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A Street In San Francisco Will No Longer Be Named After A Racist Past Mayor In Favor Of Frida Kahlo

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San Francisco’s ties with the Hispanic community run long and deep. Obviously, Native Americans were the first settlers there and Spanish missionaries arrived in 1776, back when it was called Yerba Buena. California was once part of Mexico and then became a part of the U.S. in 1821 as much of the southwestern U.S. did. It’s this diverse history and complicated past with colonialism that has led to years of trying to fix the present in response to the past.

San Francisco city officials have announced they will seek to rename a street tied to a controversial figure and change it to Frida Kahlo.

The street that will be changed is currently Phelan Avenue, named after former San Francisco Mayor James D. Phelan who governed the city between 1897 to 1902. While Phelan has been referred to as a multimillionaire philanthropist that supported artists and writers in San Francisco, he was also instrumental at issuing immigrants out of the city.

Phelan ran a notorious senate campaign (which he won) that had the slogan “Keep California White.”

In 1912, he wrote: “This is a whiteman’s country. We cannot make a homogeneous population out of people who do not blend with the Caucasian race.”

Several institutions do bear his name and students at various colleges in San Francisco have tried to remove it from their buildings.

S.F. Supervisor Norman Yee said he wants to change the name of Phelan Avenue after learning of Phelan’s racist past.

Phelan Avenue will soon be called Frida Kahlo Way.

Frida Kahlo Way will be located right in front of City College of San Francisco. The street name change is expected to happen in the next two weeks, according to KQED.

“At a time when the country is rethinking who deserves to have statues and parks named after them, [having] a street that an institution like City College is on named after someone whose family left a legacy of racism, doesn’t reflect [our] values,” City College English professor Alisa Messer told the San Francisco Examiner last week.

Frida Kahlo and her partner Diego Rivera both have a strong connection to San Francisco.

The Museum of the City of San Francisco has archived images of the couple when they visited in 1941.

Rivera and Kahlo first traveled to San Francisco in 1940 and returned in 1941 for the Golden Gate International Exposition. Rivera also has several murals throughout the city.

San Francisco has honored Kahlo in a variety of the ways including a festival devoted to her, murals of her, and her original artworks can be seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.


READ: There’s A New Frida Kahlo Exhibit That Features Rare Family Photos And It Made Me So Emotional

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Meet Amparo Garrido, The Actress Whose Voice Everyone Has Mistaken For Frida Kahlo

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Meet Amparo Garrido, The Actress Whose Voice Everyone Has Mistaken For Frida Kahlo

This month, the Mexican government announced that it had discovered the first known audio recording of Frida Kahlo’s voice. But after multiple skeptics with ties to Kahlo, including relatives and former students, shared their doubts, it seems clear that the recording isn’t of the famed Mexican painter after all. However, the woman in the clip who was likely mistaken for Kahlo is somewhat of a hidden Mexican badass herself: Amparo Garrido.

A popular dubbing artist, Garrido played the voice of Snow White when Disney dubbed the 1937 classic film in the 1960s. The actress also voiced Bambi’s mother when it too was made for a Spanish audience and played several youthful characters on radio shows at the start of her career. In addition to her work in children’s films and programs, Garrido also worked on El Bachiller, a Mexican radio program in the 1950s. 

On June 13, a clip from El Bachiller was found by archivists from Televisa Radio’s who were digitizing and preserving a collection donated by the late Mexican broadcaster and screenwriter Álvaro Gálvez y Fuentes. In the recording, a voice believed to be Kahlo’s reads from the artist’s 1949 essay “Portrait of Diego,” where she describes her husband, muralist Diego Rivera. “He is a gigantic, immense child, with a friendly face and a sad gaze,” the woman reads.

Garrido, however, believes the voice is hers.

“When listening to this audio I remembered some things and I got excited because I did recognize myself,” she told El Universal.

Garrido was made aware of the recording from her son, who identified his mother’s voice as soon as he heard it.

