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Black History Month: The forgotten Black Heroes of Latin America

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This is a follow up of a previous post i did in the OT for BHM but i thought it deserved it's own thread, this people deserve to be put in the spotlight since like most black people accomplishments get relegated, disminished or outright forgotten.

Now, as many know me, i'm not black, hell, i'm not even an US citizen or resident for that matter but i know the struggle that black people and other minorities have to face everyday to get recognized. I also know that even here in Mexico most of their acomplishment are not recognized either even if we suffer the same attrocities from the same opressors going back to the spanish conquista.

So, without furter ado, let's begin.

The Yanga Rebelion and who is Gaspar Yanga

The heritage of Africans in Mexico after Christopher Columbus is a rarely explored topic in the history books of the Americas. Gaspar Yanga is one of the neglected figures within African history in the Americas. He was the founder of the town Yanga, located in Veracruz, Mexico, between the El Puerto de Veracruz and Córdoba (known for it's coffee, and a must if you ever come here). It is among the first free African settlements in the Americas after the start of the European slave trade.

The history of the black race in Mexico is both illuminating and mysterious. What makes the story of especially profound is the lack of documentation and discussion on the subject.

Scholars have long been acquainted with the history of slavery in Mexico. In fact, long before the first Spanish galleons appeared on the horizon, the practice of slavery was common amongst several indigenous tribes in Mexico. So while it may be said that the Spanish did not invent slavery, they nonetheless relied upon it to expand their empire and to increase their already enormous wealth.

As the colonial period in Mexico unfolded, in particular during the 16th and 17th centuries, the indigenous population became decimated by disease. To make up for this labor shortage, African slaves were brought to Mexico to toil in sugar fields and work in underground mines. Worth four times more than their indigenous Indian counterparts, these African slaves were highly prized for their reported physical endurance and stamina in the hot, tropical sun.

Made to work under horrendous conditions on the sugar plantations of coastal Veracruz, attempting escape from their captors was the only viable option for these enslaved Africans. Those that were successful fled to the area high mountain ranges where jungle and canyons could hide and shelter them. Indigenous Indians also fled to these remote areas and joined forces with the escaped African slaves, forming communities and families.

A famous rebellion in Mexico's history was led by an African slave named Gaspar Yanga, around the year 1570. Believed to be a member of the royal house of Gabon, Africa, this hero was responsible for leading his fellow black slaves in a successful revolt. Under Yanga's leadership, these slaves were able to escape to safety in the highlands of Veracruz.

Gaspar Yanga? Who was him? Never heard of him before

Gaspar Yanga (often simply Yanga or Nyanga) was a leader of the slave rebellion in Mexico during the early period of the Spanish Empire colonial period.

Allegedly a member of the royal family of Gabon at the time, Gaspar Yanga became the leader of a band of slaves figthing for their freedom in a town of Veracruz , around 1570.

Escaping to the mountains, he and his people built the first free colony of America which called San Lorenzo de los Negros , though at first only had a small group. He lived for more than 30 years as a fugitive, partly surviving on hunting and capturing the caravans bringing goods to Veracruz.

However, in 1609 a decision was taken by the Spaniard colonial government to end the community and the rebellion of the slaves, who would win eventualy the battle for their emancipation.

A bit of history

The forced migration of the first Africans in the Americas during the period of the Conquest and the Colonia between 1519 and 1810. These were brought to work on sugar plantations, most of them came from Africa, although others came froms the Pacific Islands. The Spanish Crown had declared regulations to ensure they came more men than women slaves. The boats were divided in proportions of one-third for women and two thirds for men; leftovers especially women, unfortunately were eliminated or sold to other traders for their own use.


The first authorized place by the Crown for the importation of slaves was the port of Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz , later Tuxpan and Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico . Although they were intended to work in the sugar plantations, they were also used for other duties in the area of Orizaba. The Spaniards soon would realize that they had a natural resistance to the tropical climate, which could outperform the indigenous population, who by war and disease were almost extinguished. So the Crown authorized the creation of companies to import labor to the New Spain to meet the demand needed in the Iberian Peninsula .

The inhuman treatment to which they were subjected forced the slaves to protest in several ways this system: in the form of armed insurrections, attempted takeovers and escapes, which were severely punished by the laws derived from the Nicomachean Ethics on the slaves treatment and the prohibition of enslaving 'christians' and property.

The slaves who escaped were called Maroons. They built their palenques to live (also called mocambos and quilombos in their respective languages). The escape was considered a very serious crime; The charges were the theft of property, which under the laws meant that belonged to his master. This activity continued for almost three hundred years until the declaration of freedom promulgated in 1810.

For the Cimarron, were created mythical images that would contribute later reflected racial stereotypes in paintings of the time. These stereotypes were that the Maroons were wild, ferocious, indomitable and indolent people, hence the analogy with the dog that became feral which became untamed and undomesticated.

What little is known about Yanga is that it was caught in the region "Brang" or "Brong of Atabubu" also called "Bore" of the " Nation Brong "apparently of Guinea once belonging to the Empire of Ghana . following the route to Cape Verde other main mall slave domain Portuguese . This original ethnic group of Ghana will disembark in 1579 in the former Veracruz, and was led in chains to one of the sugar estates and alcohol in the province that today bears his name.

His description was that of a tall, more than usual, strong and intelligent, who dominated the Spanish language, soon to flee from their masters, and for thirty years head the rebellion, being caudillo of the Maroons.

