When you grow up a minority in the US, especially Puerto Rican, you grow up assimilating. In every sense, you live in a bubble – the American dream, American history, American politics, American flag and very rarely do you see yourself in the images and the stories being told around you and in film or media.
Many of us kids of the “diaspora” as we’re called, rarely get to step foot on the 100×35 miles that make up a world of stories, of culture, of art and history we all may never fully learn completely. Some of that history was burned and can’t be recovered. Hidden like a jewel in the backdrop of American history and politics is our own, an island colony that was taken over from the Spanish, the site of a genocide of Native Americans that to this day we bear the markings of.
The blood that runs through us still holds the DNA of Indigenous Taino people. But when the news feeds you all the latest on Meghan Markle or Billie Eilish (who I love!), or the attention hungry Trump grabs the media by their … It’s hard to focus on where you come from. Popular media doesn’t really care about the marginalized but as someone I care about always says, the stories that we all love, are the stories of the outsiders, the underdogs.
But as we reclaim our roots, let’s also take stock.
Solidarity has been hard to come by but after Maria, we are seeing a new Boriken emerge.
I still wonder how I and others will recover from the pain and the deaths we all experienced. I do have hope that we will. Every Puerto Rican I meet inspires me to raise my chin a little higher. And most especially my mom, because the last time I saw her I felt a shift and it felt good. Perhaps the tides really are turning.
Today’s episode is about that, about all of us coming together to speak to our experiences, to give ourselves permission to claim our space. Assimilation and identity. Latinos deal with these issues in many ways.
But being different is not a flaw, it is a super power.
For today’s interview I speak with @therealNasim
Nasim is a writer and actress that speaks about what we all go through, as Americans but also Latinos in this country, when we don’t see ourselves represented in film or media. Nasim and I talk about what it was like to be the only brown girl in a sea of white kids, and how hard it was to feel accepted in a culture that celebrates blond hair or blue eyes. We don’t have to hide or be ashamed though, because we are living in a time where culturally we have woken up to that. That’s why I was so glad she got in touch. I wanted to speak to someone who could share the same feelings I had, because I know we are not alone in how we feel.
We know who we are.
Now let’s get it.
Abuelita the Film: