Superhero La Borinqueña a celebration of women’s rights and diversity during Hispanic Heritage Month
NEW YORK — For Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re introducing you to a superhero unlike any other. Her name is “La Borinqueña.”
CBS2’s Lisa Rozner shows us how she became a symbol of pride years after she was brought to life in a Williamsburg studio.
La Borinqueña represents all the women who’ve made a difference in graphic novelist and philanthropist Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez’s life.
“They were always the heroes in my life. These were attorneys, these are school educators,” said Miranda-Rodriguez.
The Williamsburg resident grew up in New York City and Puerto Rico. He told us La Borinqueña was born from an exhibit dedicated to her evolution at the Plaza Art Gallery at Nassau Community College.
“The comic book industry was predominantly shaped by narratives around white male characters. It was an opportunity to introduce a woman, a woman of African descent who was Latina,” said Miranda-Rodriguez.
In 2015, he made the first sketches. In 2016, he independently published the graphic novel series that celebrates diversity.
“The superhero herself delves into real-world experiences with climate change and how natural disasters like hurricanes are affecting Puerto Rico and other parts of the planet,” said Miranda-Rodriguez.
In one story, she uses an Afro-Puerto Rican dance to fight back. In her downtime, she is seen eating sancocho, a Latin American stew.
Five books have been published. Through sales and partnerships like one with DC Comics, Miranda-Rodriguez says nearly $200,000 have been awarded to organizations in Puerto Rico that advocate for arts education, women’s rights and sustainability.
“When I created the idea and the design of La Borinqueña, she debuted at the National Puerto Rican Day in 2016,” he said.
Eventually, the costume was on display at the Smithsonian alongside Superwoman.
In September, a mural was unveiled in Philadelphia. Rosario Dawson is the latest Latina to join the cause, which has inspired little girls to believe they can be as strong as La Borinqueña.
“They feel a sense of belonging and inclusion. When they put on that blue cape, when they put on that star, it’s so empowering for them and it fills me with so much joy,” said Miranda-Rodriguez.
La Borinqueña will be celebrated on Long Island until Dec. 22, before she and the exhibit fly to her next stop.
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