Monday, May 11, 2009

Puerto Rican Identity

Puerto Rican astronaut..... wait! I mentioned Joe Acaba this past weekend in conversation about Puerto Rico. The conversation was about several issues facing Puerto Rico including the issue of whether those born in the U.S. can call themselves Puerto Rican. A family member mentioned that she had been told, when she was in P.R., that she was not a real Puerto Rican but a Nuyorican. She was okay with that, I, on the other hand, have never applied that term to myself as I feel it is not me (not that I don't like it). I may have been born in New York but I very much consider myself of Puerto Rican descent and nothing else. I have no qualms with who I am.
Puerto Ricans born on the island have been U.S. citizens since 1917. Does that make them any more or less American than I am? Very touchy, should I go there? I feel no less/more Puerto Rican than those born on the island. I didn't choose to be born where I was born but I do choose to call myself that which I identify with the most: Yo soy Boricua, soy Puerto Puertoriqueño y para mi, negar me de eso es negar me de mi identidad! Puerto Rico nacio en mi!
Now where does Joe Acaba fit into this? If you read his bio, he was born and raised in California. Yes, he is the first Puerto Rican in space. Is he now a real Puerto Rican because he went into space? Hmm..Think about that. Nonetheless, be proud. He made an appearance at the Puerto Rican Association of Central Florida. Read about it here..

Boricuas and Nuyoricans--Indeed! By Miriam Jiménez Román: Revista Harvard Review of Latin America

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