Do Puerto Ricans not like being called ‘black’?

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  • #6209

    Julie
    Participant

    I’ve seen someone say a Rihanna was black because she had some obvious African features, but another person got defensive and quickly corrected the person saying that she was Puerto Rican. Rihanna is actually from the Bahamas. Why is it that some people from Puerto Rico or Cuba deny their African ancestry when many obviously have it? Do they not like it?

    User Detail :  

    Name : Julie, Gender : F, City : Austin, State : TX Country : United States, 
    #36997

    Ann L. Lowenstein
    Participant

    Would you be offended if complete strangers consistently identified you as, oh, say, Swedish or French, solely because of your appearance? Irrespective of what they ‘look like’, people from Puerto Rico or the Bahamas or Cuba are Puerto Rican or Bahamian or Cuban, and yes, they obviously don’t like ignorant Crackers like you misidentifying them based on their appearance.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ann L. Lowenstein, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : White/Caucasian, Religion : Animist, Age : 37, City : K.C., State : MO Country : United States, Occupation : Administrative Assistant, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #20185

    George19775
    Participant

    I, too, have wondered about this. I just do not get how some Puerto Ricans can go on and on about how ‘Spanish’ they are when it’s painfully obvious that they have African features. The last time I checked, Spaniards did not have flat noses, thick lips, and kinky and/or coarse hair. There is a joke among some people that Puerto Ricans have an identity crisis. One day they want to be Puerto Rican. The next day they want to be Spanish. The day after that, they want to be black. The next day they want to be white. Go figure.

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    Name : George19775, City : Houston, State : TX Country : United States, Occupation : Attorney, 
    #28697

    Nelson-A19780
    Participant

    I’m Venezuelan but I have many Puerto Rican friends, from blonde blue-eyed to dark black. First of all, Puerto Rican is not a Race. In Puerto Rico, the vast majority is brownish skinned, the ‘mestizo’ type, there are also white-caucasians, blacks and even a small asian community, just like here in Venezuela. Cuba is pretty much the same, with people of all colors. The person that got defensive is definitely American influenced, where white-caucasian is what many want to be. Mexicans for example have almost ZERO african communities, so they see blacks like something foreign (they are brown and white, but the mexican whites don’t emmigrate). Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia and others along the Caribbean have african roots. Do Puerto Ricans feel offended if called blacks? If you call a blonde Puerto Rican black (a true Puerto Rican, not an Americanized race-consciuos one), he’ll take it with humor because it’s obviously a joke. If he’s brown, he’ll say ‘yeah, my great great grandfather was black’, and if he’s black he’ll say nothing because calling a black friend or acquaintance ‘mi negro’ is absolutely ok.

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    Name : Nelson-A19780, Gender : M, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Age : 37, City : Caracas, State : NA Country : Venezuela, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #35794

    Daryl
    Participant

    I believe that you are allowed to accept the identy of the place you are born it. Its your motherland irrespective of where your parents are from or what your ancestry is. Calling a person with african features African is like calling a white Philadelphian – Dutch!!? Yes a caucassian may share features with certain or all white Europeans but he or she still has the freedom to be called an American. Even though his or her bloodline could have originated in the old world, they have every right to be considered American or Bahamian or Puerto Rican or Cuba. They are not denying their ancestry. They just have pride for their motherland.

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    Name : Daryl, Gender : M, Race : Asian, Age : 30, City : Fort Worth, State : TX Country : United States, 
    #14768

    Christine19796
    Participant

    well this question is obvious. lots of hispanic people deny african roots because of perceptions of Africans/Blacks.

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    Name : Christine19796, Gender : F, Race : Black/African American, Age : 19, City : hartford, State : CT Country : United States, 
    #18291

    Charles28698
    Participant

    I beleive there are two reasons: (1) People from ‘those’ countries are fiercely proud of their heritage/culture and want you to acknowledge it and (2) being ‘black’ often carries a negative connotation. When you consider statistics regarding blacks, they are rarely positive. To wit, education level, median income, teeanage pregnancy, incarceration rates, etc. While not all blacks fit the above ‘stereotypes’, you find a higher percentage of ‘blacks’ in those negative categories than Whites and Asians. Being labeled in that group is a negative, so I believe some darker pigmented people choose to be ‘other’ races. I know a black lady born here in the states who went so far as to create an ‘exotic’ accent so she would be better accepted by America. I myself am black and prefer it to ‘African-American’. Black, for me, connotes survivor of slavery, creator of the FIRST AMERICAN music genre – jazz, creators of ‘cool’ that so many races and culture want to emulate and many other things. A white Afrikaaner (sp?) could come to the U.S. and be an African American.

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    Name : Charles28698, City : Pasadena, State : CA Country : United States, 
    #45052

    Deirdre
    Member

    I think you might have answered your own question. Ancestry. Its not so much the fact of not wanting to be called black, but wanting to be called what they truly are. People ask me alot if I am Mexican or if I am Puerto Rican, and well frankly the list goes on and on. I correct them and tell them that I am biracial. Not because I would be ashamed of being latino but because of what I am.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Deirdre, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : black and white, Religion : Baptist, Age : 19, City : Greeneville, State : TN Country : United States, Occupation : Student, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #16040

    Ernest
    Participant

    I have seen tons of Puerto Ricans with painfully obvious African features getting defensive when they are called black. Some have gone so far as to calling themselves white or Spanish, which leads me to ask, ‘Since when do Spaniards have African features?’

    User Detail :  

    Name : Ernest, Gender : M, Race : White/Caucasian, Age : 47, City : Minneapolis, State : MN Country : United States, Education level : Over 4 Years of College, Social class : Upper middle class, 
    #42833

    Frank
    Participant

    To answer your question: Because Puerto Ricans (and others) identify with their ethnicity more than their skin color. As an extremely ‘White’ Puerto Rican, I have friends (and family) who are on the other end of the melanin spectrum and yet we are all ‘Puerto Rican’. We consider being Boriqueño as being part of a whole and prefer not to be identified by our skin color.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Frank, Gender : M, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Hispanic/Latino (may be any race), Religion : Pagan, Age : 39, City : Los Angeles, State : CA Country : United States, Occupation : Military, Education level : 2 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
    #35644

    Jesse
    Member

    It’s not that. In many Latin American countries they try not to classify themselves by race, but nationality. In these countries, it is more important to be Cuban, than a Black/White Cuban because it shows a since of unity regardless of what race you belong to.

    User Detail :  

    Name : Jesse, Gender : F, Sexual Orientation : Straight, Race : Black/African American, Religion : Agnostic, Age : 25, City : New Orleans, State : LA Country : United States, Education level : 4 Years of College, Social class : Middle class, 
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