Epigraph: AHA Presidential Address, American Historical Review 118:1 (February
1 Esteban Casas Martínez to Honorable Sierra Berdecía, July 12, 1951, File Puerto
Ricans in New York and Other States 1951, Box 2276, Tarea 96- 20, Fondo de la
Ofi cina del Gobernador (FOG), Archivo General de Puerto Rico (AGPR). All
translations from Spanish are my own unless otherwise indicated.
2 Studies of Latin American masculinity generally and Puerto Rican manhood
in par tic u lar have not yet closely examined labor migration. A notable excep-
tion is Garfi eld, “Tapping Masculinity,” 275– 308; and Cohen, Braceros. For more
recent work on Puerto Rican masculinity, see Ramírez, What It Means to Be a
Man; Ramírez, “Masculinity and Power in Puerto Rico”; García- Toro, Ramírez,
and Castillo, Los hombres no lloran; Negrón- Muntaner, Boricua Pop; Jiménez, Las
prácticas de la carne.
3 With almost three de cades of feminist scholarship on Puerto Rican migration,
we have a rich sense of Puerto Rican women’s experience of migration to U.S.
urban centers. Historians of Puerto Rican migration, however, have not yet
embarked upon a study of how understandings of masculinity may have shaped
the worldviews and choices of migrants— much less in the all- male world of
agricultural migrants, who have also been largely ignored by studies of Puerto
Rican movement to and from the United States.
Virginia E. Sánchez- Korrol provided one of the fi rst discussions of Puerto
Rican women migrants to the United States in chapter 4 of From Colonia to
Community. For some more recent work, see Rúa, Grounded Identidades; Ruiz and
Chavez, Memories and Migrations; Pérez, The Near Northwest Side Story; Ramos-
Zayas, National Per for mances; Delgado, “Rufa Concepción Fernández,” 171– 180;
Toro- Morn, “Boricuas in Chicago.”
4 For a call to examine the intimacy of colonial and national politics, see Stoler,
“Tense and Tender Ties.” In her response to Stoler’s article, Mary Renda
pointed out that such po liti cal intimacy could manifest itself in interactions be-
tween men and in working- class expressions writ large— not only in the realm
of cross- class heterosexual sex and family formation. Renda, “ ‘Sentiments of a
Private Nature.’ ”