From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1917-1948

From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1917-1948

From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1917-1948

From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1917-1948

Synopsis

"Though Virginia Korrol grew up in the Puerto Rican community in New York City, and though she makes effective use of interviews, this is not a reminiscence of the recent past, but a clearly written study presented in a scientific manner. It focuses on the patterns of community development in Puerto Rican sections of New York. These patterns were influenced by the perpetuation of Puerto Rican customs and traditions, the growth of a business and professional class and, of particular importance, the retention of the Spanish language in the home and in the community. The role of Puerto Rican women in the community and the changes imposed upon them by a new life in the United States is the subject of special emphasis." New York History

Excerpt

The idea for this study began many years ago when my own children were very young and I attempted to describe for them life as I remembered it in the Puerto Rican community in New York City. Discovering materials on the early settlement to be practically nonexistent, I was unable to reconcile the available writings on Puerto Ricans with my own memories of a colonia soundly structured by strict family values, a concern for cultural heritage, and an identifiable organizational network, so I embarked on a search which led to the study of Latin American history and the writing of this book.

I owe those individuals and institutions which participated in that search a sizable debt of gratitude. Special thanks are due to Professor Steve J. Stein, Department of History at the State University at Stony Brook, for constant support and intellectual stimulation through periods of frustration and elation. Others at Stony Brook who read the manuscript and deserve my deepest appreciation were Professors Robert M. Levine, Joel Rosenthal, and Ernesto Chinchilla Aguilar. José Oscar Alers, director of the Puerto Rican Migration Research Consortium, offered astute comments and criticism from both an academic point of view and as a second generation Puerto Rican who lived the experience. These individuals encouraged and supported my endeavor.

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