiences as a Latino growing up in the U.S. through one-man shows Freak and Ghetto Klown, because he felt that these stories weren’t being told in the media. “It was like, I’m watching TV and I’m watching movies and listening to radio and we’re invisible,” he said on HuffPost Live. “I was like, ‘where are all the Latin people that I hang out with and goof with all day and talk about politics and talk about art?’…So I started writing my own stuff, I wanted to see my people the way I saw them.”

Latin History for Dummies is a work-in-progess, as Leguizamo workshops the project in comedy clubs across the nation. In the interview, he tried to explain to Anglos what history class could be like if the situation was flipped, and people like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were left out of the picture. “You feel like an invisible person screaming in the woods and nobody hears you,” he added. “And it’s really weird and unfair because we had huge contributions.” Yeah, like this, this, and this.

Update, March 9: John Leguizamo: Latin History for Dummies will make its New York debut spring 2017 at Public Theater, but it will premiere at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on July 1 and run until August 14. The site describes the show as, “a satirical recap of Aztec and Incan history to stories of Latin patriots in the Revolutionary and Civil War and beyond, Leguizamo breaks down 3,000 years into 90 irreverent and uncensored minutes in his trademark comedic style.”

Tickets go on sale April 6; buy them here.