Textbook Notes (280,000)
CA (160,000)
UTSC (20,000)
ANTA02H3 (100)
Chapter 2

In Search of Respect: Ch. 2 Notes

Course Code
Maggie Cummings

of 3
Chapter 2: A Street History of El Barrio ANTA02
Puerto Rico was historically militarily controlled, because it’s an important strategic location in
the middle of the Caribbean, important for shipping things
Both Spanish and Americans cared more about military control than the people
Puerto Ricans can’t vote in US but are subject to US rule
o Almost a third of income in Puerto Rico comes from US social assistance
o 50% of Puerto Ricans qualified for food stamps
From Puerto Rican Jibaro to Hispanic Crack Dealer
When Americans took over, land was given to American export companies, forced some farmers
to go work on sugar plantations
Jibaro in English is Hillbillies. Farmers who survive on their own
o Became symbol of self respect because they resist foreign influence, live for themselves
Jibaro's meaning changed with culture
Puerto Ricans went from farmers to working in plantations to factory workers
Many went to Harlem in New York, and US
Found jobs in manufacturing in 40's and 50's in new York, when those jobs were becoming
service jobs
Went from:
o Privately owned and self-sustaining
o Labourers in foreign owned plantations
o Factory workers in shantytowns
o Sweatshop workers in ghettos
o Service center employees in projects
o Underground economy entrepreneurs
US used Puerto Rico as capital example and contrast to Cuba, let companies make tons of cash
relatively tax free
Changes forced onto them had races undertone
o i.e. Americans are in the right
Led to unemployment, drug use, lower wages
Confronting Individual Responsibility on the Street
Were economically dislocated, politically dominated, and culturally oppressed
Despite this, Primo feels that individuals are responsible, but Caesar, who is younger is more
political blames society more (agency versus structure)
East Harlem's Immigrant Maelstroms
East Harlem has always been violent
Started with fighting between Dutch and indigenous
Went from Dutch owned tobacco farms to wealthy rural
German and Irish Catholics were next after infrastructure upgrades
Chapter 2: A Street History of El Barrio ANTA02
Became really diverse in early 1900s
Eastern most upper part of Harlem is where Italians lived in early 1900s, were ethically
segregated from Irish
o Competed for jobs
o Is where ray's crackhouses are during author's stay
o Italian soon meant inferior, everyone looked down in them
o To be American became to be ashamed of our parents
The Puerto Rican "Invasion" of El Barrio
In 1930s and 40s Puerto Ricans moved in
Replaced Italians in factories, so there became segregation between these two cultures
o Italians and Puerto Ricans would fight
o Landlords were forced by gangs to have white segregated housing
African-Americans may have been more tolerated because they maintained segregated
buildings and more willingly assimilated to American culture
Puerto Ricans were hated the most in east Harlem they were the poorest
Puerto Ricans became the new "Italians" mainstream society was prejudiced against them
Poverty and Ecological Disrepair
All ethnic groups in East Harlem have been called poor historically
o Were also very concentrated in population
20's and 30's, Thrasher said urban areas of poverty had social pathology and crime around it
60’s, Lewis had culture of poverty theory
o Focused on poverty reproducing traits that are socialized into children
o Individualistic and blamed the victim
Second generation Puerto Ricans in NY call themselves Nuyorican
The Reconcentration of Poverty in Easternmost East Harlem
Construction of housing projects in 50's displaced many people
Projects were packed, poor and were ethnically segregated, leading to violence and crime
From Speakeasy to Crackhouse
Speakeasies on every aide have been replaced by crackhouses and shooting galleries
Local library doesn't like working conditions and distrusts their patrons
The Omnipresence of Heroin and Cocaine
Drug distribution and sale has always been a part of the economy
After narcotics became illegal in 1920s, people realized there was a lot of money to be made off
Chapter 2: A Street History of El Barrio ANTA02
La Farmacia (One of Ray's crackhouses) was featured in tabloids
During period of public drug concern
Drug addicts openly shoot up
Mafia Legacies in the Underground Economy
Drug abuse socialized new generations of kids to become drug dealers
Everyone does drugs and everyone has it, easily tempted to use it
o Same thing in 50s
In 20's people were already celebrating oppositional street culture
o Celebrated villain and disliked representatives of law
Getting rich became a goal easily obtained from the profitable drug underground economy,
Italians institutionalized it first
Crime and violence were common sense
Genovese family (Italian mafia) controlled much of author’s surrounding area
Petty robbery increased and tenants of other races were allowed when Fat Tony had legal
The Free Market for Crack and Cocaine
More cocaine could be fit in same space when transporting, so cocaine and crack became most
sold products
o Overtook heroin and marijuana sales
Crack became popular because it is mixed cocaine w/ baking soda, allowing it to be smoked
o Allows user to feel high faster and is cheaper to produce and buy
o Colombians controlled cocaine and imported it directly, bypassing mafia
Allowed African-American and Puerto Ricans to control streets where mafia once controlled,
because mafia sold heroin
Mafia let people in East Harlem know crime and violence pays