West Side Story cultural issue
Date: May 30, 2013
My advanced high school choir is doing a West Side Story medley of "I Feel Pretty," "Cool," and "America." I have a student of Puerto Rican background who hates the show and doesn't like to rehearse the music. She feels that the show is "racist" and does not portray her cultural in a postive or correct way. I think we can all agree that the show has sterotyping in it but that it's a landmark show with great music. What suggestions do you have for helping her to feel better about the show and the music? I want to honor her concerns and not trivialize or patronize them. I'm particularly interested in hearing from other folks with a Puerto Rican background who may be better able to understand her or help me to better understand her concerns. Thanks!
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