The next segment of the unit will revolve around the film “Mi Puerto Rico,” written and narrated by Raquel Ortiz. It is a Latina's analysis of the Puerto Rican identity and political struggle since the transfer of political control of Puerto Rico from Spain to The United States. Ortiz discusses the ongoing struggle within the Puerto Rican community to decide whether to seek statehood, maintain commonwealth status, or move toward complete independence. It underscores the people's intense desire to maintain identity as Latinos while being members of the great political/cultural entity of the United States. Discussion will focus on the Puerto Ricans' efforts to keep their political voice (the Young Lords of the 1960's, the FALN, Nationalist politics on the island, etc.) and to keep their cultural voice, especially in the barrios of New York (particularly East Harlem).
The students will complete discussion of this component of the unit by writing an essay, one-half to one page in length, explaining the title of the film: "Mi Puerto Rico." In doing so, they will consider the following questions. Why does Ortiz call it "my Puerto Rico"? Can someone speak for themselves and for a larger group at the same time? Is she speaking only of Puerto Rican identity on the island? Students will peer-edit and share their responses to the writing topic (or prompt).