The libertarian movement with Yanga consummate early in 1537, with the flight of the Maroons. In 1546 the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza ordered hanged in the Plaza Mayor of Mexico City two "black fugitives" called Juan Román and Juan Venegas . Hunting of African descent and took time and any slightest pretext could be executed. In this hunt many of the Maroons fled by the Isthmus of Tehuantepec to remote parts of Peru.

El Negro Yanga, in all his Monumental Glory

Rise of Yanga

According to historian Adriana Naveda, Yanga fled his master about in 1570 and took refuge close to what is now the city of Cordoba, leading a group of runaway slaves that eventually became more numerous. Although we don't have full knowledge about how their movement developed, we know that by 1609 the group exceeded five hundred men, so rumors of a large-scale revolt started.

During the government of Viceroy Luis de Velasco they tried alert allegations about a possible uprising of blacks by January 6 of that year, in which, according to rumors, the escapees would kill the white king and appoint a black Maroon. The ruling did not give more importance and all he did was send to whip several enslaved prisoners that were there by other types of crime. But the danger was evident when said group began to plunder the estates of the region. Many historians agree that the territory occupied by these runaways settled in were near the Cofre de Perote, the Sierra de Zongolica and area Omealca , in the state of Veracruz.

Yanga Maroons not only looted the estates and farms at their disposal to survive, which also assaulted during the colonial period was the Mexico-Veracruz road, a road that connected the main port in the Gulf with the capital of New Spain. Such attacks were of concern to the authorities because the road was the route of communication most important in America for its economic importance and was fundamental to the development of the New Spain.

This led the viceroy to send militia to subdue the military group, but the fugitives managed to defend themselves on more than one occasion, because the places where they took refuge were inaccessible, allowing them to protect themselves. That rebellion was not as others, because the losses were high and assaults to the royal road destabilized the colonial economy. Veracruz was the most affected, the entrance and exit of goods was damaged, so, in this case, wage war against those it was unprofitable and hopeless enterprise.

In 1609 news spreaded that blacks intended to kill the capital and crown one of their own (Yanga) and Viceroy take extreme measures against the rebels. Three years later come rumors that many blacks had been vanquished, who were butchered and their bodies stuck in spades by the main roads, to serve as a warning to the rebels.

The black population in the sixteenth century was 6% or 20,569. Due to the need for labor would increase shipments. As early as 1646 there was an average of nearly 168,000 blacks in the territory of New Spain as slaves.

The Spaniards attack

In the sixteenth century the Spanish Crown ordered a group formed by Indigenas, Creoles and mestizos, as well as some blacks to "pacify" the area of 'troublemakers' in 1609 and stop runaway slaves. The Jesuit priest Juan Florencio Laurencio wrote this on the "Rise of the Black" to the Crown.

The Spanish troops left from Puebla in January 1609 numbered about 550, of whom perhaps 100 soldiers were Spanish and the remaining recruits and adventurers, by then Yanga had thirty years being a fugitive, and was the leader in the mountains of Orizaba, and who he said that if I had not been as slave in his country would be king, his military charge or second after him was another runaway named Francisco Matosa (or Matiza), these to survive were engaged in assault carriages and passengers, as well as raids on neighboring farms, although later would be replaced by agriculture and breeding poultry.

The "peacekeeping" troops would win some battles which would hide the Maroons further into the jungle, but this was not always the case, the victories of the 'rebels' would be more than his losses, for it it would be many years before the Crown finally accept that the Maroons were not willing to return to slavery, and so would possibly forced to accept their demands.

The Maroons that they were facing a force of 100 fighters with guns, and 400 more armed with stones, machetes, bows and arrows. These troops were led by Francisco Matosa an Angolan. Yanga who was old at that time decided to use the superior knowledge of their troops on the ground to resist the Spaniards, in order to cause enough casualties to force them to begin negotiations.

When the Spaniards troops approached, Yanga sent terms of peace through a Spaniard captured. Essentially, Yanga requested a treaty to end hostilities between the Indigenas and the Spaniards, requested a separate area in exchange for tribute and promises to support the Spaniards if they were attacked. In addition, he suggested that the proposed area would return to any slave who could flee and tried to take refuge there. This last concession was necessary to calm the concerns of many slave owners in the region.

The Spaniards rejected the terms, and a battle broke out with heavy losses on both sides. The Spaniards advanced in the settlement of Yanga and burned it. However, people fled to the nearby terrains that for being difficult terrain prevented the Spaniards achieve a conclusive victory. Incapable a definitive victory, the Spaniards agreed to enter into negotiations. Possibly the terms of Yanga were agreed, with the rider that only Franciscans priests would attend their people and awarded to the family of Yanga the right to govern in this new area.

Between 1608 and 1609 the Spanish Crown was forced to accept the agreements, and the former slaves first settled in lomerío called Las Palmillas, when being growing the community demanded a larger field, which would be given years later in 1630 established the first free people of the Americas, called "The Free People of San Lorenzo de los Negros", near Cordoba, Veracruz.

During the colonial period the indigenous populations coexisted with the blacks of San Lorenzo, not without some issues, on the other hand the Spaniards continued invading the town, and burning the sugar mills and factories of alcohol of blacks and others properties, this was due to San Lorenzo becaming very productive competing economically with the Spanish colonial society, despite laws enacted against the black population there was an alliance between indigenous and black, confirming with marriages or mixing, and for the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the population of San Lorenzo was already a mostly brown population, and with neighboring populations of Indians and Spaniards, 300 years after being declared free, in 1930 the village of San Lorenzo change its name to Yanga, as is currently known.

