Puerto Rican Culture Development within the New York Diaspora

640 Words3 Pages
According to census research at Lehman College (1), during 1945 to the 1950’s more than half a million Puerto Rican natives migrated to several parts of the USA, originally from their own homeland, Puerto Rico. Several of the locations that Puerto Ricans migrated to include Chicago, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York City. One of the cities that experienced a large boom of Puerto Rican population was New York. This period was known as the “Great Migration” and had several factors that led to the mass migration. Some of these major events include the 1917 signing of the Jones-Shafroth Act by Woodrow Wilson, and the Great Depression. Afterwards, Puerto Ricans were permanent citizens of the US From these events. This still poses the questions as to why did a large portion of Puerto Ricans decide to migrate to the US, how did Puerto Ricans develop their identities in New York after the migration and what effect it had towards New York.
As we know currently, Puerto Ricans currently are permanent citizens of the United States, but some years before, Puerto Ricans didn’t even have citizenship in the US. It all started at the end of the Spanish – American War in 1898, when Spain and the United States met in order to sign the Treaty of Paris, which would officially end the war that the US and Spain were having. This also led to the acquisition of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. Further on in time, Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth act, which gave Puerto Ricans Citizenship towards the United States. This is one of the first major steps the US took towards welcoming Puerto Ricans outside of their homeland. Now they had another place to call home instead of Puerto Rico. Later on, the Great Depression hit the United S...

... middle of paper ...

...hborhood was largely populated by Puerto Ricans also, so a community of equivalent ethnicities also led to Puerto Ricans moving there, because nothing had to be changed language wise, and culture wise. Everything was basically the same, which made it easier for them to transition from Puerto Rico to a New York lifestyle. This also came with a negative. Puerto Ricans had to live in torn up, raggedy buildings with racist Landlords that denied some Puerto Ricans from living in their buildings, so some Puerto Ricans had to keep their identity private in order to not risk being evicted. During this time, many Puerto Ricans decided to migrate over also because the US started to climb out of the great depression that it was in, with the help of the New Deal. Jobs started to arise again and it gave migrants the chance to find work and a chance to change their social status.

More about Puerto Rican Culture Development within the New York Diaspora

Open Document