Tag Archives: Hispanic History

Muslims & Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America


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ben_franklins_worldIn this episode of the Ben Franklin’s World podcast, Karoline Cook, author of Forbidden Passages: Muslims and Moriscos in Colonial Spanish America (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), serves as our guide as we explore some of the political, cultural, and religious history of New Spain. Specifically, how Spaniards and Spanish Americans used ideas about Muslims and a group of “new Christian” converts called Moriscos to define who could and should be able to settle and help the Spanish colonies in North America. You can listen to the podcast here: www.benfranklinsworld.com/178

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Racism and Sexism Women’s History Month Exhibition


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Soraida MartinezSoraida Martinez artist of Verdadism paintings and framed giclee fine art prints will exhibit her works at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, during Women’s History Month from March 3 to March 24, 2017.

A reception for the artist will be held Saturday, March 4, 2017, from 2 to 4 pm. All are welcome to meet the artist and have a dialogue on women’s rights, race relations and social justice. Continue reading

The Slave Conspiracy Riot of 1741


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slave revolt 1741This conflict also known as “The New York Conspiracy Riot” was an amazingly intricate and brutal affair that in addition to its local implications had an international twist as well.

In the context of the longstanding European conflicts, English colonists in New York City felt anxious about the French presence in Canada to the north and Spanish colonies in the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River Valley to the South and West. They also felt threatened by a recent influx of Irish immigrants, whose Catholicism might incline them to spy for France and Spain. Continue reading

The Puerto Rican Soldier, America’s Foreign Legionnaire


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“The Puerto Rican Soldier: America’s Foreign Legionnaire”Independent historian Miguel Hernández, an independent historian will present talk on “The Puerto Rican Soldier: America’s Foreign Legionnaire” in Honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month on Tesday, October 11th, in Ossining, NY.

The Puerto Rico based U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard units are American fighting forces with limited U.S. citizenship rights and other social characteristics that set them apart from their counterparts in the U.S. mainland. Accordingly, they are, de facto, America’s Foreign Legionnaires.

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Crossing Broadway, Washington Heights and the Promise of New York City


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Crossing BroadwayIn Crossing Broadway Washington: Heights and the Promise of New York City (Cornell University Press, 2014), Robert W. Snyder explores New York City in the 1970s.

When the South Bronx burned and the promise of New Deal New York and postwar America gave way to despair, the people of Washington Heights at the northern tip of Manhattan were increasingly vulnerable.

The Heights had long been a neighborhood where generations of newcomers — Irish, Jewish, Greek, African American, Cuban, and Puerto Rican — carved out better lives in their adopted city. But as New York City shifted from an industrial base to a service economy, new immigrants from the Dominican Republic struggled to gain a foothold. This was followed by the crack epidemic of the 1980s,  and the drug wars. Continue reading

Caribbean Connections: 6 Printmakers


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Francks Deceus. Jumpsuit, 2002Since colonial times, the port city of New York has sent ships, goods and ideas to the Caribbean which in turn dispatched its own flow of staples, people, symbols and imaginative language North.

In the new show at Harlem’s Wintner-Tikhonova Fine Art Gallery open till Jan. 17, Caribbean artists show varieties of imagination rooted in that history of exchange. Francks Deceus from Haiti offers an abstracted photographic image of a dapper suited man in derby hat imprinted on an outlined version of a worker’s jumpsuit, evoking the urban and rural amalgam that haunts the identity of so many New Yorkers hailing from the Caribbean. Continue reading

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and NYC’s Minority Plumbers


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01Minority PlumbersShifting alliances can make strange bedfellows and surprising adversaries. The push to integrate the New York City Plumbers Union as the Civil Rights Act was cobbled together 50 years ago shows how our perceptions and expectations can change with time.

Not long before the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, construction began on what is now the Hunt’s Point Food Distribution Center, the largest food distribution complex in the world. Full integration of the union workers at Hunts Point, supported by many, might have derailed or undermined this important legislation. Continue reading

The Burned-Over District and Mexican Revolution


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francisco-i-madero-bhimaWhen Halley’s comet, that star with the quetzal’s tail, flared across Mexican skies in 1910, it heralded not only the centennial of Independence, but a deeply transformative episode, the Revolution launched by Francisco I. Madero on November 20, what Javier Garciadiego calls “the true beginning of a process, the birth of the modern Mexican state.” The great chorus of Mexican historians agrees. And yet, almost unknown and curious as it may sound, a vital taproot of this revolution lies in the Burned-Over District of New York State.

As a writer of both fiction and nonfiction, I have learned to appreciate that fact can be stranger than anything one might imagine. Before returning to the Burned-Over District, a word about Francisco I. Madero and how I came upon his Manual espírita, this until now obscure and yet profoundly illuminating book – at the very least for understanding Madero himself, why and how he led Mexico’s 1910 Revolution, and the seething contempt of those behind the overthrow of his government and his assassination. Continue reading