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  #1  
Old 11-17-2002, 02:04 PM
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Jose Jose is offline
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Spanish Harlem Not Right?

Hi,
I recently received an e-mail from someone who argues the following:

Quote:
I am not from east harlem , but what i think of this so called spanish harlem or african harlem , that it is a ignorent towards race . In the first place it shouldn't be called "spanish harlem " , because you are actually referring to the White Europeans from Spain. Thats were the word " Spanish" comes from.

I ve been to Europe and I've asked Spaniards of what do they think of this so called hispanic community or Spanish Harlem. This is what one white Spaniard said to me " we pure white spanish men feel that you people make us look bad , that it is a disgrace towards the word spanish, we don't like you people who use the word spanish to discribe your self and yet they are not even white Europeans . '' " they should use their own countries name not our name ''

Now I had a translator to quote this for me and what this man said is true, the spanish men are part of the European union, you should n't use that term to discribe you'r selfs. And as for race , with in the hispanic community their is a mixture of races and their are few who are pure whites and blacks and the rest is mestizo and mullato race . So their is a big difference between race and ethnicity. the way the USA categories the races
is stupid and general, which makes a confusion.
mmerizalde@aol.com

What do you think? My reply below.
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2002, 02:18 PM
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How can you argue with history? Only in recent history have people begun to call themselves anything other than what they are. I speak Spanish, our Puerto Rican culture is steeped in Spanish culture, customs, names etc. I am not one who changes labels due to political correctness. For instance this new thing of calling ourselves Afro-Latino. Pleeeeeese!!. African American culture is one thing and "Spanish" culture is another. There was no such thing as Afro-Latino for most of my 40+ years and now all of a sudden I am suppose to identify myself differently and with a different culture. Too late for this dog to change his stipes.

I do not see calling East Harlem/El Barrio/Spanish Harlem as having anything to do with a white European reference. Who said that is true? One person in Spain? Who made that person God? Since my culture is Spanish as oppose to Irish or anything else and since most of the people living in East Harlem are of Spanish decent, I see no reason to call East Harlem or El Barrio anything other than Spanish Harlem.

You must be one of those who hates Europeans as is typical in school teaching these days. You know, Columbus was evil, blah blah blah. I have never seen how people can expect 15th Century men to have 21st Century morals. They could not be anything but what their frame of reference made them. I am proud of my European roots. Hey, its part of the genetics and culture of who I am. Political correctness can kiss.

Lastly we can call ourselves anything we want. Who are you to call us ignorant? Also, there are only 5 real races on this planet. Like you say, the rest is really culture. So I belong to the Spanish Culture.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2003, 09:03 PM
Ana Ana is offline
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Spanish Harlem

Jose:

Actually, Spanish Harlem was 'christianed' by the Blacks in Harlem to differentiate the HARLEM district.

I continually notice that people ask me if I'm Spanish....NO! But I DO speak it. People have to start realizing that WE ARE NOT SPANISH because we are NOT from Spain. We are Latino or Puerto Rican or NuYorican that SPEAK SPANISH.

All Latinos, esp. PR's have the right to embrace their roots...whether it's SPAIN, or Africa or Borinquen. I personally embrace my African and Taino roots.

Ana.
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"Yo No Meto Miedo Pero Meto Mano" - Carlos A. "Rigo" Malcon (The late Ismael Rivera's 2nd timbalero still residing in Spanish Harlem since 1963).
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2003, 01:47 AM
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Well, you are entitled to identify with whatever group you like. If it feels right to you-- great! Like the song says, 'don't worry, be happy'.

I like to identify with my European roots. I trace my family back to the Canary Island, and some back to Africa. So I guess I'm both. What I am not is Taino. When they do genetic testing on Taino genes, bet none of us Puerto Ricans have any of their genes. It would be nice, but not probable. As they all died off due to sickness and my ancestor's terrible behavior.

