Melinda Gonzalez

  • Webinar:
    National Borinqueneers Day and Military Service in Puerto Rican History

    eJournal Presentation

    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
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/centrovoices/chronicles/borinqueneers-forgotten-heroes-forgotten-war

    With Honor and Dignity: Restoring the Borinqueneers' Historical Record
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/centrovoices/chronicles/honor-and-dignity-restoring-borinqueneers-historical-record

    President Obama to Honor Borinqueneers With Congressional Gold Medal
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/events-news/news/president-obama-honor-borinqueneers-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:
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/centro-tv/puerto-rican-voices/pr-voices-s3e7-pride-our-people

    Explore The Puerto Rican Experience in the U.S. Military: A Century of Unheralded Service
    https://centropr.hunter.cuny.edu/digital-humanities/pr-military

     

    Bios

    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. 

    Contact:  [email protected]; Museum: [email protected] 

     

    Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 5:00 PM – 6:30 PM EST



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  • rsvped for Puerto Rican Women from the Jazz Age 2021-03-10 11:27:53 -0500

    Meet the Author:
    Basilio Serrano-"Puerto Rican Women from the Jazz Age: Stories of Success”

    About the Book

    The topic of this book may seem unusual to some since there may be those who believe that Puerto Rican women may not have entered the jazz milieu during its early history. Nevertheless, an aim of the book is to dispel this and other false generalizations. The contents of this volume documents how Puerto Rican women were not only present in early jazz but how they played trailblazing and innovative roles and contributed to the emergence of the genre in the States and abroad. This work presents information that is confirmable through a variety of sources.

    The book may not be the definitive work on the subject but serves as a starting point to:

    • document the success and achievement of several Puerto Rican women from the jazz age
    • consider the different strategies used for success in jazz and film by women
    • illustrate the evolution of various careers
    • consider the different personal circumstances under which success was achieved
    • consider how women in contemporary jazz and film can learn from their predecessors
    • provide women: older, young, and youthful, examples of success with documentary evidence on how to achieve Book Organization

    The book is organized into sections that cover a brief history of significant Puerto Rican women in music and the performing arts followed by biographical descriptions of pioneering women in jazz and film. Throughout the text there is commentary on the situations facing women, especially, male chauvinism, colonialism, racism, and anti-women prejudice in jazz.

    Every effort was made to include only facts that are easily confirmable. Unsupported tales or questionable events are avoided to ensure that the material contained in the volume can be used for teaching purposes and for curriculum development when credit is given to this work. In the process of developing the central theme of this volume, special effort was made to document those experiences where Puerto Rican women collaborate with members of the African American community to confirm how the cross-cultural collaboration resulted beneficial to both ethnic peoples.

    The book details the many instances where members of the African American community assisted the fledgling Puerto Rican artists achieve success and stardom. Figures such as Helen Elise Smith, David J. Martin, Will Marion Cook, Ada 'Bricktop' Smith, Dr. Laurence Clifton Jones, and other distinguished African Americans are described.

     


    Author: Basilio Serrano, Prof. Emeritus of SUNY College at Old Westbury

    Commentator: Tomas Peña,  Editor-in-Chief, Jazzdelapena.com; Journalist and Contributor

    About the Author

    Basilio Serrano was born in San Sebastián, Puerto Rico. He moved to Brooklyn, New York as a child, where he began attending school and subsequently relocated to the Lower East Side of Manhattan with his family (where he spent most of his youth). He attended City College (CCNY – City University of New York) where he completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and went on to receive a PhD from New York University. Dr. Serrano is a professor emeritus and former chair of the Childhood Education Department of the State University of New York – College at Old Westbury.

    In addition to educating teachers, Professor Serrano has served as a curriculum writer specializing in Latin American Studies (LAS). His extensive work in the LAS field has led him to research many facets of the Latin American experience in the United States, in particular, the Puerto Rican Diaspora and the Boricuas’ wide range of experiences in the States.

