Oral histories are intimate conversations between and among people who have generously agreed to share these recordings with BHS’s archives and researchers. Please listen in the spirit with which these were shared. BHS abides by the General Principles & Best Practices for Oral History as agreed upon by the Oral History Association and expects that use of this material will be done with respect for these professional ethics.
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The audio recording should be considered the primary source for each interview. Where provided, transcripts created prior to 2008 or commissioned by a third party other than BHS, serve as a guide to the interview and are not considered verbatim. More recent transcripts commissioned by BHS are nearly verbatim copies of the recorded interview, and as such may contain the natural false starts, verbal stumbles, misspeaks, and repetitions that are common in conversation. The decision for their inclusion was made because BHS gives primacy to the audible voice and also because some researchers do find useful information in these verbal patterns. Unless these verbal patterns are germane to your scholarly work, when quoting from this material researchers are encouraged to correct the grammar and make other modifications maintaining the flavor of the narrator’s speech while editing the material for the standards of print.
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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 Marcelo Herman
February 12, 1989
Call number: 1989.004.21
0:03 - Introducciones, vida en Piaxtla, empleo de los padres, razones para mudarse a D.F., México - Introductions, life in Piaxtla, parents' employment, reasons for moving to Mexico City
5:36 - Mudanza a NY, empleo, dificultades con el Inglés - Moving to NY, employment, difficulties with English
17:52 - Mejoras a Piaxtla, organizaciones dentro de la comunidad de Piaxtla en Brooklyn - Improvements in Piaxtla, organizations within Piaxtla community in Brooklyn
24:01 - Razones para mudarse del Bronx a Borough Park, cambios en el vecindario - Reasons for moving from Bronx to Borough Park, changes in the neighborhood
29:29 - Celebraciones para la Vírgen de Guadalupe, aumento de la presencia mexicana en Borough Park - Guadalupe Virgin celebrations, increase of Mexican presence in Borough Park
40:16 - Comienzos de la danza de los Tecuanes en Brooklyn, historia del Tecuán - Begginings of the Tecuanes dance in Brooklyn, history of Tecuán
49:21 - Tipos de empleos disponibles para nuevos inmigrantes, dificultades enfrentadas al inmigrar - Types of employment available to recent immigrants, difficulties faced when migrating
51:26 - Empresas mexicanas en Brooklyn, tradiciones mexicanas en la generaciones más jóvenes - Mexican businesses in Brooklyn, Mexican traditions and culture in younger generations
59:32 - Relaciones entre la comunidad mexicana y otras comunidades latinoamericanas - Relations between Mexican community and other Hispanic communities
Oral History Interview with Amado Soriano
Amado Soriano was born in Piaxtla, a village in the state of Puebla, Mexico. His father was a school teacher. Soriano moved to Mexico City in 1965 with his brother and worked in a publicity agency. He came to New York City in 1971, at first living with friends in the South Bronx. He found work in a private restaurant in the Wall Street area of Manhattan (where he continued to work when the interview took place in 1989). In 1971, he moved to the Borough Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. Soriano is an active member of several important Mexican organizations in Brooklyn; including la Sociedad Guadalupana, dedicated to organizing the services for Mexico's patron saint and held every December, and the Comite Pro-Construccion Capilla Cristo Rey en Piaxtla, a group raising funds to build a chapel in his hometown in Puebla.
In the interview, Amado Soriano recalls many of his biographical details; from his youth in Piaxtla, Puebla, Mexico and as a young man in Mexico City and New York City. He speaks about the Virgin of Guadalupe ceremonies. Soriano details his son's participation, in that he dances with Los Tecuanes, a group of masked dancers who perform on the Virgin of Guadalupe's day. Soriano recounts the history of these dances, from their Mexican Indian origins, as well as the origins of the town of Piaxtla. Finally, he describes the growth of the Mexican community in Brooklyn. The interview closes with a reading of a composition, "Saludo Guadalupano." Interview in Spanish conducted by Marcelo Herman.
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.
CitationSoriano, Amado, Oral history interview conducted by Marcelo Herman, February 12, 1989, Hispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories, 1989.004.21; Brooklyn Historical Society.
- All Saints Church
- Soriano, Amado
- Community identity
- Emigration and immigration
- Ethnic identity
- Ethnic neighborhoods
- Hispanic Americans
- International cooking
- Mexican Americans
- Borough Park (New York, N.Y.)
- Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
- Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
Finding AidHispanic Communities Documentation Project records and oral histories