This book has benefited from the support, encouragement, constructive
criticism, and love of a great many people. The ideas first percolated during
the writing of my dissertation in the African Diaspora Studies department
at the University of California, Berkeley. When I tell people I study reg-
gaetón, they often respond with a polite nod and a perplexed, and some-
times skeptical, look on their faces. I am grateful for a dissertation commit-
tee that never batted an eye when I approached them with this idea. I am
forever indebted to Percy Hintzen, Jocelyne Guilbault, and Leigh Raiford
for their mentorship, advice, and encouragement over the years. I hope
they can see how much they have shaped my thinking and molded me as a
scholar when they read this book. I am thankful to have had the opportu-
nity to learn from the rest of the faculty in the department, especially Ula
Taylor, Robert Allen, Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Stephen Small, and the late
VeVe Clarke. Thanks to Lindsey Herbert, who not only helped me navigate
uc, Berkeley, but also is a great friend.
At uc, Berkeley, I benefited from the insight of my friends and col-
leagues in the Afro- Latino Working Group, including Vielka Hoy, Rebecca
Bodenheimer, Ryan Rideau, Jennifer Jones, Juan Herrera, and Tianna Pas-
chel. I also appreciate the comments and suggestions from the Center for
Race and Gender Dissertation Writing Group.
I completed many of the revisions of the manuscript as a postdoctoral
fellow in the Latin American and Iberian Studies Department at the
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