African Americans in Puerto Rico

Hi guys, are there many African American expats in Puerto Rico?  We lived there for 6 years, but we lived on base so there were quite a few African American families. I was wondering about the West Coast area. Thanks

Hi Jolo84

Here is a website that when you explore it can perhaps help provide you with some information you are asking for.

According to the information in the "About" section of this website, portions of this website has information that was updated to the year 2015, but I am not sure what information they are referring to.

http://www.citymelt.com/state/Puerto_Rico.html

Thanks!!

DeborahMarchant :

Hi Jolo84

Here is a website that when you explore it can perhaps help provide you with some information you are asking for.

According to the information in the "About" section of this website, portions of this website has information that was updated to the year 2015, but I am not sure what information they are referring to.

http://www.citymelt.com/state/Puerto_Rico.html

This demographic data, though highly interesting, is a bit misleading. Race is based on self-identification, which is highly different between PR & the U.S. In fact, Puerto Rico is a multi-ethnic society and the majority of Puerto Ricans have a mixture of European Spanish, indigenous Taino, and African origin. However, unlike the U.S., Puerto Ricans with some European origin self-identify as 'white.' (This is very different from the U.S. where our current president is identified unambiguously as 'black.') There are some areas, like the town of Loiza on the north coast, where the African history the population is more openly recognized in cultural traditions, etc.

Based on your question, I wonder if you might be more interested in the proportion of expats in Puerto Rico who identify as African American, in the U.S. sense? That, I do not know!

Thanks, I was interested in the African Americans who are from the US and moved there. I know when we move back we don't want to live on base and while it's not a big deal, I would love to connect with other black expats and hear about their experiences.

We are!! We are toying with the idea of buying a home there. We will visit the island this December.

I'm not real sure about this... the people my wife and I bring into our lives, are based upon who they are as human beings; principles, values, & lifestyle, not ethnic background. Best of luck to you.

Hey Mac,

Reminds me of New York, Italians in one place, Puerto Rican in another, Jews someplace else, etc.

They call it the big melting pot.

However somebody forgot to stir the pot, melted but in layers.
IMHO, Time to stir the pot and become integrated.

Puerto Rico, USA  ( once again, you are NOT EX PATS= Ex Patria+ out of your country) if you are US Citizens)  is rather tolerant of multi ethnic, multi cultural and multi racial situations.  There is an e xpression in Puerto Rico which roughly translates to: " Is your black grandma in the kitchen"  meaning that almost everyone here carries some truly African ancestry.  unlike the mainland USA, the melting pot did stir a bit; while there is definately a "spanish" society class still active, most folks are just folks and mingle and mix with no issue.  The mixing comes more with language ( if you are from the mainland) and economic status but don't be surprised to see folks eating, dancing and laughing with one another at some beach "joint"  out on the island; some dressed in Kmart and others dressed in Dior., some driving a Fred Sanford Special and others driving new Mercedes SUV, .. it's the way it is here.... and it's great!

Heck! Gramma was black as a night , grandpa was blonde with blue eyes. Some of my uncles and ants have either both trends or one of the other. Growing up we never question or thought about it. It was until I join the military and left the island that I noticed the discrimination (from both sides). Even with my friends from school and neighborhood we never thought as white or blacks.

Skin color is the first physical feature one sees but it is what's on the inside that matters most of all....

I had the same experience when I joined the Military. The hate of people based on the race and like you said it was from both side.

My gran father on my father side is black-puerto-rican. I never experienced anything like that in PR.

My original post was mainly about the need for people to integrate and undestand each other.

If we divide our comunities by whatever clasification, we will never get along and instead we will simply tolerate each other and on occasion not even that.

To make the best of any comunity we need to work together, there were slaves in PR also. But we integrated and adopted each others customs and even religions. Example Santeria.

exactly.....

you will find things quite different here in Puerto Rico; they might fight you over statehood or independence , whether you are Dominicano, Newyorquino or Boriqua, but not over the color of your skin.  In fact, we speak about it quite openly:  darker than me, lighter than me ( I am)  and even use the words negro, oscuro, blanquito or canella with no issue....  it's just an adjective to describe your skin tone...not who you are ...... it's just different....

We call them Moreno, like me, in the winter, I am milk white, then in the summer I am a Moreno....now when I am in the island I am Moreno all the time! lol

yes, but you will also hear mi negra or mi negrito.... it's a term of endearment.....

