Our guest today is the infectiously inspirational Harry Franqui-Rivera. Harry is Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of History and Global Languages at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey. Before landing at Bloomfield, Harry held visiting and adjunct positions at Marist College, Skidmore College, Lehman College (City University of New York), and he was a Research Associate at CENTRO – The Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York. Harry earned his BA in History at the Mayagüez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, completed an MA in US Military/Diplomatic History at Temple University, then earned his PhD in History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Harry is the author of Soldiers of the Nation: Military Service and Modern Puerto Rico, 1868-1952 (University of Nebraska Press), and he has authored numerous essays and articles, including “A New Day Has Dawned for Porto Rico’s Jíbaro’: Manhood, Race, Military Service and Self-Government during WWI” in Latino Studies (2015). Harry is currently working on two book projects, Fighting on Two Fronts: The Experience of the Puerto Rican Soldiers in the Korean War and Patriotism and Resistance: The Puerto Rican Experience during the Vietnam War. He is a frequent contributor to Centro Voices, Latino Rebels, NBC News, and The Huffington Post, and he also frequently appears on Spanish and English-language television and radio. Harry is a Board member and Executive Director of the New York Chapter of the National Puerto Rican Agenda and has served on the Council of the Latin American Studies Association.
Harry has an amazing story – growing up in Puerto Rico, dropping out of school, serving in the military, returning to school, then chasing a girl to Philadelphia, which serendipitously put him in friend-of-the-pod Jay Lockenour’s graduate seminar at Temple University. The rest, as they say, is “history.” We thoroughly enjoyed our chat with Harry Franqui-Rivera – your day will be better for listening to his story.