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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Urban/Global Politics

Biden is right about ‘aliens’

Last month, an email obtained by Axios revealed that Joe Biden’s administration is encouraging the elimination of the use of the term “alien” or “illegal alien” in favor of “undocumented individual” or “undocumented noncitizen” in all official documents, outreach efforts and other communications, to describe those in the US who are not citizens. It’s a significant development that […]

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Urban/Global Politics

What Latinos want to hear from Biden

The installation of Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States was a welcome relief from four years of Donald Trump’s constant demonization of Latinos, from separating immigrant children from their families to building his border wall to tossing paper towels at hurricane-ravaged Puerto Ricans. Inauguration Day featured the New York-bred Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, […]

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