Timba Brava: Maroon Music in Cuba

My essay, “Timba Brava: Maroon Music in Cuba,”  describes the historical development and contemporary performance of the Cuban music/dance style called timba. I contend that timba was born as a rebel or “maroon” music in a radically changing Cuban society in crisis throughout the decade of the 1990s. During this time it has been necessary for certain Cubans– blacks and mulatos especially–to reaffirm their identity, presence and importance in their own terms inside the culture and social structure of Cuba. The aggressive sounds, marginal themes, vulgar, coded lyrics and the at times eccentric or “ghetto” self representations within timba are affirmations of Afro-Cuban identity that intend not to destroy Cuban society but rather to find a just position within it.