R.I.P Cesaria Evora
Cesaria Evora is the reason why I first wanted to learn Portuguese. After more than a decade of listening to her songs I still don't speak it, yet despite my language deficiency, I've been able to enjoy the Cape Verdean goddess' gorgeous voice and soulful songs. She's been a constant as I write, cook, read, or chill in the warm lavender baths I am fond of taking.
Today, as I replayed Afropop's live recording of her first New York City show all day, it hit me that although I have never really fully understood or understand what she is singing on a conscious level, the universality of her music enters sweetly into my gut. I realized that I get Cesaria because she reminds me so much of the women in my father's small lush Caribbean town filled with Africa's scattered children.
Her homeland, Cape Verde, a string of islands off the coast of Africa colonized by Portugal, is in many ways just like the string of islands of the Caribbean colonized by Europeans of all sorts. Many people on these islands share one thing: a unique African expression that transcends language, time and generations. My three aunts, two of them, Himilice and Minerva, who are R.I.P., and Aida, who still blesses my world with her joie de vivre, are black women who love to sing and sing with love. They could be Cesaria. Cesaria was them.
It was today, as I remembered Cesaria, I was able to fully appreciate the connection. Thank you barefoot goddess. Je t'aime beaucoup. Here's one of my favorite Cesaria songs Petit Pays. Enjoy...