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[Last name, First name], Oral history interview conducted by [Interviewer’s First name Last name], [Month DD, YYYY], [Title of Collection], [Call #]; Brooklyn Historical Society.
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Oral history interview conducted by Morton Marks
Call number: 1989.004.36
20:14 - Colaboración con conjuntos de bomba y plena, memorias de Felisa Rincón de Gautier - Collaboration with Bomba and Plena musicians, memories with Felisa Rincón de Gautier
35:46 - Bailes con Tito Puente, homenajes a Rafael Hernández - Performances with Tito Puente, homages to Rafael Hernández
37:13 - Mención de varios clubes latinos en El Barrio y el Bronx - Mention of Latin clubs in El Barrio and the Bronx
41:31 - Teatros y clubes latinos más importantes en Brooklyn - Most important Latin clubs and theaters in Brooklyn
Oral History Interview with Belen Ramos
Belén Ramos was a Puerto Rican artist who danced and sang Guaracha, Bomba, Plena, and Calypso. She performed alongside several prominent figures in Afro-Caribbean music such as Tito Puente, Ruth Fernández, Ramón Rivero Diplo, Ismael Rivera, and Rafael Cortijo. Ramos performed in Puerto Rico, as well as New York-in numerous venues including the Palladium and Carnegie Hall-although she worked in factories during her first years in New York. Ramos also performed with the United Services Organization (USO) during World War II. Ramos' son was her dance partner and her sister was an Afro-Caribbean percussionist. She resided on 53rd Street in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn when the interview took place, circa 1989.
In this interview, Belén Ramos lists several of the venues she's performed in as well as the orchestras and singers she's collaborated with during her artistic career in Puerto Rico and the United States. Ramos, with the help of José "Monchito" Pascualy, mentions many Latin clubs and theaters in Manhattan's El Barrio and the Bronx. She also describes performing for the United Services Organization (USO) during World War II and travelling internationally with her act. Ramos mentions some anecdotes from Puerto Rico, such as interacting with Felisa Rincon de Gautier (Doña Fela) and several instances of racism towards her and her children. Ramos interjects her narration with verses of Bomba and Guaracha songs. Interview in Spanish conducted by Morton Marks.
Brooklyn Historical Society initiated the Hispanic Communities Documentation Project in 1988. Over fifty interviews were conducted to document the experiences of Brooklyn residents who arrived from Puerto Rico, Panama, Ecuador, and several other Central and South American nations in the latter half of the twentieth century. This collection includes recordings and transcripts of interviews conducted between 1988 and 1989. The oral histories often contain descriptions of immigration, living arrangements, neighborhood demographics, discrimination, employment, community development, and political leadership. Also included are photographs and printed ephemera.
CitationRamos, Belen, Oral history interview conducted by Morton Marks, 1989 ca., Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.36; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- Pascualy, Jose
- Ramos, Belen
- Bands (Music)
- Puerto Rican women
- Puerto Ricans
- Race discrimination
- Race identity
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
- San Juan (P.R.)
- Sunset Park (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories