In a state like Texas, which has the second highest percentage of Latinos in the U.S., you’d think this population would be accurately represented in the media. The reality is they’re not. While a variety of institutions, associations, and individuals are trying to change this, one among them stands out in Dallas: the De Colores Collective.
The De Colores Collective is an Oak Cliff Cultural Center (OCCC) project that hosts community art shows and events like #214Selena. While these monthly events are making a name in Dallas, it’s their podcast, De Colores Radio, that’s really turning heads and providing a voice for the Latino community of Texas in a way that’s not been done before.
So, what is the De Colores podcast all about? Culture Trip breaks it down for you:
Meet Eva Arreguin and Rafael “Rafa” Tamayo, hosts of De Colores Radio. Both hosts are Dallas locals, with Arreguin graduating from the University of North Texas (UNT) in media arts. Tamayo is the manager of the OCCC, as well as a rapper and actor. Arreguin and Tamayo have a fun, playful banter and deep insights into their Dallas — and Texas — communities. It’s clear through each and every episode how passionate they are about what they do.
Pat, Eva Arreguin’s sister, is also a member of the show, working as the technical producer. She can often be heard interjecting her own thoughts and ideas during episodes.
Arreguin met Tamayo at an OCCC event and the two instantly hit it off. Arreguin worked on a few projects at the OCCC as a student at UNT. While she initially planned to leave Dallas after graduating, her work with the OCCC inspired her to stay. The friendship between Tamayo and the Arreguin sisters fostered creative thinking and it was through this friendship and work relationship that De Colores Radio was born.
“[I] knew [my] voice and community’s voice weren’t being represented. [I] was tired of not seeing Texas on the map and was very passionate about creating content and support for Latinx and POC [people of color],” Arreguin shared with Culture Trip. “Thus, with great support from the Oak Cliff Cultural Center and great motivation with the terrible political climate, [we] began creating [our] own narrative.”
The podcast name comes from the song, “De Colores” by Joan Baez. While the podcast has a very Latinx vibe and audience, the hosts decided to go with this name specifically. Arreguin told Dieste that it “allows for inclusivity for everyone of all colors and backgrounds,” thus cementing the podcast as an amazing platform for POC and those interested in learning more about the issues that Latinx and POC face.
Topics on the podcast generally fall under categories like pop culture, hip hop, current news and events, politics, art, activism, and lifestyle, with each episode following a similar structure. Tamayo and Arreguin begin with a great introduction, discussing what’s going on with them that day or week and upcoming events at the OCCC. In “Meme Mood,” the hosts translate their current feelings or mood through popular memes. “El Juguito” or “The Juice” is a segment that discusses current news in terms of pop culture, politics, and social life. Last, but not least, they usually have a special guest on the show who they interview. These interviews vary depending on the guest. Many are local Dallas or Texas artists, activists, writers, and community leaders. Some interviews explore a guest’s background and childhood, while others focus primarily on social issues or the interviewee’s passion.
The vision for the podcast content has always been focused on the people listening, and Arreguin explains that well:
“Our goal is to really uplift our community and beyond. We want to inspire others to keep learning, growing, and evolving forward. Usually Latinx and POC don’t have the chance to control their narratives and we want our people to know how important they and their stories are. We also like to have a lot of fun so if it can keep growing bigger and bigger and eventually become a multi-faceted media platform that would be ideal.”
Episode 8 – Self Conchas: Xicanx Identity
This episode features an interview with social activist, Brenda Loya and a discussion on Mexican-American identity and the future of the Latinx movement.
Episode 17 – For Da Kids
A family-friendly episode with an interview with famous eight-year-old fashion artist, Dear Giana.
Episode 23 – Afro-Latinx Identity
This intersectional episode explores the experiences of Afro-Latinx people with special guest and poet, Melania-Luisa.
Episode 24 – Selena SZN
This podcast dives deep into Tamayo’s experience as an actor in the 1997 film, Selena.
For one, the hosts are hilarious and have a banter that’s easy to enjoy. You can stay up-to-date on news, especially news that affects POC in Texas and beyond. It also provides insight into Dallas and Texas life, in ways that have never been showed before. Plus, the podcast brings amazing people on to share their stories and passion, opening your mind to new worlds and communities.
And yet, there’s a more important reason to listen. Arreguin explains how De Colores Radio has the power to change the narrative around communities of color, and it is through listening to the podcast, that we can do that:
“It’s important for us to run our own podcasts because for so long in media, we didn’t, and other people were in charge of our voices which obviously influenced our futures or often stereotyped us. We’re more than these stereotypes. Through podcasting, we’re able to create the narrative and display the beautiful intersections of our identities and our realities. We have voices and power and we’re in control of them. Seeing and hearing voices that look like us and sound like us validates who we are and motivates us all to keep going.”
De Colores Radio recently surveyed their listeners through social media to get feedback on the podcast, the structure, and the topics.
Arreguin explains, “There will definitely be some changes. If you can’t tell, we’re big on evolving and growth. We’ve received feedback from listeners and want to implement more of what they want, whether it be slight changes or major ones.”
She adds, “They may be very slight changes, but we definitely want to keep giving the people what they want so continuing upward is the plan. To keep going up, change is always involved.”
That’s exactly what we want to see for this podcast: to see it keep going up in the rankings. This is a podcast for POC, a community that has long been ignored in media, hosted by people who come directly from that community. It is for this reason that De Colores Radio should be supported.
As Arreguin says, “We wanted to provide a platform for the people, and the fact that they’re enjoying it and feel represented by it has been really dope to see.”