Puerto Rico

I am writing today from within. I write from the roots of my being. I am an American, a Puerto Rican. I am the daughter of an island born on the mainland of a country in turmoil over identity. Today, I see inaction on behalf of other American citizens, on inhabitants of an island in despair.  Americans absent from inclusion, they live on an island bombarded by the waters of grief and we are all hurting. Our island is in trouble and we are stranded on the mainland, hopeless, fearful, and desperate.

La isla del encanto, la isla de mi niñez, drowned by a storm— is surfacing for air.

And I see all of us crying out for our people.

I see humanity emerging from the depths of tragedy.

We cry out with memories of a coqui singing, the sounds of parrandas bellowing through the night, el cuatro is the backdrop of my childhood, with trio music cascading through my memories.

I still smell el calor de la lluvia que cae en el verano and I hear my grandmother saying to me, “se caso la bruja, lluvia con sol.”  I can’t translate culture. I can’t turn this refrán into something that makes sense in English. Sometimes, I can’t make sense of myself in America, because I am  Puerto Rican. The earmarks of our culture lose meaning when we try to translate them.

We try to translate our being, our identity. We try to be American- but we don’t have to try because we are Americans with a dash of sazón.

Our culture is a mixture of history told over the sounds of an island’s melody for decades.

We are American. We are part of this country too; we are the people of a nation that ignores us.

We fight in wars, we work in your business, we are doctors, nurses, teachers, representatives, we even hold a position in the Supreme Court, we are Grammy award winners, Tony award winners, actors, actresses, sports players, musicians, rappers, poets, writers, executives, secretaries, your neighbors, and friends.

It saddens me that the tragedy which has fallen upon the birthplace of my ancestry has devastated the Motherland. But I want you to remember “Esta raza siempre es brava/ Aunque sople el temporal” (Residente, Hijos Del Cañaveral).

Don’t lose sight of the solidarity that has forged from this tragedy. Make an effort to help. Bring attention to the plight of our island; bring attention to the people of the island. Don’t sit down and remain silent, write letters make phone calls, donate money for relief efforts (Donating items is not always the best solution unless you know what is exactly needed. Avoid waste).

Find out where the relief efforts are, change the conversation of the nation unite with others and make CHANGE happen.

Dear Lady Liberty

Dear Lady Liberty,

As you stand in the harbor watching over our nation, I imagine the tears falling down your face. I imagine your heart has been broken by the problems we have created. I imagine that as you are standing in the harbor you are watching how we systematically kill your children.  Today, you are the figure of a mother burying her children.

We will destroy the liberty and freedom we fought to create over the years. Marches occurred to fight for our rights, but overnight we seemed to forget the power “We the people” have. We continue to marginalize groups of people because they are different.

We have forgotten our past and ignored our history. We have tried to erase it. We have ignored the wound and now it is infected, and I apologize. Lady Liberty. I apologize for not taking care of your children or valuing the idea of freedom and liberty.

I apologize for the lack of effort to promote unity.

I am sorry.

I will apologize to you when the rest of the nation is in turmoil. I apologize while everyone else ignores that movements and moments start at home.

I have hope that we learn how to respect our differences. I hope that we will not forget our past. I hope, that we learn how to improve our future. I hope that as a nation, we figure out how to move forward together.

I hope that as the turmoil subsides we learn that we all must be part of the solution. Sitting by is no longer an option. I hope that we learn that small actions matter just as much and large ones.  I hope that we realize that change starts and ends with our efforts We have to stand up and move forward together.

We cannot forget the harsh truth of our past.  The hurt and pain we have faced as a nation. We cannot forget how you, Lady Liberty, witnessed what we have become as a nation. How we have built ourselves up by oppression. You watch how we beat down on others just to build up this American identity—an American identity which spans beyond the white skin or brown skin or yellow skin or tan skin, that any one of us possess. Our history is ugly, but our future can be great.

Our present should not be a movement to rewind the clock.

Lady Liberty, I extend my hand to offer you hope. All is not lost, but these are trying times.

I hope that I will leave a better nation for my children, for your children and all children.

I hope that we take back the power that we have been given as citizens and exercise our rights.

