Photo Credit: Sara Cottle
New York City Celebrates Afro-Latino Pride With Afro-Rican Bomba Event
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! In New York at the Pelham Art Center, there will be an Afro-Rican Bomba and Art celebration to honor the local community’s Afro-Latino pride, specifically those of Puerto Rican and African heritage.
Located at 155 Fifth Ave #1503, the music event will be hosted by Bronx native, Jose Ortiz, who goes by his performance name of Dr. Drum. The popular community activist and performer will play the music from his upbringing to shed light on the vibrant culture Afro-Ricans have introduced to the East Coast.
September 15th to October 15th marks Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States and this is when the country acknowledges the historical, cultural, and social contributions people of Latin descent have made to the United States.
The art and movements of Bomba were born in Puerto Rico and are an African-originated form of dance that has transformed in popularity throughout the Latin country and in the United States.
The loud drum beats and quick dance sequences will be presented by BombaYo which will immerse visitors into the culture. After the performance, there will be a hands-on art workshop that will highlight symbolic artistic products relating to Afro-Rican culture. This event takes place on Saturday, September 18th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm. This is a free event to welcome families, friends, and the youth in a community celebration of Latin culture.
The history of Bomba is as long as slavery’s existence in the United States, when African enslaved folks were participating in the dance in Puerto Rico in the Spanish Colonial Period from 1493 to 1898. It is still practiced today.
The mere practice of Bomba acknowledges the African heritage and descendants that derive from Puerto Rico because of the African Diaspora. This dance form is one of the oldest forms of dance in Puerto Rico, and the sounds of Bomba can be heard in the historical neighborhoods of the island.
The sounds of Bomba reflect the colorful nature of Puerto Rico and the community spirit of the Latin-influenced territory. The chants in the ballads and the repeated drum beats are representative of the folk music that the Bomba was birthed from. In the modern world, Bomba has shifted into party music that is played to promote dancing and happy gatherings between family and friends. Other popular artists have created their own sounds of Bomba and fused the art form with their culture or musical taste.