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The Delicious Smells of Puerto Rico in Brooklyn Hallways

Tostones which are pounded and fried plantains served her with mojo sauce, this and other recipes below

Coming to the end of Hispanic Heritage Month and staying in New York City with my last two stories. In the 1950s and 1960s, a second wave of African American and Hispanic migrants arrived in New York. The number of Hispanic migrants, particularly Puerto Ricans, far outweighed the number of African Americans from the South. This was in part because beginning in the late 1950s, San Juan, Puerto Rico, served as the “international training ground” of the U.S. government’s Point Four Program, which promoted a U.S. capitalist model of development for the Third World as an alternative to Communism. In order for the program to work, the Truman administration and the Puerto Rican colonial government under Muñoz negotiated the emptying out of the island’s poorest sectors during the late 1940s, encouraging these areas’ inhabitants, “many of them mulattos,” to migrate to urban centers in the United States, including New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia. The poor received reduced airfare between the island and the mainland. Some 600,000 “mostly rural unskilled” Puerto Ricans filled the demand for cheap labor in U.S. manufacturing. A large number of Puerto Ricans settled in East Harlem/ El Barrio in the 1940s and more ethnically diverse “suburbs” of Brooklyn in the 1950s where they lived in recently created public housing projects with mostly Puerto Rican and blacks residents. Growing up in these ethnic borderlands meant having black and Latino people living on all sides of your family apartment. As result black youth grew up with the smells of southern dishes like chitlins, collard greens, and frying chicken up and down the hallways but they also grew up smelling Puerto Rican dishes like ropa vieja, mofongo, sancocho, andtostones. Here is a recipe for tostones which are pounded and fried plantains.

Traditional tostones recipe: http://www.elboricua.com/tostones.html

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