NEWARK PUBLIC LIBRARY’S ANNUAL LATINO CELEBRATION WILL CELEBRATE THE LEGACY OF PUERTO RICANS IN NEW JERSEY
September 5, 2017 | Newswire
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The Newark Public Library‘s annual Latino Celebration will feature the exhibition Boricuas in the Garden: The Story of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey, on view from September 14 through December 31, 2017, and a series of related programs at the Main Library located at 5 Washington Street.
Boricua, pronounced BÔ-ree-kwa, another term for Puerto Rican, comes from Borikén – the name the Taínos, the island’s pre-Columbian inhabitants gave their homeland.
This exhibit and public program series explore the long history and dynamic presence of Puerto Ricans in New Jersey and illustrate how this vibrant community has become an integral part of the fabric of the Garden State, paving the way for other Latino groups.
The story of the Puerto Rican people is unique in the history of United States. Puerto Rico has been a possession of the U.S. since 1898, but it has never been a state. Its people were declared U.S. citizens in 1917, but, like Washington, D.C., they have no vote in Congress. As citizens, the people of Puerto Rico can move throughout the 50 states just as any other Americans can – legally, this is considered internal migration, not immigration. However, when moving to the U.S., Puerto Ricans leave a homeland with its own distinct language, identity and culture, and the transition involves many of the same cultural conflicts and emotional adjustments that most immigrants face.
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New Jersey is home to the third largest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States. Although early generations of migrants faced great obstacles, their labors and activism has created institutions that now benefit newer Latino immigrant groups: community based organizations, churches, civic and cultural centers, businesses, educational and political organizations.
The exhibit will trace the history of Puerto Ricans in the Garden State with archival materials, historic photographs, and other documents about individuals and the community organizations they established, many drawn from the Library’s holdings in the Puerto Rican Community Archives, part of the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center. It will also feature a selection of extraordinary works from the Library’s Puerto Rican Fine Prints Collection. The Newark Public Library has been acquiring original prints, signed posters and special books by artists and writers from Puerto Rico for over forty years. Today, it has a collection of approximately 400 fine prints and signed posters by artists such as Lorenzo Homar, Rafael Tufiño, José Rosa, Roberto Moya, Antonio Martorell, Luis Cajiga, Myrna Báez, Nelson Sambolín, and others who made Puerto Rico one of the most important countries in graphic arts in the mid-20th century.
Boricuas in the Garden was curated by Ingrid Betancourt, Chief Librarian for Special Collections; Yesenia López, Director, New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center at the Newark Public Library; and Kristyn Scorsone, Archival Assistant, NJHRIC.
The exhibition will be open during regular Library hours, Monday through Saturday, with free admission. Group visits and more details are readily available by calling the Sala Hispanoamericana at the Library at 973-733-7772.
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