INTERVIEW

Migration Part 1

Featuring: Carmen Void
Time: 1:49 minutes
Excerpt:"And, among all of those things, I often wondered why we came here."
full transcript

We came to New York November 28, 1947.  And I was angry.  I was angry because we left my little brothers behind.  I mean, I knew he meant well because I was his eldest and I was a girl and you know how fathers feel about their little girls.  But I was angry because we left my little brothers behind, and most of all I was angry because of Isabelle and secondly I was angry because we left this fabulous place in Puerto Rico to a tenement on 110th Street.  And then, to make matters worse, it was the worst winter ever in New York City. I was mad.  I wanted to go back to my island in the Caribbean and deal with it.  And then never in Puerto Rico had I faced racism, but I did here.

We saw racism as -- when we -- we took an airplane from Puerto Rico to Miami, I felt racism there because I couldn't drink from that water. I felt racism when I came here among ourselves.  Because I spoke a different language, I got racism from the blacks, from the other side of Fifth Avenue because -- I faced racism from Puerto Ricans because they called me Marion Tiger.  Marion Tiger was supposed to be the boat that most Puerto Ricans came from in the 20s.

And, among all of those things, I often wondered why we came here.