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Latinas/os on the East Coast

A Critical Reader


Edited By Yolanda Medina and Ángeles Donoso Macaya

Latinas/os on the East Coast: A Critical Reader provides a comprehensive overview of established and contemporary research and essays written about communities that represent the Latina/o diaspora on the East Coast of the United States. Collectively, it contributes to the historical, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that affect the Latinas/os’ lived experience of the country. Analyzed through an interdisciplinary lens, this reader offers a critical examination of the policies and the practices that affect the following current and emerging themes and topics: History; Ethnicity and culture; Immigration, transnationalism, and civil rights; Education; Health; Women’s studies; Film and media studies; Queer studies; Literature; Visual and performing arts.
This book is an indispensable resource for scholars, researchers, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as any individual, group, or organization interested in issues that affect Latinas/os in the United States in current times.
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Our Heights’ Story: Exploring the Dominican Community in Washington Heights from 1992 to 2013


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Our Heights’ Story

Exploring the Dominican Community in Washington Heights from 1992 to 2013

Kaity Modesto

This chapter is my attempt to add to the literature that already exists on the history of Dominicans in Washington Heights, New York City. I begin the chapter with a brief history of Washington Heights and the Dominican migration to this area of the country, and then I give a brief description of the neighborhood as it exists today. In the second part of the chapter, I explain my study and the reasons I chose an oral history approach to explore representations of the Washington Heights neighborhood and the transnational Dominican identity of its residents. Most importantly, I present oral histories of first- and second-generation1 Dominicans who have resided in Washington Heights from the early 1990s to 2013 to support these representations.

Brief History of Dominicans in Washington Heights, New York City

The First Dominican Migration Movements

Before Dominicans became the fifth-largest Hispanic population in the United States, there was a long history between the Dominican Republic and the United States dating back to the nineteenth century. After Ulises Heureaux’s dictatorship fell in 1899, the United States began increasing its involvement in Dominican affairs, mainly by setting up strategic military bases. In 1916, the U.S. military intervened and occupied the Dominican Republic for eight years. After the Marines finally departed the island in 1924, President Horacio Vasquez...

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