Latin Music Erases The Black Origins of Many Genres

Like the United States, Latin America uses Black imagery and culture as a marker of marketable street culture or “cool,” all while diminishing the originators and often shutting them out of the movements they create. It is then used to create a “unifying” concept of national culture exported globally. On the surface, Latinidad offers shared national cultures of harmonious blending, where there is an equal exchange of food, clothes, music, identity, and ultimately the unifying promises of belonging to “nations.” However, when Black Latines and Latin Americans are not the faces of the genres they created — and therefore, not financial beneficiaries or models of authenticity when these styles of music take off — we begin to unravel who actually has access to industry, economy, livelihood, and presentation of the self. 

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