By Ellen Bigler
Bigler examines one city's heated dispute that arose over bringing multiculturalism and bilingual schooling into their lives and their colleges' curricula, illuminating the character of racial politics within the usa and the way each side within the debate over multicultural schooling fight to discover universal language. within the PUERTO RICAN stories sequence.
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Extra info for American conversations: Puerto Ricans, white ethnics, and multicultural education
Latinos who are not Puerto Rican often resent being taken for Puerto Ricans because the latter have such low status in the community. 7 The perception that Puerto Ricans are looked down on not only by whites but also by other Latinos was one voiced by many I spoke with. A conversation I had with two young women and their friends and family who wandered through their kitchen while we were talking one afternoon points to their awareness of the stigmatization of Puerto Ricans in the community. Lidia Perez, who moved from New York City twelve years ago, rents the downstairs half of a house on the East End; her cousin Doris lives upstairs.
Attempts by the Knights of Labor to unionize the mill hands in 1896 following a pay cut failed when mill owners united and closed their plants, Page 22 refusing to negotiate for eight months. Silk mill workers struck for ten months in 1920, and carpet company weavers struck for an equivalent period in 1921. Not until the late 1930s were the city's textile workers unionized, under the auspices of the National Labor Relations Act passed by Congress in 1935. Older community members today can reel off the names of the ethnic neighborhoods that dominated the city landscape in their youth: Little Italy, "Polack" Hill, Kearney Hill, Money Hill (the wealthy area, home to long-settled, successful residents), Pancake Hill, and Dutch Hill among them.
In time many people came to think that it was wrong to own slaves. Some of the people who owned slaves became angry at this. They said that the black people were better off as slaves in America than they would have been as wild savages in Africa. Perhaps this was true. Most of the slaves seemed happy and contented" (cited in Hughes 1993:129). S. history and literature texts in schools are more "multicultural" and sensitive to cultural stereotyping than texts in the 1960s (Reinhold 1991). Students speaking languages other than English on school grounds will also no longer be punished for their "transgressions," as they were in that era (Crawford 1995).
American conversations: Puerto Ricans, white ethnics, and multicultural education by Ellen Bigler