Mi Negra and mi negrito are a romantic / Loving way of refering to our partners. Also mi Morena.
Also a mother may refer to her son or daughter as her negrito or negrita.

We're moving WHERE? :

Puerto Rico, USA  ( once again, you are NOT EX PATS= Ex Patria+ out of your country) if you are US Citizens)

Give it a rest, already.

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png

That is funny

We're moving WHERE? :

Puerto Rico, USA  ( once again, you are NOT EX PATS= Ex Patria+ out of your country) if you are US Citizens)

So if we go by that statement, then the vast majority of us ( including you) should not be here in this forum making any questions or making statements like the one you continue to post.

We are well aware that we are US Citizens, nobody asked if people in PR are citizens.

Besides, it is completly Off Topic.

ReyP :
We're moving WHERE? :

Puerto Rico, USA  ( once again, you are NOT EX PATS= Ex Patria+ out of your country) if you are US Citizens)

So if we go by that statement, then the vast majority of us ( including you) should not be here in this forum making any questions or making statements like the one you continue to post.

We are well aware that we are US Citizens, nobody asked if people in PR are citizens.

Besides, it is completly Off Topic.

Thank you ReyP. Besides being off-topic, I suspect many Puerto Ricans would also find this offensive (particularly the >50% of the population who favor maintenance of the semi-autonomous commonwealth status or independence).

The point should also be made that Puerto Rico is a colonial possession earned as war bounty in the Spanish American War, and that (in a fair plebiscite) Puerto Ricans have never voted to join the U.S. as a state. Puerto Rico has its own Olympic association and team, its own national anthem, and it is possible to apply for a certificate of Puerto Rican citizenship - which is recognized by Spain. Puerto Ricans, though U.S. natural born citizens, are not automatically subject to all the rights & protections of the U.S. constitution (although most have been extended to the island by acts of congress) unless they immigrate to the U.S. mainland. Finally, any statement that Puerto Rico is 'part of the U.S.' is technically incorrect, as Puerto Rico is an 'unincorporated territory' (meaning, U.S. soil - but not part of the corpus - body - of the United States).

That's all I have to add. Sorry to further the 'off-topic' conversation. I'll take any comments off the air ;)

ReyP :

Mi Negra and mi negrito are a romantic / Loving way of refering to our partners. Also mi Morena.
Also a mother may refer to her son or daughter as her negrito or negrita.

Thank you for sharing this interesting information.  Race can be a difficult discussion and I've always felt these adjectives are just that.  Just describing a person's skin not them as a person.  Have a great day, everyone!

My uncles calls each other 'Prieto y Prietita" since they were young.

Thank you, adlin :)

My husband's grandma was really dark and so his mother's side of the family was and is dark, but she married into a lighter skin Puerto Rican family and thus my Hubby is a "Negrito" as I call him and some of his brothers and sisters are lighter skin ans his father who has Hazel eyes and light skin.

My family also had both types of skin color in the family and some were actually from "sociedad" "High Society" and had money and were light skinned. Us Puerto Ricans come in all shapes and sizes.'

Bottom line is that we all loved and love each other. As the song says " We are Family'!!!!

Very much agree with you ReyP

Lol!!!

I loved every moment of this thread, partly because of the open candor of everyone, the knowledge of the island etc.  I happen to be a Black woman, who, born and raised in Jamaica and didnt know i was Black until I moved to the states.  Prior to that, i was merely Jamaican.  Learning I was Black and having to live as such in the USA, has not been easy at all, and largely in part as to why i have decided to leave the mainland with my children.  I ran out of ways to explain to them, that their lives have value etc.  Anyhoo, I also wanted to know about the Black expats on the island, because, one, well its good to see someone that looks like you, even if we cant relate in values, but just being able to see another, and second, i have heard about the fact that some who are Puerto Ricans, identify as white, and i am afraid to deal more elitism, so balance is key.  As a Jamaican, our motto is OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE, so learning hate and separation was far from my thinking and would love to get back to that.  being pro black is exhausting, I am ready to be human again.  Anyhoo, I love all of you :)

