Miguel Guadalupe: Let's Reclaim the Puerto Rican Day Parade
Huffington Post - over 3 years
When I was a little boy growing up in the Bronx in the '80s, one great memory I have is the summers I was part of a small drum major group. Known more commonly as "Batuteras," it consisted mostly of young girls twirling batons or pom-poms in formation, lead by older girls playing portable xylophones, and a group of (mostly boy) drummers marking the beats in the back.
I was with the drummers. We were made up mostly of poor and working class families from around the South Bronx. But the summers were ours, as we practiced our routines, and prepared for the Superbowl of events -- the New York City National Puerto Rican Day Parade. We would march down 5th avenue in our white hats and fringed red jackets, braving the heat and the two mile march laden with percussion instruments of varying sizes, while our parents walked proudly behind us as the crowds watching the parade would cheer us on.
Years later in the '90s, I would return to the parade as a college student and gra
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