hbd: on puerto ricans and their heritage, part I: before the taíno


[Fig. 1] Pre-colonial map of Puerto Rico Borikén.

My next two Hispanic HBD posts focus on Puerto Rico – though I’ll refer to the island by its Taíno name Borikén throughout. To better understand Puerto Ricans and their heritage, we must look at Borikén’s pre-colonial and post-colonial history.


the jakiyah mckoy case: a testament to ignorance of hispanic (bio)diversity

From NBCLatino:

Jakiyah McKoy, 7, was crowned Little Miss Hispanic Delaware on August 31, but last week had been stripped of her title and crown because pageant officials could not prove her Latina heritage, according to reports from Latino Rebels and Buzzfeed.

According to El Tiempo Hispano, McKoy was born in Brooklyn, NY and her grandmother was born in La Vega, Dominican Republic. However, Latino Rebels spoke to Maria Perez, president of Nuestras Raíces Delaware (the pageant sponsor [hereafter NRD]). She said pageant regulations state participants need to be of 25 percent Latino heritage.  “Her parents were asked to bring in documentation. Of all of the documentation brought in there was nothing that confirmed Dominican heritage,” Perez said.

(Emphasis mine.)

Now, I’m no pageant fan; however, this story interests me for several reasons.
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hispanic genomic diversity, part I: european, african, and amerindian admixtures and the taíno “extinction” controversy

N.B.: This post deals with the variance in European, African, and Amerindian/Taíno admixture in five of the twenty Hispanic subgroups, as well as the Taíno “extinction” controversy.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon an interesting article on Hispanic genomic structure and admixture; the paper focused on several Hispanic subgroups – namely, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Colombians, Ecuadorians, and Mexicans.

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nyc’s gifted and talented dilemma: a window into the utility of psychometric testing

An article in the New York Times chronicles a dilemma in New York City’s gifted and talented programs (particularly kindergarten and 1st grade programs). The issue is test prep, which some say is inflating the number of kids qualifying for gifted and talented kindergarten and 1st grade programs in the city.

I took a closer look at the article and found that it underscores the role of psychometric testing and IQ.
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hbd: an abbreviated history of quisqueya and the rise of today’s dominicans (and haitians)

[N.B.: I originally published this post on 2013.01.17. I revised it for clarity and to replace broken links. Although there are new developments on this topic, this post will not address them; however, I may address them in future posts.]

This is the first post in my Hispanic HBD series (for an introduction, see the primer). As a reminder, you may click any photo in this post to enlarge it.

[Fig. 1] Present-day Hispañola Quisqueya with dividing line between Haiti and the Dominican Republic shown.

We begin the Hispanic HBD series with an in-depth look at the people of the island of Quisqueya (“the cradle of life”); the island was also known as Ayiti (“land of the mountains”) and Bohio (“the rich villages”) in pre-colonial times. Cristobal Colon and Co. renamed the isle Hispañola soon after arriving in 1492 AD; that said, I’ll refer to the island as Quisqueya throughout this post. Anyhow, to understand how today’s Dominicans came about, we must first look at Quisqueya’s pre-colonial history.

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hbd: a primer on hispanic bio-diversity

The field of human biological diversity (or human biodiversity – HBD for short) deals, in general, with God-given (i.e. innate) biological and genetic differences in humans (whether individuals or groups) – differences which stem from divergent evolutionary trajectories (for instance, r-selected groups versus K-selected groups). It is highly controversial, however – this is partly due to an emphasis in racial differences which manifest themselves in discussions of average intelligence (i.e. IQ) differences between racial groups. I first got into HBD when a black HBD’er (I mention his race here because black HBD’ers, to my knowledge, are very rare) responded to a forum post of mine on education earlier this year and initiated a heck of a convo. From that point, I dug deeper and while I don’t necessarily agree with some of the commentary HBD’ers present, I still found the material interesting (you’ll find a sample of the HBD blogs I read most often in my sidebar). Incidentally, aside from myself, I’m not sure if there are any other Hispanic HBD’ers…

…anyhow, what I will try to do in my next series of HBD-related posts is to dig deeper into Hispanic biodiversity – a topic hardly covered even in the HBD blogosphere except in conversations on immigration and differences between them and other racial/ethnic groups (though hbd* chick recently posted on Hispanic familism and self-identification). Shall we begin?

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