Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Headed South to Montevideo

In November, I will visit the country of Uruguay in South America. This is not a planned trip or vacation; I was invited as part of an effort to introduce students in Uruguay to African American culture. Specifically, I will teach students about the African influence in American culture as it pertains to music. This comes easy to me because it stays near the front of my thoughts; however, my challenge is that most of the students speak limited English. I’m attempting to brush up on my Spanish in an effort to communicate as effectively as possible. Otherwise, I will depend on the universal power of music, and the supreme power of God, who will lead and guide me on this venture.

You may giggle, but I took my time to inform the Morphological Confetti community because I wanted to make sure I had my plane ticket. This entire trip is funded by the arts council, but I had to be perfectly certain that my ticket was in hand. I truly give thanks to God for this opportunity, but I would also like to thank one of my readers in Uruguay (Analia) for mentioning my blog to a group of teachers. She mentioned that my blog, Morphological Confetti, focuses on African American culture and language and the rest is…me getting on a flight to Uruguay in November.

As for Uruguay, its population is mostly of European descent. According to Wikipedia, 95% of Uruguayans are of European ancestry from Spain and Italy. There are nearly 4% of Uruguayans who are of African descent. They are my West African cousins who were brought there as slaves around the 16th century. It is estimated that 30 million Africans were shipped to the Americas, and the 6 million who survived the journey entered mainly through ports such as Buenos Aires, and Montevideo, Uruguay.

I will also enter Uruguay through Montevideo under much better circumstances. I won’t be there long enough to experience the fullness of the culture, but I will soak up as much as possible. I’m particularly interested in Candombe, a rhythmic drum sound that arrived in Uruguay with the Africans. I will give you more once I return – God willing. Peace~

Sources:  unique-southamerica-travel-experience.com, candombe.com, wikipedia, and youtube


neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Wow. All from blogging! I was just telling my mother that the Internet has changed the lives for many.

Enjoy your visit, Stephen. Make a lot of friends.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Oh...and it's not just American culture...the Beatles were influenced by African-American music...so were the Rolling Stones.

Stephen A. Bess said...

GG, I'm so thankful for the opportunity. MC finally got me on the map. ;)
Yes, African American music has touched people around the world in positive and negative ways. However, I will accentuate the positive. I wish I could stop by to say hello to you and your family. One day, sis. Take care and thanks for stopping in. Peace~

void said...

Enjoy your trip, Stephen! I know this will be a great experience! Please post pictures!

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