Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

Puerto Ricans in Two Worlds

For several years now the IISH has had a small collection on the Puerto Rican National Movement, which deals with Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican communities in the United States, donated by Ira Goldwasser and Harriett Broekman, a couple living alternately in Amsterdam and in New York.

In 2012 the Institute received a supplement from them on events in the United States in the 1950s. In November 1950 US President Harry Truman was attacked by Oscar Collazo (1914-1994), a man from Puerto Rico. Collazo went to jail for the rest of his life. After a long campaign for his unconditional release, Collazo received his freedom from by US President Jimmy Carter in 1979.  
Goldwasser and Broekman made a documentary on Oscar Collazo’s only daughter Carmen Zoraida. A copy is kept at the IISH. They also collected original documents, photocopies, and much more on Oscar Collazo,  Puerto Rico, the struggle for independence, the aftermath of various uprisings, the situation of political prisoners, and the lives of Puerto Ricans in the United States and on the island. Special attention is given to Rafael Cancel Miranda (born 1930), one of the participants of the attack on the United States Capitol building in Washington in March 1954.
Autumn 2013 the IISH received another supplement from the Goldwassers, including documents on an archival research project.
This project was commissioned in conjunction with production of the play “Party People” (2012) Life stories of members of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican human rights movement Young Lords, and related figures were collected and used in the development of “Party People.”

The documents concentrate on the history of the Young Lords. The founder of the Young Lords was José (Cha-Cha) Jiménez (born 1948). Started as a gang in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago, the Young Lords developed after 1968 into a human rights movement for self-determination for Puerto Rico and other nations and for improving the living conditions of Puerto Ricans living in Chicago, New York, and other American cities. The Young Lords, about 350 Latino community residents of Chicago, organized meetings and demonstrations, collaborated with the Black Panthers, and engaged in prolonged confrontation with the police and other representatives of the authorities. In 1969 the Young Lords expanded activities to New York, where many Puerto Ricans lived.
In 1995 the Lincoln Park Project was begun, which aimed to archive and document the Young Lords history and the history of the complete displacement of Puerto Ricans, Latinos, and the poor of Lincoln Park. (text: Bouwe Hijma)

11 March 2014