Puerto Rican New Yorkers:
Workers, Unions and Politics in the Struggle for a Better Life, 1910s-1960s
Puerto Ricans who migrated to New York joined one of the largest concentrations of urban wage workers in the world. Most migrants were already familiar with the routines and conditions of wage work while others had to adjust to the challenges of a highly developed industrial city where both exploitation as well as opportunities for better wages abounded. Work, leisure, family life and politics consumed most of their energies, but in New York the complexity of urban, class, racial and ethnic contexts could be daunting and required a myriad of adjustments. The city offered opportunities for solidarity and new forms of organization and improvement as well as unpredictable risks and new problems. This exhibit reunites a series of blogs that will introduce many of the rich contexts in which Puerto Rican New Yorkers engaged with larger movements and struggles from the 1910s to the 1970s. The mosaic represented here includes only some of the stories.
Author: Aldo Lauria Santiago, Professor, Latino and Caribbean Studies and History Departments, School of Arts and Sciences, Rutgers University
Commentator: Virginia Sanchez-Korrol, Professor Emerita, Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College, CUNY
Aldo A. Lauria Santiago, Professor of Caribbean, Latin American and US Latino History, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Aldo A. Lauria Santiago was born in Chicago and grew up in Puerto Rico. His mother was one of the first women from Puerto Rico to be admitted to the Ph.D. in Anthropology at Columbia and the University of Chicago. His dad came from the Italian American Bronx in the 1950s and discovered Puerto Rico; also became an anthropologist. Dr. Lauria Santiago works as a Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. At Rutgers University, Lauria Santiago had a joint appointment between the Department of Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Studies and the Department of History, where he spent seven years as chair where he led the reconstruction of the department of what is now the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies. He is a historian of Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Latinos in the US. He specializes in peasant and working class history, revolution, ethnicity and race. He went to college at Princeton University and received his MA at NYU and Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He trained as a Mexicanist at The University of Chicago but began his career as a historian of El Salvador. He has published books and articles on El Salvador and formed part of a group of historians that helped develop Central American historiography during the conflicted but revolutionary decade of the 1980s. Since 2008 he turned to do research on the Puerto Rican community in New York. With Lorrin Thomas, he published Rethinking the Struggle for Puerto Rican Rights in 2018. His research, on which the Centro essays are based, will be published in two or three books, the first of which is under contract with the University of North Carolina Press and should be published in 2022. Contact: [email protected]
Dr. Virginia Sanchez Korrol Professor Emerita, Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College, CUNY
Virginia is Professor Emerita at the Department of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, Brooklyn College, CUNY. Dr. Sanchez Korrol writes about the Puerto Rican experience in the United States. Among her extensive publications, she authored From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, and co-edited Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia. Recipient of the Herbert H. Lehman Prize for Distinguished Contributions to New York History, 2020, she serves as historical consultant to media projects, government and cultural institutions. She is the co-editor of Puerto Rican Studies in CUNY: The First 50 Years (forthcoming 2021). Contact: [email protected], [email protected]
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Andres Matias-Ortiz rsvped for National Borinqueneers Day and Military Service in Puerto Rican History 2021-04-05 15:50:42 -0400
The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century of Unheralded Service
And Celebration of National Borinqueneers’ Day
The impact and meaning of the Puerto Ricans’ service in the armed forces of the United States go beyond mere numbers. Their service has served to disperse Puerto Ricans across the United States and the world creating new communities beyond what we understood as traditional diaspora centers. Military service, in particular during the WWII-Korean War period, also served to build modern Puerto Rico, and for Puerto Rican colonias turning into full-fledged communities to stake a claim of belonging. In this Webinar historian and author, Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera, explores the impact of military service for Puerto Rico and the Puerto Ricans.
The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century of Unheralded Service
Puerto Ricans started fighting as auxiliary forces to the U.S. military in 1898. Since then, hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans have served in every small and major conflict in which the United States has participated. This publication intends to show the scope of the Puerto Rican experience in the U.S. military without lionizing nor demeaning it. This project hopes to inspire the public and scholars to look into this under-studied phenomenon.
Author: Harry Franqui-Rivera, Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of History/Global Languages, Bloomfield College
Commentator: Laura Lee Oviedo, Ph.D. Candidate, Project Historian for the Philanthropy Initiative at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Celebrating the first “National Borinqueneers’ Day”
In January 2021, Congress overrode a presidential veto to pass the National Defense Authorization Act. The legislation also designated April 13 as National Borinqueneers Day.
On April 13, 2016, Congress awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment in recognition of the Borinqueneers’ numerous contributions to American history and outstanding military service from World War I to the Korean War. Learn more:
Borinqueneers Day and the Korean War in Puerto Rican History and Memory
In this essay, Harry Franqui explores the meaning of the Borinqueneers’ sacrifices for Puerto Rico and the Diaspora. “Let us remember that they represented the hopes of a people willing to sacrifice their youth for a better future, to pay a tribute of blood in search for acceptance, respectability, equality, a path towards decolonization, and a democracy that has proven elusive to them.” https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/centrovoices/chronicles/borinqueneers-day-and-korean-war-puerto-rican-history-and-memory
The Borinqueneers: The Forgotten Heroes of a Forgotten War
With Honor and Dignity: Restoring the Borinqueneers' Historical Record
President Obama to Honor Borinqueneers With Congressional Gold Medal
Puerto Rican Voices Season 3, Episode 7: The Pride of Our People
In this episode of Puerto Rican Voices, Harry Franqui-Rivera narrates the history of the 65th Infantry Regiment and describes events in Washington D.C. and New York which were held to commemorate the award. Watch the full segment here:
Explore The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century of Unheralded Service
Dr. Harry Franqui-Rivera is an Associate Professor of History at Bloomfield College, N.J. He is a prolific published author, documentary producer, public intellectual, cultural critic, blogger, political analyst, and NBC, Latino Rebels, and HuffPost contributor. His work has been featured in national and international media outlets, Telemundo, the New York Times, and NPR. His latest book, Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico, (2018) has been widely praised. His next book, Fighting on Two Fronts: The Ordeal of the Puerto Rican Soldier during the Korean War will be published by Centro Press. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard for over a decade and currently serves in several academic, advocacy and policy boards such as the National Puerto Rican Agenda. Contact: [email protected]
Laura Lee Oviedo is a project historian for the Philanthropy Initiative at Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, where she was also a curatorial fellow for the Division of Armed Forces History and project historian for the War & Latinx Philanthropy Initiative. As a Ph.D. candidate of History at Texas A&M University, her research examines how war and militarization impacts Latinx communities and shapes their understanding of identity, rights, citizenship and belonging.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST
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