Is J.Lo, AKA Jennifer Lopez, Still ‘Jenny From The Block’?


As a contemporary fellow Bronxite of Jennifer Lopez, I grew up looking at her and admiring her many accomplishments.

She made it out of the Bronx. But was her life really as hard as she claims?

J. Lo lived in the Castle Hill neighborhood of the Bronx which was and is worlds apart from the burning South Bronx of our youth. Castle Hill has been a hard working middle class community since I could remember and more suburban in nature than urban. The only burning you saw there were of the grills on a hot summer day in the backyards of the thousands of houses that make up the community.

Lopez attended private, Catholic schools for 12 years including the all girls Preston High School – a rather idyllic school directly on the waterfront on the Long Island Sound.

This is far from that horrible Bronx image that she conjures up whenever speaking of making it from the Bronx. Ms. Lopez makes it seem as if she grew up in the projects in the middle of burnt out buildings with nothing but rubble strewn lots as a playground. Although she doesn’t actually say that, for millions of fans around the world that don’t know the Bronx, that is what is assumed. And she never corrects them.

She constantly uses our beloved borough in the narrative of her life but she’s often too busy to come to us and help the borough that she claims helped shape who she is and responsible for her impetus to achieve success.

Yes, J. Lo donates millions to charities, particularly dealing with women and children’s issues but what about the Bronx? Sure it’s her money and yes she can decide what to do with it but at some point isn’t it almost a responsibility to give something back to the community who’s name you invoke all the time and essentially use?

This is a topic that has been on Bronxites minds for quite some time. If Jenny from the block is reading this, I’d love to sit down and chit chat with her, invite her back home and talk about the issues that ail her fans at her home base and what we can do to partner up.

Folks in the Bronx have a rather negative view of Lopez and I would like for her to rectify it. Perhaps donate the ill-gotten money she received for performing (as Mother Jones puts it) at the, “… birthday bash of Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, the 56-year-old president—and human-rights-quashing, personality-cult-driven dictator—of Turkmenistan.”

I know at least of a dozen organizations that money can go to to make a real positive impact.

As I always, I turn the conversation back to you folks. Thoughts?

Be sure to check out the full story at W.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.