"La negra tiene tumbao" - Celia Cruz (PSA: google the translation😘😜)-
I'm reposting this blurb I wrote once about the Cuban artist Celia Cruz because I love when life comes full circle. A beautiful friend bought me this shirt last year for my birthday, and then this year I took a trip to Cuba on my birthday in July and made sure to pack the shirt with me so that I could wear it in Celia Cruz's honor upon my visit. I can be cheesy in that way, or intentional. Depends on your perspective. Either way, think what you may, the shirt was coming with. 😋 Then when I came back to the US of A, I had the pleasure of meeting the designer of this shirt at a music event, and even more mind blowing, at work I had been assigned a client of Cuban descent. He is a humble gentleman who once was a great friend to Fidel Castro. He showed me pics as proof. We shared stories. Here's mine.
At a very young age my uncles gave me the nickname Celia Cruz. Confused?! Yes I was for many years, annoyed, to say the least. I couldn't understand the connection, or any possible similarities to this "out there" salsa singer. She enjoyed randomly shouting "Azucar" during performances, loved to wear sky high wigs, glitter for clothes, and dab on feathers whenever possible. At my young age, I just noticed the differences. But I want to thank my uncles, because as I see it now, what they have done by giving me such a nickname, is subconsciously seal my fondness for life's "adorable weirdos". She was jovial, expressive, talented, influential, and culturally proud. She was also, AfroLatina. A cultural identity that at my young age I did not know existed. So as I look back on it now, thank you for setting me up uncles! Thank you because unknowingly you jam-packed so much power, self-love, and cultural awareness in a simple nickname...and here I am, exposed to it...Loving it!
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