Jacinto Padilla “El Negro Meri”

“Jacinto Padilla, “El Negro Meri,” was a Black man, and the protagonist of the first film of a flamenco cuadro, recorded in a 1900 film by the Lumière brothers in Paris. Long forgotten, Padilla had an important career as an equestrian acrobat, bullfighter, producer, flamenco singer and dancer. His cante may be remembered in flamenco song, in the Tangos del Piyayo, and his athletic jumps, seen in the 1900 film, may be remembered in the signature jumps of the Farruco dynasty. El Negro Meri claimed mastery, body power, and transcendence—the freedom to become.”

— K. Meira Goldberg, Sonidos Negros: On the Blackness of Flamenco