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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Latin Music

Rubén Blades, a Salsa Legend, Swings in a Different Direction: Jazz

Rubén Blades is a renowned vocalist, one of the emblematic singer-songwriters of 1970s salsa. But he’s not always recognized for his achievements in other disciplines: He’s also a Broadway and Hollywood actor, a composer, a Harvard Law School master’s graduate and a one-time candidate for president of his native Panama. And don’t ever say he can’t sing […]

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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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