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]
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 | 5:00 PM EST | 4:00 PM CST