“Solidarity Across the Americas” Book Events Recap

Margaret M. Power, author of Solidarity Across the Americas: The Puerto Rican Nationalist Party and Anti-imperialism, recently completed some events in Chicago and the Bay Area. Below she reflects on and recaps her events and shares a video a student made of Pedro Albizu Campos’s trip through Latin America. The song playing in the background of the video is Despierta Boricua, the hymn of the independence movement written by Lola Rodríguez de Tío in 1868. 

April 6, 2023, The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, Chicago, Illinois

            This was the perfect place to present my book. Located in the heart of the Puerto Rican community of Chicago, the Museum showcases a variety of artists from the community, the diaspora, and Puerto Rico. It has also welcomed important Puerto Rican cultural figures such as Antonio Martorell, who recently won the National Medal of Arts; Lin Manuel Miranda, Rita Morena, and the mayors of many Puerto Rican cities, including Carmen Yulín Cruz. The beautiful building maintains the office of landscape artist Jens Jensen. 

            Roughly 120 people attended the event, which was co-sponsored by the Puerto Rican Cultural Center (PRCC) and the Digitizing the Barrio Archives Project. José López, director of the PRCC, opened the event and introduced Professor Maura Toro-Morn at Illinois State University, who presented the book. In my talk I thanked the many people who had helped and supported me and answered questions from the audience. I also showed a short video about Pedro Albizu Campos’s trip through Latin America from 1927 to 1930 produced by Lizette Modesto.

April 12, 2023: University of California, Davis

Professor Lisa Materson organized the event and about twenty professors and students came. Dr. Materson introduced me and the book. I then gave a brief overview of the book’s key arguments and contributions and showed the short video of Pedro Albizu Campos’s tour of Latin America. We then had a Q&A and a lively discussion about the book, transnational history, and international solidarity. One of the professors had heard Congressman Vito Marcantonio, who was also Pedro Albizu Campos’s lawyer, speak when she was four years old and still remembered his speech today, decades later.  I also enjoyed the lunch and the great tour of the beautiful campus Lisa took me on. 

Margaret M. Power is professor emerita of history at Illinois Institute of Technology.