The Rise of Yanga will circulate through all racial and social circles of New Spain, this would bring the continuous rebellion of slaves and the belief of the national rebellion of these, in 1612 to appease the rebels a sad event in the history of Mexico that has not been explored truly, this is the case known as a conspiracy of blacks, written by historian Sunday Francisco de San Anton known as Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, an Indian nobleman Chalco . In this conspiracy would be hanged 35 black, 7 women and 28 men, fearing the Crown losing its territory as well as those of Spanish lineage, anyway the fight of Mexican independence in general and blacks will still follow.

Negotiate peace

As the situation dragged on and became increasingly complex and risky, Viceroy Velasco tried a writen agreement aimed at the fugitives, which gave them peace and granted them to live in the territories they occupied. Yanga had previously sent a request eleven considerations which included the release of all those who live in their settlement before 1608, and the creation of a legitimate people ruled by him and his heirs, excluding the Spaniards of this town (except for market days) and a consecrated church. In return, he promised to live peacefully, future cimarrones will return to their owners and serve the viceregal arms when required.

However, as the authorities were slow to send their reply, the black people resumed raids on farms and roads, in such a way that by a royal decree issued in 1618, the trustees of Huatusco founded a new town that took name villa Córdoba (Córdoba today), that really worked as a border against blacks to capture and destroy them. As he moved the foundation of the town of Cordoba militias harassed and constantly attacked the Maroons.

Given these conditions, and since the war against the runaways was very expensive, Viceroy Diego Fernandez de Cordoba accepted the terms set by Yanga provided they agree to pay an annual tribute and the presence of a priest who officiated Masses every so often. Thus, in 1618 the authorities decided to create the village of free blacks of San Lorenzo, with which the "infidels" internal enemies became his Christian subjects.

The difficulties

However, the situation remained complicated, because the agreements were not very clear, so the problem was extended a few years, until 1630, when the Viceroy Rodrigo Pacheco and Osorio , Marquess of Cerralvo, officially founded the town of San Lorenzo Cerralvo.

Until then the escaped blacks could populate the lower area of ​​Mount Totutla, approximately two miles from Córdoba and 'two musket shots "of the highway, however, such land could not sow and there was grass to breed animals , which in 1654 by mayors and councilors they requested a permit to move the village. So the December 30, 1654 and gave APRA license the following January the people moved elsewhere.

Thus, many freed blacks became the subject of a new slavery, which in terms of researcher Antonio Garcia de Leon, described as a peonage debts, comparing their situation to that of the Nahua Indians of the region, who soon they developed complicity and resistance strategies. That is, it was not easy for those blacks enjoy the freedom for which they fought.

Finally, in 1746 San Lorenzo was a village inhabited by about seventy families of free blacks, despite its very limited life conditions. As for what happened after the data are scarce, so it is difficult to know how the group managed to survive in adversity that imposed them to obtain better living conditions, a situation that continues so to this day.

Yanga in Mexican history

The history of African and Afro-descendants in Mexico is still unknown to much of the national society, because although many researchers have been given the task of spreading it is still a world of questions unanswered as to the social and cultural contributions that population bequeathed to the configuration of contemporary Mexico.
The history of the town of Yanga in the state of Veracruz is a case in point; show of resistance, but also on the ability of agency (understood as the social groups that have to make their own decisions) that enslaved Africans developed against the colonial system.

In popular discourse, it is stated that Yanga is the "first free town of America" ​​because of its early foundation in the early seventeenth century (two hundred years before the independence process in Mexico) at the hands of a runaway African origin. This "liberation" work has led some groups have identified Yanga as one of the greatest representatives of blackness. The name of the town has changed over time: first called San Lorenzo de los Negros , then San Lorenzo Cerralvo and finally Yanga , in honor of its founder.

As in many other parts of Mexico and America, in Veracruz cimarronaje was a constant hegemonic process between enslaved Africans, directed against the Spaniard authorities in order to achieve their freedom by fleeing. Sometimes, said cimarronaje was individual but as many collective, and sometimes resulted comprised of black fugitives, called "runaways" in the case of New Spain, who managed to survive alongside the colonial society, settlements until the the extermination or system completely dominated. Such was the case of Yanga.

Five decades after Mexican independence, Gaspar Yanga was named national hero of Mexico by the diligent work of Vicente Riva Palacio.
The influential Riva Palacio (grandson of the mestizo mulatto Vicente Guerrero) was a historian, novelist, military general and mayor of Mexico City during his long life.

At the end of the 1860s he recovered from the archives of the Inquisition notes on Yanga the expeditions against them, as well as the suffering of the family of Jewish ancestry named Carvajal, among others, and published in five volumes entitled Mexico through the centuries, still existing volumes and different characters who sought their freedom from Spanish rule, starting with Yanga. In their research the story was published in an anthology in 1870 emerged as separate pamphlet in 1873. The reprints have followed, including a recent edition in 1997. Others have written about Yanga, but none has matched the instinct of Riva Palacio to capturing the image of the proud fugitives that would not be defeated.

Historical symbols

Beyond the foundational process of Yanga, the Maroon figure of the African Yanga is a strong relation of struggle and resistance to the history of African and Afro-descendants, even today it is a symbol for many organizations and black movements, which claim the figure of Yanga along with countless other Maroons in America, since their actions managed to jeopardize the authorities of New Spain, even though, what they wanted was not to leverage and sought to change the colonial system but incorporate themselves socially to the system and move within the European culture, the dominant at the time.

