Loading Events
Afternoon Tertulia: Puerto Rican Contributions to Hip-Hop

Afternoon Tertulia: Puerto Rican Contributions to Hip-Hop

Location: Hostos Community College – Repertory Theater

Event Organizer: Center for Puerto Rican Studies

Cost: Free

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 6 PM ET

Hip-hop originated in African American and Puerto Rican low-income neighborhoods in the South Bronx and has grown to a global phenomenon. It’s more than music, it’s a cultural movement whose four pillars of DJing, MCing, breakdancing, and graffiti have generated numerous subcultures and developed lasting legacies. 

Since its inception, hip-hop counterculture emerged as a way to escape the economic collapse greatly impacting low-income minority communities. Mobile sound systems turned abandoned buildings into community spaces ripe for self expression and recreation. Now, hip-hop’s commercial success has impacted everything from clothing and art, to entertainment and language, while redefining cultural norms! 

However, there’s controversy on when hip-hop was born, some think it was born at a back to school party in the South Bronx in 1973 (conveniently, the same year CENTRO was founded). Others think it was born in 1983. While its age may be contested, one thing we can’t deny is the contributions of Puerto Ricans to this iconic genre. 

Join CENTRO and Hostos Community College as we explore how Puerto Ricans were intrinsic to this movement.

Professor Carla Santamaria of Brooklyn College moderates a conversation with Professor Rafael Acevedo Cruz of John Jay College, B-girl Ana “Rokafella” Garcia, and Hip-Hop’s official photographer, Joe Conzo Jr. on the Puerto Rican origins of hip-hop. Special guests include Elena Martínez, producer of “From Mambo to Hip Hop: A Bronx Tale” and “We Like It Like That: The Story of Latin Boogaloo”, and Willie Estrada, author of The Dancing Gangssters of the South Bronx, talks about the influence of Puerto Ricans in Hip Hop.

After this event, join us at the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos for a viewing of the exhibtion – Born in the Bronx!: The Beginning of Global Hip Hop Culture, on view from November 15 to December 20, 2023. The exhibtion explores the roots and evolution of Hip Hop, the global phenomenon that originated in the South Bronx in the 1970s. Through a stunning collection of photos and memorabilia, curated by Johan Kugelberg and Joe Conzo, Jr., witness how African American and Latino youths in the South Bronx transformed poetry, music, and fashion into a powerful expression of life and struggle. From vinyl records, flyers, and artwork, to graffiti, break dancing, and MCing, this exhibition showcases the diverse and innovative elements of Hip Hop that shaped the Bronx and the entire world.

Main Image: Joe Conzo Jr., The Popper, Roseland Ballroom, NYC, 1981.

This event is produced in partnership with Hostos Community College, CUNY.


December 5, 2023 @ 6:00 pm 8:00 pm EST

(212) 772-5688

View Organizer Website

450 Grand Concourse
The Bronx, New York 10351
+ Google Map