Culture

She’s A Black Woman Singing Regional Mexican Music With A Perfect Accent, So Why Are People Upset?

Before you even hear her voice, you’re wrapped up in the imagery. But then you hit play and all you can done is, who is this woman with a voice like the late Tejano star Selena? And what’s her story?

Thankfully, we finally have a story behind the woman taking regional Mexican music to new heights with her perfect renditions of top Mexican classics, hits by Selena and Jenni Rivera, among others.

Sarah La Morena is making headlines for her perfect renditions of popular Mexican classics.

Sarah Palafox, aka Sarah La Morena, has become a phenomenon on social media because of her performances of Mexican songs in a perfect Zacatecan accent. 

In her videos uploaded to Instagram, which have already generated thousands of views, you can see 23-year-old Palafox holding her iPhone while singing ‘Qué me vas a dar’, by Jenni Rivera, accompanied by a mariachi band, as well as other songs she performs with her regional music band from southwestern Mexico. 

The clip of Palafox singing with mariachis spawned a half of million views on Instagram and another 200,000 on Twitter. Other videos of her singing banda — another form of regional music from Mexico’s southwest coast — also have been shared thousands of times.

Palafox’s story represents the American story, one of diversity and overcoming immense challenges.

For Sarah, born in California but raised in Zacatecas, Mexico, by a family of Mexican immigrants, the controversy and burden is nothing new. She’s had to live with it for much of her life.

Like other children born into troubled families, Sarah was separated from her biological mother and placed in a foster home until a Mexican couple offered to give her a home and eventually officially adopted her and moved to Zacatecas, where the girl spent a happy and rural childhood. 

Once in high school, Palafox and her parents returned to California, and there she faced similar disdain because she was a Black girl who did not speak English and felt Mexican. That feeling of others wanting to scrutinize her race and her dual roots led to depression and a suicide attempt a couple of years ago, the artist explained to the Associated Press. 

But there are those who think that an African-American woman cannot sing mariachi and they have made that known.

While some Black users have criticized her for “being ashamed of her Blackness,” Latinos have not been far behind, and Palafox has received all kinds of racist insults and accusations of cultural appropriation in both Spanish and English. 

For California State University Chicano Studies professor Alexandre Jose Granadilla, Sarah La Morena “takes authenticity to a whole new level. Not only is her Spanish better than most Latinos, but she identifies with a town in Zacatecas. She is Mexican and this music is hers,” he told the AP.

Granadilla also emphasized that her music not only represents the shared historical experiences of Mexicans and African-Americans in the United States, but breaks down apparent dichotomies about race.

Palafox confirms that she is working on new music after having signed with LA-based Silent Giant Entertainment and we can’t wait to hear what she puts out next.

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One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

Things That Matter

One Town’s Residents Made A Citizen’s Arrest Of Their Mayor For Alleged Corruption And Shoddy Construction

QUETZALLI BLANCO/AFP via Getty Images

Residents of a village in Chiapas, Mexico have become so fed up with their mayor that they decided to do something about it. Eschewing long, bureaucratic legal processes to hold him accountable, residents of a southern Chiapas town decided to hold their mayor accountable for what they said was a public works project so poorly done that it was useless.

A mayor in Chiapas was tied to a tree by his own residents for a job done badly.

Residents from eleven neighborhoods of the Chiapas town Comalapa held their mayor accountable for his inaction on a public works project. According to reports, the residents arrested Mayor Óscar Ramírez Aguilar to a tree in a public area to expose him to the rest of the town. They told the newspaper Diario de Chiapas, that they wanted to expose him for the “bad public servant” that he is and that he shouldn’t be reelected.

The townspeople say the municipal water storage cistern — whose installation they say was a campaign promise — is in such poor condition that it does not comply with water safety requirements. It currently has no water, they said, due to leaks, and the residents accuse the government of merely patching the tank — badly — to stop them.

In a video on social media, residents showed how the concrete patch job is already chipping away and easily crumbles.

“He promised us that this would be a public works project worthy of Comalapa residents, but [this tank is] a farce; the water system doesn’t work well. It’s an old problem that he should have attended to properly and should have been a priority during his administration because he came to see us in our homes with this promise, and now he doesn’t want to live up to it,” a resident told the newspaper.

But the mayor is denying what happened in a social media post.

The mayor though has a totally different version of events. After he was released, Ramírez posted a video on his official social media account to counter the residents’ version of the story.

“They did not tie me up,” he claimed. “The meeting was with 11 representatives of Comalapa neighborhoods in order to agree upon details regarding a major public project, the introduction of potable water.”

However, photographs clearly showed the mayor standing before a tree with his hands behind his back.

Three years ago, another local official suffered a similar fate after allegedly failing to deliver promised funds. He was bound to a post in the the central plaza of Comalapa.

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Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

Entertainment

Selena’s Family Says They’re Ready For The Grammys And They’ll Accept The Award For Her

TARA ZIEMBA/AFP via Getty Images

Recently, it was announced that this year’s Grammy Awards were postponed until March thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. The news disappointed many Selena fans who were excited to see her posthumously awarded a lifetime achievement award.

However, her family has reiterated their intent to collect the award on Selena’s behalf, with her brother telling TMZ that they plan to make a family affair out of it.

Selena’s brother A.B. says the family is ready to accept her posthumous Grammy.

Selena’s older broth, A.B. Quintanilla recently spoke to TMZ about the family accepting Selena’s latest Grammy on her behalf. He said with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Selena’s parents will most likely stay home and that he and his sister Suzette Quintanilla will be in attendance if there’s an in-person ceremony.

“Coming on the end of [the pandemic], I would say that it’s not safe for my mother and father,” A.B. said. “They probably would be staying in.”

The Academy recently announced that the award show would be a smaller, virtual event taking place in March. But that’s no issue according to A.B. He said that he’s got grand plans to turn his sister’s award into a family affair and that they’ve got their popcorn ready.

He also says it feels like Selena’s still here whenever she wins an award or sets new records, even though it’s been a quarter-century since she was murdered.

“It’s kind of bittersweet because she’s breaking these records and she’s doing wonderful things but unfortunately she’s not here,” he admits. “It’s strange how people in their mindset, and even with me sometimes, it feels like she is here…I’m just happy to have been a part of it and that people are still enjoying the beautiful art that made because those pieces that Selena made, in the music world, those are van Gogh’s.”

A.B. also spoke about Netflix’s Selena: The Series, which debuted last month.

He said the series sheds more light on how their family played a part in Selena’s success. A.B. was Selena’s primary producer and songwriter and Suzette was the drummer in her band.

It would be great to see the whole family [accept Selena’s award],” A.B. said. “As people are seeing in the series, this was a family effort. A lot of people are in shock going, ‘Whoa A.B.! We didn’t know you were the guy that wrote the hits and you wrote the music and you had so much pressure on you.’ I’m very grateful for the series and for people learning from the series.”

The Grammy will not be Selena’s first.

In 1994, she became the first female Tejano singer to win in the Best Mexican-American Album category. During her award acceptance speech, Selena thanked her family. Her brother and sister helped to write, produce, and also played instruments on the album. Selena’s father Abraham worked as her manager.

Selena was nominated after her first Grammy win in 1995 for her fourth studio album, Amor Prohibido. Though she did not win the award, was thankful to be thought of in such high regard. She told a reporter at the time, “Just to be around these artists who are considered to be heavyweights is an honor.”

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