Urban/Global Politics

The Soaring Legacy of Pablo Milanés

Pablo Milanés, who died in Madrid this week at 79, left behind a body of work that was deeply personal even as he navigated one of the 20th century’s most tumultuous political experiments, the Cuban Revolution. His career was an open dialogue with the revolutionary government that had once disciplined him, then propped him up as one […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Allow Natalia Lafourcade to Reintroduce Herself

Over a balky wireless connection that seemed to symbolize how fleeting human contact has become, Natalia Lafourcade smiled as she showed off her garden in Xalapa, the capital of the Mexican state of Veracruz. She had emerged from the recording studio she built there, rattling off the trees that surround her home — guayabo, higuera, mulato — […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Bad Bunny’s politically charged reggaetón is making waves

“Puerto Rico is [expletive] great!,” exclaims Bad Bunny in “El Apagón (The Blackout),” a song from his best-selling album, “Un Verano Sin Ti.” His edgy exuberance and irresistible rhythmic brilliance are evident, but the boasting has a protective function, one that coaxes Puerto Ricans to persevere through bad times and puts the island’s longstanding problems […]

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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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