All Black Everything: Analyzing African Influence throughout Puerto Rican Music

All Black Everything: Analyzing African Influence throughout Puerto Rican Music

Length: 1991 words (5.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

Marcus Garvey once said, “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness,” exemplifying not only that the African blood that flows through our veins is indeed wonderful, but is more a national treasure than a national tragedy. Countries across the world, in some form have been altered by the touch of the African influence whether that is socially and/or culturally. The same fate lies with the islands of the Caribbean, especially the island of Puerto Rico located in the Greater Antilles. Of all the African influential branches, Puerto Rican music would be one social phenomenon to be ultimately shaped and modified by African influence directly. Beginning with the African slaves, this paper covers the musically genres created over time containing West African elements, as well as covering the ways in which the Puerto Rican society influenced the music as well as how the music effected the society. This paper will also include the ways in which African descendants in Puerto Rico [musicians] would rise to fame despite existing in an era of open racism. Ultimately, explaining how the music and the people go hand in hand.
In analyzing the influence of Africa in Puerto Rico, it would be irresponsible to refuse to acknowledge the initial introduction of African slaves to the island of Puerto Rico that by which serves as the main vessel of contact and cultural integration. By the turn of the 18th century, inhabitants of the island where being substituted for African slaves due to the high death rates resulting from “ war, disease, slavery, emigration,” etc. (Duany, 188) Most of the slaves to whom where enslaved were predominantly, but not limited to the Yoruba and Bantu cultures of West Africa. D...


... middle of paper ...


...a, Cheo Feliciano, and even Tego Caulderon of today’s reggaeton genre. These men not only stood for Latino pride, but the acknowledgement and equal appreciation of the African decent.
In conclusion, it is without a doubt that African blood as well as influence beats within the Puerto Rican national identity to which is embodied and distributed within the music. The most popular music is based off of West African traditions and concepts, and the most infamous artist are black themselves. Although, not entirely accepted within the Puerto Rican and Latino communities, the African presence exemplified in day to day activities such as listening to music are in their own ways acceptance and reaffirmation of African cultural elements within the Puerto Rican realm of society. So instead of ending with a triumphant Viva Puerto Rico, I conclude with a glorious Viva Africa!

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Puerto Rican Music and Its Significance

- Puerto Rican Music and Its Significance Although the policies of Americanization and degradation of Puerto Rican culture heritage improved by the United States in Puerto Rico during the early decades of the twentieth century, the utmost concern for the United States was the strategic location of the island for political and economic advantages, not of the people who inhabited it. Puerto Rico, though a poor colony, was a rich cultural spot in an area of dynamic cultural influence of the Caribbean....   [tags: Music cultural Puerto Rico Essays]

Term Papers
1771 words (5.1 pages)

The United States Effect on Puerto Rican Music Essay

- The United States Effect on Puerto Rican Music The United States played an important role in the evolution of Puerto Rican culture, more specifically music. While Puerto Rican culture remains distinct from that of American culture, its historical progression is forever tied with that of the United States. This is evident in the evolution of Puerto Rican music. It is also evident in the experience of Puerto Rican musicians both on the island and in the Diaspora....   [tags: Puerto Rico Music culture Essays]

Term Papers
1506 words (4.3 pages)

Incorporating Other Music into West African Music Essay

- Music throughout West Africa has a history of evolving in an encompassing manner, involving many different kinds of music. It begins with different musical traditions across West Africa influencing one another, and since the 19th century involves the influences of popular Western music in West African music. Roughly between 1200 and 1900, a succession of ancient African empires with centralized governments flourished across West Africa, with various kingdoms, such as the Kingdom of Songhai and the Ashanti Kingdom, covering much of contemporary Mali, Ghana and Nigeria....   [tags: Music History, African Culture]

Term Papers
1987 words (5.7 pages)

