The AfroCENTRO Reader: Revisiting Black Puerto Rican Scholarship

The AfroCENTRO Reader: Revisiting Black Puerto Rican Scholarship

The AfroCENTRO Reader was conceived as an accompanying piece to the spring 2025 special issue of CENTRO Journal, which is titled Water Proof: olas de memoria. In the words of Sarah Bruno, Daniel Morales-Armstrong, Essah Diaz, and Jessica Marie Johnson (guest editors of the issue and members of Taller Entre Aguas), “The focus of this special issue is on Black Puerto Rican being, becoming, and transforming in the ever-constant tides of erasure that come with the construction of la gran familia puertorriqueña.” For the Reader, our guest editors have selected a series of foundational articles from the CENTRO Journal archives that speak to key issues of Afro-Puerto Rican scholarship.

The goal of this publication is two-fold. First, we want to highlight the long-standing history and commitment of CENTRO Journal to Black Puerto Rican scholarship. Second, by putting into circulation our very own archive, we wish for a new generation of scholars to re-engage with and help expand it into the future. Or, as the guest editors have so poignantly put it: “As the weight of the future, particularly a future that accounts for Afro-Puerto Ricans’ lived experiences, weighs on us ecologically, financially, and emotionally, we know that by returning to the past we might gain insight on how to graciously make way for the following generations.”


Un hombre (negro) del pueblo: José Celso Barbosa and the Puerto Rican “Race” Towards Whiteness

Miriam Jimenez Román

AfroPuerto Rican Cultural Studies: Beyond cultura negroide and antillanismo

Juan A. Giusti Cordero

Afro-Puerto Rican Radicalism in the United States: Reflections on the Political Trajectories of Arturo Schomburg and Jesús Colón

Winston James

Rejoinder to Roberto Rodríguez-Morazzani’s Beyond the Rainbow: Mapping the Discourse on Puerto Ricans and “Race” 

Clara E. Rodríguez

La Negra de Ponce: una entrevista con Ruth Fernández (el alma de Puerto Rico hecha canción)

Marvette Pérez

Slipping and Sliding: The Many Meanings of Race in Life Histories of New York Puerto Rican Return Migrants in San Juan

Eileen J. Findlay

Llegaron los afros: circuitos culturales puertorriqueños

Juan Otero Garabís

Racismo en Puerto Rico: Surveying Perceptions of Racism

Hilda Lloréns, Carlos G. García-Quijano, and Isar P. Godreau

Revisiting Puerto Rico’s Nineteenth-Century Sugar-and-Slavery History

Francisco Scarano