It’s Movement Time
Copyright 2012, Las Cafeteras
Your history books got it all wrong,
so I come to you with this song.
In 1810 con el gran grito de pasión
Se levantaron con razón
Black and brown fighting together, on a day I’ll always remember
En el 5 de Mayo con el grito de gallo
Black, white, and brown bleeding together
on a day I’ll always remember
Cause really, it hasn’t been that long
So just in case Kat Williams has you guessin’
Let me kick y’all down with a little history lesson
In the 19th Century, while the US promoted degradation,
annihilation with its military and US navy
Mexico was getting rid of the caste system, voted for its first indigenous president,
even getting rid of legalized slavery
The Underground Railroad also ran south
Which led Black folks to freedom
With Mexico right there, to receive them
In 1910 it was Mexican men, with Pancho Villa and Zapata
Fighting for Tierra, Libertad y Techo
With Adelitas on the front lines with bullets across their pecho
In the year 1946, it was the Mendez family that fought against segregation in schools,
Cause before that, they treated us like fools
Pushing us out into Gangs, Wars and Drugs,
And then they get pissed off at us!
When we become Crips and Bloods,
Traviesos, zoot suiters, pachucos, folkloristas, punks, bomberas,
Jaraneras in the heat, jaraneros with a bomb ass beat,
Talking about what’s really going on in the streets.
In the 60’s in the streets of Oakland, California, Black Panthers organized for answers
Young Lords in New York fought against wars
The Stonewall Rebellion remained true to the rights of the LGBTQ
A.I.M who was down with native rights with no shame in their game
Brown Berets in LA learning how to fight, and doing what’s right
In the Campos of California, Fillipinos were the first ones to lay down the boycott
Screaming in solidarity, ISANG Bk SAK!
One rise, One fall, you come for one, you come for all!
And today, Arizona and Alabama don’t play
Carving out racist laws like it’s make out of clay
I stand with Emmitt, Trayvon, Oscar, and Bell
With my mentor, Mumia up in the cell
Telling you I’d rather be blind that to stay quiet on a day where my people are hunt down like prey
Cause my ability to breathe is directly connected to my ability to see
That it’s not about me, never was, never will be
It’s about ‘WE’
It’s time to move y’all
It’s Movement Time!
Listen to the song
Founded in 2008, Las Cafeteras is a Chicano band from East Los Angeles that traverses genres and musical borders by combining traditional styles with contemporary social commentary. The group plays a prominent role within the Movimiento Jaranero in L.A., utilizing traditional son jarocho instruments like the jarana, requinto, quijada (donkey jawbone) and tarima (a wooden platform). Singing in English, Spanish, and Spanglish, in a mix of genres from rock to hip-hop to cumbia, Las Cafeteras strives to build a sense of community across different peoples and cultures.
The son jarocho genre has historically served as a medium of resistance and rebellion. Tracing its roots back to the music of African slaves in Mexico, son jarocho became a musical preservation of the Afro-Mexican identity, evolving into a movement that sought to resist the blanqueamiento—’whitening’—of Mexican history and culture in the post revolutionary years. As such, Chicano groups in California continue this tradition of activism by using their music to speak out against racial injustice and systemic oppression. “It’s Movement Time” draws parallels between the Mexican Revolution and the freedom struggles in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century, telling a story of historical and contemporary solidarity across various communities fighting together for gay rights, the antiwar movement, civil rights, and more.