Photo of the Week: Fernan Luna Photographs

[Man next to Puerto Rican flag], 1975, v1989.2.7.8; Photography collection, v1989.2.7; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Man next to Puerto Rican flag], 1975, v1989.2.7.8; Fernan Luna photographs of Williamsburg, v1989.2.7; Brooklyn Historical Society.

We recently digitized ten photographs by Fernan Luna that document the Puerto Rican neighborhoods of Brooklyn, particularly Williamsburg, during the mid-1970s. The photographs are primarily documentary-style and feature protests, religious ceremonies, and candid portraits of Puerto Rican residents of Williamsburg. The photo of the week depicts a man sitting on a ladder posing next to a Puerto Rican flag in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.

New York City has the largest population of Puerto Rican Americans outsides of Puerto Rico, with large communities in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan,the South Bronx neighborhood of the Bronx, and the Bushwick and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn. In 1973, Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) initiated the Puerto Rican Oral History Project conducting interviews that documented the experiences of Brooklyn residents who arrived from Puerto Rico. You can listen to them through our oral history portal  here.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

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