• kdiaz

Bomba, and Black Lives Matter!

Bomba as we know, was born of resistance – black resistance against slavery in Puerto

Rico. Today, while many know bomba to be an Afro Boricua form of cultural expression,

it continues to play a key role in resistance movements on the island. When Puerto

Ricans rose up to demand the resignation of Governor Rosello last year, bomba was

one of the ways Puerto Ricans expressed themselves. More recently, as protests

spread over the brutal killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police, a rally was held in

Loiza that included bomba.

Movimiento Cultural was proud to honor this tradition, performing during a Black Lives

Matter rally in New Haven that attracted an estimated 5,000 protesters. Lucy Gellman

of The Arts Paper described the bombazo as follows:

Under a tent on the sidewalk, the congas became a heartbeat. Just feet

away, dozens of people moved back, an asphalt batey suddenly visible at

the center of Union Avenue. Hands clapped. Hips rocked. Shoulders

unclenched for flexing arms. The drums, now singing, slid into a rhythm

New Haven hadn’t heard for months. Revolution was coming… as members

of Movimiento Cultural Afro-Continental (MCAC) educated thousands in the

history and echoing, pulsing footprint of Bomba.

This was the first of Movimiento Cultural’s performances since the pandemic hit last

March. We were moved to act during a moment when everyone should be speaking out against racism and injustice. But we hope that this won’t be our last performance of the year. As cities make efforts to reopen, we will seek ways to continue to celebrate our culture in ways that also protect our health and the safety of our communities.


Kevin Diaz

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