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Racial MigrationsNew York City and the Revolutionary Politics of the Spanish Caribbean$
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Jesse E. Hoffnung-Garskof

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691183534

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691183534.001.0001

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(p.131) 4 Convergence
Racial Migrations

Jesse E. Hoffnung-Garskof

Princeton University Press

This chapter considers why Rafael Serra and the others accepted the call to demonstrate patience and forgiveness in the name of national unity. It asks why they chose to promote the idea of a nation for all and with all as if it were José Martí's idea rather than their own and how they managed to assert themselves in the nationalist struggle without giving up their right to form independent associations or to demand equal treatment as people of color. The chapter explains that the answers to these questions are not to be found in the intricacies of Martí's writings, but instead in the social worlds built by artisan intellectuals and black migrants over the previous two decades. Men and women in this social world did not just support Martí; they helped to create him. This reveals a complex terrain of interconnected political commitments that were in play on a single extraordinary day—a day when Serra led a group of black and brown constituents to naturalize as U.S. citizens and become Republican voters.

Keywords:   Rafael Serra, naturalization, U.S. citizens, social worlds, artisan intellectuals, black migrants, national unity, political commitments

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