    In recent years, Dr. Serrano has conducted in-depth investigations into the role of the Puerto Rican in the development of popular music and jazz. The result of this research has been documented in his seminal book on Juan Tizol, and an assortment of other related articles and writings. Moreover, he has written articles on the history of the Puerto Rican community in the United States as well as biographical essays on musicians in the world of jazz. His publications appear in academic journals and magazines published in the United States and Puerto Rico.

    About the Commentator
    Tomas Peña will serve as commentator for this event. Tomas is Editor-in-Chief, journalist, and contributing writer at Jazzdelapena.com. A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Tomas has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on the Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

    6 PM Eastern Time

     

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  • signed up on Cultural Ambassador 2018-05-01 16:47:31 -0400

    Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Program

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    Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program and Engagement through Education

    Centro is the primary academic institute producing research on the conditions of stateside Puerto Ricans, preserving their heritage by maintaining a library and archives. Centro education programs focus on the development of curriculum and educational materials, such as videos, posters, and teaching guides, which disseminate and promote the use of historical and cultural heritage content for colleges, middle and high schools, and the general public. These tools help teachers and students learn about Centro’s vast archival collections and promote Puerto Rican studies. Our web-based open courseware, videoconferences, and other pedagogical resources provide the necessary supports for classroom success.

    Centro’s Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program is a free, self-paced, multimedia online course in Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions, with a focus on the migration experience of the stateside diaspora. The goal of the program is to inspire the next generation of Puerto Rican leaders to become a driving force of change for themselves and their communities. The program engages youth and educational institutions in promoting the teaching and learning of our heritage. Participants not only gain knowledge but also develop leadership, research, and presentation skills.

    After enrolling online, participants complete a number of assignments that include viewing the Pioneers/Pioneros Documentary Series; complete reading assignments on Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions; and learn key dates and historical events that have shaped the diasporic experience. At the end of each lesson, participants are required to complete and pass a short quiz. Upon successful completion of all required lessons, the participant receives a certificate of completion and designation as a Cultural Ambassador.

    Beginning March 2018, participants who have completed the course will be eligible to enroll in the next series of lessons. In this series, participants will learn how to access and use our teaching guides, educational and curriculum tools, archival collections, and other library resources.

    We are proud that the Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassadors Program has been incorporated in history courses in schools, colleges and libraries.

    We encourage all educators to include this web-based open courseware in their curriculums.


    Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Bootcamp

    Centro will sponsor a one- day Cultural Ambassador Bootcamp with schools and other partners that would like to offer an intensive tutorial to review all components of the course.

    Participants are required to complete the online course and then be prepared to demonstrate mastery at the Bootcamp. Facilitators modeled presentation and engagement techniques that participants could replicate with their peers.

    Participants that complete both the online and the on-site components are awarded a Puerto Rican Heritage Cultural Ambassador Certificate.


     Puerto Rican Heritage Teaching Toolkit

    Pioneers/Pioneros: Documentary Series featuring Pura Belpré: StorytellerA Revolt through Letters: Clemente Soto Vélezthe Legacy of Frank Bonilla, and Plena is Song; Plena is work. The documentaries tell the stories of important pioneers of the Puerto Rican diaspora. Each documentary has an accompanying teaching guide available online.


    History of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. (Open courseware)
    Open courseware makes core teaching materials available online. Our online course Teaching U.S. Puerto Rican History includes a comprehensive overview of the Puerto Rican experience in the United States, incorporating the most recent scholarship on the subject.


    Puerto Rican Heritage Poster Series 
    Our poster series documents the history of Puerto Rican migration and the experiences and contributions of Puerto Ricans to U.S. society. The seven posters provide an attractive visual educational tool for teachers, professionals, and anyone interested in the great history of Puerto Rico. These posters are complementary to the courseware. 


    Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Brief Chronology
    This booklet, based on the poster series described above, provides a complementary educational tool for teachers and others to use in the classroom or community settings, and to introduce students to major events, themes and concepts that are important to understand Puerto Rican history. The chronology also accompanies the courseware.

    For more information on becoming a Cultural Ambassador please fill out the form below or email [email protected]

     

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