The spread of the contributions of African and Afro-descendants in the discussion of national history implies valuing their contribution in building a collective identity, and the creation of a social environment in which the recognition of difference and cultural -ethnic - is the livelihood of a more inclusive and plural society.

There is a mural dedicated to the heroes of Mexico inside the building of Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, perhaps the only known nationally on the contribution of the "Third Root" in Mexico. This mural is titled "Song of Heroes," (Canto a los Heroes) among whom is Yanga behind Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz and Cuauhtemoc , painted by the muralist Jose Gordillo in 1952.

The mural Canto a los Heroes (fresco made in 1952) is the work of easel painter, muralist, sculptor, writer and teacher, Jose Gordillo, member of the Escuela Mexicana and student of David Alfaro Siqueiros, Dr. Atl and Diego Rivera, with whom he collaborated in the underwater mural sump of the Lerma River and the Insurgentes Theatre in Mexico City.

The mural presents on top a worker in a circle surrounded by devices that symbolize technology and industry. He holds in his right hand with a victorious attitude a cloak with the colors of the Mexican flag. At the bottom of characters representing the most important periods of Mexican history.

From left to right: the last Aztec ruler Cuauhtemoc; the black Yanga who seeking his release on Veracruz and founded his own people; poet Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz; insurgents Joaquin Fernandez de Lizardi, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, Vicente Guerrero, Jose Maria Morelos and Javier Mina; the time of the Reformation Benito Juarez and Melchor Ocampo; revolutionary Ricardo Flores Magon, Felipe Angeles, Guadalupe Rodriguez, Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Villa, Austreberta Renteria (wife of Villa) and General Lucio Blanco, and finally at the right end, President Lazaro Cardenas, whom the expropriation is due oil in 1938.

Data in situ

Canto heroes of Jose Gordillo sits on the stairs between the ground floor and first floor of the Museum of the Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico, Former Archbishop's Palace

"African Black liberator and precursor of the black slaves who founded the town of San Lorenzo de Cerralvo (now Yanga) by agreement of the viceroy of New Spain, Rodrigo Pacheco, on the third day of October 1631 by order of the viceroy's pen.Village Captain Hernando of Castro Espinosa H. Ayuntamento Constl. 1973-1976"

Today, the town reportedly hosts the Carnival of Negritude (Also known today as Festival de Yanga) every August 10th in honor of Gaspar Yanga. The town reports approximately 20,000 citizens that is now primarily considered mestizo, Spanish for "mixed heritage".


Whoa, could I get a link to where you got this?
Good read.

Oh right, i knew something was missing. Most came from the spanish article of wikipedia (i've to translate and interpretate a lot, since it is a goddamn mess) with some bits from this places and also complimentray reads:







Also, some books that now i have to find:


Yanga : el guerrero negro; Guillermo Sánchez de Anda, Círculo Cuadrado, ISBN 968-6565-68-X, ISBN 9789686565683.

Campaña contra Yanga en 1608; Leonardo Pasquel; Juan Laurencio, OCLC: 6087282.

Yanga and the Black Origins of Mexico; Sagrario Cruz-Carretero, The Review of Black Political Economy, 33, no. 1 (2003): 73-77, ISSN 0034-6446.

The African presence in Mexico: from Yanga to the present; Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum (Chicago, Ill.); Museo de Historia Mexicana (Monterrey, México); National Hispanic Cultural Center of New Mexico, ISBN 1-889410-03-9, ISBN 9781889410036 .

The Blacks Who Freed México; Journal of Negro History 1994, the Afro role in 1810 war, Ted Vincent.

The Negro Who Freed México; Negro World, Joel A. Rogers.

La Herencia Negra En Veracruz; Sagrario Cruz Carretero, CIESAS Gulfo Xalapa, 1992.

Esclavos en el Archivo Notarial de Xalapa: Vol.1 1668-1699, Vol.2 1700-1800 (Univ. de Veracruz, 1994) Fernando Winfield Capitaine.

Yanga: un guerrero negro; the meaning of Yanga for Mexican history, and the town of Yanga in the 1990s. Círculo, México, Guillermo Sánchez de Anda.

Rosalba Quintana Bustamante&Jairo E. Jiménez Sotero investigadores de la Universidad Veracruzana. Relatos e historia de México Nyanga y la rebelión contra el poder español. Pagina 33 a 39 Año VII Número81 ISSN 2007 0616
Bookmarked and subbed. Hopefully this weekend I'll get some free time to put something together to cover a few things from Dominican Republic. That'll probably rustle some jimmies.


Before the next write up i'd like to share an article that i found yesterday while doing a bit of research for the next historical figure. It hit the nail in the head so much it cames out from the other side.

**Warning, it may contain some slurs that are very, extremely common in our language. Also pictures that could be disturbing to some**

How is it Racism Mexican Style? (Or, how Mexicans are racist but don't accept it)

"Darkie", "poor" and "faggot", these are some of the words we Mexicans use trying to offend people and make them feel less, these "insults" contain not only racist practices but are also traversed by one classism, machismo or even "lookismo" (give preference or make someone feel less by their appearance), but they are not just words, many of the attitudes and practices we do Mexicans are markedly racist, but, why do we say this?

We Mexicans dare not openly accept and combat racist attitudes in our society and institutions, instead, we hug and we gratify not be racist US or Nazi-like. But being a racist is not just kill someone of another color or insult, it is to make a series of practices that exile opportunities and various social and economic activities for various sectors of the population and in this sense, public policy would also be a racist government.

