A walk through the amazing and diverse Puerto Rican diaspora communities in the US

Ama Nunoo Nov 13, 2020 at 04:00pm

November 13, 2020 at 04:00 pm | Culture, Diaspora Connect

Ama Nunoo

Ama Nunoo | Staff Writer

November 13, 2020 at 04:00 pm | Culture, Diaspora Connect

National Puerto Rican Day Parade Photo: AL DIA News

The beautiful island of Puerto Rico is known for many things. From its beautiful beaches to delicious cuisines and a rich culture resulting from a mix of African and Hispanic influences. In as much as it is a Caribbean island, Puerto Rico is also a semi-autonomous U.S. overseas territory.

As a result of this connection with the US, there are many Puerto Rican communities dispersed throughout the US especially after what has become known as the Great Puerto Rican Migration at the beginning of the 20th century.

The island nation was once under Spanish rule and then it fell under American dominion after the Spanish-American war. The wave of migration in the aftermath of the war occurred primarily due to the introduction of air travel.

Interestingly, these Puerto Rican diaspora communities are alike in so many ways because they share the same heritage, history, language, and culture yet differ because they assimilate with the ways of the new communities too.

To be a Puerto Rican is to be a Boricua. If there is a group of people that takes pride in their identity, then Puerto Ricans make the top of the list. The people proudly identify with Boricua which loosely means a person of Puerto Rican descent. The word Boricua originated from the indigenous people of the island the Taíno Arawaks hence it makes them feel connected to their original Taíno heritage.

The flying high of the Puerto Rican flag in any city is a reaffirmation of Puerto Rican identity, a way to express their autonomy and to remind themselves of their ever-present Latino spirit.

Here are the major Boricua diaspora communities in the United States:

Nuyoricans

Nuyorican is a hybrid of the terms New York and Puerto Rican. New York at a point had the biggest Puerto Rican Diaspora community. The Nuyorican movement marked an instrumental cultural revolution in the lives of Puerto Ricans in the Big Apple.

Chicago Ricans

Chicago’s Boricuas may be in the shadows of those from New York but they also have a deep history pertaining to Puerto Rican migration and political activism in the US.

Philly Ricans

The history of Bourica settlers in Philadelphia is an intriguing one with majority of them in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Those that migrated between the 1940s to the 1970s form the basis of the Latino community in Philly.

Massachusetts Ricans

When the Great Depression hit the US, Puerto Ricans were the easy target when companies were laying off staff. In search of a better life, and to avoid being homeless as they could no longer afford rent. They migrated to Massachusetts, specifically, Springfield.

Cleveland Ricans

Cleveland’s Boris increased and settled during the time their industrial scene shot up in the 1940s. Thus, there is an active Puerto Rican community in Ohio.

Orlando Ricans

Florida’s Puerto Rican community is huge and growing rapidly and could probably out number the Cubans in the Sunshine state. The Buorica diaspora in Florida is in the next year or so may be larger than there ever was in New York.

Texas Ricans

There is a spill over of Puerto Ricans settling in Texas from Florida, thus, Texas’ Boris is increasing rapidly as well.

Cali Ricans

There may not be many Puerto Rican settlers in California but the little community there do not stay hidden. The have their own parade and festival.

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