Mami is one of the first women in Macún to get a job outside the home. She begins as a thread cutter in a bra factory and moves up quickly to sewing the bras. Sewing bras gives Mami pride and purpose, and most importantly, it allows her to be self-sufficient. In Brooklyn, Mami continues to sew bras in order to remain independent and care for her family. When Negi gets her first bra after starting her period, it represents the same thing that sewing bras does for Mami. It represents Negi's passage into adulthood, her growing independence, and the possibility for self-sufficiency in the future.
Bras Quotes in When I Was Puerto Rican
"I can't count on anyone from outside the family. Besides, you're old enough to be more responsible."
And with those words Mami sealed a pact she had designed, written, and signed for me.