The Puerto Rican Day Parade has a dark secret.
It has nothing to do with celebrities, rich corporations, or slick politicians.
It is a deep mystery, from the heart and history of Puerto Rico, which explains the whole parade…
Seventy years ago, Boricuas were given the worst jobs and housing in New York City. They were also beaten by their neighbors and the NYPD.
And yet in 1958, some brave Boricuas dared to hold a humble parade where they could march with pride, arm-in-arm, through the heart of Manhattan.
Mothers clapped their hands…to the bombas and plenas of their childhood.
Fathers schooled their children…explaining the floats dedicated to Puerto Rican towns known for sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, pineapples and plantains.
The Puerto Rican pride spread rapidly.
By 1966, the parade was already a “must do” event for politicians and celebrities.
Today, the parade is a celebrity spectacle with 2 million spectators, 100,000 marchers, and a stampede of corporate sponsors.
Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Hillary Clinton and Mayor Bloomberg have all “starred” in it.
But even as “The Parade” has become one of the nation’s largest outdoor celebrations, there is a secret that few people suspect…
A secret that reaches into the heart of every Puerto Rican, without their even knowing it.
It is the secret of the Puerto Rican flag.
AN INCREDIBLE DISPLAY
Have you ever noticed the wild, uncontrollable, impassioned display of flags at every Puerto Rican Day Parade?
No matter where you look…it is a tidal wave of flags!
Mile after mile, you see this:
And even this:
This is no coincidence.
There is a deep reason for this emotional attachment.
There is a reason why Que Bonita Bandera and Preciosa bring tears to our eyes…and sometimes we don’t even know why.
It is because this flag represents an ideal…the ideal of lost youth and forgotten illusions…just like last night’s dream, or tomorrow’s TV advertisement.
But there is one more reason, why this flag is the emotional heart of the parade.
It is the secret which explains everything.
We adore our flag because for many years, any Puerto Rican who owned one, would go to jail for ten years.
THEY TRIED TO CRUSH DON PEDRO
For many years, the United States wanted only one flag in Puerto Rico.
Here is that flag, in the inauguration of the first US Governor of Puerto Rico, in April 1900:
Pedro Albizu Campos refused to salute this flag.
In order to crush Don Pedro and the Nationalist movement, a law was passed in 1948, right after Don Pedro got out of jail.
It was called Public Law 53, and also known as La Ley de la Mordaza…the Gag Law.
Law 53 made it a felony to sing a song, whistle a tune, or utter one word against the US government, or in favor of Puerto Rican independence.
This included singing La Borinqueña, or owning a Puerto Rican flag.
Own a flag…ten years in jail.
Every day, the FBI and Insular Police raided people’s homes, searched for flags, and hauled Puerto Ricans off to jail.
They did it all over the island.
In November 1950, they arrested 3,000 Puerto Ricans within one week! Some of them were only eight years old.
In many cases the flag – all by itself – was the sole piece of evidence.
Own a flag…ten years in jail.
The Gag Law violated the US constitution. But it took nine years to repeal it, in 1957.
The very next year, in 1958, the first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held in New York City.
THE PARADE EXPLODES
The Puerto Rican flags and celebration were everywhere…the passion was astonishing…New York had never seen anything like it!
The Puerto Rican Day parade exploded into New York City, with the emotion and power of an entire people…that had finally found a voice…for one day…on Fifth Avenue.
The politicians couldn’t explain it, but they did know one thing…that they better get in front of this parade, and yell “¡Que viva Puerto Rico!”
That much they did understand.
THE DEEP SECRET OF OUR PARADE
The deep secret of the Puerto Rican Day Parade is this:
The parade was born in the hearts of an entire nation…where everyone was declared a criminal… if they dared to show their flag.
And now for one beautiful day, through the heart of New York City, we show that flag to the whole world.
Let them throw a Financial Control Board at us.
Let the US Supreme Court call us a “territorial possession.”
We all know what is in our hearts, and in our memory…
We will never give up our island…
And that is why we will win.
Que bonita bandera
Que bonita bandera
Que bonita bandera es la bandera Puertorriqueña
¡ QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO !
Interesting story But given the fact that the story is a DARK SECRET , and therefore 90 percent of Puerto Ricans don’t know the story . It is then false to say that the above story is the reason for todays passion for the flag.
Una patria una bandera la mono estrellada.
