Los Puertorriqueños: Dismissed History

This is so sad, I had such a great time in class with all of you, I know I’ll be seeing Sheridan again next semester and I hope I’ll see all of you again too! Thanks for making my Monday nights 🙂

Here’s a little excerpt from my Humanities Content section and a little background info on my project proposal:


Project Director: Nicole Torres

Grant Program: Digital Projects for the Public 

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the American Culture Museum in Washington D.C, the newly built National Museum of African- American History and Culture—what do these museums all have in common? They present to the public the important events and figures that make up America’s history as we know it. We enter these institutions and see exhibitions on the Civil War, Native Americans, slavery, and the World Wars, but it seems they omit an important piece of American heritage— the Puerto Ricans’ role in American cultural history. 

There are countless textbooks and historical novels on the civil rights movements, the prejudice experienced by African-Americans, and immigration; what we do not see is how these issues affected the Puerto Rican population in America and their reaction.  There is a necessity to bring Puerto Rican history into the story considering the rise of Puerto Rican migration in the 1900s. By 1917, New York had established one of the largest populations of Puerto Ricans in the country. After World War II, the number of Puerto Ricans migrating from the island was at its peak. They struggled with inadequate housing, marginalization, and discrimination in the job market; which became known as the “Puerto Rican problem.” The community was rapidly expanding and by the 1960s, spurred by the deindustrialization of the labor market and inspired by the civil rights movement, young Puerto Ricans began organizing and protesting in large numbers. They also began allying with their African American neighbors; as discussed by Sonia Song-Ha Lee in Building a Latino Civil Rights Movement: Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and the Pursuit of Racial Justice in New York City, in which she explains how African American and Puerto Rican New Yorkers came to see themselves as minorities joined in the civil rights struggle, the War on Poverty, and the Black Power movement. 

This project will focus on the racial discrimination experienced by and activism of the Puerto Rican community in Chicago, New Jersey, and New York. It will also highlight the riots of 1966 in Chicago, New York in 1967, and New Jersey in 1974.  It will provide a comprehensive and interactive way for users to learn more about the struggles and accomplishments of Puerto Ricans in the United States; beginning in the year 1917, after the passing of the Jones Act, which extended U.S citizenship to islanders. The content will include events such as: the birth of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in 1958, the Newark riots of 1974 in New Jersey, and the formation of the Young Lords in 1970. The scattered information on these topics will be organized in an a simple and interactive way to make it convenient for users to learn about this part of America’s cultural history that is not spoken about often in the classroom.

Ricardo                                             Ricardo says woof, and to have a great summer!

About NicoleMelina

Hello all, I'm Nicole. I'm a 25 year old grad student in history at Rutgers University. I'm working on a degree in history, but my passion lies in museums and presenting history in a way that will inspire and educate the public in a non-academic setting.
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2 Responses to Los Puertorriqueños: Dismissed History

  1. ykristyn says:

    Ricardo is ADORABLES!!

    And I love your project! Because of you, Keishla, and the archivists at the HRIC, I have come to know more about the struggles of Puerto Rican people in the U.S. I’m really glad to no longer be so ignorant on this history. I loved the work you did on the traveling exhibit for the Puerto Rican riots and therefore, I know you would make this a great digital project!

    Liked by 1 person

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