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Tatita

Like thousands of other families, mine was part of the long and winding migration of hundreds of thousands of Puerto Ricans to New York City in search of the American Dream.

A large part of the generation that followed this migration eventually came to inhabit a borough known as the Bronx. These children grew up as the Bronx was burning: a tumultous time of discriminatory city planning, arson, and demolition. Ronald Reagan famously compared the area to post-WWII Germany while on a campaign visit.

But there's more to this story than urban blight -- despite all the retellings of rubble and poverty, a unique culture and oral history began to blossom in this place. Many of the cultural phenomena and significant figures we know today, from Salsa and Africa Bambatta to Colin Powell and Sonia Sotomayor, emerged and evolved from this very place and time. What went into this? How did it happen?

We're now seeing the children of those children, now in their twenties, begin to shape lives of their own -- some having children of their own. That's four generations covering the migration, settlement, and growth of an oft-untold American story.

This video portrait will begin documenting these stories with Tatita, the great-grandmother of the Cortez family.

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