williamscollege-perreo101 tour

Williams College 2021

Questions for Katelina “Gata” Eccleston—Please use the #trendingblkwilliams and #g2 in for the Twitter-chat

Race and gender in Reggaeton: 

  • I saw an interview where you spoke of JLo’s use of the term negrita, and I would like to know your opinion on the terms used by male reggaeton artists to refer to a woman?

  • Building on the last question, what are your thoughts on the term morena in music? 
  • Do you think that musical artists who use the term “la raza latina” or talk about Latinidad believe that Latinx is a unifying race or identity marker? 
  • Are there any examples of reggaeton artists acknowledging racial identities or do they mainly stick to the blanket Latinx identity? 
  • Do you think Reggaeton’s rising popularity in the US, where there is more online activism around race, will cause artists to acknowledge or confront issues around race more than they have before? 
  • In your podcast episode “Where Da Ladies At?”, you speak on the scant number of Reggaetoneras, attributing this to the pressure placed on women to “put out” for men with power in the industry. Alongside this, how do you think racism and colorism also contribute to the suppression of women in Reggaeton, especially considering the few prominent Latina women in the genre are those with a lighter complexion, such as KAROL G and Natti Natasha? 
  • Similarly, in regards to the space that Afro-Latina women occupy in Reggaeton, marginalized for both their race and gender, should it be an obligation for the more visible and prominent non-black and male artists to promote these women and their art? 

Knowledge and activism in the digital space: 

  • Following George Floyd’s murder by police in Minneapolis, you reflected on the silence of urbano artists in addressing the prevalence of anti-Blackness. What role should non-Black musicians capitalizing on Black music and aesthetics assume in these violent instances, especially when lacking the necessary language to dismantle these oppressive systems? 
  • Similarly, how do you view your presence in these online communities? As an activist and sharer of knowledge, where do you situate yourself within these digital conversations surrounding race and gender in Popular Culture? 
  • As a potential site of performative solidarity, social media is often labeled as an ineffective way of generating support among non-Black individuals for issues deeply impacting Black people. What type of social impact do digital platforms possess beyond affording visibility to Black folks? 
  • How do your experiences as a historian shape the manner in which you engage with online discourses centering Afro-Latinxs on social media, specifically Twitter? 
  • In what ways do you believe that Twitter and other social media platforms might be utilized in the future to garner support and raise awareness about issues concerning race and gender? What do you imagine the future of digital spaces and the continuing influence of BPC to look like? 
  • Speaking more specifically on activism through social media, you wrote in an Op-Ed that you were not a proponent of “cancel culture”. Admittedly, cancellation as a tool for accountability has its limitations and downfalls. As such, what are some of the methods you use to hold people accountable, especially Reggaeton artists who are active on social media? 

The rise of Reggaeton 

  • Reggaeton is truly on the rise, now one of the most popular and lucrative genres in Latin music. However, as you’ve said before, it is still definitely not as big as it can get, one main reason being that Latinx people often look down at Reggaeton through an elitist lens. Considering this, in what ways can the latin community be convinced of Reggaeton’s respectability as a genre, and how can this be achieved through the use of social media? 
  • In that same regard, is cross-cultural collaboration, such as what Cardi B did in her track with Bad Bunny & J Balvin also necessary for the “rise” of Reggaeton? If so, then what’s stopping collaborations between Reggaeton and Hip-Hop artists? Is it simply the language barrier or are there other factors at play? 

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