Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Me Ven Asi?

While it has not been widely known, the first Puerto Rican migrants to the U.S. were deeply concerned with their depiction in the media. Through a wide network of civic, cultural and political organizations, these pioneros confronted discrimination. In 1940, Scribner's Commentator ran an article entitled "Welcome Paupers and Crime: Puerto Rico's Shocking Gift to the U.S.," which said,

"…all Puerto Ricans were totally lacking in moral values, which is why none of them seemed to mind wallowing in the most abject moral degradation."

While forty Puerto Rican organizations, including the Asociación de Escritores y Periodistas Puertoriqueño, organized against this article (Bernardo Vega, p. 203), seven years later the World Telegram ran a series of equally vitriolic articles. This too was met with a vociferous demonstration and picket line that stretched for several blocks (Bernardo Vega, p. 231).

~ excerpted from Puerto Rican Cinema in New York: from the margin to the center by Lillian Jiménez

Ha ha ha. Ha ha. Ha.

Hrm. Not funny.

I am doing a little web research about Puerto Rican cinema and I come across this article. I have also been reading a modern history of Latinos simply titled, Latinos.

After finishing the Kite Runner I ran to the next book to find a sense of self and of place and to have an "academic" perspective on Puerto Rico. Culture is very different when written in academic terms than when sat down to a meal, dancing to music, or addressing one's family. It's foreign and strange to read of one's culture as schizophrenic and impure.

Sera una borica? Is is a Puerto Rican who is writing this?

One must always read with a critical eye, clearly.

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