Thus, it is racist, from not be together when we are children with the "prietito" or the "indito" of the classroom or bully or mock him only because he is darker, until public policies that exclude, in practice, vulnerable sectors such as indigenous or Afro-Mexican communities, or the constant harassment of indigenous peoples by the police who abuse them just because they bring their typical clothes (many have heard of cases where they do not let indigenous to places by the fact that they wear their typical clothes, as if as citizens they were less than others).

There are topics that contain racist attitudes in the country, such as using phrases (and practices) of the type:

"We must improve the breed"

What does this phrase mean? For starters there are better and worse races races and we should be inclined to mix with the upper (and we just stick something ... which is nonsense).

And so, we prefer tobe friends with the "güerito" and join with the "beautiful people" or the "good people." All these expressions indicate both a racist attitude of exclusion, as classist discrimination practices (which have no sense, a güero, a tan and black both have the same chance to be a genius with a heart of gold, to be a idiots who behave like cretins)

Also we say phrases like "Mexicans are guadalupanos", "Mexicans are 'darkies' 'or' all Mexicans speak Spanish," among other generalizations that invisible to all such diverse individuals who live in our country and force them to leave behind their own identities to "aspire" to be accepted into mainstream society.

La Jornada today published several articles about racism in Mexico, one of them quotes Emiko Saldivar, professor in the department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara:

"Racism in Mexico is assimilation, not segregation. It is thought to be more benign because it tells you "if you get abused you adapt, then some alchemy and will not going to be discriminated against", when the real problem is that this is an option"

That is, the Mexican racism does not divide the races but gives preference to other and characteristics of individuals with underprivileged characteristics tend to imitate the most privileged, even if it means discriminating against people who are just like them.

Another feature of Mexican racism is that, unlike other countries where the division is clearer, in our country the mix of possibilities are very large, which results in the person who is discriminated against in a context, discriminate in another. Explains Monica Moreno Figueroa, academic area of ​​Sociology and Politics at the University of Newcastle, England:

"In a context, you are the güero the group, in another the darker and in another equal to the others. That relativity allows us to move from victims to victimizers in a dynamic in which a person can complain that they let enter to a club because it is dark, but at the same time he changes the sidewalk if he sees someone darker than him "

For example, it is common among homosexuals to discriminate by skin color, social status or effeminacy, and go from being victims to victimizers as the context in which they are and the characteristics they possess.

We are not happy with our skin color

According to the National Survey on Discrimination in Mexico 2010 making the Conapred, 20% of our countrymen are not happy with their skin color (which begs the question why you're not comfortable with your skin color? What do you have done, said or that you saw in the Mexican society that makes you want to change your color?), on the other hand, 24% of Mexicans have felt discriminated against "by their physical appearance."

In our country there are people with afroascendence since the Colonia. Such was its visibility within the colonial culture that existed several 'castes' that had to do with these individuals, from mulatos, to moriscos, lobos, jíbaros, cambujos, to zambiagos, among others.

Pictured, what the fuck is that..........................

The problem arose after The Independence. The black figure in Mexico have disappeared and stopped to be relevant to the Government. For independence thinkers, the plan was to make the Mexican society a homogeneous society, became a glorification of miscegenation, and was a legal equality. But equality before the law did not lead to social equality, and to date there are no Afro-Mexicans for Mexicans, for the Mexican people there are only 4 black people: Kalimba, Johny Laboriel, Memin Pinguin and El Negro Durazo, from then on out, all others are negros, some more than others.

But illustrious afromexicanos have had many, one of the first Gaspar Yanga, leader of one of the first American movements seeking freedom for the slaves. We also know that Vicente Riva Palacio had black ancestry and Vicente Guerrero, among many other Mexicans.

Here, a picture with some Afro-Mexicans.


Mexico goes around boasting of its indigenous past, but to the direct heirs of those people not only we ignore them, and there are such great injustices like this: according to a study by Gillette Hall and Harry Patrinos on poverty and development of the native peoples of Latin America, in Mexico an indigenous citizen in 1995 with a bachelor's degree earned 3000 pesos, while a non-indigenous citizen with the same studies earned more than twice, ie, whether studying and struggle more (rather than non-indigenous citizens, because they speak other languages ​​such as Nahuatl and Zapotec or come from marginalized places) they were doomed to earn less than others.

In addition, a study by the University of Texas in 2010 indicated that Mexicans with darker skin have 57% less chances to go to college compared to Mexicans with white skin, so their job options are limited to activities as domestic servants, laborers, drivers and security guards.

As Mexicans we are not considered racist and seen as "natural" exclusionary practices and comments made, no complaints and, worse, there are no legal mechanisms to punish violators Why? Well, Conapred can only punish public bodies (which is already a good thing), but has no power to punish individuals or private companies (being those who are more likely to have racist attitudes).

As if this were not terrible, in some states of the country racial discrimination it is not even a crime (as in Nuevo Leon, Sonora, Jalisco (***sigh) and Morelos).

Mexico signed in 1975 the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, but from that year until 1996 denied that the country had any racism (probably they have never watched a Mexican telenovela, yes, there is no racism and classism whatsoever **rollseyes).

Besides racism allows people belittle others for their physical appearance, we think they are dangerous, we blame them for their poverty and even take their lands and natural resources (never forget Wirikuta or the road the government pf Guanajuato wanted to put over the sacred sites spanning an Otomi community) or put off their basic rights (such as indigenous women who have had to give birth outside their own government clinics and hospitals and nobody wanted to even see or meet them).