Our history was not so pleasant upon our early arrival to the USA we were not welcomed with open arms. Good to know how our forefathers were treated in the early days a lesson well learned. I have learned some of our history through some these little snipets of our history some bad n a lot of bad! I am a nuyorican n it’s sad that I am only now at 65 years ole, I’m learning about what my parents had endured coming to the USA n the things they endured on the Island back in the day.
Great information. Passing it on to teenagers who I know don’ t know this aspect of their culture. Love our Puerto Rican Flag Always and our culture must continue Always. We cannot forget the past struggles.
People beware, the government is eager for P.R. To become a state, in subtle moves it will one day be.
I didn’t know all of this, and yes now I am prouder to be PUERTO RICAN! So now I understand a lot of other things that is going on with our ppl and Island!!
Borne and raised in PR until I was 20 yrs of age and never knew about this till now. I thank you for this information about our passion for the Puerto Rico flag because now I understand the warmth in my heart when I heard La Borinqueña and see our flag flowing in the air♥️
Yes, Que Viva Puerto Rico. CoCo Records and Harvey Averne Love you Mucho. “Isla Del Encanto” & “Puerto Rico” & “Canta A Borqiuen are just some examples of so many Coco Records songs that sing our undying love.
This book should enlighten the greatest civil rights attorneys: Bring the Constitution to It’s Oder for the law of the land! For all its citizens! Erase the evil inflicted on its citizens… Those who have fought in all Wars to enjoy the same freedoms given by the Constitution! Smash the hypocrisy of laws implemented on the people of Puerto Rico!
Great reading..there is also a movie the Boriqueneers great movie alot of history of puerto rico and sad this isnt taught in schools.
Yes, America( USA) has too many secrets…viva puerto rico!…
La historia es credible cuando se narra conforme ocurrió…… tratar de darle el toque patriotico para que le agrade a los izquierdistas no es sensato.
¨The solution to ignorance is education, not insults.¨ Jose Luis Venegas
DURING MY EXISTENCE, A TOTAL OF 83 YEARS, THE DESIRE FOR PUERTO RICO TO BE FREE, WAS WRITTEN IN LYRICS OF SONGS LIKE LA BORINQUEÑA, PRECIOSA, ETC., THAT DREAM OF FREEDOM LIVED EVERY DAY IN THE HEARTS OF ALL PUERTO RICANS, AND STILL DOES ! I RECALLED BEING MISTREATED DURING MY YOUTH IN EL BARRIO, BRONX, AND BROOKLYN. EVERYWHERE I LIVED, I WAS CONSIDERED AN OUTSIDER. I WAS PHYSICALLY ABUSED BY THE IRISH AND ITALIANS, SIMPLY BECAUSE I HAD THE NEED TO ATTEND SCHOOL WITH THEM AND ALSO CROSS ‘ THEIR TERRITORY ‘ FOR WHATEVER REASON. I WAS RAISED IN 110TH ST. WHICH IS THE HEART OF EL BARRIO. OUR SO CALLED DESIGNATED TERRITORY WAS FROM 100TH ST. TO 118TH ST., FROM 5TH AVE. TO 3RD AVE. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU CROSSED YOUR DESIGNATED TERRITORY, YOUR CHANCES OF RECEIVING A BEATING BY THE INHABITANTS OF THAT NEIGHBORHOOD, WHICH YOU WERE BANNED FROM, WERE EMINENT. I DECIDE TO GET AWAY FROM THAT TYPE OF LIFE. I JOINED THE U.S. AIR FORCE DURING THE KOREAN WAR AND SERVED HONORABLY IN THE DEFENSE OF THIS COUNTRY FOR FOUR YEARS, AND AN ADDED FOUR AS A RESERVIST.
I LIVED THOSE TURBULENT YEARS OF GANGS OCCUPYING CERTAIN AREAS OF SPANISH HARLEM. WE PUERTO RICANS FOUGHT FOR A PLACE IN THE CITY AND WE CONQUERED. AFTER ALL, IT IS THE LAND OF THE FREE AND EVERYONE IS SUPPOSED TO BE WELCOMED.
ANYWAY, DEEP IN MY HEART AND THOUSANDS OF PUERTO RICANS THE DESIRE TO BE FREE WILL ALWAYS EXIST. HOWEVER, MY QUESTION IS AS FOLLOWS. WILL OUR ISLAND BE ABLE TO SURVIVE BY ITSELF ON IT’S OWN ? THAT IS THE THOUGHT WHICH HAS PERTURBED MY MIND FOR MANY YEARS. YES I LOVE LA BORINQUEÑA, PRECIOSA ANDD EVRYTHING ABOUT MY ISLAND, BUT WILL SOMEONE EXPLAIN IF IT IS PLAUSIBLE TO EXIST ON OUR OWN.
