- Black folks had the Evans family. White folks had the Bunkers. In the late ’70s, Cuban-Americans could laugh at the trials and tribulations of the Peña family in the country’s first bilingual sitcom ¿Qué Pasa, U.S.A.?
- Ask anyone who grew up in Miami in the late ’70s and they can tell you all about Pepe and Juana as they tried to assimilate to American culture yet keep alive the Cuban traditions they left behind. They remember the kids, Carmencita and Joe, who often ridiculed their old-fashioned abuelos, who refused to learn English and constantly wagged fingers at their grandchildren for assimilating too much.
Though the show lasted only three short seasons on PBS, it made a lasting mark on Cuban-Americans growing up in Miami who rejoiced in seeing a family similar to their own acting out the issues common to first and second generation immigrants living in Miami and trying to walk the balance between being Americans and keeping Cuba alive in their hearts.
- In celebration of its 40th anniversary, this Thursday the Miami-Dade Public Library System, in collaboration with Bill Teck, founder and CEO of generation ñ and WPBT-PBS 2, presents a specially curated screening of clips and episodes. Original cast member Barbara Ann Martin, who had a recurring role as Sharon, Carmencita’s American BFF, will chat with Trina Sargalski of WLRN-FM (91.3)’s “Under the Sun” about their favorite ¿Que Pasa, USA? moments. Also, there will be a live performance of “Hialeah Haikus” by the Foryoucansee Collective and music.
Mar. 3 at 6:30 p.m. Miami-Dade, Main Library, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami; 305-375-2665