I’m Puerto Rican…Really

My mother is Puerto Rican. If you saw her you’d think she was a light-skinned African American. I always thought she resembled Eartha Kitt with a wide nose. My Spaniard father had a straight nose, white skin, and blue-green eyes. I favor my father in features, but have my mother’s hair and body type. That’s exactly what they said when I visited Puerto Rico when I was 10. “Ella tiene el pello de la mamá, pero se parece a su papá.” All of the relatives and their friends were gathering around giving me the once over. Some reached out to touch my hair. I guess they needed to make sure it was authentic. Yeah, it was curly enough — nappy enough. That’s Irma’s kid. “Hija de Irma,” they said. Continue reading