The parade has turned into the largest commercial on earth,benefiting everyone but Puerto Ricans….It is all about the MONEY,MONEY,MONEY…I STILL WOULD GO TO THE PARADE BUT WITH A DIFFERENT MINDSET.
Awesome story good to know historyluke this represent.. wepa
We lost Puerto Rico because of the greed of money, corruption in our politics that abuse the power and sold their people out by letting them think that they can receive Federal money ,and never have to pay taxes , everything will be ok. WRONG! Your own government makes you pay outrageous prices for everything you buy, and the money they receive for local taxes they put it in their pocket and now the island is bankrupt and crime is up. People leaving because its that bad. I love Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 but the only way is statehood. Or you going to loose everything and even your citizenship.
I’m 61 years old I lived and a saw a different pride of why my family and I celebrated during NYC’s Puerto Rican Day Parade. I’ve read some of the stories shared by some of my younger counterparts who have written so eloquently their views of what “La Parada” means to them and some of their families. I arrived via American Airlines out of San Juan, Puerto Rico to Nueva Yol, U.S.A. I was 11 months old. My father had established a home for us in a community in Hartford, Connecticut known to house families of retired and disabled veterans of the wars from Korea, the second and first world wars too. My father was “eligible” for that community known as Charter Oak Terrace where it was built back in 1942 across from the dump of one of Connecticut’s and Hartford’s most “affluent communities”.
My father as astute enough to know that that community was put there because it was at the end of the world for veterans and it was supposed to be a community that would bring not only American pride to the returning veterans and their families but to all others who witnessed how Hartford treated their returning Vets and their families with dignity and respect. It was a community build up of poor veterans and their families at first and was to serve as a stepping stone for vets to “move on up” that make belief stairway to Heaven and it was to also make returning vets and their families second class citizens. But only if you were the right color.
Oh yeah, my father was given a job with fairly good pay and a position of trust that had its perks for those days. He was Head Cook in the “Main Cafeteria and the Executive Lounge” under the Chef of the biggest department store in the city, G. Fox & Co. It was a prestigious job and he worked long hours just to keep us looking better than most Puerto Rican families we knew. He wore tailored made suits for his day off (Sunday), the only family day he had for us.
During the sixties, we moved to another community that was own by the Housing Authority known as the “Ville”, where we were better accepted than in the community of Charter Oak Terrace where my father finally got tired of Mami complaining of the looks and stares and spitting of the old Italian women and French families every time we’d walk to the store or to take a bus to town. I didn’t understand it back then why most of those (White) people would look at us like that and their kids weren’t allowed to play with me and my sister Wanda. Mami was as White as they were and so was Wanda, almost, she was blonde with braided hair all the time but as for me I was a Brown skinned kid who just didn’t quite understand the stigmatism of being “different” yet.
Nothing proudful here of being a Puerto Rican. I didn’t even know I was that until we moved to the Northend of Hartford and was one day called a “dirty Puerto Rican Spic”. I asked Mami what that was and she didn’t even know, but Papi did!
But he never shared it with me and I didn’t press when I asked him what they meant. All I ever knew was that every year after that my parents would pack up our family and head to Manhattan to meet up with Papi’s sisters and their families so that we all would attend the spirit of excitement I saw in other Puerto Ricans as we walked to 5th ave.
To my amazement people of all colors, shapes and sizes were lined up a parade-like route standing, sitting and dancing as bongoses, guitaras, cuatros, maracas, guidos, bottles, graters and even empty cans being beaten with spoons and forks all up and down the avenue playing a symphony of “Que Bonita Bandera La Bandera Puerto Riqueña”. Papi smiled and said, “Just wait!” People were singing songs I had never heard before every year we went to “la Parada”. Songs of pride and celebrations, of an island far far away that was called “La Isla Del Encanto, Borinquen, Perla del Mar, Llave del Caribe, Preciosa, Hija del Sol y del Mar.” What pride I had to be a natural born Puerto Rican and not a “Nuyorican o Americano” like my brothers and sisters were. It was the one day a year I was really proud of my heritage and where I came from.
