American Social History Project • Center for Media and Learning

Cubano New York: Nineteenth Century Immigrants to the World's Sugar Capital

Published March 11, 2011

Lisandro Pérez, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
Cubano New York: Nineteenth Century Immigrants to the World’s Sugar Capital
The Graduate Center, CUNY
March 4, 2011

In the nineteenth century, Cubans were the largest Latin American or Spanish-speaking population in New York City. Lisandro Pérez discusses the importance of these immigrants to both Cuban and U.S. history in conversation with ASHP/CML staff members Andrea Ades Vásquez and Pennee Bender. Due to New York City’s importance in sugar refining and marketing, thousands of Cubans viewed the city as their business, communications, and educational center. The New York Cuban community provided political organizing, visions of modernity, and approaches to nation building to the island throughout the nineteenth century and introduced New Yorkers to a diverse Spanish-speaking population of businessmen, cigar workers, laundresses, and seamstresses.

“Cubano New York: Nineteenth Century Immigrants to the World’s Sugar Capital” is a Now and Then podcast conversation. The series features conversations and interviews with scholars, educators, and ASHP/CML staff members on topics in history.

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