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The Truth About Puerto Rico: A U.S. Colony

Welcome to News Beat, an award-winning podcast that mixes hard-hitting, social justice journalism with music to uniquely examine some of the most pressing issues facing society. Each episode features interviews from well-known voices — ranging from activists to scholars to journalists — set to music, interspersed with powerful, original lyrics crafted by notable artists specifically for that episode.

Listen to the podcast:

Ed Morales didn’t know whether his mother was dead or alive.

The veteran New York-based journalist, author and filmmaker hadn’t heard from her in about 10 days following the apocalyptic hell unleashed on Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, and like countless other family members cut off from their loved ones on the Caribbean island and unincorporated U.S. territory, he imagined the worst.

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Photo by Ricardo Dominguez on Unsplash

‘WAR AGAINST ALL PUERTO RICANS’

Hurricane Maria isn’t the first storm of biblical proportions to all-but destroy Puerto Rico, nor, has the United States’ controversial response to it been its worst.

Listen to the podcast episode here or download on your favorite podcast app.
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Listen to “The Truth About Puerto Rico.” Listen on Apple Podcasts or wherever you download your favorite shows.

HELL OR HIGH WATER

Besides creating a legislative system and reforming Puerto Rico’s municipal government, the Jones Act, signed into law in March 1917 by President Woodrow Wilson, imposed U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans born on and after April 25, 1898.

‘VIVA LA REPUBLICA’

That was the message one of the more than two dozen victims slaughtered by government forces as they peacefully marched in a parade commemorating the abolition of slavery 64 years earlier by their former conquerors, the Spanish, and protesting the imprisonment of National Party and independence leader Pedro Albizu Campos, scribbled in his own blood as he lay dying on a street in Ponce, Puerto Rico, on Palm Sunday in March 1937.

LONG ROAD AHEAD

It’s a powerful, deeply moving thing, the determination some people have, in the face of absolute tragedy, heart-wrenching pain, devastation of epic, cataclysmic proportions, to believe. That even having lost everything — their home, their job, perhaps loved ones — they can stand up, and push forward.

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A groundbreaking social justice podcast melding journalism with original hip-hop to amplify under-reported stories.

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