The Nombres—originally the Pacesetters—were one of the first groups in post-Project Bootstrap Ohio that reflected the influx of Puerto Ricans to Lorain in the 1950s. Their arrival was intimidating to the town’s segregated population, as newspapers and local officials set to the task of informing the public that Puerto Ricans were by-and-large educated, religious, and, like it or not U.S. Citizens. The Lorain Journal was not the only rustbelt publication to issue back-handed compliments when the new kids on the block did something photogenic. Although the declaration that these talented teens were playing music “to better their lot” reads a hair derogatory, the Pacesetters/Nombres did set an excellent example for generations of musical Puerto Ricans of Ohioan descent.
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