Given that background, the atmosphere in the theater was understandably electric on that February summer night twenty-eight years ago. In an auditorium filled to capacity, fans lined the walls and stood in the back, waiting anxiously. As it turned out, no one needed to know Mercedes Sosa’s already stirring history to be captivated. When La Negra's voice, banned by the junta for years, rang out with its first pure chords, all knew they were in the presence of musical genius. As the evening wore on, Mercedes Sosa sang their hopes of liberation and expressed their sorrow about a grief still otherwise unspoken. Whether young or old, all faces shone with tears and joy. It was as if a nation, so long immersed in terror and persecution, found its voice again.
Mercedes Sosa died at 74 in October 2009, having lived a remarkable life that took her from a provincial Argentine town to performing in front of sold-out crowds all over the world. In honor of her courage, indeed heroism, in February 1982 and throughout her life, I post these videos of some of my favorite Mercedes Sosa songs.
Other posts in the A Hero's Journey series:
William Joseph Seymour - A Son of Slaves Sparks an International Religious Revival
The Original Literary Hero - Gilgamesh