“Ay qué palo mama, que palito. Ay qué palo mama, que palito.
A mi me gusta bailar pegaito, a mi me gusta bailar pegaito.”
although it seems your children have forgotten you,
tonight we feel your spirit in the hypnotizing melody of your song.
Let every beat of drums bring us closer to you
and remind us of your golden beauty.
And because we are of you,
let it remind us of the beauty in ourselves.
For we come from stolen treasures,
brought upon new lands they were forced to call home.
Black jewels that had forgotten the very meaning and value of themselves…
but are now awakening.
Tasting the dulzura of our blackness,
And becoming addicted to each part.
The parts that keep these tangled roots of ours still close to you.
Keep us still connected.
And getting stronger everyday.
Strong like this need for celebrating all that we are because of you.
Celebrating that our very existence is proof of survival and resilience.
Proof that your children made it.
That “Black don’t crack” is more than just skin deep,
but the truth of facing every horror known to man and still remaining strong despite.
And although this melanated skin is still feared.
Big lips, broad nose, and coiled hair still shamed.
We wear it proudly for they are one of the greatest gift from God.
For they are one of the greatest gifts from you.
They say la sangre llama.
And as this palo plays my body, heart, and soul cry out for you,
Begging me to come home.
– AFRO-DOMINICAN ASPIRING MODEL –
My name is Yazmerlin Rodriguez, and I am an Afro-Dominican woman from the Bronx, New York. Currently I am attending college on the Pursue of a career in Physical therapy and I am also a model, which is something I truly love doing and God willing will get very far with. I recently turned 20 years old and I’m just simply dedicating my 20s to finding myself, doing the things I love and speak to my soul, and making sure I make not only my family proud but myself as well.