We need intercultural education campaigns, make a media policy that not only exalts the Western model of beauty (for example, not all models in ads are white with blond hair, as most consumers of our country are not) and above all, talk about it, talk about it a lot and make it visible.

Saldivar said:

"Part of the solution is to expose [the issue of racism], open spaces where people talk about their experiences, put words to what you live, because one of the keys to tolerate racism in Mexico is to deny it, accept it as natural and thus justify the privilege and social inequality "

Do you remember the human Barbie and her adorable and supremely stupid racist ideas that miscegenation made ugly people? It can be seen as an exaggeration, but at the end of the day, is not this body, this face and this mental content to which we aspire? If individuals are different, why not just accept and respect these differences?

I warned you

The biggest problem with our ideas is that we believe that differences must be translated into inequalities, but anyone who is versed in genetics can explain to them that there are no 'races' and that phenotypes are not determined in the manner that we popularly believe (our beliefs are very similar to the way of thinking of the Spaniards 500 years ... so, our ideas about skin color and behavior of people, in addition to its place in society, they have more resemblance to racist practices of La Colonia, than with a current scientific knowledge).

For a racist, this is "the beautiful people" or "people type well."

Just because

Not only dark-skinned Mexicans suffer from racist practices, maybe they are limited economically and socially, but also other skin colors suffer from discrimination. For the "white people" were removed citizenship in their own country, many have to endure traders want them to see the face considered "foreigners". Similarly, I remember a friend Afro-Mexican (he prefers to be called negro ... or better yet, to be called by his name), all the time asking him what country he came from, as if being black could not be Mexican.

It is time to accept and respect that in our nation live several cultures, from indigenous peoples, to Korean, Jewish and Lebanese communities and that all individuals are Mexican by being born here, regardless of religion, language, physical appearance or social status.

The thing is not only that people start to respect others, we must also see how public policies can redress the marginalization of many generations that have limited growth opportunities of many sectors of our population.

SALSA: http://www.monky.com.mx/como-es-el-racismo-a-la-mexicana-mexicanos-son-racistas-y-no-lo-aceptan/
(seriously, give this guy a click)

Furter read: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2014/05/05/politica/002n1pol


It is curious that in Mexico where states like Guerrero, in which much of the population is Afromestizo, is to denigrate or outright ignore the contributions of all kinds made by men and women whose ancestors came from Africa.

One of those men is Vicente Guerrero.

You'll never have the same sideburns game as i do, son!

In February 14 1831 dies shot in Cuilapam of Guerrero, Oaxaca, General Vicente Guerrero, Mexico's second president and first Afro-Mexican to reach this position. Vicente Ramon Guerrero Saldaña born in Tixtla, Guerrero -then province of Chilapa, State of Mexico, the insurgent who give the "Embrace of Acatempan" with the former General Realista and future Emperor Agustín I, was sentenced by a military court after a summary trial.

Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña (Spanish: [biˈsente raˈmoŋ ɡeˈreɾo salˈdaɲa]; August 10, 1782 – February 14, 1831) was one of the leading revolutionary generals of La Independencia de Mexico. He fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and later served as President of Mexico. Of Afro-Mestizo descent, he was the grandfather of the Mexican politician, historian and intellectual Vicente Riva Palacio.

Early life

Guerrero was born in Tixtla, a town 100 kilometers inland from the port of Acapulco, in the Sierra Madre del Sur; his parents were María de Guadalupe Saldaña, of African descent and Pedro Guerrero, a Mestizo. His father's family included landlords, rich farmers and traders with broad business connections in the south, members of the Spanish militia and gun and cannon makers. In his youth he worked for his father’s freight business. His travels took him to different parts of Mexico where he heard of the ideas of independence.

He spent his early years doing works with his father and uncles in crafts and family business. In the early nineteenth century, his native Tixtla was one of the most populous and productive centers of Southern Mexico and during the colonial era, being a carrier (also known as muleteer) was a well-established trade which granted them certain privileges and allowed them to own pack animals (horses and mules), bear arms (to protect against highwaymen), engage in commerce and dealing directly with the richest merchants. Thus the prosperity of his father as a farmer, carrier and dealer, the position of his uncle Diego Guerrero in the Spanish militia, and the efforts of his family allowed them education as complete for the period through of tutors.

His father, Juan Pedro Guererro Soriano, and two of his brothers, Juan Pedro and Manuel, were in the armory trade so Guerrero learned to manage, maintain, repair and build weapons like swords, rifles and cannons. They were also responsible for the gunsmiths store weaponry regional army. His uncle and one of his brothers (both named Diego) belonged to the Spanish militia under the command of Captain Antonio Galeana and Lieutenant Victor Bravo. This would allow the young Guerrero brothers to develop their skills in shooting drills and combat, arms and military practice maneuvers. For the arriería business of his father, they also became skilled riders and throught this came to know in detail all the south and southwest (including the way to Mexico City), to coordinate and mobilize men and cargo, and to survive outdoors, in the mountains and forests. They also learned to read and write and handle numbers and basic math, as well as acquire some rudimentary knowledge of practical mechanics necessary to make their trades. They did not acquire the formation of a lawyer, a man of letters, a theologian or a bourgeois military, and were accustomed to the treatment of urban life. And for that reason why it is subsequently and often believed that Guerrero was lacking education, yet their preparation "field" 'was the most formal of the time, as they acquired skills that were not available to the majority of the population of the viceroyalty period.

