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An Immigrant's Haiku Records Great Dreams

This haiku records the nearly universal hope of immigrants to the United States. The majority of Japanese immigrants to the U.S. between 1884 and 1908 were men and women from rural areas who had been displaced because of high land prices and rents. [...]

A Montana Miner's Union Boycotts Asian-Owned Businesses

In the 19th century, Asian Americans faced widespread hostility. In this 1898 flyer, the labor movement claimed that Asian-American workers "[lowered] standards of living and of morals." Particularly in the West, union organizers agitated for the [...]

Comparing the Cuban and Puerto Rican Flags

The similarities between the Cuban (top) and Puerto Rican (bottom) flags are not accidental. The Cuban flag was designed in 1849 by Narciso López, a pro-independence exile living in New York City. The design for the Puerto Rican flag was adopted by [...]

Cuba and Puerto Rico—"Two Wings of the Same Bird"

Puerto Rican poet and journalist Lola Rodríguez de Tió was one of the most prominent early advocates for Puerto Rican independence. Among her most popular works was "A Cuba," from which the excerpt below is taken. Rodríguez lived her final years [...]

Graphs of Cuban and Puerto Rican Immigration to the United States

The charts below measure the number of immigrants entering the United States from Cuba and Puerto Rico during the early twentieth century. Cuban immigration spikes during the earliest years of the twentieth century, when the U.S. repeatedly [...]

An Ybor City Resident Describes Work in the Cigar Factories

The family of Cesar Marcos Medina moved from Cuba to Ybor City in Tampa, Florida in 1903. In this interview, Medina details the experiences of his father, who worked as a lector (reader) in the city's cigar factories. Medina also describes the [...]

Interview with a Puerto Rican Cigarworker in New York

In his memoirs, the Puerto Rican-born cigar maker Bernardo Vega included this interview he conducted with a fellow immigrant about Puerto Rican life in New York during the early part of the twentieth century. In response to Vega's questions, the [...]

A Lector Reads to Cigar Workers

The lector, or reader, was an institution in Tampa cigar factories. Elected and paid by the workers, the lector read material of their choosing aloud as the workers assembled cigars. Lectores read newspapers, current affairs publications, and even [...]

A Spanish-language Newspaper in Tampa, Florida

Cubans living in Tampa during the early part of the twentieth century published their own newspapers in Spanish. In addition to local news, the papers carried dispatches from Cuba and Spain. These papers were frequently read aloud in the city's [...]

Harlem Hellfighters Regimental Band

The Fifteenth Infantry Regiment (Colored) of the New York National Guard—popularly known as the "Harlem Hellfighters"—was formed in Harlem in 1916 to help the U.S. war effort during World War I. One of its members, James Reese Europe, was [...]

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