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Rose Muzio

Feb 16, 2021

Radical Imagination, Radical Humanity

Puerto Rican Political Activism in New York

SUNY Press 2017

In Radical Imagination, Radical Humanity: Puerto Rican Political Activism in New York (SUNY, 2017), Rose Muzio analyzes how structural and historical factors--including colonialism, economic marginalization, racial discrimination, and the Black and Brown Power movements of the 1960s--influenced young Puerto Ricans to reject mainstream ideas about political incorporation and join others in struggles against perceived injustices. This analysis provides the first in-depth account of the origins, evolution, achievements, and failures of El Comité-Movimiento de Izquierda Nacional Puertorriqueño, one of the main organizations of the Puerto Rican Left in the 1970s in New York City. El Comité fought for bilingual education programs in public schools, for access to quality jobs and higher education, and against health care budget cuts. The organization mobilized support nationally and internationally to end the US Navy's occupation of Vieques, denounced colonial rule in Puerto Rico, and opposed US aid to authoritarian regimes in Latin America and Africa. Muzio bases her project on dozens of interviews with participants as well as archival documents and news coverage, and shows how a radical, counterhegemonic political perspective evolved organically, rather than as a product of a priori ideology.

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