The Nuyorican movement was a group of poets, writers, artists, and musicians whose work spoke to the social, political, and economic issues Puerto Ricans faced in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s.
Not unlike the Harlem Renaissance, the Nuyorican movement was born out of a period of migration. After the United States conferred commonwealth status onto Puerto Rico in 1950, Puerto Rican migration to New York City increased, creating pockets of Puerto Rican communities in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side and East Harlem. Many of the Nuyorican writers were part of this group of first-generation New Yorkers, who were either the children of immigrants or who themselves arrived at New York City at a young age.
Originally a derogatory term, “Nuyorican,” a mixture of “New York Puerto Rican” or “Neo-Rican,” was used by native Puerto Ricans to identify Puerto Ricans from New York City as distinct from those from the island. The Nuyorican movement, however, came to represent not only the struggles Puerto Ricans faced in working-class New York City, but also the pride they had in their language, culture, and Afro-Caribbean and indigenous Caribbean identities.
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