CENTRO VOICES - Newsletter

Centro Voices | Vol 3, Issue 11


This week on Centro Voices, we have a special issue dedicated to "What's In A Name?" and what it means to represent. In our first article, we remember the legacy of Miriam Colón, who passed away last week. Her name carries the legacy of her accomplishments as both a noted actress and the founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Next, we have a special reprint of an essay by George Colón who explores the meaning of his own name, and humorously reflects on the day an elementary teacher changed his name from Jorge to George. And lastly, former Centro researcher brings us stories of the Borinqueneers, the name of a Puerto Rican military unit that has finally begun to receive the attention they deserve and a proper legacy of courage and resilience. Stay tuned for more information on events related to the 100th anniversary of the Jones Act, and several scholarship opportunities for college students. Thanks for checking in! 

Last week, Miriam Colón passed away at the age of 80. Born in 1936, the Ponce native was a noted television, film, and stage actress; as well as founder and long time artistic director of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater. Overall, she will be remembered as a pioneering figure and leading advocate of Puerto Rican and Latin American theatre in New York City. Here at Centro, we wanted to honor her legacy, yet allow Mrs. Colón to speak in her own words. Below, we’ve prepared an edited transcript...


“George?” Mrs. Ross, the teacher, called on the first day of school fifty-five years ago. When she got no answer, she peered from behind the roll book through her horn-rimmed glasses and called again. “George?”  Still no answer. Her eyes scanned a classroom of bewildered children and alighted on mine. You see, the name was spelled J-O-R-G-E and pronounced HOR-HEH. “From now it’s George,” she looked at me sternly. Eisenhower sat in the White House, God was still in his heaven, and between 8am and 3pm, the teacher reigned in the classroom, His representative on earth...


Pride and Courage, A Borinqueneers Story: Prologue & Chapter 1

The following story is adapted from Harry Franqui-Rivera's research into the history of the Borinqueneers, the renowned Puerto Rican military unit which was recently awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. Franqui-Rivera, a former researcher at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, conducted interviews with members of this unit, and has created a fictionalized version of events which occurred during the Korean War. These war stories will consist of 10 chapters, serialized in the coming weeks...


Save The Date: 100 Years of Puerto Rican American Citizenship

The Jones Act of 1917 provided for the collective naturalization of the residents of Puerto Rico. Congress subsequently enacted a "birthright" provision in the Nationality Act of 1940 granting a native-born status to Puerto Ricans. Yet, many policymakers in the U.S. and Puerto Rico erroneously believe or deceivingly propose that U.S. citizenship for island-born Puerto Ricans residing in Puerto Rico is contingent upon the resolution of the territorial status of Puerto Rico. In the special  Jones Act 100th Anniversary issue of CENTRO: The  Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, University of Connecticut Professor Charles Venator-Santiago and other experts demonstrate that Puerto Ricans' U.S. Citizenship is permanent and irreversible...  


Funded by a generous grant from The Coca Cola Foundation, this new 369th Experience Student Band will be taught the history and repertoire of the original Harlem Hell Fighters Band and will retrace their steps of the, performing the band's repertoire at centennial celebrations in New York City; Brest and Paris, France; and a host of other historical locales. The deadline has been extended. Students who apply may be elegible for a scholarship of $1,500.

For more information on the project and to learn about the application project, click here.


NYLPRW Accepting Submissions for 2017 College Award Scholarship

The New York League of Puerto Rican Women is currently accepting applications for our 2017 CollegeAwards. These scholarships are granted annually to undergraduate Puerto Rican women selected for their academic excellence and service to the community. Applicants must send, by the deadline date of May 26, 2017, a completed College AwardApplication form to our address listed on the application, and an email copy to Rozmed@aol.com


Centro Voices

Centro Voices is open for rolling submissions for paid contributors! Send your work (800-1,500 words) along with any additional queries to centrovo@hunter.cuny.edu

We're looking to publish work related to the Puerto Rican experience here in the United States, including:

*Book reviews on Puerto Rican texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, academic)
*Puerto Rican cultural or historical essays
*Interviews with Puerto Rican artists (music, film, literature, etc.)
*Photo Essays focusing on Puerto Rican community and culture
*Community reporting cultural events or on organizations serving Puerto Rican neighborhoods 

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned for more articles, more news, and more updates on all things related to the Puerto Rican diaspora!


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