Raised in the squalor of a New York tenement until he was 10 years old, Nelson Díaz saw his life change when his family moved to a brand-new high-rise project in West Harlem in the 1950s. That experience, along with lessons learned as the only Latino law student at Temple University, would drive him throughout his life as a lawyer and activist, fighting for the expansion of rights for all Americans.
“No soy de aquí ni de allá” is a mantra for Puerto Ricans who feel like foreigners wherever they are and who seek a place for themselves. In his inspiring autobiography, Not from Here, Not from There, Díaz tells the story of his struggles and triumphs as his perspective widened from the New York streets and law school classrooms to the halls of power in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Whether as a leader in economic development, a pioneer in court reform, or a champion of fair housing, Díaz has never stopped advocating for others. Díaz was happy to be the first Latino to “do something,” but he never wanted to be the last. This story of an outsider who worked his way to the inside offers powerful lessons on finding a place in the world by creating spaces where everyone is welcome.
|Publisher:||Temple University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Nelson A. Díaz, who graduated from St. John’s University in 1969 and from Temple University Law School in 1972, was the first Puerto Rican lawyer to pass the Pennsylvania Bar Examination and the first Latino judge, administrative judge, and partner in a top-100 law firm in the state. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to a White House Fellowship and by President Bill Clinton as General Counsel to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, he has had a legendary career serving as a public defender, as Philadelphia City Solicitor, and as a member of several corporate boards, including Exelon Corporation, a Fortune 100 company. His fight for civil and human rights and his promotion of neighborhood economic development and housing reform have blazed a trail for other Latinos. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Sara Manzano.
Table of Contents
Foreword Henry Cisneros vii
1 Puerto Rico and Family History 1
2 Turning Points 9
3 Religious Awakening 31
4 Teenage Years 51
5 Law School 71
6 Early Professional Life and Activism 89
7 White House Fellowship, Running for Judge 113
8 Judicial Tenure (Part I), Temple University Hospital's Board of Governors, Teaching at Temple University Law School, Travels 143
9 Administrative Judge, General Counsel at Housing and Urban Development, Philadelphia City Solicitor 177
10 Run for Mayor, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, Reflections 215
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A compelling and inspirational read. Judge Díaz’s autobiography provides a blueprint for how judges and all public servants should strive to fight for social justice in their daily work. Judge Díaz’s story is also a timely story of the son of immigrants who was raised in a low income neighborhood but was able to overcome the odds and become a well renowned judge who broke racial barriers in the American legal system. Díaz’s story also provides a first person account of Philadelphia city politics in the 1980s and 1990s while also providing real insight into the city’s legal system.