School taught me so much, and I appreciate everyone of my teachers, but school never taught me about my own people. This year I made a decision to learn more about my own culture, my own people’s history, and the history of many Latino/Latinx cultures.
Let’s take this journey together.
I believe there was roughly one whole paragraph on Puerto Ricans within the text books while I was in grade school and high school. This article is longer than any lessons I have learned about any Latinx culture.
If you attended a school with an enriching Latinx curriculum, please share you story, your experience and your thoughts.
Too many times we are all grouped together, but we’re all different, and we’re all beautiful. All Latinos/Latinx are not just Mexicans, or just Cubans, or just Puerto Ricans, or just Domincans. The list is too vast to be looked over. We all played major roles in history.
Below I have listed books I’ve chosen to read this year to get a better understanding of history I wasn’t exposed to in school. Because I’m Puerto Rican, that’s my starting point, even though not all the books are specifically Puerto Rican.
- Folk Stories from the Hills of Puerto Rico by Rafael Ocasio
- Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico by Ed Morales
- History of Puerto Rico by Fernando Pico
- Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano
- Militant Puerto Ricans by Michael Gonzalez-Cruz
- Almost Citizens by Sam Erman
- Slave Revolts in Puerto Rico by Guillermo A Baralt
- The Young Lords: A Radical History by Johanna Fernandez
- Matters of Choice: Puerto Rican Women’s Struggle for Reproductive Freedom by Iris Lopez
- Healing Memories by Elizabeth Garcia
Biographies & Autobiographies
- Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption and Hollywood by Danny Trejo
- Rita Moreno: A Memoir by Rita Moreno
- Definitely Hispanic by LeJuan James
- Jose Marti: A Revolutionary Life by Alfred J. Lopez
- Latinos in Science, Math, and Professions by PHD David E Newton
- The People’s Poet: Life and Myth of Ismael Rivera, an Afro-Caribbean Icon by Rosa Elena Carrasquilla
If you have read any of these books, let’s chat. What’s your review and opinion? Have you discovered anything new about yourself or your people? What impact is reading these books having on you?
We can’t control what others teach us, but we do have the power to control what we learn. Education doesn’t start and end in school. Continue to learn on your own, everything you wished to learn but wasn’t provided.
I’m taking this journey because I’m looking to better understand history and my culture. The world doesn’t reflect the history I was taught, and if I want to make an impact in my community, I need to see the full picture.
Let’s learn together. Let’s grow together.
Maybe this isn’t a road you’re ready for. I wasn’t for a long time. I had to mature to get here. I had to want to see different perspectives to get here.
My wife and I have decided 2022 is a level up year. And how can we level up if we if we’re uneducated on our true foundation?
These are just some of my thoughts. What are yours?
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