When I took this picture, and read Lola Rodriguez story it brought me to tears. This is my family in Puerto Rico these are my Aunts, Cousins, and Grandma. When I saw this picture once again after taking it and reading the Lola Rodriguez story, I noticed my male cousin was in the center of this picture; it bothers me a bit. Not because she is a bad person, but till this day my grandma still believes in the stereotypical household, that one must do everything for their husband and it hurts me. It upsets me, my aunts were raised to think the same way. My grandmother never went to school but I wish she would have been exposed to more women like Lola. My family growing up, were afraid to fight for what was theirs, however Lola’s poetry set so many people free and I wish it got into the hands of my family so they could also be set free. The way Lola feels about Puerto Rico is exactly how I feel so prideful and free, wroth the fight. Mi Isla Del Encanto, I talk about Puerto Rico and my family so much because they motivate me and I hope to one day motivate them.
My legacy of being a Nuyorican
Will not die
You must be a Mulatta
Why did my ancestor have to be questioned?
Money buys color
Why did my ancestors need money to be colored?
Lola Rodriguez de Tió
Fought for me y mi mama
So much devotion
Why did I not know about my ancestors until now?
Hay, Pantoja thank you…
For the education of the latinx community
As I take this pen I write my legacy
So listen to this rhythm of my story
De pura sepa!
Ya hear that
But your too dark to be Puerto Rican
You probably do not even speak spanish
Claro que si.
From hate, to being unwanted
But your ignorance is meaningless
I am still Puerto Rican
But you are just a girl, a spanish one too!
I am college, making your perception of me
I am still that Puerto Rican woman
Long Hair, Caramel Skin
I never hated being in my own skin
I love being a leader …
When I walk into a room I am Lola, I am my legacies
And forever will embrace that.
Behind This Mask
Spend a day in Loiza
My blackness is embraced
Full of life and colors
Colorism in my town is not pointed out
I am Loiza, soy Latina
I decided to pick this picture because when reading stories within This Bridge Called My Back, I could not put the book down because I related so much to it. This was inspired the poem Chrystos, especially the part that says “Take this mask of bark which keeps out the evil ones”. This stood out to me because in Loiza; the members who can participate in carnivals use these colored mask, but they are not as pleasant. The reason for that from what my grandmother told me the mask was used to scare off evil. Growing up, I have always felt like I had a mask because I was afraid to show I was. However, the more I learned about my culture I embraced that my there are many women like me that also have felt pushed away and not recognized. This book is truly powerful! I love who I am and the mask that I have finally broke.