But mostly I wrap my soul around my New York East Harlem culture. Which I guess is why I thought it such a good idea to create the East Harlem.com web site. I love the dynamics and the people of my community. And of all the people, the activists are the most fasinating to watch. They all have passion and give generously of thier time.

It's good to know such people, even those who don't like me much. I see them all as characters in my life's play. Sorry to be so existential. But really they don't exist outside of me. Opppps sorry again.

Still after all is said and done, I don't believe it fair to expect 15th Century people to have our values. So I don't condem them.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2003, 05:00 AM
Ana Ana is offline
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Hi Jose:

Don't think you do not have Taino blood in you until your mother's MITOCHONDRIAL gene is tested.

The Recinto University of Mayaguez held biological and scientific studies and experiments and have discovered that a strong contribution of indigenous (Taino) genes carried by the MITOCHONDRIAL (maternal) gene in Puerto Rican men and women tested for indigenous DNA. It was found that in one group of testing, 25 of the 33 volunteers tested positive for the Mitochrondial indigenous DNA! In another group of PUerto Rican women tested (this test was done in various provinces of Puerto Rico) 39 of 56 women who volunteered demonstrated a POSITIVE Mitochrondial indigenous DNA.

The Mitochrondrial DNA tells us of the ethnic origins of a woman. Remember, for centuries, the Spaniards who invaded Borinquen were MEN, for the most part, so it's impossible for men to transmit the mitochrondrial DNA to the Puerto Rican women, only the nucleus of their DNA. So remember, my friend, the mitochondrial DNA that you CARRY is the same DNA that your mother, your grandmother and your great-grandmother has. Ergo, your indigenous DNA in your mitochrondrial tells you that if you go further for your roots via your mother's DNA line, you WILL reach your Taino roots. Fifty three percent (53%) of our ancestors, in the times of the Spanish colonization, were Indian (Taino) women!

And more food for thought. The invasion of the Spaniards in Puerto Rico DID NOT wipe out the Taino indians (remember, Tainos lived in Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, PUerto Rico, well, the Antilles, so it's impossible for the Spaniards to have wiped out Tainos altogether). My brother, the Arawaks, Tainos and the Caribs were EXCELLENT NAVIGATORS who built canoes that can hold up to one hundred people...I'm sure that the Spaniards (who didn't know their way around the rain forrest) could not get to all Tainos because the Tainos took their canoes to safety. They knew their way around better than the Spaniards.

I embrace my African and Indian roots, although I know well that I probably have Spanish blood. I cannot embrace my Spanish roots simply because of what history dictates.

But I agree with you, I still am proud of the fact that I was born in Spanish Harlem of Puerto Rican parents. "Que Viva La Raza!"

Hasta later,
Ana Flores
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  #6  
Old 06-23-2004, 02:17 PM
VirtualBoricua VirtualBoricua is offline
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Please see related post under "El Barrio Restaurant Reviews"

See related post under "El Barrio Restaurant Reviews." To answer your question, I think the name is applicable - although I prefer "El Barrio."
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  #7  
Old 06-24-2004, 11:52 AM
LSRA LSRA is offline
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Blood Line

Just To Let You Know That Spanish Blood Was Already Mixed With African Blood..those That Came To The New World Were Not Blue Eye Blonde Hair....remember The Moors Muslins And 700 Years Of Conquest And Growth.
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  #8  
Old 06-29-2004, 02:44 PM
VirtualBoricua VirtualBoricua is offline
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You are absolutely correct

You are absolutely correct. The Moors conquered Spain for over 700 years; so many Spaniards have North African DNA. There were/are also many Jews in Spain. The Spanish, on the other hand, traveled to Ireland (hence the phrase, "Black Irish?"). The Spanish were not the only settlers in Puerto Rico. There was also a smattering of French, Briitish and other European travelers. Of course, Puerto Rican "blood" is also derived from Africans enslaved and transported during the middle passage and from indigenous tribes existent on the island during its conquest (whose DNA held an Asian component). Puerto Ricans are indeed an international people. The issue of ethnic "purity" will soon become even more irrelevant in this age of international travel. I think, however, the thread originally had more to do with East Harlem culture, which is an altogether different (albet related) topic. Language is an integral part of culture and influences how people describe their "home." East Harlem will always be "El Barrio" to me because that is what my family called it. Of course, that does not negate the contributions to (and influence and existance of) other cultures (Italian, African American, Mexican, Jewish) in East Harlem. Call it whatever you like, it is still our corner of the world (la cuna to some, a cradle to others).

