Maria Hinojosa on 'The Latino List': "You Become Empowered By Seeing How Hard It's Been for Everyone"

Maria Hinojosa has been a working journalist for over 25 years and she is finally being acknowledged for her groundbreaking work with the honor of being named the first Latina to ever anchor the primetime news on PBS.

As Hinojosa herself said, “Hello, 2011. It took a minute.” But, hey, at least PBS finally got it right! Among her many accomplishments, Hinojosa is also working on an intense and in depth look at the detention centers that hold the thousands of undocumented immigrants being held by the U.S. government for the first Frontline documentary produced by a Latina. But the project she is most proud of right now is the new HBO documentary The Latino List, which premieres tonight on HBO at 8pm EST.

The film, which takes a look at the varied and vibrant Hispanic experience, uses intensely personal interviews to gain insight into what it means to be Latino in the United States. “Everything about this whole project was really beautiful from conception,” Hinojosa gushed. But of course, the project saw its ups and downs through the two years it took to get the project completed. “Not to say that it's been perfect,” Maria admits. “There are always going to be a lot of tumbles and bumbles in any project like this, but everybody's still standing at the end and that says a lot.”

Directed by renowned photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, the documentary showcases notable Latinos reflecting on how their culture and identity affected them growing up and how it made them the people they are today. From politicians to athletes to entertainers, the documentary covers a lot of ground. “People are just hungry for something that is real, that is authentic, that is unfiltered, that is powerful—because you become empowered by seeing how hard it's been for everyone, from Emilio Estefan to America Ferrera, to Sonia Sotomayor,” Hinojosa says.

But Hinojosa remembers one moment more than any other. ”The stand out moment, I have to say, was walking up the stairs to the Supreme Court,” notes the journalist. “Being in the chambers with the justice was pretty special.” We can only imagine!

Luckily for us, we can all get a sneak peek at the amazing experience Hinojosa had interviewing some of the most notable American Latinos by tuning into the documentary tonight at 8pm on HBO.