The Puerto Rican community is blessed to have many heroes and icons to look up to, in various fields no less. In this week's episode of Puerto Rican Voices, we spend time with the legendary with author and Sesame Street alum Sonia Manzano. Then we take the hero label quite literally: an interview with Edgardo Miranda-Rodríguez, creator of the Afro-Boricua superheroine La Borinqueña. We also take a look at the recent Café Con Comics exhibit hosted at the Centro Library & Archives in our last segment. Check out each video below.
When Sonia Manzano retired last year, she left behind a legacy that in large part began in 1971. That was the year when she was cast in Sesame Street after the show decided its young viewers could use more Latino role models in television. Manzano quickly became the character “Maria,” writing for Sesame Street and often helping to bringing Nuyorican talent to wider audiences. Born in Manhattan, raised in the Bronx, Manzano is also the author of children’s books, a novel, and her highly acclaimed memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. Watch our entire interview with this beloved Puerto Rican icon by clicking on the video below.
La Borinqueña made her debut at the 2016 National Puerto Rican Day Parade as a symbol of Afro-Boricua pride and resilience. Since then, creator Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez has been finishing work on the first issue of the series, which was released in December of 2016. In this segment, learn about what led the artist to create an Afro-Puerto Rican superhero and what she represents to him and others during this challenging time for the island. Miranda-Rodriguez also discusses his earliest influences and the impact of social justice on his work and the story of La Borinqueña. Check out the interview below:
Cafe Con Comics: Boricuas in the Comic Book Industry is an art exhibition hosted by Centro and curated by Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez. The exhibition opening coincided with a panel discussion featuring Puerto Ricans currently working in the industry and a discussion of the legacy of Puerto Rican trailblazers in the indusrty such as George Pérez and Alex Schomburg. In this recap of the event, learn about what it means for our community to be represented in comic books and the hope of inspiring future generations of comic book artists, especially among young women. Watch the full segment below:
That’s it for this episode of Puerto Rican Voices. Tune in for episode seven which will feature segments on The Borinqueneers, Afro-Taíno Productions, and artist Maria Dominguez.