What is the National Puerto Rican Day Parade to a Boricua in Iowa?

I’ve never lived in a Puerto Rican stronghold. Aside from my three years in Texas and a postdoc in a Latina/o studies program in Illinois, I’ve never really lived or worked in a big Latin@ community, either. And somehow — despite all the research and other trips over the years — I’ve never been in New York City in mid-June. While I’ve watched, in awe, the glorious spectacle that is the Puerto Rican Day Parade, I’ve never experienced it in person. So what does the annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade today mean to me? Continue reading “What is the National Puerto Rican Day Parade to a Boricua in Iowa?”

Readings to Celebrate Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans

It’s a big weekend for Puerto Ricans in New York! The annual “National Puerto Rican Day Parade” in Manhattan will run from 11am-5pm EDT on Sunday June 14 and the parade returns to Brooklyn’s Sunset Park with a parade that goes from 5-8:30pm. Beyond pride in being Puerto Rican, Boricuas from around the world will also be celebrating a rich cultural heritage and a long history. As I write about in my new book, the Young Lords (in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and elsewhere) are a key part of that history in the diaspora.

With that history and heritage in mind, I wanted to offer a list of books on Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans that can and does enrich and inform the coming celebrations. The list is history-heavy because that’s what I’m more familiar with and it’s also what people have been talking about in the lead-up to the parades. Due to the way Amazon’s links work, I’ve limited the list to some recent books only … with the exception of the first, which is an amazing entry point into Puerto Rican history, literature, culture, politics, etc. Another recent list includes 26 must-reads (most of which I’m not including here) that you should check out as well.  In no particular order, here are the books (with descriptions from Amazon). Continue reading “Readings to Celebrate Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans”