The U. S. culture has been saturated with Mexican and Puerto Rican influences. Influence is defined as a cognitive factor that tends to have an effect on what you do. I believe most of the influences are good but there are also some that are bad. The two major influences that will be brought up would be the influence of human creativity and violence. Puerto Ricans had a unique blend of human creativity. “Fueled by that political awakening, a cultural renaissance emerged among Puerto Rican artists. ” By the 1960’s salsa music began to emerge.
Puerto Ricans rooted this category of music especially in the New York area. Fania Records became the dominant record label in the early salsa music scene. Juan Gonzalez mentioned artist such as Eddie and Charlie Palmieri, Willie Colon and Ray Barretto. They provoked with there politically charged lyrics. It also sprang up writers such as Piri Thomas and Nicholasa Mohr mentioned by Juan Gonzalez. Piri Thomas was born in the Spanish Harlem section of Manhattan and is known for his best seller autobiography “Down These Mean Streets”pg63 and describes his struggle having Puerto Rican heritage.
Nicholasa Mohr her works also told of the difficulties of growing up in Puerto Rican communities in the New York area. As more Puerto Rican came to into the States a big clash of racial identity rose. Black and White was a struggle in itself then Brown came in to the mix it mad things twist. “A dwindling tax base, brought about by the flight of industry and skilled white workers to the suburbs, massive disinvestment by government in public schools and infrastructure, and the epidemics of drug and alcohol abuse, all tore at the quality of city life”Pg 64.
Lack of investment in the infrastructure and public schools by the government was a major contributor to this especially since most did not know how to speak English and the teachers did not know how to translate to the students. “The third generation of Puerto Ricans, those who came of age in the late 1980s and early 1990s, found themselves crippled by inferior schools, a lack of jobs, and underfunded social services. They found their neighborhoods inundated with drugs and violence. They grew up devoid, for the most part, of self-image, national identity, or cultural awareness.
They became the lost generation. ”Pg63 Mexicans also had there share of influencial human creativity. Mexicans are known for developing corrido music. They were smart about this music though because they were used to inform. They had dates names warnings and some were stories of crime or love. ” The average corrido was usually so filled with dates, names, and factual details that it functioned not only as entertainment but also as a news report, historical narrative, and commentary for the mass of Mexicans who were still illiterate”.
pg124. To change up the creativity from the arts to a more meaningful influence would be the founding of MAYO and no not the one you eat but Mexican American Youth Organization. This was intended to protect the civil rights of Mexican Americans. “One of the most influential groups to arise during the period was the Mexican American Youth Organization (MAYO), founded in San Antonio by Willie Velazquez, a young community organizer for the Catholic Bishop’s Committee on the Spanish Speaking, and Crystal City’s Jose Angel Gutierrez. ”pg 69.
Mexicans have been picked on for decades and are still being hated upon. What was heavily impacted were schools and nothing was done about it. MAYO staged school walk outs to gain power. These acts would allow them to earn seats on school boards which in turn allowed them to participate in deciding what was best for their own people. In turn violence also was majorly influence. The US culture was raised to hate Mexicans. ” Once the Great Depression hit and unemployment surged among whites, though, not even Mexicans who spoke fluent English escaped the anti-immigrant hysteria.
More than 500,000 were forcibly deported during the 1930s, among them many who were U. S. citizens. ” Speaking spanish a lot of times was a burden for mexicans which made them targets since most that all they spoke. To conclude Puerto Ricans and Mexicans have influenced the US culture. It still hasn’t stopped it continues to. More than likely it will still influence for many more years to come. They have been put down but they come right back up and stronger. They have given a lot to stop and to soak in many years of heritage. So go dance to some salsa or sing a corrido for a change.
Courtney from Study Moose
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