Multi-Latin Grammy award winner Milly Quezada has been considered the Queen of Merengue for three decades. Her band started off singing in the streets of Washington Heights and because they were women, they broke the merengue mold during the 70s and 80s.
Milly left her native Dominican Republic with her family as a young child to come to New York, but she never forgot about her roots. In a recent interview, Milly told VOXXI that "in the absence of language and in the nostalgia of not being in familiar places, we would get together with the kids on the block and just play music." Like for many who travel to live in unfamiliar locations, music was an outlet for Milly missing her homeland.
When asked what it meant to be Dominican, Milly said, "Everything. It means it's my identity, my homeland." She continues, "To be Dominican, it means to be a happy, outgoing, valiant or courageous person."
Milly is proof of a very proud Latina who never lost sight of her roots, even after growing up away from her family's cultural beginnings. "Dominicans are very hard workers. We don’t give up very easily. We take the ball and we run with it until we bring it home."
Did Milly Quezada's words touch you? What does being Latina mean to you?