Politics
Photo by Ovidio Gonzalez/Getty Images

Afro-Colombian Francia Marquez's Ascendance Is Historic

The single mother and former cleaner captured many as they voted her and President-elect Gustavo Petro in to redirect the South American nation's path.

In what could arguably be the greatest rags to freedom story in some time, Colombia has voted in their first-ever Black woman Vice President. The historic vote saw leftist Afro-Colombian lawyer and activist Francia Márquez win alongside President-elect Gustavo Petro in Sunday's election. The pair won by 50.4%, just making it as Colombia's first elected government to follow leftist ideologies. Naturally, racists are upset, but for so many Colombians, seeing a Black woman in power was considered a thing of fantasy.

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Music
Photo: Daniela Murillo.

Picós Sound Systems: A Nostalgic African Sound in Colombia

Barranquilla has become a catalyst of African rhythms in the Colombian and Caribbean coast.

On January 1 the annual pre-carnival festivities officially began for the carnival that will take place this year at the end of March in Barranquilla, Colombia. Picós (from the English for “pick-up”) are at the heart of these parties taking place in the streets, houses and venues in various popular neighborhoods in Barranquilla and Soledad (a city on the outskirts of Barranquilla).

These retro sound systems, also called turbos, are decorated with fluorescent colors. They have been a symbol and identity of the city for a long time. The ethnomusicologist and musician Andrés Gualdrón says, “The picó sound system was used to musicalize parties, festivals and Carnival festivities in Cartagena and Barranquilla.”

“The presence of records from the African continent started in 1970 in various picós along the Caribbean coast,” says Gualdrón, who has been studying the origins of champeta music. In Colombia these vinyl arrived mostly to Cartagena and Barranquilla thanks to music collectors.

“There were plenty of people bringing African vinyl like Osman Torregrosa and Donaldo García who made a lot of trips into Haití, Guadalupe, Curazao and bought these records in foreign languages,” adds Gualdrón.

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Un Fotoperiodista Afrocolombiano Documenta La Crisis del Coronavirus en Chocó

El fotógrafo Jeison Riascos captura no solo las historias dramáticas de la pandemia sino también la solidaridad de los habitantes del Chocó.

Photos: An Afro-Colombian Photojournalist Documents the Coronavirus Crisis in Chocó

Photographer Jeison Riascos is capturing not just dramatic stories from the pandemic but also the solidarity shown by residents of his hometown, Quibdó.

Kevin Florez & The Busy Twist's 'Champetizate' Is a New Afro-Colombian Jam

Video Premiere: Watch the striking Cartagena-shot music video for "Champetizate" from Kevin Florez and The Busy Twist.

These Colombian Civil Rights Activists Are Fighting to Make Sure Afro-Colombians are Counted in the Census

When 30 percent of Colombia's Black citizens disappeared from the data overnight, a group of Afro-Colombian activists demanded an explanation.

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Shakira Brought Afro-Colombian Dance to the Super Bowl

The singer danced Champeta during her performance of "Waka Waka," as well as Mapalé.