Panel Discussion

Saturday, January 6, 2018: 1:50 PM
Madison Room A (Marriott Wardman Park)
Michael Staudenmaier, Aurora University
In the 1970s, large numbers of young Puerto Ricans in the diaspora embraced new forms of nationalist militancy. The demand for the island’s independence became a key plank of local organizing in places like New York and Chicago. In support of such efforts, some of the new diasporic nationalists developed political and organizational ties to multiple wings of the burgeoning Chicana/o movement. In this context, Puerto Rican radicals helped foster the emergence of a broader oppositional construction of Latina/o identity, without abandoning their distinctive sense of Puerto Rican national identity. Latina/o identity as it is understood today, I argue, would not exist were it not for the now largely forgotten work of these Puerto Rican militants and their Chicana/o allies.