Last edited by VirtualBoricua : 06-30-2004 at 07:03 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2004, 08:16 AM
LSRA LSRA is offline
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Thumbs up spanish and moors

ok I did not want to send this thread into a tangent. just wanted to put things in prespective as I always try to help my culture stay within the premise that all life began in Africa. I take every opportunity especially with those of my culture, to keep this premise in our intellectual endeavors. As an African of the Puerto Rican culture it has become a definite conversation piece that usually turns into my having to tackle denial and tangental issues. Harlem is the Mecca of people of color east, west, south or north. The origins of that color is (___________)
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  #10  
Old 06-30-2004, 11:14 AM
VirtualBoricua VirtualBoricua is offline
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It's not a tangent, it's a point (and a good one at that)

The question was whether East Harlem should be called "El Barrio" (initiated by an email from an ignoramus allegedly quoting a Spaniard who denounces Latinos in the United States for daring to use the word "Spanish"). When I traveled to Madrid I encountered that same elitist (racist) attitude (folks in Barcelona and Santiago, on the other hand, were quite pleasant and friendly). Here, Caribbean Latinos are often ridiculed for maintaining the culture (and language) of the "oppressor" and/or for denying their African heritage. I usually respond to this charge by pointing out that English is the language of even greater oppressors. Personally, I don’t consider challenging or denouncing your neighbor’s customs to be empowering (or respectful). Our cultures are all complex and filled with positive and negative (and confusing) elements. Yes, we speak English here, but we are not British citizens. How dare we (and how badly we dare) say many of the Queen’s “subjects.” The bottom line is that most Latinos are blessed with two languages and the majority of East Harlem residents are Latino, so “El Barrio” is an appropriate name for the neighborhood.

Last edited by VirtualBoricua : 06-30-2004 at 11:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2004, 12:36 AM
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Jose Jose is offline
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I am very proud of my East Harlem roots. And this has been a most revealing discussion. So I thank everyone for being so civil.
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  #12  
Old 07-21-2004, 12:27 PM
LSRA LSRA is offline
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Smile August 14th

DON'T MISS THE BIGGEST MOST SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT at BUILDING A HARLEM ALLIANCE IN THE HISTORY OF EAST HARLEM. THE ARTS NETWORK STREET FESTIVAL WILL BRING TOGETHER THE LEADING ARTS INSTITUTION AND ARTIST FROM BOTH HARLEM AND EAST HARLEM....FURTHERMORE IT WILL BE THE 21TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OLD TIMERS AT WHITE PARK....call your local community board #11 if you want to be a vendor...all spots are free...applications are still available...
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2006, 09:00 AM
ricland ricland is offline
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A Guy Raised in Harlem Speaks

Hi, I lived at 221 East 120 street during the early 50s. Back then it was "Little Italy, from third avenue all the way to the East River.

I'm black with n connection to Latinos at all. Our family was the only black family on the block. But, strange enough, right around the corner -- 119th street was totally "Spanish."

I went to PS. 80 which was between First and Second, I think. My first day in class this kid turns around and asks me, "Are you Spanish or English?"

Reading the posts above I now know this kid was wrong. He should have asked, "Are you Puerto Rican, Taino, Castillian, Awak or English?

Look, the point that Spanish means Spain is ridiculous. There are more important issues than this silly semantic game.

ricland

By the way, why did it take 6 months for me to receiv approval to post here. I just received the email this morning.
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