I live in Puerto Rico since 2014. People on the island accept you no matter what
Over all most are amazing.  It really doesn't matter your color.  If you are a good person that is all that matters.
If you are looking to work on the island that a hard thing to do as jobs are limited and most people get 20 hrs if they are lucky enough to find a job. Which most expect you to speak Spanish and some want Spanish and English
If you speak Spanish you will have a better chance getting a job. However I know plenty of people who are native to the island and speak both Spanish and English and still can't find work
If you have money then you can open a business but that's another long battle as well
You and your family will be welcome here
I am not African but I know how loving and acceptable the people on the island are
I am sorry how bad some people in the states treat Africans and Spanish people. I think its horrible and many times I feel myself ashamed to be an American
Hugs to you my friend

Reciprocity with virtual hugs.  Time for expansion, and living and witnessing hate and people being devalued, Hispanic, Muslim, etc. Lowers the vibrations of the human experience.

NotSoObscure :

I loved every moment of this thread, partly because of the open candor of everyone, the knowledge of the island etc.  I happen to be a Black woman, who, born and raised in Jamaica and didnt know i was Black until I moved to the states.  Prior to that, i was merely Jamaican.  Learning I was Black and having to live as such in the USA, has not been easy at all, and largely in part as to why i have decided to leave the mainland with my children.  I ran out of ways to explain to them, that their lives have value etc.  Anyhoo, I also wanted to know about the Black expats on the island, because, one, well its good to see someone that looks like you, even if we cant relate in values, but just being able to see another, and second, i have heard about the fact that some who are Puerto Ricans, identify as white, and i am afraid to deal more elitism, so balance is key.  As a Jamaican, our motto is OUT OF MANY ONE PEOPLE, so learning hate and separation was far from my thinking and would love to get back to that.  being pro black is exhausting, I am ready to be human again.  Anyhoo, I love all of you :)

We have plenty of people in PR with African blood, we also have “African Americans” that come from the states. Notice that our blacks do not consider themselves African American, they are Puerto Rican’s that happen to be black. But natives in PR are Puerto Rican’s regardless of which tone their skin is. We have at least 13 recognized skin tones from never get in the sun white to the darkest African tone and we are just Puerto Rican’s. We value our Taino blood, our Spaniard Blood and our African blood. Not only that but we also celebrate all 3 cultures regardless of the individuals skin color, we are 1  People.

PR does not care if you are white American, African American or anywhere in between. We don’t care.

NotSoObscure :

Reciprocity with virtual hugs.  Time for expansion, and living and witnessing hate and people being devalued, Hispanic, Muslim, etc. Lowers the vibrations of the human experience.

How people act determines how we treat them. If they are into labels, into being black, into being white, into being somehow special. Or victims, people will notice the attitude and leave you alone, not deal with you.
If on the other hand you want to integrate, learn the culture and enjoy the island and not put airs, people will embrace you. We are not that different from Jamaica.

Agreed!  My goal is really to experience people without the label, as I was used to when growing up in Jamaica, so I have some years of a broken paradigm from my time since age 16 in the USA mainland, to get over and reset.  I also do not want my children to grow up hardened with some of the experiences i had.  Se la Vie

I also had the beautiful advantage of growing up in Bushwick Brooklyn and am the Madrina to 5 beautiful children of PR descent, one of my greatest honors.  Choosing PR was not a hard feat at all :)

Most everyone is missing OP's point. The question was not how ppl in PR percieve race but if there are many Black American expats there. Just like a Puerto Rican asking where there are other Boricuas in Atlanta for example. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to meet people from your same demographic that you can relate to that will make you feel more at home while easing into living in a new place.

lisalovespuertorico :

Most everyone is missing OP's point. The question was not how ppl in PR percieve race but if there are many Black American expats there. Just like a Puerto Rican asking where there are other Boricuas in Atlanta for example. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to meet people from your same demographic that you can relate to that will make you feel more at home while easing into living in a new place.

Thank you!  That is the sentiment i shared with OP, and in no way was this to identify as a victim, and in reality, sharing the experience of being a victim, doesn't mean I identify as a victim now.  If this is not a safe space to be able to express experiences, I think I will silently remove myself, because the last think i want or need, is for me, my experiences that contribute to the person that I am, to be dismissed.  I love that Puerto Ricans, are so loud about being Boricua!  I have spent many years attending the PR day parade and love the people and how they self identify.  I want to have the same pride n saying I am Black, not to separate, but to acknowledge what is real.  I appreciate your reflection on this, because the last response, did come across as dismissive.

Us mainlander population racial mix is similar to the mainland

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