ABSTRACT

Public concern over the "Puerto Rican problem" surfaced with the arrival of large numbers of Puerto Ricans to concentrated areas in New York City (Pérez and Tirado, 1986:141; Jorge, 1983). The concern began in the post-World War II period and intensified as the numbers arriving increased (see Chapter 1 for a discussion of the factors fueling the migration). Prior to this, Puerto Ricans had had a long, but quiet, history in the United States since the nineteenth century (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1976; Iglesias, 1980; Uriarte-Gastón, 1987; Sánchez-Korrol, 1983), By the 1920s, there was already an identifiable "community ethos" (Jennings and Rivera, 1984: 9). Thus, the pre-World War II Puerto Rican community was a struggling community, but it was an intact, highly organized community that was making progress 1 (Sánchez-Korrol, 1983; Federal Writers Project Guide to 1930s New York, 1982; Iglesias, 1980).