Urban/Global Politics

Our America: Cuba Across the Centuries

Early on in her masterful book Cuba: An American History, Ada Ferrer alludes to a double meaning embedded in her subtitle: “History in the first sense refers to what happened; in the second, to what is said to have happened.” Cuba’s history, Ferrer tells us, is likewise two histories. It is simultaneously a narrative of freedom […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Chick Corea, the Master Mixer of Jazz’s Past and Future

When the groundbreaking pianist Chick Corea died unexpectedly, at 79, in February 2021, he left a legacy of experimentation, preserving and expanding the jazz tradition. Over more than a half-century, he deftly navigated the music’s continually shifting boundaries. Corea started his career playing with the Afro-Cuban percussionist Willie Bobo and spent time with the bossa nova […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Colonialism’s Ledger: Puerto Rico in the Shadow of Debt

Colonial Debts: The Case of Puerto Rico Rocío Zambrana Duke University Press It’s become increasingly obvious that the need for wealth redistribution, “the issue that blocks the horizon,” as Franz Fanon wrote in The Wretched of the Earth is perhaps the central issue in any hope for progressive change. Wealth inequality has accelerated in what many perceive […]

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Urban/Global Politics

What’s New in the New West Side Story?

As I sat through a screening of West Side Story at a Lincoln Square movie theater—literally in the same neighborhood portrayed in the film—I couldn’t escape a growing realization. These days, we are trapped in a cycle of repetition, one in which the gnarled conflicts and perhaps small triumphs of the postwar era repeat themselves over and […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Cimafunk’s Quest To Create One Nación Under a Groove

A few months ago in a Tallahassee, Fla., recording studio, the Cuban vocalist and composer Cimafunk was engaged in a climactic meeting of the minds with the Parliament-Funkadelic leader George Clinton when they stumbled on a fascinating connection between African American and Afro-Cuban music. Cimafunk, born Erik Iglesias Rodríguez, was scatting out the 1950s smash “Los Marcianos,” which instantly […]

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