“Sonidos Negros” Book Launch Party

Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco, a trailblazing new monograph by resident scholar K. Meira Goldberg, is coming soon on Oxford University Press. To celebrate, we will be hosting a launch party at the 92nd St. Y this October. 

The event will feature readings from the book and a roundtable discussion with scholar Kiko Mora. There will also be a  screening of a short film from 1900 by Lumière, which features the first male flamenco dancer ever recorded, Jacinto Padilla, “El Negro Meri,” and a flamenco performance by the renowned Raquel Heredia Reyes, “La Repompilla.”

still from a 1900 film showing black flamenco dancersThe event is October 12 at noon, a part of the Y’s Fridays at Noon series, which is livestreamed on their website, so great news for those of you who are unable to be physically present! We’ll have more information for you as the event approaches.

What can flamenco dance tell us about race and racism in the world wrought by slavery. From 711–1492, parts of the Iberian Peninsula were ruled by a succession of vast Afro-Islamic caliphates—and were simultaneously the epicenter of Christian Europe’s battle to eject these forces. Christian victory came in the same year that Christopher Columbus’s landing in the Americas set in motion a massive and catastrophic shift in global hegemony. Gradually, Spain’s system of “blood purity,” a tool in the battle against Islam, became what we now think of as “race”; Christian evangelization was a weapon of conquest. K. Meira Goldberg’s new book, Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco (Oxford University Press, 2018) traces how flamenco’s ostentatious rebelliousness, tumultuous sensuality, quixotic idealism, and fierce soulfulness embody resistance, the lament for what has been lost, and the values and aspirations of those rendered imperceptible by abjection, enslavement, and colonization.