But then we returned to Hartford, to the Northend, to the Ville where mostly all the people living there were not as diverse as the people of Charter Oak Terrace. They were more like my parent’s Black men with White wives or vice-a-versa and mixed colored children like in my family, some Black, some White, some Brown and some “High Yella” as the older Colored folk called us. We were “Podaricans” the “new niggas in town”. I couldn’t understand why some Black people thought of us like they did and make awful comments when my sisters and I walked by them talking loud enough for us to hear them. Some of those comments just didn’t make any sense to my sisters and me. The Blacks would say, “Theyz high-faluten folk, thinking they better ‘en us.”
They just didn’t understand how their strives and troubles were ours long before they were theirs. Puerto Rican pride. Where did it go when I came back to this dreadful town full of hate and abuse from all sides including from White and Black folk right in our own community and families even. Whites Puerto Ricans have shamefully looked down on Black Puerto Ricans for generations and are so hypocrite to even admit it.
“Esos Negro apestosos” were members of their/our own families. They were in mine and I hated them for it. But I hated my parents, my maternal grandfather for teaching me his hate and I hated me even more. I hated my parents for making me this kind of Puerto Rican, not loved by the Whites of my own kind nor the Blacks. Where the fuck did I belong?
Then the pride died. It died in me. I had no island where to stand and say I am proud. The only flag I knew to wave and salute wasn’t even a flag that wanted me either. This was not “the land of the Free.” It never was, it still isn’t and it might never be in my lifetime.
So you see my dear brothers and sisters I, for now, am not so proud of being Puerto Rican nor American and neither does the Puerto Rican nor the American flag ever loved me back like I loved them both when I served them during the Vietnam Era and neither did nor does their people.
When we as a people learn to rise up and love one another without distinction of color, race, religion and all the other messed up characteristics that make us the ignorant human beings we are, only then will we truthfully be free and PROUD TO BE A HUMAN, ONE PEOPLE under God. Viva la Libertad!!!!
Que bueno saber to do ESTO pues de VERDAD no hay Nada que no sea cierto pues Vivi en Los 60 en Connecticut y Como Puertoriqueño pass las de Cain en LA escuela Los gringo me escupieron hasta en LA Cara hasta que Los hispanos enpesaron a crecer y no’s Dios respetar,pero habia in rasismo tremendo y todabia en este siglo continua el descrimen preguntenles a Donald Trump OK que Dios bendiga mi bandera JUNTO a LA de Los Estados Unidos.
Thank you for this piece of Puerto Rican history.
Los invito a que demuestren su patriotismo mudandose con nosotros aca…solo eso.
I’m looking for pictures of the 1968 and 1969 parade can anyone help? My mom came out in it and I don’t have pictures of her. Thank you in advance.
I am proud to be a Puerto Rican I will die as a Puerto Rican
We need to know and learn our history. We need to protect our island and our people all over the world. Boricua 4 LIFE. GOD BLESS MY ISLAND AND MY PEOPLE.
Thanks great information Im Puertorican & proud eventhose I lived most of my live in USA
Thank you much for this inspirational story. It brought tears to my eyes. I want this history to carry on to my grand children.
The irony of all this is; that the flag was conceived and adopted in the City of New York by the Revolutionary Junta of Cuba and Puerto Rico in 1898 (give or take 2 years). The adopted colors were, red , white and celestial blue, The dak blue we see now is made by the Statehooders that wanted it to look like the flag of the U.S,
This is what schools should be teaching for Puerto Rican heritage. Not just coloring flags.
I love your way with words. Yes, we are a proud people and value our Island and it’s flag. We know what it means to be Boricuas, to pay tribute to our great history. Thank you so much for bringing this, our story , to light. You are appreciated and respected!
this is history but the school don’t teach it not good aim 55 years old and this is the first time I have read this our children should be tols
Que viva Puerto Rico
Everyone should read “War Against All Puerto Ricans ” by Nelson Denis. This book will answer other questions about our heritage. ISBN 978-1-56858-501-7(hardcover). ISBN. 978-1-56858-502-4 (electronic). If you buy the book take a picture of receipt email your PayPal name and I’ll pay in full The First Three book to each account electronically.
I had no idea…
I’ve always been proud of my heritage and more than willing to show it, but I had no idea that the true reasoning behind it was originally stemmed from this…. Today, I stand educated and even prouder to be what I am.. PUERTO RICAN!!! Que Bonita Bandera!!!! Wepa!!!
Victor Alvarado, when I think of the segregation of the 1960’s I just can’t believe it. It is something so repulsive, just because the white man thinks he is superior so African Americans were treated like animals – but we have a just God, so beware America.
