Harvest of Empire: Puerto Ricans, Citizens Yet Foreigners

Here is the digital handout version of my powerpoint presentation:



  • Smallest by land of Greater Antilles
  • Includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands
  • Vieques, Culebra, and Mona

Brief History of Puerto Rico

  • Columbus discovered in 1493
  • Native people known as Tainos
  • Under spanish rule, Tainos forced into slavery
  • Tainos nearly wiped out due to European diseases
  • Span ceded Puerto Rico to United States in Treaty of Paris 1898
  • Since 1947, Puerto Rican citizens are able to elect their own governor but they cannot vote in U.S. presidential election

Poverty in Puerto Rico

  • 3.8 million people live in Puerto Rico
  • As of 2008, 44.8% o the population is below the poverty level
  • As of 2011, there was a 16% unemployment rate
  • Average family size: 3.6 – Average income per family: $27, 017
  • As of 2007, 1.479 million people in the labor force (2.1% agriculture, 19% industry, 79% services)
  • During Great Depression, heavy migration to New York City

Migration: The Puerto Rican Experience


Gang Activity

  • From mid 1940s through mid 1960s violent gang activity in New York City
  • More gangs popped up when the country changed from war production/manufacturing jobs to service jobs (or jobs requiring an education)
  • Youth facing discrimination more likely to join
  • Gangs faded in the 1960s due to public programs and increased drug use (heroin)

Gangland: Latin Kings of NYC Part 1


You can find the PowerPoint presentation here:

HoE Puerto Ricans (Haga presentation)

Works Cited

ABC News. “Latin Kinds of New York City Part 1 of 2.” Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59oQdI5xnLA&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL9E58BABFDA158478&gt;.

Bronxnettelevision. “Migration: The Puerto Rican Experience.” YouTube. YouTube, 02 Jan. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJnvmcsF6-A&gt;.

Greene, Judith, and Kevin Pranis. “Chapter 1: Gangs in New York City.” Gang Wars: The Failure of Enforcement Tactics and the Need for Effective Public Safety Strategies. [Washington, D.C.]: Justice Policy Institute, 2007. Print.

“Puerto Rico.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Feb. 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_rico&gt;.

Rivera, Magaly. “Economy.” Welcome to Puerto Rico! 2012. Web. 20 Feb. 2012. <http://www.topuertorico.org/economy.shtml&gt;.

Szalay, Lorand, Glorisa Canino, and Shelley Vilov. “Vulnerabilities and Cultural Change: Drug Use among Puerto Rican Adolescents in the United States.” Substance Use & Misuse 28.4 (1993): 327-54. Print.

This entry was posted in Juan Gonzalez - Harvest of Empire, Piri Thomas - Down These Mean Streets and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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