Essay about Puerto Rican Music as Representation of Their History and Culture

- Puerto Rican Music as Representation of Their History and Culture Puerto Rican music is an evolving art form that expresses Puerto Rican culture and identity. The development of Puerto Rican music is also a reflection of their history, both being complicated by several layers. Social, political, and economic conditions are all related to the musical expressions of Puerto Ricans (Glasser, 8). Puerto Rican migration to the United States and the culture clash experienced by migrants is another layer complicating the evolution of Puerto Rican music (Glasser, 199)....   [tags: Culture Cultural Puerto Rico Essays]

Term Papers
1411 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Role of Music in Puerto Rican Popular Culture

- The Role of Music in Puerto Rican Popular Culture What is Puerto Rican music like. Where did it develop, and around when did it develop. What makes it up. These are very valid questions for someone who does not know anything about Puerto Rican music or Latin music in general. To understand Puerto Rican music and what it means to Puerto Rican people in general, you must look at the beginning. First there are different kinds of music that can be considered Puerto Rican. In general, Salsa is considered to be Puerto Rican music of today, but a famous musician by the name of Tito Puente says he plays Cuban music....   [tags: History Cultural Puerto Rico Essays]

Term Papers
1537 words (4.4 pages)

The Culture and Music of Puerto Rico Essay

- The Culture and Music of Puerto Rico In the first decade of American rule, Puerto Rican culture was influenced drastically by its status as a US possession. Although the political and economic aspects of American influence were very significant, American rule also had a great impact on Puerto Rican culture. This is expressed through the development of Puerto Rican music both on the island and in the United States. Puerto Rican music not only became an important cultural icon, but also helped to determine the new identity of the Puerto Rican both on the island and the mainland....   [tags: culture Cultural History Puerto Rican Essays]

Term Papers
1687 words (4.8 pages)

Puerto Rican Identity Found in Music During Colonial Rule Essay

- Puerto Rican Identity Found in Music During Colonial Rule Music played an important role in the history of Puerto Rico and helped shape the Puerto Rican identity. As a colonial possession, Puerto Rico was denied many rights which could have hindered its social progress, if not for its people’s ability to legitimize and become proud of their existence through less traditional ways. In America people can be proud of their history, or their economic and technological advancements as a country, or the legislative records of their elected representative....   [tags: Culture Cultural Music History Essays puerto Rico]

Free Essays
1530 words (4.4 pages)

The Role of Music During and After Puerto Rican Migration to the United States

- The Role of Music During and After Puerto Rican Migration to the United States For Puerto Ricans, music served infinite purposes. It allowed for the formation and reformation of cultural views and opinions, through the lyrics in the songs. These views were constantly changing, which in turn fed into the ever evolving identity of the Puerto Rican people. As a vehicle of expression it stimulated thought and provided a method of communication for the community. In The Puerto Rican community of New York City the increasing popularity of music indicated a desire for Puerto Rican based and oriented entertainment but more importantly for national unity....   [tags: Music Puerto Rican History Historical Essays]

Term Papers
1151 words (3.3 pages)

Puerto Rican Music in the United States Essay example

- Puerto Rican Music in the United States Music has always been a pervasive symbol of identity. It is a mode of expression that crosses gender, ethnicity and age. One need not understand the lyrics to identify with a musical genre; identification can be found through rhythm, tone of music, as well as other techniques in the music, unrelated to words. For example, most operas are in Italian and obviously everyone that attends an opera, does not speak or understand Italian. However, the audience is moved by the emotion conveyed through tone, facial expressions, and beat of the music....   [tags: Culture cultural History Puerto Rico Essays]

Term Papers
1712 words (4.9 pages)

Essay on Music as an Indicative of the History of Puerto Rico

- Music as an Indicative of the History of Puerto Rico During Dr. Lise Waxer’s October 29th lecture she characterized "music" as being indicative of the history of a people, a way of establishing social relations, and being a forum for dialogue. However, upon a critical analysis of the claims within her lecture and the issues discussed within Ruth Glasser’s My Music is My Flag, I believe that modern studies of Puerto Rican popular culture reveal more about the present state of Puerto Rican identity than the historical subjects themselves....   [tags: Culture cultural History Puerto Rican Essays]

Free Essays
1619 words (4.6 pages)