I grew up in Morris Heights, Bronx, New York during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. It wasn’t the nightmare it became after the mid 1970’s. It still had some of its charm with old, crumbling, art deco buildings.
However, my mother still kept us children inside for our safety. It was in the apartment that my imagination came alive. One of my favorite games to play was, Little Lost Children. My siblings and I would dress up in old bed sheets and wonder all around the “world.”
Children often play out what they are feeling and what is going on in their lives. As children, being Puerto Rican and raised in the United States brought a feeling of being lost. We didn’t belong in either place. In a sense, we were really looking for a place to call home, but not able to find it.
Song of the Boricua talks about this loss of identity and trying to find a place in the world. But like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, the character in the book realizes she has to get in touch with her roots to find home.