The Puerto Rican Movement: Voices from the Diaspora
by Andres Torres
Temple University Press, 1998
Paper: 978-1-56639-618-9 | Cloth: 978-1-56639-617-2
Library of Congress Classification E184.P85P77 1998
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.04687295

Little attention has been paid to the Latino movements of the 1960s and 1970s in the literature of social movements. This volume is the first significant look at the organizations of the Puerto Rican movement, which emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s as a response to U.S. colonialism on the island and to the poverty and discrimination faced by most Puerto Ricans on the mainland.

To combat these two problems, and drawing n a tradition of patriotism and social responsibility, a number of organizations grew up, including the Young Lords Party (YLP), which later evolved into the Puerto Rican Revolutionary Workers Organization; the Pro Independence Movement (MPI), which evolved into the U.S> branch of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party; El Comite; the Puerto Rican Student Union (PRSU); the Movement for National Liberation (MLN); and the Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN). THe Puerto Rican Movement looks at all these groups as specific organizations of real people in such places as Boston, Chicago, Hartford, New York, and Philadelphia.

The contributors, almost all of whom were involved with the organizations they describe, provide detailed descriptions and historical analyses of the Puerto Rican Left. Interviews with such key figures as Elizam Escobar, Piri Thomas, and Luis Fuentes, as well as accounts by people active in the gay/lesbian, African American, and white Left movements add a vivid picture of why and how people became  radicalized and how their ideals intersected with their group's own dynamics.

These critical assessments highlight each organization's accomplishments and failures and illuminate how different sets of people, in different circumstances, respond to social problems -- in this case, the "national question" and the issues of social justice and movement politics.

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