The Forging of Proud Puerto Rican Nationalist Identities in Chicago

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Centro Special Issue on Chicago, March 2015

 This article interviews seven activists in Chicago who work with the Puerto Rican Cultural Center. They both imagine themselves part of a larger national community and advocate the emergence of an independent Puerto Rico. These activists are engaged in asserting or in some cases awakening their and others’ Puerto Rican identity, one that embraces their reality in Chicago and rediscovers or reinforces their familial, socio-economic, cultural, historical, and political ties to Puerto Rico. They simultaneously root themselves in the Puerto Rican community of Chicago, define themselves as part of a broader “translocal” Puerto Rican community, and advocate “the constitution of a separate nation-state.” In the process they redefine for themselves, their families, and the Puerto Rican nation on the island and in the diaspora what they believe it means to be Puerto Ricans.

Key words:  Chicago, Identity, Puerto Rican Cultural Center, Nationalism, Community