In the second of two interviews, Cecilio Rivera offers a personal chronology - and critique - as a result of his experience as a small business owner, activist, and benefactor of Brooklyn's Puerto Rican community. He gives a number of specific events with corresponding dates related to various clubs and organizations he was associated with, such as the Baldorioty Democratic Club, the Puerto Rican Civic Association, and the Puerto Rican Merchants Association - in which he served as the first president. Rivera discusses in detail the formation, function, and organization of these groups. In addition there is biographical data on Carlos Tapia, Louis Weber, and Pedro Tejada, as well as other figures involved with the Puerto Rican community. Never properly introduced, Rivera's wife, Jean Carrero, interjects often in the background and occasionally in the foreground. Interview in Spanish and English conducted by John D. Vazquez.
Cecilio Rivera was born in Puerto Rico in 1903. He arrived in Brooklyn in 1929 and resided in the Williamsburg neighborhood up until 1949 - at which time he and his family moved to Brentwood, New York. As a retired businessman, Rivera had first worked in numerous grocery stores before eventually purchasing his own bodega. The personal connections he made while working in local shops and delivering groceries throughout Brooklyn served him well, as he went on to found and/or participate in several civic and social organizations revolving around the Puerto Rican community. These include the Baldorioty Democratic Club, the Puerto Rican Civic Association, the Puerto Rican Merchants Association - in which Rivera served as the first president - and the Pan American Civic Association, which he founded after relocating to Eastern Long Island.