Since the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States there has been a lot of attention given to the fact that the judge is Hispanic, specifically of Puerto Rican descent. Judge Sotomayor has used the terms Puerto Rican and Nuyorican to describe herself, but some Americans not familiar with the terms have not understood the references.
Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, located between the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south. Originally settled as a Spanish colony, Puerto Rico became part of the United States as a result of the Spanish American War and in 1917, the Jones Act conferred U.S. citizenship on Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico is, therefore, part of the United States of American and not a foreign country as some people mistakenly claim.
Just as the mainland United States has a rich and diverse history with settlers from all over the world, Puerto Rico, too, attracted many people to its shores.
The first to settle the island were the Taíno who named the island Borinquen. They were an Arawak people of the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas who did not fare well when they encountered the Spanish and by the mid fifteen hundreds, they were extinct. A Boriqua is an inhabitant of Borinquen.
The European heritage of Puerto Ricans comes primarily from one source: Spaniards (including Canarians, Catalans, Galicians, Asturians, Asturians, Andalucians and Basques.)
Other European influences include: Corsicans, French, Germans, Irish, Portuguese, Scots and Maltese
African influences include: West African– Yoruba–Igbo. Other influences: Chinese, Jewish, Lebanese
A Puerto Rican, therefore, is any person born on the island. Most of the inhabitants trace their heritage to Spain, but many others are the descendants of other parts of Europe, Africa or Asia as well as the Taíno. Many Puerto Ricans, who also commonly refer to themselves as “boricuas,” are also a blend of these groups, which has produced a very diversified people. A Puerto Rican, too, is anyone who lives on the island, which has been described as the closest thing to paradise on earth.
The population of Puerto Ricans and descendants is estimated to be between 8 to 10 million worldwide, with most living within the islands of Puerto Rico, Central Florida and the Chicago Metropolitan Area. In New York City there is a huge Nuyorican community.
What is a Nuyorican? A person of Puerto Rican birth or descent living primarily in New York City.
Question: What is a Puerto Rican?
Answer: A very proud American.