The fact that the United States of America is the birthplace of the blues, jazz, rock and roll and Muhammad Ali is argument enough for me that we are a place worthy of pride.
Texas, however, was, for most of my life, a foreign land -- a place and a culture far from the one I knew, growing up in New York City and suburban New Jersey.
And I will shamefacedly admit that for most of those years, I entertained the same lazy prejudices and assumptions about what Texas was like -- and who, I believed, lived there.
But judging from Houston, it ain't like that at all, is it?
Houston, is, in fact, about as multicultural a city as exists in the country. Houston has been, from what I experienced, particularly if not more welcoming to immigrants and refugees from all over the world than most other cities I know.
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Our show focuses on some of those communities and on those stories, of people who looked to America as a refuge, as an ideal, as a place of opportunity -- and who found it in Houston.
Yes, I took subversive pleasure in opening the show with an American flag -- and then spending an entire episode in an America that is non-white, non-Anglo-Saxon, non-cowboy -- and entirely devoid of the usual tropes: barbecue, Tex-Mex, big hats and big oil.
Houston is far, far more -- and more interesting than that.
We are a rich country. Rich in stories. These are some of them.