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Seams of EmpireRace and Radicalism in Puerto Rico and the United States$
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Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062563

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062563.001.0001

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Dispatches from the Colonial Outpost

Dispatches from the Colonial Outpost

(p.38) 2 Dispatches from the Colonial Outpost
Seams of Empire

Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

University Press of Florida

This chapter analyzes the writings of Chicago Defender journalist Denton Brooks and the Pittsburgh Courier’s guest contributor Dr. George Little, who both visited Puerto Rico between 1942 and 1943. Using the island’s prevailing colonial status, the citizenship of Puerto Ricans, and their understanding as racialized subjects as a point of departure, Brooks and Little wrote about Puerto Rico’s massive land and economic reforms to think critically about how the same reforms might be implemented in the U.S. South to empower African Americans. Puerto Rico became an important lens that allowed marginalized groups to think about their relationship to racial capitalism and how to labor against it. In spite of these positive relational affinities between Puerto Rico and African Americans, the chapter also documents how Black journalists were not devoid of producing their own problematic readings of race in Puerto Rico.

Keywords:   Black journalists, agrarian and economic reform, racial capitalism

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