Creator of graphic novel La Borinqueña visits Wilmington Public Library Saturday
The Wilmington library finishes its Hispanic Heritage Month programming with one more author event.
La Borinqueña is a graphic novel about Marisol Rios De La Luz, an environmental science student from Brooklyn, NY who travels to Puerto Rico and gains superpowers from a Taíno goddess.
The book’s author—Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez—comes to the Wilmington library on 10th Street Saturday afternoon.
Miranda-Rodriguez’s work highlights political, economic and environmental issues facing Puerto Rico. His comic gives rare representation in the superhero world to Afro-Latinas, but he emphasizes that it’s for everyone.
“Most of us grow up here in the United States, if not the world, admiring characters from a Euro-centric standpoint,” he said. "Wonder Woman, Superman, Captain America.
“We are conditioned to see the universality of these characters even though they don’t look like us. And I think one of our goals with La Borinqueña is to not only engage an audience that’s underrepresented in mainstream media, but to also introduce this as an opportunity to say, you can see the universality in this character. You can see yourself.”
La Borinqueña also aims to inspire readers to action.
“A superhero, as fictional as La Borinqueña is, can inspire people in their real lives to look at their communities and say, 'well, what can I do to make a difference?'” he said. “It may be that a child walks away and starts saying to their family, 'I think we should start composting. I want to start riding my bike to school because I want to reduce my carbon footprint.'”
Miranda-Rodriguez’s art and activism are intertwined. He has used his work to raise money for masks for front-line workers during the pandemic and established a grant program after Hurricane Maria for nonprofits working toward a self-sufficient and thriving Puerto Rico.
Miranda-Rodriguez says Saturday’s event will include a conversation about the status of Puerto Rico and a case for decolonization. Books will be available for purchase and included in the library’s collection.
The event is free and geared toward all ages. Costumes are encouraged. It’s at the Wilmington Public Library on 10th street from 1 to 3 p.m.