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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

Race/color in 1930 census Puerto Rico

Hi folks,

Thankfully the indexed 1930 census for Puerto Rico is now online - for a fee(, but at least it's there. There are some early records available - from 1910 - which are being transcribed by volunteers - and are spotty.

What is interesting about the 1930 census on the island - is that contrary to the mythology that many Puerto Ricans are taught to believe - many their families are NOT recorded as "white". The race/color category was dropped in later census periods - for political reasons - but 1930 paints an interesting picture.

I recently had an academic discussion about Puerto Rico and race - and a suppossedly intellegent person argued with me that "there are no blacks in Puerto Rico" (grin) Observation on the island disproves this. I've found some very interesting results browsing the census. I have access to several friend's birth certificates - where they are listed as "white". The census data however - lists them or their families on the island as either "B" (for Black) or "Colored".

I'm wondering what the impact of this data will be? I plan to use some of the census sheets in classes with my students - to raise their conciousness about race/color classification systems.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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