*African American singer Sarah Palafox, who also performs under the name Sarah La Morena, is raising eyebrows these days every time she opens her mouth to sing.
What amazes almost everyone is that the 23-year-old Black woman sings regional Mexican Music, complete with a perfect Zacatecan accent, which is generic to one of Mexico’s 32 states: Zacatecas.
Her voice is so pure and authentic, she is being compared to Mexican-American divas and legends, the late Jenni Rivera and the late Selena.
While singing with such a unique and beautiful voice, complete with an authentic Mexican accent, one would think that she would be lauded by African American and Mexican people. Yet, for the most part, she has been subjected to individuals of both ethnicities criticizing her because of her race and her love of Mexican music.
SIGN OF DESPERATION: MORE Racial Profiling is What Jermaine Dupri Wants After Girl, 7, Shot in ATL
Afro-Latino singer Sarah Palafox makes waves with Mexican music – then gets racist backlash. A few Black folks accuse her of being ashamed of her Blackness. Some Latino folks sling racist slurs and accuse her of appropriation. This world!https://t.co/m03zmTI6D2
— Charles Onyango-Obbo (@cobbo3) October 3, 2020
Nevertheless, Sarah has her share of fans. Her singing has earned her more than 500,000 views on Instagram and 200,000 on Twitter. So inquiring minds want to know how did all of this begin?
Sarah was born in California but was placed in a foster home. A Mexican couple ultimately adopted her and moved to Zacatecas, in central Mexico, where Sarah was raised. Zacatecas is almost 1,700 miles from the southern-most part of California.
In high school, Sarah and her parents returned to California, where she faced duo disdain from both Black and Mexican people. Black people felt she was a sellout to their race because Sarah chose to speak and sing in Spanish. In other words, they accused Sarah of turning her back on being Black.
Latinos felt that she was not a true part of their heritage, even though she had a beautiful singing voice that effortlessly allowed authentic Mexican songs to flow with perfect annunciation. Many Latinos hurled racist insults and cultural insensitive comments at her relentlessly. The crossfire of verbal attacks depressed Sarah, where she contemplated suicide a few years ago.
Sarah, however, has persevered. She is now working on new music after inking an agreement with Los Angeles-based Silent Giant Entertainment.
“Sarah takes authenticity to a whole new level, “ Alexandre Jose Granadilla, a professor of Chicano Studies at California State University told a reporter for the Associated Press. “Not only is her Spanish better than most Latinos, but she identifies with a town in Zacatecas, Mexico. She is Mexican and this music is hers.”