I hope that we understand.

Love,
Hopeful America

Copyright © Delia Marrero 2017 All rights reserved.

Music Mondays: Residente’s Rap

Residente is one of my favorite rappers.

If you don’t understand Spanish, then you may not understand my fascination with this artist, but regardless I am going to share. My children listen to everything I listen to because they are always with me. Usually, my oldest daughter does not like my music choices but when she listened to Immigrants for the first time and heard Residente’s part she stated, “I feel bad for people who can’t understand Spanish because he killed it.” In other words she thought it was good.

Renee Perez, better known as Residente, has won a Nobel Peace Summit Award.  He has a  Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in computer animation. He makes references in his raps from Don Quixote to injustice. Residente is a part of a group named Calle 13, they have won approximately 24 Grammy awards. He provides lyrically rich content mixed with a real understanding of social justice. Then, switches it up to create an up tempo raunchy hit.

He’s an advocate of educaition and social justice and I just love him! Super Fan Girl and I don’t care!

About the Music:

The first one is an 8 minute dis track for a rapper named Tempo who wanted to battle over a comment Residente made about the genre of Reaggeaton being stale. Unfortunaltey, Tempo cant compare! Round two happened and Residente made a follow-up distrack, 11-minutes that just showed his superiority in the genre, once again.

Immigrants from Hamilton’s mixtape. “Sin pasaporte americano porque la mitadad de gringolandia es terreno Mexicano.” Loosely translated: “Without a passport because half of America was Mexican territory.”

El Aguante talks about all the thing we put up with as a people and society.

“aguantamos el que vende balas y el que la dispara
aguantamos la muerte de Lennon, la de Víctor Jara
aguantamos muchas guerras, la de Vietnam, la Guerra Fría
la Guerra de los Cien Años, la Guerra de los Seis Días”

We put up with those who sell the guns and those who pull the trigger
We put up with Lennon’s death and Victor Jara’s too
We put up with wars, Vietnam, the Cold War, the 100 years War, the Six-Day War.

Enjoy!

Music Monday’s

I forgot it was Monday and that I should be sharing some music. In the spirit of this weekend-here are my choices.

Notice the recurring theme!

Because I am a queen that thing goes on-and-on.

Let’s Share: Mary Beth

I made a new friend at a conference I attended over the weekend. Please stop by her and visit her blog. She was absolutely delightful and kind. She definitely had an infectious smile.

Happy Monday!

https://mbcoudal.com/about/

 

Monday Music Mania

I first came across Snow Tha Product when I purchased The Hamilton Mixtape. I don’t know why I didn’t think of looking her up then. Her flow crosses the language line with ease, she’s a rapper.

So when the Immigrants video dropped last week I went to YouTube to look at what she’s done.

With her fitted caps and shades she’s getting back to rap! She isn’t a Waste of Time, she’s not hitting the Snooze she Woke,  she better not leave that’s No Lie.

I genuinely appreciate her style and music. It’s refreshing to hear a female rapper that can really hold her own lyrically and doesn’t need to flaunt anything but her skill!  “She raps that fire” in more than one language.

Underneath My Pale Skin

Underneath my pale skin-

below this white concealment
the spirit of;

African beats;
Taino blood;
European conquest-
this is the Caribbean echo of my being;

The blood which flows-

Exposing this-
American identity.

 My history;
I recall-
The darker skins that preceded me.

The caramel flesh my daughters possess; the tangled hair that sits on their head
a mixed tone of inclusion;
Identify my Afro-Caribbean-Indian-European mix.

Rhythmic drums,
pounding out the tears,
of the island’s sing-song melody.

Composed with time;
two worlds collide;
to produce the American in me.

Bonjour

Bonjour.
Parlez vous française?

No.
Not really

Un peu?
Maybe just a little.
Je m’appelle….
Et toi?

Mon nom est…
Comment allez-vous?

Ça va bien
Enchanté
Ok.
I think I might know a little
Just not enough

Merci beaucoup.
Bonsoir.

High-school French
Sounds come flooding back.

Un deux trois
l’alphabet
Je ne sais pas
Je t’aime mon ami