Contemporary Latin American Fiction

Asynchronous Blog Post on the Puerto Rican Texts

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST (Due on 9/13 before the class)

Instructions:

In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-words minimum).

OPTION ONE

What is the function of the sofa in the story? Besides the individual account, can you identify elements in the story that let you understand bigger societal issues?

*Recommended source:

OPTION TWO

Elaborate on the ways Beatriz Llenín Figueroa digs deep into historical and political wounds as a way to explain the multiple disasters after Hurricane Maria. What makes her hopeful?

OPTION THREE

Sofía Gallisá Muriente explains that her lists were written in the effort of processing the scale of what [Puerto Ricans] lost and gained after Hurricane Maria. Analyze the content of her lists to expand on her balancing logic.

OPTION FOUR

Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about any or all of the three texts do you want to bring into the discussion?

*Recommended source to add context to Llenín Figueroa and Gallisá Muriente’s texts:

Pa’lante- Hurray for the Riff Raff

Entry Question

How do climate disasters unveil social inequities? Have you experienced a climate disaster? What issues did you confront in the aftermath?

Pa’lante

Hurray for the Riff Raff is a band from New Orleans. It was formed by Alynda Segarra, a Puerto Rican singer-songwriter from the Bronx, New York after she had moved to New Orleans in 2007.  The group originally performed different styles of US folk music while releasing several albums independently.

by Alynda Segarra and Pedro Pietri
Oh I just wanna go to work
And get back home, and be something
I just wanna fall and lie
And do my time, and be something
Well I just wanna prove my worth
On the planet Earth, and be something
I just wanna fall in love
Not fuck it up, and feel something
Well lately, don’t understand what I am
Treated as a fool
Not quite a woman or a man
Well I don’t know
I guess I don’t understand the plan
Colonized, and hypnotized, be something
Sterilized, dehumanized, be something
Well take your pay
And stay out the way, be something
Ah, do your best
But fuck the rest, be something
Well lately, it’s been mighty hard to see
Just searching for my lost humanity
I look for you, my friend
But do you look for me?
Lately, I’m not too afraid, to die
I wanna leave it all behind
I think about it sometimes
Lately, all my time’s been movin’ slow
I don’t know where I’m gonna go
Just give me time, I’ll know
Oh, any day now
Oh, any day now
I will come along
Oh, any day now
Oh, any day now
I will come along
I will come along
Dead Puerto Ricans, who never knew they were Puerto Ricans
Who never took a coffee break from the 10th commandment
To kill, kill, kill
The landlords of their cracked skulls
And communicate with their Latin souls
Juan, Miguel, Milagros, Olga, Manuel
From the nervous breakdown streets where the mice live like millionaires
And the people do not live at all
From el barrio to Arecibo, ¡Pa’lante!
From Marble Hill to the ghost of Emmett Till, ¡Pa’lante!
To Juan, Miguel, Milagros, Manuel, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who came before, we say, ¡Pa’lante!
To my mother and my father, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To Julia, and Sylvia, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who had to hide, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who lost their pride, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To all who had to survive, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
To my brothers and my sisters, I say, ¡Pa’lante!
¡Pa’lante!
¡Pa’lante!
To all came before, we say, ¡Pa’lante!

 

Group Discussion

How do the lyrics examine crisis and states of emergency?
How the music video shows the integration and tensions between Puerto Ricans in the archipelago and in the diaspora?
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