ASHP/CML Public Seminar: Recovering
On March 5, 2008, the American Social History Project hosted a public seminar entitled, “Recovering Community History: Puerto Ricans and African Americans in Postwar New York City”. The Gotham Center for New York History co-sponsored the event. “Recovering Community History” highlighted the personal narratives of lesser-known Puerto Ricans and African Americans living in New York City who participated in different forms of social activism. Filmmaker Lillian Jimenez opened the evening with a clip from her documentary, Antonia Pantoja Presente! Her work focuses on visionary leader Dr. Antonia Pantoja, whose activism sheds light on the quest for Puerto Rican self-identity, educational rights, and bilingual education in New York City. Marci Reaven, Managing Director of City Lore, then took the audience on an illustrated journey to the Bronx. She spoke about the links between Bronx Puerto Ricans’ musical heritage and their political activism (from “Mambo to Hip Hop”). Finally, Craig Wilder of Dartmouth College discussed the history of African Americans and public education in Brooklyn in the 1940s and 1950s. Hailing originally from Bedford-Stuyvesant, Wilder added a personal touch to the story of Boy’s High School and the African-American experience in New York City.