I want to share something with you all. A little theory I have about Puerto Ricans in the United States. Yes I am Puerto Rican so I can speak intelligently on this subject.
A few years ago I decided to change my look in regards to the way I dress. I put down the name brand clothes and moved on to shirts that had pigs on it, hats that looked like a trucker would wear it and good ‘ole Levi’s jeans…I’ve since switched the jeans to Seven Jeans, they fit really good on me…I love those jeans. I also shaved off the “chin strap” beard I had and kept the goatee.
Now, I know you’re asking “By golly Rico, why did you ever do that”? Well…I had to make a change so I wouldn’t be lumped in with every other “urban” Puerto Rican that was walking around Atlanta.
“Urban” Puerto Rican?…does that mean there is such a thing as a “suburban” Rican? Why yes it does! In my 26 years of life I’ve noticed that certain nationalities have a harder time maintaining there culture in different places, such as Puerto Ricans. I will use Asians and Mexicans to support my hypothesis.
Asians and Mexicans to me are the prime example of being able to maintain their culture no matter where they are. It’s very simple why…
The population of Asians and Mexicans are very high in the US, so that means they can move to California, NY, Atlanta, Texas, Chicago, etc and still maintain their culture because when they get to wherever the final destination is, they have the opportunity to meet many people who share the same culture as they do. Are you following me?
Now, Puerto Ricans on the other hand, don’t have that wonderful luxury. We have that luxury in NY…that’s it! And no, not Miami, those are Cubans down there. (Some people like to lump all Hispanic cultures in the same “pot”) So for a Puerto Rican moving to Atlanta, they have 1 of 2 options…right…urban or suburban.
You either attach yourself to the black or white community. We can’t come together and hang with each other because there aren’t enough of us in the Atlanta area. I’ve met maybe a total of 5 Puerto Ricans in the 15 years I’ve lived in the ATL. I’m not exaggerating at all!
I myself fall in to the “urban” category for a couple of reasons. I’ve always been able to identify more with that category and I’ve always lived in “urban” areas. My cousins on the other hand are the exact opposite. They live in Cumming, GA…yes, there are people of color that live out there. So their lifestyle is more of a “suburban” style of living. The friends they have, the things they do for fun, and really their whole mentality is different. We both look at each other weird sometimes…like who are you trying to be? We all came from NY to Atlanta, but went in to 2 different areas and have 2 different mentalities. It is really interesting when you think about it. So that’s why my shirt is smaller than the average Puerto Rican…separation!
It’s hard to say everything I want to say and explain it in the detail that I would like to, but this is the overall theory I have. So when my book comes out, rest assure that there will be a nice section on this very issue. But I hope some of you understand what I mean. Have any of you had to conform to one side or the other? I would love to hear some of your experiences.
Till next time…
The views and opinions expressed in this blog do not reflect the views and opinions of The W.A.S. These are solely my beliefs.