So we're flipping through it and get to the section on the United States. It has the usual stuff for each state - the capital, the biggest city, the state flower and tree, etc. - and also a famous person from that state. For example...
Famous Idahoan (we really think this should say famous "Ida-hoe" but that's just us): Gutzon Borglum, Mount Rushmore sculptor
Famous New Yorker: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, abolitionist and women's rights advocate (go New York!)
Famous Utahn (yes, "Utahn"): Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of the television
Famous Puerto Rican: Joaquin Phoenix, actorUm... what? Joaquin Phoenix is the famous Puerto Rican? Really? That selection just really rubbed me the wrong way.
Now I hope no one takes this the wrong way and gets offended... I'm not trying to say that he isn't a "real" Puerto Rican or anything like that. There's absolutely nothing wrong with him identifying as Puerto Rican or being called Puerto Rican. It just strikes me as odd (and almost racist) that they overlooked so many other other notable Puerto Ricans for the light-skinned, light-eyed (and originally light-haired) Phoenix. It's kind of like calling Charlize Theron "African-American"... yes, she is... but at the same time, she isn't.
So since Time left them out, here are a few other famous Puerto Ricans that are a little more important and influential (and a little more Puerto Rican) than Joaquin Phoenix:
- Hiram Bithorn (born in Santurce, San Juan) - pitcher for the Chicago Cubs and the first baseball player from Puerto Rico to play Major League Ball
- Roberto Clemente (born in Carolina) - right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the first Puerto Rican member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
- María Bibiana Benítez (born in Aguadilla) - Puerto Rico's first known female poet and one of its first playwrights
- Jesús Colón (born in Cayey) - writer, known as the Father of the Nuyorican Movement
- Dr. Maria Cadilla (born in Arecibo) - writer, educator, women rights activist and one the first women in Puerto Rico to earn a doctorate degree
- Ricky Martin (born in San Juan) - award-winning pop singer who has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide
- José Rivera (born in Santurce, San Juan) - playwright and the first Puerto Rican screenwriter to be nominated for an Oscar
- Roman Baldorioty de Castro (born in Guaynabo) - abolitionist and spokesperson for the islands right to self-determination, known as "The Father of Puerto Rico's Autonomy"
- Herman Badillo (born in Caguas) - the first Puerto Rican to be elected to Congress (New York)
- Nydia Velázquez (born in Yabucoa)- the first Puerto Rican woman to be elected to Congress (New York)