A graduate student, who identified herself as a Black Latino woman, shares with the Lesley community a poem that she wrote when she was an adolescent. Nowadays, being bicultural may cause identity based struggles because of negative social interactions. However, this young girl talks proudly and funnily about acceptance and identity.
Yo so Boricua pa’que tu lo sepa! I’m Puerto Rican just so you know! YES. I. Am!
You don’t look Puerto Rican they say, but what does a Puerto Rican look like?
Are they the fair-skinned, dark brown hair, thick mami’s direct from P.R. like Roslyn Sanchez? Or is the tough Nuyorican from Brooklyn like Rosie P. I wonder what ethnicity they see when they look at me? I’ve gotten Dominican, Haitian, Jamaican, Panamanian, Cuban & even Cape Verdean.
What? Kuze? Bo sta brinca? Are you serious?
No offense to those cultures just mentioned but I’m curious, why not Puerto Rican?? Is it cause I don’t have the “pretty Spanish hair”, you know the kind so soft & shiny, hair so dark the bottom of an ocean’s abyss would be too bright; with waves so deep it’ll make you sea sick.
Or is it when I speak Spanish it sounds like I just stepped out of How to speak like a Puertorriqueña 101, got everybody saying “look! she tryna be Puerto Rican just for fun”.
Nah man, this is who I am, this is part of me, Puerto Rico es mi pais!
Now, some of ya’ll are like, look in the mirror you can’t see it any clearer, YOU BLACK!
Come one now there’s no way in hell I can deny that, but I’m saying see my other side as well, let me show & tell, tell, tell you about the summers I”ve spent in P.R. waiting for the piragua man selling snowcones out the trunk of his car.
The smell of titi Ita concinando maduros, tostones, empanadas y arroz con habichuelas, while abuela chasing after my bad-ass lil cousins with her chancleta.
Now some of ya’ll might not understand my frustration being a Morenita, but when I try to explain the part about my being Boricua it seems to get lost in translation.
I have the best of both worlds —Puerto Rican and Black and in my opinion you can’t get much more flavorful than that!