Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American by Frances Negrón-Muntaner

By Frances Negrón-Muntaner

Boricua Pop is the 1st e-book completely dedicated to Puerto Rican visibility, cultural influence, and id formation within the U.S. and at domestic. Frances Negrón-Muntaner explores every thing from the liked American musical West aspect Story to the phenomenon of singer/actress/ dressmaker Jennifer Lopez, from the fake ancient chronicle Seva to the construction of Puerto Rican Barbie, from novelist Rosario Ferré to performer Holly Woodlawn, and from painter provocateur Andy Warhol to the possible in a single day luck tale of Ricky Martin. Negrón-Muntaner lines many of the many attainable itineraries of trade among American and Puerto Rican cultures, together with the commodification of Puerto Rican cultural practices akin to voguing, graffiti, and the Latinization of dad song. Drawing from literature, movie, portray, and pop culture, and together with either the normative and the unusual, the canonized authors and the misfits, the island and its diaspora, Boricua Pop is an engaging mix of low existence and excessive tradition: a hugely unique, tough, and lucid new paintings by means of certainly one of our so much gifted cultural critics.

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A notable example is La llegada, “a chronicle with fiction,” by the late José Luis González, which stages the invasion as a conflict not between Americans and Spaniards and/or Americans and Puerto Ricans, but between differently racialized boricuas from differing classes. La llegada has been forgotten, however, in part because it does not fulfill the obligation of nation-building fiction: to racially re-engender the boricua subject as heroic. La llegada relocates the founding shame of Puerto Rican national identity from 1898 to slavery and racism, and provides a more inclusive (if no less mythical) narrative of boricua ethno-national identity.

Yet those contributions have not been acknowledged because American culture is heavily transculturated without its subjects being aware of their own status as transculturated subjects. Through a process of asymmetrical cultural exchange, artists producing for the mass media mar= ket—from the creators of West Side Story to style thieves Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Madonna (see chapters 4, 5, and 6)—have incorporated Puerto Rican and other subaltern practices while consistently erasing or displacing the source.

In 1892, for instance, Spain reduced the Cuban electoral quota—an annual tax that qualified vot= ers—to entice the autonomistas to participate in politics. Whereas the amount was also reduced in Puerto Rico, it was still twice as much as the more populous island’s quota. 18 9 WEIGHING IN THEORY Despite the continuous political and economic humiliation suffered by Puerto Ricans under Spain, when word came that an anticolonial revolu= tion—not simply a riot—had broken out in Cuba in 1895, the mostly re= formist criollos expressed their full support to the Spanish metropolis, out of fear that the triumph of the Cuban insurrectos (rebels) could ruin their own hard-fought autonomist reforms and result in retaliation.

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