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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

Re: Race/color in 1930 census Puerto Rico


I am so glad you posted this response. My mother and her family were born in San Tulsa Puerto Rico at the turn of the century. It had always bothered me when people, especially Puerto Ricans, would say "she doesn't look Puerto Rican". Many black people moved and settle in Puerto Rico from the nearby islands such as St. Thomas St. Kitt and St. Croix especially in the period after slavery for better job opportunities.

Yes there are many that are listed as black or colored in Puerto Rico. In addition, the ones that are listed as "white" are most likely not because there are many blacks in there roots.

Again thank you for researching 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.

: Denise

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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