Wow I’m 53yrs old and today I learned what the Puerto ricand went thru with the American government I was born in Newark n.j but both of my parent we’re Puerto Ricans my mother was born in ponce and my father in villaba it’s sad of the ignorants of the governments of yesters year but now we now why the afro Americans and the American Indians don’t want to know about the American or the governments world wide sad but true lone live Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rican people
very interesting history
I’m so proud to be puertorican no one can take that away from me QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO PALANTE
This is very interesting. I never knew the deepest history and secret of the puerto rican parade. Now that i know i will share it and spread the puerto rican parade deepest secret and inform our youth and adults as well of the history of our flag. La bandera puertorriqueña.
At the end of this great article the author said “we will never give up Puerto Rico ” well we have. It is still a colony not matter you rater call it a common wealth. There is noting common in our wealth which American Imperialism stold. So fucken them and let’s really take our country back and demand independence like Cuba and the Phillipines did. Hopefully hawaiian can fight for theirs. I, for one refused to pledge the legend in school and when my father was called in to principles office, in his army uniform, he asked my why I didn’t know the pledge alligence. I answered, “because I’m Puerto Rican ” he then turned to principle and said, “he’s Puerto rican” this was in 1966 and I have not changed get my mind set. Viva Puerto Rico indenpendent!!!!!
This is the first time I EVER HEARD OF THIS AND WILL LIKE TO POST IT. HOW CAN I DO IT. ON FACEBOOK
Law 53 of 1948, also known as the Gag Law, was enacted by the Puerto Rican legislature with the purpose of suppressing the independence movement in Puerto Rico. The act made it a crime to own or display a Puerto Rican flag, to sing a patriotic tune, to speak or write of independence, or meet with anyone, or hold any assembly, in favor of Puerto Rican independence.
It was passed by a legislature overwhelmingly dominated by members of the Popular Democratic Party (PPD), which supported developing an alternative political status for the island. The bill was signed into law on June 10, 1948 by Jesús T. Piñero, the United States-appointed governor. Opponents tried to have the law declared unconstitutional but did not succeed until 1957 when it was repealed on the basis that displaying the Puerto Rican flag and singing patriotic songs was protected free speech and banning free speech was unconstitutional by Article II of the Constitution of Puerto Rico and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
This is wonderful history to share with our youth. Que viva PUERTO RICO!!!
Que bonita bandera la bandera puertorriqueña pero más bonita fuera si los yankis no la tuvieran!!!!!
Well said Jose Angel Figueroa. Today the relationship between Puerto Ricans and the United States has evolved and many Puerto Ricans are proud to be U.S. citizens but that doesn’t change the fact that this country committed unspeakable crimes against our people and Puerto Rico continues to be what it is – a slave of another country.
Carlos Rivera Jr….you are correct, we DID lose Puerto Rico a long time ago. We lost it to rampant and blatant US military aggression in 1898, when the US invaded the Island in an un-provoked act of unilateral war-making that has NEVER been acknowledged in over a century by ANY US president, including the current bumbling “people’s, hope-and-change” president. Nor will it be acknowledged by Hillaria or “el Trumpo”…you can BET on that.
However, one day the “capture” and “pillage” of the Island and its residents will be acknowledged when our history is written by honest scholars other than American amnesiacs with PhDs in something more honest than trendy faux-political, faux-historical clap-trap like “FREE EAST TIMOR”, who will actually acknowledge the need to FREE the oldest colony in the hemisphere which has been under their OWN “intellectual” noses for over a century!
And as for writing our history as it really is and was, I certainly hold-out ABSOLUTELY NO hope for our own sold-out “scholars” in the American academy who not-too-surprisingly are VERY noticeably ABSENT from this very dialogue today. No doubt they’re too busy at the annual campus “La Tino Diaspora” broom-jumping competitions or attending blonde hair-extension workshops for “reel” La Tinos” in “duh struggo”.
Yeah, they used to be “Puerto Rican” once upon a time, but today they’re just generic, 1-size-fits-nadie “La Tinos”…cause it’s a lot easier to go over the pop-faux-cultural cliff with all the other culturally-obliterated “La Tinos” than embrace their OWN history with the fervor and authenticity that is once was and still deserves today.
THEN….. we lost Puerto Rico AGAIN in the ghettoes of NYC, where our history has been re-written by cheap, misinformed, rabid, afro-centric, mind-numbing political agendas intended to capture the vacant minds of the innocent and gullible to the point where it is not rare to meet Nuyoricans today who think that Puerto Rico is just another Haiti or Jamaica and that the Bronx is the capitol of the Island and J-Low’s ass is the governor.
