3 to 5pm
From Familia to Market: The Puerto Rican Merchants Association (PRMA) and Latinx Entrepreneurship in Postwar Brooklyn and the South Bronx
This paper examines the evolution of entrepreneurship among New York’s postwar Latinx residents. Organizations like the Puerto Rican Merchants Association (PRMA)—founded in 1947—helped Spanish-speaking small-business owners resist racial discrimination, including wholesaler price-gouging and urban renewal projects that often displaced their establishments. It also animated the resiliency of a form of association that appeared and reappeared in the city’s ethnically-transitioning, poor neighborhoods. And its ethos and outcomes rippled through the social and economic transformations of the 1960s when Latina/o immigration ballooned, manufacturing continued to decline, and the business-friendly turn toward minority-owned enterprises got underway with the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.
Carlos F. Parra
The only medium conscientiously communicating with the Spanish-speaking community on its own terms: KMEX Channel 34 and the L.A. Latino Community (1962-1986)
In 1962 KMEX Channel 34 debuted in Los Angeles as the first Spanish-language television station in California. Scholars have noted how KMEX (a future Univision flagship station) was founded primarily as a business enterprise by Mexican industrialist Emilio Azcárraga Vidaurreta and his U.S. associates, but less researched is the manner in which it asserted itself as a voice for the Mexican/Latino community. KMEX civically engaged its audience through public service programs explaining Social Security and voter registration, through Christmastime charity drives, and notably through coverage of the Chicano Movement in its Noticiero 34. Using archival sources such as the Ruben Salazar Papers, my study will contextualize KMEX-34 as a cultural product of the borderlands and challenge us to re-envision the role of U.S. Spanish-language TV within Latina/o history.
Respondent: Ralph Cintron, University of Illinois at Chicago
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