Comrade Llabbe, Black Hammer Times Staff
Colonized people fighting for revolution are the material result of our ancestors’ steadfast hopes and dreams. The music we create celebrates our culture, lands, labor and our revolutionary lives.
As an ancestral homeland to millions of colonized people, the coasts of the Caribbean sea is where indigenous ancestors cultivated their ancient musical instruments from their food.
Where African ancestors rebelled against colonization, they too, cultivated the ancestral rhythms of their lost continent by using maracas and drums in the land now known as Colombia.
Thus Champeta was born.
African and Colonized Unity in the Caribbean
Champeta refers to the tool used by the true working class of so called Colombia. A tool used by African and Indigenous peoples to hack away at the agricultural crops controlled by the european settlers.
Champeta is of the slave and working class, a perjorative for Black culture, and assert white power.
Much like previous cultural movements of Colombia, the music of Champeta grew from this shared colonized identity.
Starting in the Mahates town of the Bolivar department, Afro-Colombians Costeños, Coast dwellers, had a history of resisting cultural colonization by creating innovative new genres such as Cumbia and Vallenato.
These genres were influenced by Indigenous cultures from their cultivation of local foods, such as gourds, and the creation of rhythm instruments such as the Guaira and Maracas.
Afro-Colombian salsa musician Joe Arroyo is one of the more well known cultural heroes to integrate Champeta culture into Salsa and Cumbia as a means to unite poor, colonized Costeños into Champeta culture.
The sound of Champeta has changed a lot.
What hasn’t changed is the Dembow rhythm, made famous by Africans in Jamaica, found today in Dancehall, Reggaeton, and Champeta.
Those aren’t the only genres to include the Dembow rhythm. The famous Congolese genre, Soukous, with it’s light euphoric guitars and percussion, shares many similarities with Champeta. This shows how strong the African culture is amongst both the diaspora and those in the African nation.
Also remaining unchanged is the soundsystem culture. Caribbean genres such as Dub of Jamaica focus heavily on large amplifiers which play music over the loud sounds of city life.
Champeta was meant to be played loud. Listeners are meant to feel the addictive rhythms and changeable energy within the crowd themselves.
This collective culture of African and Colonized people created by soundsystems has been at least one source of cultural liberation, despite all of the sellouts.
Shakira profits off of Anti-Blackness and Champeta
Speaking of sellouts…
Early this year, Colombian artist Shakira created the #ChampetaChallenge dance which took the white culture industry of the Americas by storm.
Hoodwinked by the White Power Media, millions were introduced to this genre by a neocolonial sellout.
Famous for “charity work” with the world bank, miseducation awards from deporter in chief Barrack Hussein Obama, and participation in the antiblack NFL’s superbowl halftime performance, Shakira has proven herself to be white power in a colonized mask.
This is no different than the ripping appropriation of the musical cultures of the Caribbean and African nation by sellout hip-hop artists Drake and Kanye West respectively.
Coronavirus does the Conquistador’s job for colonizers
In one video in El Choco, an elderly man can be seen being left in front of a hospital. It was later revealed by Colombian news outlets that the patient died. El Choco is a region of Colombia which borders both the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, where the Embera people have survived alongside the 80% of people who are of African descent.
Another department of Colombia, Leticia, which borders Brazil, Antonio Bolívar, a member of the Ocaina Indigenous tribe and a part-time actor fell ill with Coronavirus. He became a local celebrity following his starring role in the 2015 movie Embrace of the Serpent, the first-ever Colombian film nominated for an Oscar.
The 60-year-old public hospital, which treated Bolívar lacks basic medical equipment and features a leaking roof and broken sinks and toilets.
In April, about 30 of its doctors and nurses resigned over the lack of medical equipment and because they hadn’t been paid in months.
That prompted federal authorities to intervene and take over management of the hospital. Some of the staff have since returned.
After several more hours lying in the back of an ambulance, Antonio Bolívar was finally taken back to the public hospital where he was admitted.
Four days later, Leticia’s movie star died at the age of 75.
Black Hammer Organization supports Cultural Revolution!
At this time more than ever colonized people’s culture is constantly stolen by white power and sold back to colonized people, as a way to reassert influence.
All the while the creators of the culture, African and Colonized people are suffering from white power capitalism.
Colonized revolutionaries realize the only means to end white power’s appropriation of African and Colonized cultures is the full dictatorship of the colonized proletariat.
Through the leadership of poor and working class Colonized people, sellouts like Shakira can help the by sharing in the people’s dictatorship of culture, rather than exploiting it for super profits for the colonizers.