Por: Marilisa Jimenez Garcia, Ph.D.
Recent national news reflects the public’s lack of knowledge of the U.S. as a country in possession of colonies, such as Guam and Puerto Rico. In a 2016 poll, many Americans were unaware that Puerto Ricans born on the island were U.S. citizens. Moreover, Puerto Ricans remain one of the largest Latinx populations in the U.S. with a continuous migration and diaspora resulting from over a century and half of U.S. interventions and economic upheaval. Puerto Rican students’ schooling experiences are shaped by this paradox of access to American citizenship while still feeling unwelcome and marginalized in U.S. classrooms (Rolon-Dow and Irizarry, 2014).
The current economic crisis in Puerto Rico, and University of Puerto Rico student-led movements fighting for a public audit of the debt, make teaching about Puerto Rico an excellent opportunity for discussions about the role of young people in social change. A group of scholars have already created an excellent resource called the #PRSyllabus, which I highly recommend. Below, I have prepared a short primary and secondary source bibliography for teachers in the K-12 classroom utilizing youth literature, textbooks, and comics.