This introductory chapter provides the background of study of Latina/o musicians in Charlotte, North Carolina. These musicians and their audiences play a vital role in defining Latino expressive culture. Moreover, their lives also reveal issues of politics, labor, community, class, division, and belonging that have become central to a globalizing region and city that are struggling to decide how wide the circle of “We” should be. In particular, the theme of el sueño gris (the gray dream) described the trajectory of the dreams and aspirations of Latino immigrants to the U.S. South. Examples of this graying dream appeared in personal narratives of Latino musicians during informal conversations and recorded interviews throughout the fieldwork process.
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