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Rican Issues

By <a href="/centrovoices/meet-the-authors/carmen-bardeguez-brown">Carmen Bardeguez–Brown</a>

Rican Issues

Say  What?
Could you please, Pleaseeeeeeeeeee repeat
Did you said:” Molleta?
Ohh African!
Hmmmmm, Soy Puertoriqueña.
Yes, Puertorican.
That I don’t look What ?
Oh , I guess I don’t look cafe con leche
mancha de plátano
high yellow
By the way
I did not know that there was a Puerto Rican look.
And, what exactly is that?
That I just look more what?
¿Y    Tu   abuela   donde    Esta?
I should said abuela, tío, tia, y todo el barrio
Let me tell you something
For your information
Most Ricans are a mixed of Africans, Spaniards and Native Americans called Tainos
By the way no one has seen a Taino in the last 500 years.
So  exactly... You know what that means
My   English is covered with spices
spices from theCaribbean
Spices that you might find Strange
Because you were born in this cold fast food mall of a country
Where Spanish is a foreign word
That you are ashamed to learn
And when you try
Is not there
Only mumbles of a  murmur
Susurando el olvido
A regañadientes
Escondiendo la vergüenza.
You remember Puerto Rico on the 2nd Sunday of every June
When everybody is suddenly proud to be Puerto Rican.
No the word is  Boricua
Boricuas here, Boricuas there, Boricuas everywhere
And everyone waves the flags
The flags that they don’t even understand
And no one knows why they are here.
Yes HERE Now
Do you Know ?
why your parents or grandparents, vinieron aquí?
¿De    que   Pueblo?
¿Cuando te bañastes en las aguas calientes del Caribe?
Better yet
Do you really know that…?
We all came from the motherland
Even the Spanish people that came with Colon, Columbus
However you want to say it
Lived 700 hundred years under the Moors.
You heard that right.
The moors as in Arabs as in black Arabs
SO … in other words
Not only I
But we
Have over 500 years of African mestizaje
The so called “white people that everyone is so proud of”
As in “my grand parents are from Spain
Well if they are...
Too   have negrITOs in them.
Remember the Gitanos
But that is another story…
Getting back to the Boricuas  issue
What history do you know?
Ever heard of
Albizu Campos
Pales Matos
Rafael Betances
Arturo Shomburg
Francisco Oller
Julia De Burgos
Rafael Hernandez
Segundo Ruiz Belvis
Enrique Laguerre
Mariana Bracetti
Pedro Pietri
Still havING problems figuring me out?
Or is it that you  just don’t know

Who you are?

© Carmen Barduguez-Brown. Published by permission in Centro Voices on 10 April 2015.