The Black Roots Of Latin Music And Dance

Nov 20, 2020
Originally published on November 20, 2020 1:56 pm

Activists and artists continue fighting to awaken U.S. arts institutions to the foundational Blackness of Rock, EDM and Punk. The whitewashing of music and dance is a supremacist project throughout the Americas. Choreographers and instructors oftentimes ignore the West African traditions undergirding salsa, merengue, tango, and bachata.

The whitewashing of national art forms reinforces the pervasive erasure of Afro-Latinxs. Two dancers in North Carolina aim to reincorporate that history and celebrate the continued contributions of African artistry in Latin music and dance. The "Mix(ed) Tape” podcast features the voices of Afro Latino and African American dancers describing racism and cultural marginalization — both on the dancefloor and in the genre. It also breaks down hit songs by Black artists to contextualize and amplify their socially-conscious lyrics.


Host Frank Stasio discusses the project with co-hosts Melissa Villodas and Andrés Hincapié. Villodas is a doctoral student of social work at UNC-Chapel Hill, and Hincapié works there as an assistant professor of economics.

Listen to the podcast

Listen to their curated playlist of Latin music on Spotify and Apple Music

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