There is something astounding you feel within when you share a certain kind of suffering with someone. It was naïve of me to think that there was no one else out there who’d understand my sentiments. Yet here we are. I’m a Nuyorican. And for anyone who doesn’t know what that is, it’s a Puerto Rican from New York. Yup — we have a name. Growing up apart of this community comes with its own way of life… like everyone else on earth.
I was able to really identify with the poem in this video because both the author, Noel Quiñones, and I had struggled with one of the same Nuyorican problems. Not speaking Spanish. All of what he mentions resonated deeply with me, some things more than others. Like for instance… it struck a nerve when he said it was like a countdown when you encountered someone who spoke Spanish to you or when he said, “it’s not lying if I feel something,” when I try to speak my “native” tongue. I hope you guys can enjoy it as thoroughly as I did. The video is below.
And I will say one last thing — people like us do belong. We create the identity of those like us and build our own space to thrive. And we don’t prevail even if it means using Google translator.