Pura Belpré

Cristina Rhodes (Shippensburg University)
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Pura Belpré, born Pura Teresa Belpré Nogueras in Cidra, Puerto Rico, was an Afro-Boricua librarian and writer of children’s books in the early to mid-twentieth century. Notably, Belpré is often regarded as the first Puerto Rican (and Afro-Latina) librarian in the United States, and she devoted her life to serving Spanish-speaking patrons of the New York Public Library.

Belpré’s childhood is relatively unknown, and conflicting reports exist about her date of birth and her parents’ origins. Her officially registered birth certificate, copied to her upon her request in 1972, lists her birthday as 2 February 1899, but her baptismal records list 21 April 1899. Belpré rarely spoke of her childhood and scholars speculate that this is due to her parents’ possible involvement in the

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Citation: Rhodes, Cristina. "Pura Belpré". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=15014, accessed 15 June 2024.]

15014 Pura Belpré 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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