Her mother told her that she was singing before she could hold her head up. Calling at birth. An air bender. And on any given Sunday, if you walk through the right neighborhood at precisely the right time, you’ll hear it. …just behind the smell of fresh laundry and the sizzle of Sazón, you feel it coming. “¡Azúuucar!” Every sound system must bow. The clap of her voice is more ancient than the rivers of Benin. Celia Cruz gave us pathways home. She was our clave, the pulse of our diaspora, our mother’s lullaby, and Oya’s cry. “The Queen of Salsa” stoked our collective imaginations and taught us to fly. And for that, we dedicate today’s walk to this cultural cosmonaut.
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