“When I watched a television program, I heard a voice that I recognized as my mother’s, and in the program they said it was Frida Kahlo, which I thought was very strange, because I noticed that it was a voice of an actress or an announcer, that is, a studied voice, with nuances, ” her son Ismael Eduardo Larumbe added.

When he showed the recording to his brothers, they all agreed with him.

“They also told me that it was my mom. [The audio] is very much in time, form and circumstance when my mom recorded very often with El Bachiller, and her tone, coloratura and intention are practically the same,” he continued.

Larumbe said he is sure it’s not Kahlo’s voice in the recording because “it is a studied voice [and] there is no poet who reads his poems like a declaimer.”

Kahlo’s relatives and former students don’t think it’s the iconized painter, either. 

“As far as Kahlo family knows, there are no records of Frida’s voice,” they said in a statement, according to the Guardian.

Two of her art students, Arturo Estrada Hernández and Guillermo Monroy Becerril, also noted that the voice in the clip didn’t sound like that of their one-time teacher.

“The thing is, I don’t recognize the voice,” Becerril said. “The first time I met her, I noticed she was a woman with a very sweet, cheerful voice … Frida’s real voice was very lively, charming, and cheery. It wasn’t serious or smooth or delicate … it was crystal clear.”

It is also unlikely that Kahlo, who died in 1954, was well enough to voice the recording, which was broadcast the following year.

“That makes things difficult, because in 1954, she was in hospital practically the whole time. And besides, the voice is rather an affected one,” Larumbe said.

As more information surrounding the viral recording of one of the most famous painters of all time come forward, it seems less and less likely that the voice heard is that of Kahlo. But while archivists may not have discovered what they initially believed they did, they did shine a spotlight on another Mexican voice that many of us, who watched Spanish-language Disney classic films in our home countries, enjoyed growing up.

Read: Frida Kahlo’s Former Students Deny Claims That The Recording Thought To Be Her Voice Is Actually Hers

Frida Kahlo’s Former Students Deny Claims That The Recording Thought To Be Her Voice Is Actually Hers

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Frida Kahlo’s Former Students Deny Claims That The Recording Thought To Be Her Voice Is Actually Hers

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Earlier this month, the National Sound Library of Mexico announced they had discovered the only known recording of the artist’s voice. Media outlets and Kahlo fans around the world were ecstatic about the audio thought to have captured Kahlo reading a portion of her essay about her husband and fellow artist, Diego Rivera.

Now, the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s relatives and former students have come forward to dismiss claims that the discovered recording could be her voice.

Last week fans of the artist were enthused to find out last week that researchers in Mexico had discovered an audio recording of Frida Kahlo, but now people that knew her well are saying that voice in the recording is not her at all.

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“The thing is, I don’t recognize the voice,” Guillermo Monroy Becerril, a former student of Kahlo’s, told the Spanish news agency Efe. “The first time I met her, I noticed she was a woman with a very sweet, cheerful voice … Frida’s real voice was very lively, charming, and cheery. It wasn’t serious or smooth or delicate … it was crystal clear.”

Kahlo’s descendants have also questioned the origins of the recording.

In a statement, member’s of the artist’s family said: “As far as Kahlo family knows, there are no records of Frida’s voice.”

Another person is claiming the voice in that recording is her and not Kahlo.

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Mexican actress Amparo Garrido, who did the voice of Snow White in the 1960s for a dub recording in Spanish, said, according to The Guardian, “I feel it’s me and have for a while. I recorded various things for El Bachiller … I’m almost absolutely sure that I recorded this one.” Her daughter agrees, “I immediately heard the voice of my mother.”

The library researches who found the audio recording in the first place said they are still investigating the file to find out the origin.

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Why did we get our hopes up for nothing?!

The New York Times reports that the National Sound Library will meet with Garrido to see if her voice matches that of the Kahlo recording and will test out other voices from actresses in Mexico from that era as a process of elimination.

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