Those skills acquired during his youth will serve him later in life to fight the royalists during the War of Independence. Guerrero was not only proficient with the sword, saber, pistol, rifle and bayonet either on foot or on horseback, but also with the spear, rope, and machetes, weapons that in the hands of southerners insurgents would become feared by the royalists. The knowledge of southern territory would also become a major advantage in future battles, like the ability to build provisional pillboxes on hills and uplands to defend villages and positions under their control. Artillery also be another first with the royalists would bump into in the Southwest: the insurgents came to casting bells machines and their estates to build cannons and rifles, as well as using those against them. Guerrero established a foundry to forge weapons and mint, also making gunpowder and ammunition.

Although often considered a humble family, his father, Pedro Guerrero, was well known and respected, reaching the viceregal government to pardon imprisoned insurgents for his intervention. The Guerrero kept trade relations with farmers and ranchers important south, as the same Braves and Galeanas.

He married María de Guadalupe Hernández and they had children. Their daughter María de los Dolores Guerrero Hernández married Mariano Riva Palacio, who was the defense lawyer of Maximilian I of Mexico in Querétaro, and was the mother of Vicente Riva Palacio.


In 1810 Guerrero joined in the early revolt against Spain, first fighting alongside José María Morelos. When the War of Independence began, Guerrero was working as a gunsmith in Tixtla. He joined the rebellion in November 1810 and enlisted in a division that independence leader Morelos had organized to fight in southern Mexico. Guerrero distinguished himself in the battle of Izúcar, in February 1812, and had achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel when Oaxaca was claimed by rebels in November 1812.

"A young man with bronzed (N.B. "broncínea", lit. bronze-coloured, swarthy), tall and strong (N.B. "fornido", strapping, muscular), aquiline nose, bright and light-coloured eyes and big sideburns"
— physical description of Vicente Guerrero Saldaña by José María Morelos y Pavón, 1811

Following the capture and execution of Morelos in late 1815, Guerrero joined forces with Guadalupe Victoria and Isidoro Montes de Oca, taking the position of "Commander in Chief of the rebel troops. He remained the only major rebel leader still at large, keeping the rebellion going through an extensive campaign of guerrilla warfare. He won victories at Ajuchitán, Santa Fe, Tetela del Río, Huetamo, Tlalchapa and Cuautlotitlán, regions of southern Mexico that were very familiar to him.

When Mexico achieved independence in 1821, Guerrero at first collaborated with Agustín de Iturbide, who proposed that the two join forces under what he referred to as the Three Guarantees or El plan de Iguala. This plan gave civil rights to Indians but not to African Mexicans. Guerrero refused to sign the plan unless equal rights were also given to African Mexicans and mulattos. Clause 12 was incorporated into the plan. It read: All inhabitants . . . without distinction of their European, African or Indian origins are citizens . . . with full freedom to pursue their livelihoods according to their merits and virtues.

Iturbide and Guerrero eventually agreed on these goals: Mexico would be an independent constitutional monarchy, class distinctions should be abolished among Spaniards, creoles, mestizos and Indians; and Catholicism would be the state religion. Iturbide entered the capital on 27 September 1821, and was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico by Congress. However, when Iturbide's policies supported the interests of Mexico's wealthy landowners through continued economic exploitation of the poor and working classes, Guerrero turned against him. He favored a Republic with the Plan of Casa Mata.

When the general Manuel Gómez Pedraza won the election to succeed Guadalupe Victoria as president, Guerrero, with the aid of general Antonio López de Santa Anna and politician Lorenzo de Zavala, staged a coup d'état; he took the presidency on 1 April 1829.

Guerrero, as head of the People’s Party and a liberal by conviction, called for public schools, land title reforms, industry and trade development, and other programs of a liberal nature:

"A free state protects the arts, industry, science and trade; and the only prizes virtue and merit: if we want to acquire the latter, let's do it cultivating the fields, the sciences, and all that can facilitate the sustenance and entertainment of men: let's do this in such a way that we will not be a burden for the nation, just the opposite, in a way that we will satisfy her needs, helping her to support her charge and giving relief to the distraught of humanity: with this we will also achieve abundant wealth for the nation, making her prosper in all aspects."
— Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña,
Speech to his compatriots

"....A man who is held up as ostensible head of the party, and who will be their candidate for the next presidency, is General Guerrero, one of the most distinguished chiefs of the revolution. Guerrero is uneducated, but possesses excellent natural talents, combined with great decision of character and undaunted courage. His violent temper renders him difficult to control, and therefore I consider Zavala's presence here indispensably necessary, as he possesses great influence over the general."
— Joel R. Poinsett, US minister for Mexico (i.e. Ambassador), about the character of Vicente Guerrero

Guerrero was elected the second president of Mexico in 1829. As president, Guerrero championed the causes of the racially oppressed and economically oppressed. He ordered an immediate abolition of slavery on September 16 of 1829. and emancipation of all slaves. During Guerrero's presidency, the Spanish tried to reconquer Mexico, but they failed, being defeated at the Battle of Tampico.

"This is the most liberal and munificent Government on earth to emigrants – after being here one year you will oppose a change even to Uncle Sam"
— Stephen Fuller Austin, 1829, letter to his sister describing Guerrero's Government of Mexico (and Texas)

Guerrero was deposed in a rebellion under Vice-President Anastasio Bustamante that began on 4 December 1829. He left the capital to fight the rebels, but was deposed by the Mexico City garrison in his absence on 17 December 1829. Guerrero hoped to come back to power, but General Bustamante captured him from his home through bribery, and a group of reactionaries had him executed.

