My name is Felix Araujo-Perez, like “Felix The Cat” but I am more like María Félix, the Mexican film actress. I grew up in Puerto Rico; I was born and raised in Santurce which is mostly populated by Dominican Immigrants. My identity has always been more Puerto Rican and my mother is Dominican, so that’s kinda the way I grew up. However, now that I am older and I have kinda shifted the way I view myself and now I think I am equally or more Dominican than Puerto Rican. I now see that there was a little bit of shame in admitting that I was Dominican and it’s because of the relationship between Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. It’s so stupid because we are like the same.
We are aware, as an island, very comfortable that our culture is part African. We know we’re Black but we are not always proud of our Blackness. You don’t see an outward presentation of Blackness. You see J-lo, Marc Anthony, and Ricky Martin, and since we don’t show the others, we don’t just get represented in any way. There are a bunch of Puerto Ricans who look like me.
Interviewed & Photographed: louie ortiz-fonseca