Editorial: Avenida de las Americas

Centre Street in Hyde/Jackson Squares has been an “Avenida de las Americas” for over 40 years. So it is great to see it finally get that honorary name on street signs honoring the Latin American immigrants who have formed a cornerstone of our local economic and civic life.

The diverse array of activists and residents at the sign unveiling ceremony showed the successive waves of immigrants who have shaped the area and brought JP the richness of Latin American culture. There were people who came here from Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Argentina, among others.

The irony is that Hyde Square lost a significant chunk of its Latino population as gentrification increased over the past decade. We hope that the signs inspire reflection on how much this working-class enclave has given to JP, and not become merely another marketing slogan for its displacement. Most of all, we hope the signs remind you to visit Hyde/Jackson’s merchants for the great food, music, conversation and more to be had.

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