Urban Jibaro’s Poetry: True Boricua

Mi Gente…Here is a piece I wrote in 1996, has become a favorite to perform when I l would lecture on the college circuit…

This is the poem that started it all… literally the first poem I posted in the original version of Sofrito For Your Soul in 1997.

Buen provecho!

As I am,

George Torres
The Urban Jibaro

True Boricua

What’s up with you?

Don’t get mad at me and say that I’m not down,

Que yo no soy Boricua.

Don’t tell me that I don’t represent

When you don’t know what you are representing.

You say I don’t keep it real because my

Pants don’t hang low and I choose not to 

Drink 40’s and smoke blunts

With you on the same corner I saw you on…

The last time I saw you…

You tell them I’m not down and 

For once in your life you’re right,

Because while you choose to dwell

With your ill fated friends drowning in 


I am representing.

I am representing


That’s right my motherland. On you thought

Boricua meant PuertoRican homeboy?

Hold up, let me break down what a 

Boricua really is.

A true Boricua is one

Who learns about his culture,

Past and present, embracing it because he knows

He has lost so much already.

He keeps it real by educating himself.

He acknowledges the Afrikan shadow of his Taino

Soul and recognizes the oppression, devastation

And near elimination of his roots.

He can never forget that, but he won’t let

That get in the way of his progress by blaming

The slave masters 500 years later…

He knows it’s time to move on.

A true Boricua knows

His responsibility as a father and mentor to his

Children by sharing lifetime experience

And giving them mental strength.

A true Boricua sees 

The ills and faults of his own people and

Understands that only through unity,

Education and caribeño family

Values is he going not be able to teach

His children not to represent ignorance

And be tolerant of the mental ploys that 

Have kept our tribe

Down for so long.

A true Boricua keeps it real

By recognizing the strength, loyalty and

Determination of his female counterpart.
He respects the fact that she is,

Has and always will be our backbone.

She has kept us together and 

Taken us so far for so long…

But don’t be surprised she is a natural

Born leader, for your information,

Taino women were caciques too.

So you see mi hermano, 

Being Boricua is not about being down, it’s about

Elevating yourself to what our people were

Before we were attacked, before we were raped

And before we were robbed of our native

Tongue, culture

And peace of mind. 

Yo, look at the time,

I have to get up early for work.

Peace, oh yeah keep it real!!

As I am,
George Torres
The Urban Jibaro

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