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Afro-Mexicans: Mexico’s Slow Recognition of This Part of History

Screenshot "La Negrada" film (2018).

While visiting the cathedral of San Miguel de Allende, I overheard the tour guide describing the artwork and history of the city. To my surprise, he described the involvement of African slaves in the construction of much of the region. I decided to join the rest of the tour as this version of Mexico’s history wasn’t part of any textbook we studied growing up in Mexico. This was a whole different side of the country I needed to understand.

Nadia Sanders from Mexico.com couldn’t have said it better, “Mexico’s history seems like it’s just been a story between the Spanish, Criollos and Indigenous.” Turns out we’ve been missing the rest of the story.

I asked friends and family if they knew of the existence of slaves from Western Africa as part of our history and the response was a surprised, “No.” Others suggested it made sense Mexico wouldn’t want to emphasize the fact that slavery was a big part of the construction of our country.

The fact that it’s 2019 and most of us didn’t know the term Afro-Mexican or Afro-descendant existed in Mexico is shameful and unacceptable. According to INEGI, the 2015 census was the first time Afro-descendants were acknowledged and accounted for. The survey question was:

“Based on your culture, history and traditions, do you consider yourself black, meaning: Afro-Mexican or Afro-descendant?”

How well would you say you know your country’s history? Seeing issues like this reinforces our belief that knowledge is key. 

#BEinformed #AfroMexicans #AfroDescendants #AfroRepresentation #HumanRights #WeAreOne

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2 Comments

  1. Ed April 16, 2019

    Mexico also has to acknowledge the enslavement of Natives also, which was also responsible for their deaths and made it necessary to import Africans. African descendants were also in leadership and revolutionary positions throughout the founding of the nation. African influence in food, music, dance and language are also a part of what is Mexican identity.

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  2. Olivia Feliberty August 4, 2019

    Why am I not surprised! We, Latinos and people of color close their mind and eyes to what they do not want to accept or believe. Our ancestors may have been aware of the slaves being brought to Mexico in large numbers but for their own reason(s) were in denial in regards to this very important part of history. Eventually people knew that this part of history would be revealed someday but they would not tell. It’s easier to let someone else tell it. We must embrace the truth of our history and love each other while we’re alive. I love to learn new info regarding our history, whether we like it or not. Proud to be Mexican!!!!!

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