Latin America: An Institutional and Cultural Survey

Raza Interrupted: New Hybrid Nationalism (Pages 100-116)- Ed Morales

Entry Question
When you think of Nuyorican culture what art forms, artists, thinkers, activists, community organizations, political organizations come to mind and why?


Nuyorican Identity
In the chapter “Raza Interrupted: New Hybrid Nationalism” poet, journalist, and critic Ed Morales argues that Nuyorican identity developed out of three spheres: salsa, radical cultural nationalism, and Nuyorican literature (Page 104)
Oral/slide presentations



Wu,Can Fu



Salsa reached back to Caribbean musical forms and insisted on Spanish as a lingua franca to preserve a sense of origin. It was a modernist re-contextualization of the mulatez aesthetic of Afro-Cuban music, redrawn to fit the 70s crisis of capitalism and the collapse of industrialization in cities like New York. (Morales, 104-107)

What do you think of Ed Morales’ claim that salseros created a “stripped-down package of from-below musicians playing for a from-below audience (106).”?

Radical Politics

The Young Lords’ core membership was motivated by local community concerns, such as the infrequency of garbage collection, the lack of access to tuberculosis testing, and the impact of lead-based paint used in tenements that housed the children of the urban poor. Like the Black Panthers, it functioned as a national liberation movement with a strong focus on culture and identity. (Pages 108-110)

In your opinion what were the greatest achievements of the Young Lords and how do you think these direct actions and political strategies promoted a Nuyorican identity?

Nuyorican Poetry

Bilingual poetry and letters disrupted linear thinking, engaged in multivocal discourse, and restore call and response as the central logic of internal dialogue… It uses the modified language of two colonizers to express the conscience of a conquered race, a raza, by prioritizing its main raíz: the mestizo/mulato/black body. Nuyorican poetry expressed Latin American cultural tradition as refracted through Puerto Rico’s unincorporated territory status.  (Page 113)

Pietri’s poem memorialized the sacrifice of countless laborers with dignity, but he sounded the death knell for a generation that lacked self-awareness. (Page 110)

Luciano describes the transformation of the jíbaro from an idealized white peasant of the countryside to the modern-day black, urban Puerto Rican whose racial identification was a major part of a political radicalization project. (Page 107)

How do these poems, poets, and performances illustrate the ideas about Nuyorican identity presented by Ed Morales?