The Way It Was, and Other Writings

The Way It Was, and Other Writings

The Way It Was, and Other Writings

The Way It Was, and Other Writings

Synopsis

The Way It Was and Other Writings is an autobiographical recollection of life in the Hispanic and politically radical communities of New York City.

This is testimonial account of the evolution of the Puerto Rican community in New York and its major figures and organizations. The book documents the strength, spirit of survival and solidarity, and life experiences that Colon shared with many other working-class migrants.

Excerpt

In preparing this anthology of a handful of the many essays that Jesús Colón planned to include in his "The Way It Was," which remained unfinished and unpublished, we are attempting to introduce readers to an unknown body of writings by one of the most important figures of the early years of the New York Puerto Rican community. Colón's death in 1974 came as an irreparable loss to the community, but his legacy remains in the extensive library and collection of papers which were donated by his estate and the Communist Party of America to the Centro de Estudios Puertorriquefios at Hunter College. The Jesús Colón Papers Collection at the Centro Library includes many of the journalist's published and unpublished writings as well as a wide array of invaluable documents that chronicle the evolution of the Puerto Rican community during the first half of the twentieth century. Recognizing the importance of documenting how the New York Puerto Rican community evolved, Colón proved to be an avid collector of articles, newsletters, leaflets, newspaper and magazine clippings, reports, photographs and personal correspondence that give testimony to his extraordinary life and active participation in the social, political and cultural life of the migrant community. He was also a prolific journalist and his writings, together with those above mentioned materials that he so meticulously collected, attest to his visionary role in anticipating the importance of preserving a historical record of the building of the New York Puerto Rican community for the future generations.

Among The Jesús Colón Papers at the Centro Library there are several versions of an outline for a forthcoming book with the working title "The Way It Was: Puerto Ricans from Way Back." This manuscript, which Colón was unable to complete during his life, was intended to be a compilation of many of the essays or sketches, as he preferred to call them, that the author had published throughout his long journalistic career and of new material he had already finished or was planning to write specifically for the book. It is evident from examining the titles and descriptions of the sketches listed in the book outlines that a large number came from Colón's newspaper columns . . .

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