If you are an African American learning this for the first time or if this information is relatively new to you, it may be shocking for you to learn that African slaves were brought to many countries in Latin America and Mexico is no exception.
Mexico has strongly attempted to hide its past and push aside the fact that there are many groups of Mexicans in Mexico that are of obvious African descent.
Since in Latin American countries, skin color is associated with wealth and power, many Africans in Mexico intermarried with mestizos to attempt to “exterminate” their race. Kind of like racial suicide.
But many Afro-Mexicans live on, and they are coming around now to being proud of their culture, dance and lifestyle.
Maybe you know that some random Mexicans look African or mixed, but there are distinct groups of Afro-Mexicans who understand and embrace their African heritage.
Some of these Mexicans look like a mix between African and Indigenous people and some of them look predominantly African.
Mexico, like many Latino countries, denies its African roots, influence and even the current Afro-Mexican ethnic groups of Mexico. Mexico attempts to call itself a homogenous mestizo society and to me “homogenous mestizo” sounds like an oxymoron.
“Mestizo” technically means a cross between Spaniard (or European) blood and native indigenous blood. On any given mainstream website, Mexico’s ethnic demography indicates that the vast majority of its citizens are Mestizo.
The rest is atrributed to pure whites and indigenous (indigenous people are also lacking in terms of human rights in Mexico, being black or indigenous in any Latino country tends to be a huge financial disadvantage. I have watched documentaries of Afro-Mexicans dying in the streets because they don’t have access to health care).
It is kind of sad that Mexicans are being taught to embrace whatever constitutes lighter skin (since the indigenous are treated less than human as well). The only reason Mexicans have European blood is due to slavery. When it comes to slavery and rape, Africans and indigenous people were the victims.
Since Mexico wants to hide my fellow kin south of the border, Paulette Ramsay has written a book entitled “Afro-Mexican Constructions of Diaspora, Gender, Identity and Nation.”
This is an exciting new advancement that will benefit Mexico, I believe. This book was written by an African American woman. Here in the US we have our own history of slavery. Maybe we need to be taking it upon ourselves to help people everywhere.
I have had big hopes and dreams for all of the Americas my whole life. However one thing I have always known is that in order for Mexico to improve, Mexico needs to stop denying its African heritage and stop denying human rights to any human being in Mexico.
I really hope that Mexico comes to realize that this racism against Africans is pointless and very, very old.
Even though the United States also has suffered its fair share of racism, discrimination and slavery, the US has made advancements in many places in its way of viewing racism.
I went once to Tierra Blanca, Veracruz, Mexico. One of the things I learned from later research is that Veracruz is one of the key states where lots of African slaves were populated. In fact, most of the music, dance and food of Veracruz comes from Africa originally, not Mexico!
Did you know that the cumbia dance itself, which is now extremely popular in Mexico’s mestizo population, originated from West African slaves who were brought to Colombia?
During my visit to Veracruz, I saw lots of people who appeared either fully African or mixed (biracial). I saw curly hair with interesting eye colors. It was a very interesting experience for me.
I am a biracial woman who could pass for “Mexican,” so I wasn’t treated any differently in Mexico for being black, because there are too many Mexicans themselves with more obvious African appearance than I have.
What I did find very interesting though was the reaction of the typical Mexican mestizo when I, dying of curiosity, could not help but mention to one that there sure were a lot of African looking people.
It probably did not interest him much since he just sees himself as a “Mexican guy,” but I am a biracial African American woman, I wanted to poke at that issue a bit to see what I could find out.
This man had worked in the United States before so he was a little bit more familiar with how we view race here.
He told me, “they might look black, but they are not black.”
Of course we can only pray for people like him. He is the victim of the Mexican government’s brainwash.
I am going to make a bold assertion. If you look black, it’s for one reason only. It is because you are. The world is truly only three races and even the other two have been strongly linked to African roots.
I know a lot of Latinos do not like to associate with being black. Let me assure you that this has a lot to do with your history and how Africans have been enslaved. With Spaniards being the major source of wealth and power in Latin America, some people might deny African heritage.
What disturbs me more about this practice is that it is still being done by Afro-Latinos who are more Americanized now and just as financially fortunate as most people.
They are not missing out on any opportunities in life either way. These are the people who should be helping the Africans in other countries, not denying their blackness. That is not helping anybody.
I don’t know. A lot of people seem allergic to my term “helping people.” I am an autistic, so they say, but I am an empath. I feel other people’s pain. It is impossible for me to hear of people dying in the street without imagining myself there in their place.
So Africans everywhere, let’s do the world a favor and continue writing books and articles. Let us make the world aware of what Latin American countries have done to its citizens. All people should have the right to their own cultural identity.
In addition, people should not have to starve, or die of illness, cold, in the streets, because they are “black” and “black people” cannot have health care. I mean, this same thing is happening to the indigenous folks too. I have watched their documentaries as well.
Not only am I so over the idea of people dying to famine, thirst and health problems without health care, but also, I am so over people knowing these facts and not caring or doing anything about it.
You can purchase Paulette Ramsay’s book here.