When Everyone Knew Everyone: Forming a Latino Community in Mid-Century West Michigan

When Everyone Knew Everyone: Forming a Latino Community in Mid-Century West Michigan

Latinos have a long and vibrant history in West Michigan. Local sources tell us that, although their numbers were small, some of these migrants and immigrants date back to the 1920s. Evidence shows that by the 1940s they formed a very tight-knit community.  Through consulting oral histories and reading a variety of primary source text documents against the grain, this presentation uncovers a rich history of Puerto Rican and Mexican community life in Grand Rapids. Come learn about how church festivals, baseball leagues, dances and other recreational activities helped to foster strong relationships and unity among Latinos in Grand Rapids in the 1940s and 1950s.

 

Presented by Delia Fernandez
Sponsored by the Western Michigan Genealogical Society

This presentation is part of the 2016 History Detectives program on Saturday, January 23, at the Ryerson Auditorium, Grand Rapids Public Library. Download the Full PDF Brochure Here