Susan is a food, travel and lifestyle writer. See her stuff here.
As part of our celebration of Black History Month and Afro-Latino culture, we turn this week to how the influence of Africa has been interpreted in various Latin and Caribbean cultures. The music of West Africa, where a majority of those enslaved in the Americas came from, was diffused through both an indigenous and Spanish filter to become the distinct sounds and rhythms that we know today.
Cumbia, bachata, mambo and son jarocho are all quite distinct from each other and are still very vibrant expressions of tradition. But, more importantly, they also inform and influence a tidal wave of new expression, mixing with hip-hop, electronic, rock and jazz to form the musical bedrock of Alt.Latino.
In this week’s show, we dive into the vaults of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label dedicated to American folk traditions of all kinds. Our guide is Folkways curator emeritus Dan Sheehy, who knows a thing or two about Afro-Latino music and culture: He has traveled extensively to produce many of the great recordings in the archive.
Via friend and amazing person behind Building Beats (an organization that provides DJ and music programs that teach entrepreneurial, leadership and life skills to underserved youth), Phi Pham. He sent this in an email and it’s too good not to share:
Welcome to the very first issue of Build Your Knowledge. I started this project mainly because I was inspired by all the books I read/listened to and wanted to motivate friends to always be learning. Each month, I’ll send reviews on 5 books on a specific theme or topic. If you want to unsubscribe, just click here.
This month’s theme is feminism, women’s rights and several heroines that have led the social progress of women in history.
I hope my reviews inspire you to read a book or dig deeper in your learning journey. And don’t forget to pass on the knowledge to a friend!
The Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irina Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
We Should All be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Cool fact I learned in the book: Martin Luther King Jr. was a huge trekkie and convinced Nichelle Nichols to continue her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on Star Trek.
My Life, My Love, My Legacy by Coretta Scott King as told to Barbara Reynolds
… your bedroom style, that is! (Naughty, naughty!)
When it comes to interior decoration style, I’m basic at best. Clean lines, light colors, dark furniture. I would like to step it up someday, but I can admit it’s not my forte. I have two dear friends who kick ass in this department, especially when it comes to their bedroom style. Think fun colors and pretty scenes:
The above winter wonderland bedroom is by Michelle Christina Larsen, a Brooklyn-based copywriter who specializes in fashion editorial writing and creator of Day Job Optional, a blog dedicated to helping writers launch & grow sustainable online careers. She has a fashion school background, but something tells me she’s been decorating like this since she was a kid. You can find more of her DIY style on her style blog, Hey Mishka.
My other bedroom style inspiration is Charly Carlyle (a moniker, obviously) who is a psychometrician in her daytime career, but blogs about sex positivity when she’s not measuring medical research. She is TRULY inspired by bright colors and girly things, but she has a penchant for skulls, too.
See more of his work here.