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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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You Are Here to Listen

You Are Here to Listen

(p.117) 5 You Are Here to Listen
Seams of Empire

Carlos Alamo-Pastrana

University Press of Florida

Dr. Ana Livia Cordero’s Proyecto Piloto para Trabajo con el Pueblo is a significant challenge to the historiography of social movements, gender, and race in Puerto Rico. Founded in 1968, Proyecto Piloto mobilized Puerto Rico’s proletariat around their presumed identity as Black Puerto Ricans. Cordero’s racial project was shaped by a variety of political and institutional mechanisms. To begin, Cordero spent a considerable amount of time within Black radical circles in the U.S. and in the Non-Aligned Movement during the 1950s and 1960s. Cordero’s work and controversial departure from the Movimiento Pro Independencia also played heavily in Cordero’s political formation on the place of race within anti-colonial struggles. Lastly, Cordero’s training and research in U.S. social-scientific models served as an important methodological tool that Cordero used to ground her understandings of Puerto Rican realities. This chapter argues that these circumstances produce a complex and—at times contradictory—web of meanings about Blackness in Puerto Rico that Cordero firmly grounded in grassroots activism in small communities in Puerto Rico.

Keywords:   Gender, race, Puerto Rican social movements, anti-colonialism, Non-Aligned Movement, U.S. social sciences

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