Singing the news

Lourdes Pérez refuses to be commodified by the mass media. The Puerto Rican singer, poet, activist and storyteller, who performed October 31 at the Sacramento City College Cultural Awareness Center, takes issue with the current state of mainstream journalism, and sees her own art as an antidote to it.

“For me, singing is a type of journalism, the type that is not embedded,” Pérez said.

Her pale, cherubic face framed with short black tendrils and armed with a shiny golden acoustic guitar, Pérez sang in a powerful, mournful voice about the different people’s struggles she has encountered worldwide.

One of the songs was an “honor song” for Isabel Rosado Morales, a nearly 100-year-old woman who is still fighting for Puerto Rican independence.

She also related the story of her visit to Chiapas, Mexico in 1996 for the annual “Intergalactic Conference” with the Zapatistas.

“No matter where we are in the world, if we share a common beat in our hearts and we share a common desire and dream for justice, then we are brothers and sisters,” Pérez said.