Uva: Rocking the Afra-Latina Poetry Beat

Uva is an Afra-Latina/Latinegra spoken word performer who combines the  various elements of the black diaspora, African American political consciousness, Spanish verse, and West Indian beats, into a tapestry of words about blackness primarily in the Americas. She is deeply committed to Latin@ leadership and women’s rights and works to encourage these through teaching and the arts. She is the Founder and Director of Creative Bulla!—a nonprofit organization, that provides workshops and events for organizations interested in promoting cultural awareness and personal growth through the arts. Her work focuses on the Afra-Latina experience, ie the intersections of race and gender, and the empowerment that comes from embracing oneself and one’s identity.

In 2005, she created a one woman show entitled “UVA: Observations in Black & Blanco.” The performance highlighted spoken word from her CD “Labor of Love.”  Through the blend of music and poetry, she described her multiple journeys from a girlhood in Panama to life as an adult in Philadelphia. One of my favorite pieces is “Yo Soy” which honors her grandmother and talks about the African influence in Latin America and Latin@ cultures from a distinct female experience.

She currently teaches at the Philadelphia Arts and Education project empowering other Latinegras to find their voices and speak their truths.

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