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Jack Agüeros He Can't Even Read Spanish Script Collection

Identifier: MSS 20

Scope and Contents

This collection comprises one folder that contains the manuscript for a television drama titled “He Can’t Even Read Spanish,” as well as a letter to Lillian López, of New York Public Library’s South Bronx Project, and some promotional materials and New York Times article for an equivalent WNBC series title “They Can’t Even Speak Spanish.” Materials date from 1971.


  • 1971


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is held by author.

Biographical / Historical

Jack Agüeros was born in 1934 in East Harlem, New York City, the son of Joaquin Agüeros and Carmen Diaz Agüeros. Joaquin Agüeros moved to New York City in the mid-1920s from Puerto Rico, where he was a policeman; Carmen Diaz arrived in New York from Puerto Rico in 1931. Life for Puerto Ricans in New York during the Great Depression was hard; work was not easy to find, and Agüeros grew up in relative poverty in an immigrant area. After serving in the U.S. Air Force he attended Brooklyn College on the G.I. bill. Agüeros received grants and awards in three different disciplines--for poetry, fiction, and playwriting. He was the author of three books of poems: Lord, Is This a Psalm? (2002), Sonnets from the Puerto Rican (1996), and Correspondence Between the Stone Haulers (1991). Additionally, he was a dedicated community activist working in several East Harlem organizations and becoming a leader in cultural organizations. From 1977-1986, Agüeros served as the director of El Museo el Barrio, the only Puerto Rican museum on the mainland and instituted the long-running tradition of staging a Tres Reyes / Three Kings Parade through East Harlem. Jack Agüeros died in Manhattan on May 4, 2014, from complications of Alzheimer's disease.


0.05 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Spanish; Castilian

Metadata Rights Declarations

  • License: This record is made available under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons license.


The Jack Agüeros Collection contains the script for the television drama He Can’t Even Read Spanish, as well as promotional materials, a letter to Lillian López of the New York Public Library’s South Bronx Project and a New York Times article for a similar series on WNBC titled They Can’t Even Speak Spanish. Material dates from 1971.

Related Materials

Lillian Lopez Papers and Elba Cabrera Papers located in the Centro Archives. Jack Agüeros' archives are located at Columbia University Libraries Rare Books & Manuscript Library in New York City.

Jack Agüeros "He Can't Even Read Spanish" Script Collection
Pedro Juan Hernandez.
September 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • January 31, 2021: Notes updated by Pedro Juan Hernandez.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives of the Puerto Rican Diaspora Repository

Silberman Building, Hunter College
2180 Third Ave. Rm. 122
New York New York 10065

About the Collections

Our collections consist of personal papers from prominent Puerto Rican artists, elected officials, social activists, writers, as well as the records of community-based organizations. Our largest collection, the Offices of the Government of Puerto Rico in the United States (OGPRUS) Records, measures approximately 2,900 cubic feet and contains an extraordinary amount of information regarding Puerto Rican migrants and the government institutions established to assist them. The collections date from the 1890s to the present, and document Puerto Rican communities in the Northeast, Midwest, Florida, California and Hawaii.