Nationalist Heroines: Puerto Rican Women History Forgot

TitleNationalist Heroines: Puerto Rican Women History Forgot
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMacpherson, Anne S.
JournalNieuwe West - Indische Gids
Pagination191 - 192
Date Published2018

With the goal of "rescu[ing] their names and deeds from. historical amnesia" (p. 13), Olga Jiménez has pieced together evidence from interviews, testimonies, and memoirs, from government, police, FBI, and prison files, and from newspapers in order to sketch the youth, family background, and education of each woman, detail her political activism and painful experiences with territorial and federal legal and prison systems, and document her postprison life. From surveillance to arrests, long pretrial detentions, biased prosecutors and judges, and often lengthy prison sentences based on sedition laws, to poor treatment and deliberate abuse while imprisoned, their stories reveal how far the authorities were willing to go to criminalize even pro-independence opinion and thus to bolster the fiction of decolonization that was perpetuated in the 1950s by Luis Muñoz Marin's Popular Democratic Party regime and the Truman and Eisenhower administrations. Friedman, in Citizenship in Cold War America (2014), shows that both the pn and its powerful enemies deployed discourses of masculinity and femininity to legitimize their political arguments and suggests that the pn was male dominated despite Albízu sometimes promoting female leadership.