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Before the Wave: Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia, 1910–1945

BEFORE THE WAVE

Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia, 1910–1945

By Víctor Vázquez-Hernández

Published 2017

148 pages; notes, references, index; 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-945662-02-7  (paperback) 

LCCN: 2016047262

Price: $25.00 paperbacck

About this book

This book recounts the genesis of the Puerto Rican community in Philadelphia during the interwar years (1917–1945). It connects the origins of this community to the mass migration of the post-WW II years when Puerto Ricans consolidated their presence in Philadelphia (1945–1985). This study compares the experiences of Puerto Ricans with that of the Italians, the Polish, and African Americans in Philadelphia during the early twentieth century. The scholarship on Puerto Ricans outside of New York has been, by and large, limited to the postwar period and a closer examination of the interwar years provides us a more complete picture of how the postwar migrants were established and developed over a much longer period than previously believed. Until now, there has been no comprehensive examination of this early diaspora in Philadelphia and this book rectifies this scholarly deficiency.More...

This study also argues that the picture presented by scholars on the extent and impact of Puerto Rican migration to the U.S. is hampered by a lack of understanding of the pre-World War II period. A review of the available literature for this time period and the evolution of these communities that have lasted well into the twenty-first century is a testament to the importance of the pre-WWII period. In addition, this book argues that this early migration was important for carving out a small, but significant space into which the post-World War II migration landed.

 


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Table of Contents

List of  Illustrations

Prologue by Carmen T. Whalen\

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1 From the Periphery to the Core: An Introduction

Chapter 2 Puerto Rican Migration to Philadelphia: An Overview

Chapter 3 Puerto Rican Settlement Patterns: Development of a Barrio

Chapter 4 Race, Class and Ethnicity: Puerto Rican’s Employment Patterns

Chapter 5 The Emergence of a Puerto Rican Community: Social and Organizational Roots

Chapter 6 Legacies for the Great Migration and Beyond: An Epilogue

Notes

Works Cited

Index

 

About the Author

 

Víctor Vázquez-Hernández is Professor and Chair of the Social Sciences Department at Miami-Dade College, Wolfson Campus. He is coeditor, with Carmen T. Whalen, of Puerto Rican Diaspora: Historical Perspectives (Temple University Press, 2005).

Reviews

Víctor Vásquez-Hernández has made an important contribution to the history of the Puerto Rican diaspora… This work offers a short but sustained analysis of the shifts in composition and circumstances of diasporic migrants to the City of Brotherly Love. John H. Hinshaw, The Journal of American History More...

This work offers a short but sustained analysis of the shifts in composition and circumstances of diasporic migrants to the City of Brotherly Love. This work offers a short but sustained analysis of the shifts in composition and circumstances of diasporic migrants to the City of Brotherly Love. This work offers a short but sustained analysis of the shifts in composition and circumstances of diasporic migrants to the City of Brotherly Love. Barbara Klaczynska Polish American Studies

With Vázquez-Hernández’s contribution, we can now begin to think more comparatively about what we know about the early Puerto Rican diaspora. Before the Wave highlights the importance of the racial and ethnic composition of the places where Puerto Ricans settled, while providing a more nuanced portrayal of Philadelphia’s racial and ethnic diversity. Carmen Teresa Whalen, Williams College

The subject of the book is a worthy one, focusing mainly on Puerto Rican settlement in Philadelphia in the pre- World War Two era. The study thus fills 2 important historiographical gaps: pre-World War II Puerto Rican settlement in the mainland U.S., and the history of settlement in an area that is not New York City. Much of the discussion is very interesting and eye-opening, e.g. the idea that the mostly pre-Puerto Rican Latino settlement set up a sort of community scaffolding for the early Puerto Rican arrivals, who in turn were part of a multi-ethnic Latino community that helped shape the settlement patterns for the post-World War II Puerto Rican migrants. Ruth Glasser, University of Connecticut.