And if you need proof of this SECOND cultural hi-jacking, identity-rape and the Island’s history revision, look at news-reels of this parade from the late 1950s – 1970s for proof…de vera’ chico!
In its early days the parade truly reflected the culture, history and people of the ISLAND with lots of cultural representation FROM the Island’s 77 towns. BUT today “La Parada” is little more than a Goya Bean commercial with Banco Popular signing-up thousands of “Boreekwas” and assorted other “La Tinos” for their VISA cards with $5 limits to a hip-hop beat…(eye-roll and SMH)….que bochorno, dio’ mio!
Today, “La Parada” is undeniably one big ghetto-banger fest of blaring hip-hop, vulgar “inner-city” DJ’s grabbing the asses of young girls and complimenting them with such pleasantries as…”ju lookin’ goo’ mami” and violently-shaking booties, barely-covered bouncing boobies and sweaty thongs and head-rags made out of our defiled and disgraced flag. So if there is an argument to be made for a NEW flag for Puerto Rico, this is it!
This parade is a HUGE departure from what “Puerto Rican” identity on the US Mainland was in the early 1900s when my grand-father came by steamer-ship to work in a Spanish cigar factory in Manhattan with his twin brother where they worked 18 hour days without air-conditioning or the benefits of walking around with their asses hanging-out of their pants to stay cool. He is turning in his grave to see what “Puerto Rican” has become in NYC today.
He returned to the Island during WW1 to witness other male family members go off to die in US military uniforms when they were “encouraged” to fight for Uncle Sam on the beaches of Normandy…something that NONE of the new-age “La Tino-Fulano-Mengano-Diasporians” will ever tell you because their view of our history, identity and culture doesn’t ever leave the ghettos and their idiot “narratives” are just eternal-victim-hood BS they write in their climate-controlled offices in the Ivy League, “Big 10” and West Coast Ivy-Wannabe schools like UCLA, Berkeley and Stanford while they sip their Starbucks delights and fret about their itchy crotch-stubble.
So…..you are more than correct that we DID lose Puerto Rico a verrrrrrrrrrrrrry long time ago.
And that “loss” doesn’t look like it will be recovered anytime soon by the Island’s century-old infestation of political corruption and collusion and it CERTAINLY will NOT be recovered by the Pseudo-Rican “intelligentsia” on the US Mainland selling-out our history, our culture and our people so that they can cling to that very soiled and caca’d “La Tino Studies” perch in the American academy that they have become so “stuck” on.
Yes, Puerto Rico was lost a long time ago and that “loss” is NOWHERE near over!
To all my sisters and brothers, regardless of what your political views are, or your class; we lost Puerto Rico to the thugs. Puerto Ricans are leaving the island in droves. We lost our island a long time ago.
Its all a plot to make you love the flag that represents the new Puerto Rican while making the Taino culture and pride disappear.
Thank you for sharing and giving out the truth n the truth shall set you free…amen
It is a political oxymoron to be called an American citizen while Puerto Rico remains prime real estate as the oldest, captive Caribbean colonial cash cow of the U.S. This “dark truth” about the origins of the Puerto Rican parade and its connection to our beloved flag also highlights the Promethean curse that true Puerto Rican patriots experience when they fight to defend the U.S.’s wars, but return home condemned when they become the flame-keepers of our own freedom. I believe in the independence of a people, first and foremost. Public Law 53 forced Puerto Ricans to hide their love of patriotism, of country, and as a result, become Nobodies searching for the American Dream while becoming invisible to themselves. Truth be told, Borinquenos never stopped loving who they were, or have become, as universal citizens of the world. The difference between then and now is that we are creating our own history while striving to own the future as independent spirits with a voice among many. As long as Puerto Rico remains a perfumed colony or economic mistress of the U.S. Congress; and its children are forced to play global mercenaries when the U.S. is war-deprived; or be seduced by the Financial Control Board to pimp for the Wall Street bull…these dark secrets will become nuclear hypocrisy. Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre! – Jose Angel Figueroa, Poeta
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Se acerca una tormenta,
Por Hector Lopez
Se acerca una tormenta,
Se ennegrecen las nubes
Se oyen los primeros
Truenos y relampaguea,
Es la voz estruendosa del
Aquí empiezan sus discursos
Como las centellas con los
Truenos que acompañan
Su voz redentora en esta
Empieza a llover, huele a tierra,
los pájaros vuelan, la esperanza
cae con esa lluvia que nos lava
del veneno del Imperio.
