Published June 25th, 2020 at 3:51 PM
Bomba is more than a genre of folk music. It’s a dialogue of rhythm, song and dance built on the resistance and survival of enslaved people in Puerto Rico.
These days it has appeared in Black Lives Matter protests that ensued following the police-related deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Layleen Polanco, who were all Black. Improvisational dance and drumming joins the chants, signs and raised fists, all of which signify a push for change.
“Seeing how our brothers and sisters are being treated, not being well taken care of… we feel the need to stand up,” said Yaira Velez, founder of a Kansas City-based Puerto Rican dance group called Cuerpo de Baile Areito Kansas City.
This week, Areito members published a video in which they perform bomba as a sign of solidarity with the local Black community. Watch the video above for a brief overview of its history and an interview with the family responsible for its popularity on the island.