HANDOUT B—Reflective Questions:


  • Before Yomo, people couldn't imagine that the cuatro, an instrument from Puerto Rican folk and country music had a place in salsa, which was viewed as modem, urban Latin music. Why was his very mix so successful?


  • How does Yomo Toro talk about the relationship between objects and identity?


  • How would you characterize Yomo Toro, as a Puerto Rican artist, an artist, or a Latino artist? Why?


  • How is the cuatro a transnational object?
  • Yomo was in the music business for a long time before he became truly famous. In contrast, Hector Lavoe was a generation younger than Yomo and became famous at a much younger age. Do you think that age and experience are the only factors that allowed Yomo Toro to cope better with fame than Hector Lavoe?


o Given this oral history and your analysis, what did you learn about history,

trans-nationalism, identity, fusion and factors for success?


Have each group report out and discuss the responses to the questions across groups

This assignment could evolve into a larger individual or group reflective essay.


Extended Work/Homework

Developing a personal oral history

1.     Ask students to listen to or take one from someone in her/his family/community. If this is not possible, line up volunteers within the school or community for interviews.

2.     Ask students to tape their own oral history, using the guidelines developed by the class as a whole.


Transnational items:

           As a class, brainstorm a list of other items that could be classified as transnational. (Reaching beyond or transcending national boundaries). Collect pictures or objects and ask students to explain their answers with a one-two paragraph justification.



Objects that exemplify your life:

          In the same way that Sr.Toro talked about the cuatro, ask students to talk about an object in their lives that would exemplify its meaning. Prepare a display or a Web page with the objects and the accompanying explanations.


Other Resources for Oral History