Truena otra vez la voz del Maestro
la Voz de la Patria.
¡De pie Boricuas escuchad esa voz
Para que entiendan esos relámpagos
que alumbran sus conciencias!
I am proud to be puerto rican
We visited this beautiful place with beautiful people two months ago . This is so sad.
Que Viva Puerto Rico!
No Importa El Tirano Te Trate Con Negra Maldad…….
Porque… PRECIOSA PRECIOSA
Te Llaman Los Hijos de la
It does display pride,,,u would never know,,,,,and being in NY,,,the world has no choice but to see it,,,,Puerto Rico and its people on the island and abroad,,have been here for many years,,,,,we have history and its about time the world see it and understand it
“Seventy years ago, Boricuas were given the worst jobs and housing in New York City. They were also beaten by their neighbors and the NYPD”
Sounds like what has happened to the Dominican community in Puerto Rico, what a shame!
The treatment of Haitians in the DR is truly a shame.
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Puerto Rico does not need a U.S.financial control board. That’s just another Ponzi scheme strategy. They need to booth out out those corrupt PPD and PNP politicians, repeal the Jone’s Act and finally declare themselves Independent from their slave masters. Also last if not least educate the people on the history ( true history ) of Puerto Rico. Don’t do like the PNP or PPD would do and offer the people gifts of a new washer or dryer a new car or to paint their house for free and little education if any. Puerto Rico deserves better than that. Long live a free Puert Rico.
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Dawn…thanks for lending a note of reasoned reality to an otherwise hyper-hysterical, politically-poisoned, emotionally-exploitive faux-non-dialogue of a grave and dismal situation in Puerto Rico in reference to a parade that represents Puerto Rico and its people and culture as much as Pizza Hut represents the people and culture of Italy.
Evelyn…I think you might want to look at your passport and see what nation issued it.
I doubt that it says “ISSUED BY PUERTO RICO” or by that “Nation of Atlantis” or by “Chupacabra Land”.
And as for Jefferson…he not only kept slaves, but he raped them and kept them in his bed as concubines.
Check with Sally Hemmings about that not-so-benevolent inconvenient “truth”.
Don’t go off the deep end with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s minstrel ghetto rap routines about our “founding fathers” on Broadway.
THAT is fiction and not reality.
And that glitter and confetti is not angel tears.
The FBI arrested even 8 year old children for 10 years just for the
PR flag.. Puerto Ricans have been
fighting in wars alongside Americans
All that you say is true historically. Thank you for this informative treatise on “La Parada”.
However, let me take you down MY memory lane with regard to the “parade”.
When we were little boys, my parents would dress us in little white shorts, little white shirts and a clip-on tie. Me and my brother Radames Sebastian, waved our little “banderitas” as our parents pointed to the different floats with teen-aged beauty queens who were typically the winners from the Island of “Las Fiestas Patronales”, which in our case meant those pretty girls came from San Sebastian, Lares, Utuado, Moca, Quebradillas, Hatillo, Camuy, Barceloneta, Arecibo and other towns of the northwest quadrant, which was settled primarily by European immigrants in the mid-to-late 1800s, which historically-speaking, yesterday.
These young girls were typically-escorted on the floats by their parents. They wore white gloves, very little make-up and a sequined chest-banner inscribed with the name of their particular home-town. It made my parents and even grand-parents beam with REAL pride to see these girls who made them REALLY proud. Often these young girls were college students and headed for lives of success and dignity. They made their families proud and made us proud too. They represented the people of the Island, its culture and its history with dignity.
You could see in their faces, that the girls were jubilant with pride to be in “Nuyol” to represent their hometowns to those of us who had come to the US mainland to work in garment district sweatshops, become “supers” in tenement slums or to vacuum offices in soaring sky-scrapers on Madison Avenue taking the jobs previously held by the “Shanty” Irish working class. In the late 50s and 60s we had YET to become cops, firemen or teachers…those socio-economic achievements were a couple of decades away for most of us.
I still have Brownie Kodak photos of me and my brother grinning for the camera with our faces and white shirts and white shorts stained from the turquoise, pink and orange piraguas that our parents would buy us when the Summer heat got to us. The piraguas ALWAYS calmed us down and the adults could enjoy the parade as we stood along 5th Avenue behind the police barriers slurping the rapidly-melting and very sticky ice-cones.
