Mexican composers Silvestre Revueltas and Carlos Chávez each wrote one song that execrates the lynching-murder of Black persons in the United States. In them, the composers pit a Mexican aesthetics of death against violent spectacle and social inequities to assert a universal dignity of life and to situate an antiracist position within the context of a broader international class struggle. In the process of airing fresh interpretations of the songs, I imply that the composers’ divergent experiences in the United States—Chávez’s relative proximity to establishment structures of power and Revueltas’s intimacy with working-class struggle and race-based discrimination—informed their translation of Black suffering into the (differently historically colonized) context of Mexico. Both composers effected an artful indirection: a displaced deictic center from which to mediate their social thought concerning Mexico’s own problems of penal excess and extrajudicial lynching. Bracha Ettinger’s aesthetically activated Matrixial dimension sets a theoretical and analytical stage for an exploration of these anti-lynching songs and offers a way of understanding aesthetic expressions of allyship in a transhistorical mode.

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