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The Latinx Collective: the "Turning Failure into Fuego🔥" edition
THIS WEEK'S SIX:
Your'e probably fed up with my love for Bad Bunny but he uses his fame to create dialogue around complicated topics --- he's a major risk taker🔥 ---, which I think is a nice change of pace for a celebrity. It's a great profile on him - worth the read!
When I ask why he thinks his work resonates so strongly with young queer people, he says, "It's a message of respect, of freedom. I think they feel comfortable, and they feel, I don't know, like part of what I'm doing. They don't feel excluded from the group, but instead, like, 'We're wanted here; we can be ourselves here.'" Self-love, inclusivity and LGBTQ acceptance aren't the only progressive ideas reflected in his music. On "Solo de Mi," he sings about autonomy after terminating a romantic partnership: "Don't call me baby, I'm not yours or anyone else's, I belong only to myself." In the video, the theme was translated as a statement against gender-based violence.... But ultimately, he's offering up proof that artists like him, people who are trying to do something different, can not only exist in the industry but also find success within it. The foundation on which Bad Bunny stands is a positive one — and could be impactful for urbano music, as well as other popular genres. The ripple effect of his continued celebrity could be far-reaching.
Speaking of failure and rejection, 🔥 a Latina entrepreneur wrote this article about the grueling process she went through to raise one of the largest Series A investments ever secured by a Latinx woman-led company.
If you’re going to fundraise, take my advice: get to the rejection as soon as possible. Don’t waste their time or yours. People like to court you into a no, they draw it out, and it can really drain your emotional batteries by the time you finally get there. Don’t be afraid to ask the difficult questions early on in the conversation. Start dividing the metaphorical room into people you like and don’t. After that, divide the room again into people who can write a big enough check to accomplish your goals. Now the job is to get them to like you and your business. It’s time to make friends.
Dominican-American slam poet, author and performer Elizabeth Acevedo has become the first ever writer of color to win the UK’s most prestigious children’s books award, the Carnegie medal, which has a history stretching back to 1936 and includes Arthur Ransome, CS Lewis and Neil Gaiman among its former winners. Acevedo, the daughter of Dominican immigrants, took the medal for her debut, The Poet X. A verse novel, it tells of a quiet Dominican girl, Xiomara, who joins her school’s slam poetry club in Harlem and is, according to the judges, “a searing, unflinching exploration of culture, family and faith within a truly innovative verse structure”. Xiomara “comes to life on every page and shows the reader how girls and women can learn to inhabit, and love, their own skin”.
Netflix is adapting Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez's iconic "One Hundred Years of Solitude" into a series. The novel is set in the fictional "Macondo," which was inspired by Marquez's hometown in northern Colombia. "One Hundred Years of Solitude," which was originally published in Spanish in 1967, is perhaps the best known work by the Nobel prize-winning author. Marquez was also a treasure to the Colombian people. When he died at age 87 in 2014, Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos declared three days of national mourning.
As the biracial son of Mexican immigrants, I have, at various stages of my life, described myself as Latino, Mexican American, Hispanic, and Chicano. None of these words ever felt quite right; none of them painted the whole picture of how I see myself or how I want to be seen. I felt I had inherited a chaotic identity with too many facets; language, race, geography—which one should win out? But mestizaje tells us it is precisely this struggle, the search for a cohesive identity, that defines us as a people. The “mixedness” is not a halfway state of being, but a complete state of being unto itself. I can think of no better extension of that sentiment than “Latinx,” a word that concedes to malleability, the “x” willing to become whatever it needs to be for the person who wears it.
A fun read about the Oakland-based Puerto-Rican restaurant owned by chef Jose Ortiz that auditioned to feed pro basketball team the Golden State Warriors. It all came to be because one of the restaurant's regular customers is Marcos Mendoza, the Warriors’ executive chef, who controls the Oracle Arena's VIP areas, the 84 suites, and the entire food sector. If you're in the area, La Perla's website is here. (*Thanks to my friend Aida Zepeda for the recommendation!)
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