Eventually, going away to college, being drafted into the Vietnam War, moving back to the Island or even going to work in Mallorca, Spain for a distant relative, took its toll on our family’s presence at the parade, but most of us did get to read reports in the US Mainland newspaper or watch snippets of “La Parada” on TV, regardless of where we lived.
But slowly over time we ALL began to see a marked change in “La Parada”, its theme, the participants and the overall tone of the once innocent and authentic cultural statement in Manhattan and it wasn’t a positive or very pretty one.
The increasing number of incidents of muggings, car break-ins, sexual harassment of young girls (“mira mami I got somethin’ real good for ju puta”), incidents of public urination, indecent exposure, harassment of tourists and even the attempted rape of DOZENS of women in the Central Park bushes in 2000 scarred all the happy memories we once held of “La Parada”.
And SHOCKINGLY never a word from the predictable Pseudo-Rican “Spokes-payasos” condemning such disgraceful activity at a cultural venue that families attend with children and is witnessed via television and the internet ALL OVER THE PLANET!
My elderly grandfather stopped coming from Puerto Rico to see the parade years ago. Even with his 3rd grade education he SAW decades ago where “La Parada” was headed. Having come initially to Manhattan during WW1 in 1914 to work in a Spanish cigar factory owned by a distant relative, with his twin brother, Bartolomeo, he had a very different vision of his people and their future in US one day and it is NOT represented in this “parade”.
And so today even fewer in our family attend or even watch for it on television. Sure, apologists will defend that in any gathering of so many people there will always be those whose behavior goes beyond reckless to disrespectful and certainly is NOT very “pride-filled”…and there is little we can do about it, but “abuelo” is turning in his grave in the Terra Nova Cemetery in Quebradillas each year when this “parade” takes over Manhattan.
Unquestionably, since the 90s “La Parada” has degenerated into a culturally hi-jacked spectacle that represents the culture and people of Puerto Rico as much as Pizza Hut represents the culture and people of Tuscany…not at all!
Today’s parade is a loud, garish, shamelessly commercialized and cheaply politicized spectacle pushing Goya Beans, Banco Popular VISA cards with $5 limits and every vote-grubbing 3rd-rate political hacks that slithers out of their limousines to do a few steps of “La Cucaracha” (our national “dance”).
Limbo-dancing “natives” in grass-skirts and doing Rain Dances in MADE-IN-KOREA “authentic” loin-cloths (aka “Taparrabos), wearing Hopi war paint are not unusual either. The only problem is that NO ONE in Puerto Rico has ever danced for rain, since it typically rains everyday for a few minutes.
To make matters even worse, In the name of fake and forced “diversity-at-all-costs” it is not uncommon to see ghetto-thugs “repppin” as they scream “Soy Boreekwa” in their greasy head-rags made of shreds of the Puerto Rico flag with their asses hanging out of their pants.
And not to be outdone, their female counter-parts are only too willing to do their frenetic booty-shakin’, booby-bouncing and furious twerking “dance routines” as they shove their behinds into the camera lenses of international news reporters and photographers who will scatter those”cultural” images of “Our People and Our Culture” in their sweaty thongs and bikini tops ALSO made of shreds of our flag for the world to gawk at.
In response, most of us have closed our Banco Popular accounts, don’t buy any more Goya Beans and we definitely don’t attend “La Parada”.
As my Mallorca-born great-grandfather used to say often:
“Mi’jo, cuando el hombre pierde la verguenza, no hay NADIE que se la devuelva”.
“La Parada lost its “verguenza” the day Rita Moreno sang “Everything free in America” and no one has had the “pride” to even look for it since.
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OUR HISTORY IS MADE UP OF ONE THING OR ANOTHER, BUT THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED US BEFORE AND IT WILL NOT NOW, “PA LANTE”!!!!!
Then why aren’t these people organizing support for what is going on now in Puerto Rico? What better day,what better time and venue to show the US government that these Puerto Ricans marching with pride in N.Y.care what happens at home in their homeland? Being in N.Y.doesn’t display pride of anything except being Puerto Rican. The need for verbal and an actual display of support and knowledge to the U.S.government as to the care and concern needs to be today ! When all of the world is a stage ! Thats where the pride should begin.
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Yes, we will never give up our beautiful island. PROUD to be Puerto Rican – NOT American. LOVE my beautiful proud people, voted the happiest people in the world. You will never crush us, America. And like Thomas Jefferson said “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.” One day you will have to give an account America.