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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Urban/Global Politics

The Riddle of Who We Are

Throughout his fiction and nonfiction, Francisco Goldman has mapped the many border lines that pervade his life. Some of his novels have mined his Central American family connections. His journalistic work has uncovered the genocidal policies of the US government and its Guatemalan government collaborators. Sometimes he has adopted the detached demeanor of a forensic […]

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Urban/Global Politics

Larry Harlow, a Salsa Revolutionary

In many ways, Larry Harlow — one of the central figures of salsa and its defining label, Fania Records — was a master at mixing the diverse musical connections between New York and the Caribbean. In a career that spanned six decades, he stitched together overlapping genres like rock, jazz and R&B and various Cuban genres like rumba, son […]

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Urban/Global Politics

The Past Has a Future

Over the past 20 years, Raoul Peck has emerged as one of his generation’s leading filmmakers and intellectuals. Beginning with Lumumba and Sometimes in April, his unflinching examinations of the assassination of Patrice Lumumba in 1961 and the Rwandan genocide in 1994, Peck has shown us the horrors of late-stage decolonization and postcolonialism. With his last two feature […]

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Latinos and Race

Ted Cruz says no Latino uses the term ‘Latinx.’ Some do, and the reasons are not simple

A quiet story in the entertainment site Deadline that television star Eva Longoria and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris would be developing a new sitcom revolving around a “modern Latinx family” seemed to set off Texas Sen. Ted Cruz Wednesday. “No actual Latino uses the woke made-up term Latinx,” he tweeted, reiterating a now familiar conservative talking point. Since it […]

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