Looking back on the original 'West Side Story' and its impact on Nuyorican identity : Alt.Latino This week, Alt.Latino takes a look at how the original 1961 West Side Story impacted Puerto Ricans growing up in New York.

Looking back on the original 'West Side Story' and its impact on Nuyorican identity

Looking back on the original 'West Side Story' and its impact on Nuyorican identity

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Rita Moreno, whose portrayal of Anita in the 1961 West Side Story earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, attends the premiere of the 2021 remake. VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Rita Moreno, whose portrayal of Anita in the 1961 West Side Story earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, attends the premiere of the 2021 remake.

VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

Since Steven Spielberg's new adaption of West Side Story hit theaters last the weekend, the film has ignited an important discussion regarding the film's portrayal of the Nuyorican experience. At Alt.Latino we feel it's critical to look back at the film's source material, and this week we interrogate the impact of the original film on Boricuas living in New York City at the time of its release.

We are joined by Mandalit del Barco, who leads us in a discussion with a panel of Nuyoricans who paved their own path in the arts and culture industries. Gathering this group, we look to understand how the original 1961 West Side Story forged an identity for Puerto Ricans in New York City and the challenges this identity created for them in the long term.

Special thanks to Mandalit del Barco for leading us in this conversation, and to our panelists Jesús Papoleto Meléndez, Lillian Jiménez, and Tomas Colon, for joining us this week.