Wednesday, September 5, 2012

UndocuNation highlights immigrant art and music for free tonight

Buzzing Panamanian-American hip-hop duo Los Rakas headlines UndocuNation: A Night of Art, Activism and Immigrant Rights at Neighborhood Theatre tonight, September 5. The event coincides with the Democratic National Convention in order to cast a spotlight on issues currently facing immigrants as well as their contributions to arts and culture.

The lineup includes emcee/activiist Jasiri X, spoken word artists Sacrificial Poets from Raleigh, Greensboro-based singer-songwriter Laila Nur, slam poet Kendrea Mekkah, and filmmaker Josh Davis. Speakers include Jose Antonio Vargas, founder of Define America. Visual art by Julio Salgado, Marco Saavedra, Felipe Baeza, Inocente, and others will be on display. The event is presented by Center for New Community and Culturestrike. Artist and Culturestrike co-founder Favianna Rodriguez and poet Yosimar Reyes will co-host.

The members of Los Rakas emigrated to Oakland, California from Panama as adolescents. Its sound is informed by the Jamaican reggae, salsa, merengue, and Latin rock as well as the hip-hop cousins Ricardo Bethancourt and Abdull Domingo, both 23, absorbed living in Oakland. The award winning Los Angeles-based group often write socially-conscious lyrics about the immigrant experience. It was recently featured on CNN en Espanol. You can watch the report and hear the pair's music here.