After his death, Mexicans loyal to Guerrero revolted, driving Bustamante from his presidency and forcing him to flee for his life. Picaluga, a former friend of Guerrero who had conspired with Bustamante to have the president captured, was executed.

Honors were conferred on surviving members of Guerrero's family, and a pension was paid to his widow. In 1842, Vicente Guerrero's remains were exhumed and returned to Mexico City for reinterment. He is known for his political discourse promoting equal civil rights for all Mexican citizens. He has been described as the "greatest man of color" to ever live.

One of the most popular stories that took place during Guerrero’s 11 years of fighting happened in 1819, when his aging father begged him to go to the viceroy of New Spain and offer his sword in surrender. Guerrero replied to this request before his men with these words: “Compañeros, this old man is my father. He has come to offer me rewards in the name of the Spaniards. I have always respected my father but Mi Patria Es Primero(...my Motherland comes first).” Today, the line, “My Motherland comes first,” is the motto for the southern state of Guerrero, named after him after his death.

Thus, despite his widespread popularity, Guerrero’s downfall was marked by racial and class fears of the time. History professor Jan Bazant of the Colegio de Mexico summed it up the best: “Guerrero’s execution was perhaps a warning to men considered as socially and ethnically inferior not to dare to dream of becoming president.” Nevertheless, Guerrero today is remembered for his strident nationalism as one of Mexico’s greatest heroes.

Further reading, and sadly, a lot of it that comes in spanish only until very recently acknowledge his black ancestry:




Dolores Ballesteros; Vicente Guerrero: insurgente, militar y presidente afromexicano





Also wikipedia and some school textbooks

Ávila, Alfredo (2008) La presidencia de Vicente Guerrero, en Will Fowler, comp., Gobernantes mexicanos, México, Fondo de Cultura Económica, t. I, p. 27-49. ISBN 978-968-16-8369-6.

García Cantú, Gastón (1996) Las invasiones norteamericanas en México, México, ed.Fondo de Cultura Económica, ISBN 968-16-5083-2

González Pedrero, Enrique (2004). País de un solo hombre: el México de Santa Anna. Volumen II. La sociedad de fuego cruzado 1829-1836. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica. ISBN 968-16-6377-2.

Huerta-Nava, Raquel (2007) El Guerrero del Alba. La vida de Vicente Guerrero, México, Random House Mondadori, ISBN 978-970-780-929-1

Olavarría y Ferrari, Enrique de (1880). «México independiente 1821-1855». En Vicente Riva Palacio. México a través de los siglos. México: Ballescá y Cía. Consultado el 25 de junio de 2011.


Been a few days since i updated this thread (life sucks, then it kicks you in the nuts) but hey. I'm still alive and well so i can't really complain.

Afro-Mexicans, The third CULTURAL ROOT

By: Agustin Duran La Opinion. February 24, 2008

The rich historical African influence in various parts of the Mexican territory through migration has been ignored for many years

Authorities at International Airport de la Ciudad de Mexico detained relatives of Simeon Herrera, they did not believe them they were Mexicans. They were questioned, made ​​them sing the national anthem and even they had to present their birth certificate for let them go.

Due to ignorance of the African presence in Mexico, Mexican authorities often question their citizenship to people of black skin and curly hair.

"Many confuse them with Hondurans** by its nature, but before anything else, they always claim that they are the first Mexicans," says Martin German, a native of Costa Chica, Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico, one of the areas best known for its population of Afro-Mexican origin.

Aleman, stresses, that does not mean that Mexicans are ashamed of their African roots, it's just unknown to most of the population.

"Extreme poverty and lack of education have contributed to their people to ignore their origin, despite having its characteristics to the surface," explains Aleman, an immigrant in Los Angeles.

He adds, that ignorance on this subject among the Mexican and immigrant population in the US is so great that for the Long March of March 25, 2006, Aleman and some friends from the same village constantly heard people mutter:

"Look, in the midst of the march, some blacks and they speak Spanish!"

Aleman stresses that when he told people that they were not African Americans but Mexicans from Oaxaca, people simply did not believe them and thought they were Hondurans or Cubans.

To Cesareo Moreno, director of the Mexican Fine Arts Museum in Chicago (MFACM) and one of the authors of the exhibition The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the present, was not surprised by the attitude of people in Los Angeles.

Moreno explained that ignorance of African culture in Mexico is no coincidence, that the same government was responsible for burying the story.

"With independence (1810), the system of Spanish breeds legally ended, slavery was abolished and it was decreed that all citizens, regardless of the color of their skin, were treated equally and recognized as Mexicans," says Moreno .

He mentions that despite absence of racial segregation in Mexico and the United States, discrimination against Afro-Mexican and mestizo population did not disappear from society, and is a stigma that still lives to this day.

"With the creation of a Mexican national identity, the 'official' history of Afro-Mexicans were erased and the eventual denial of the important contributions of Africa to Mexico, started" he says.

Moreno added that after the Mexican Revolution Jose Vasconcelos, former Secretary of Education, defined "la mexicanidad" as the union of Mexican-Indian and Spanish, eliminating any influence of a dab of African origin.

With his theory of "cosmic race", the writer also stated that the "bronze race" was the result of the encounter between Europe and America, completely ignoring Africa.

Sagrario Cruz Carretero, an anthropologist at Universidad de Veracruz, indicates that the story of the third -the african- Mexican roots was almost forgotten in Mexico, and was not recognized by the government until 1992, nearly 500 years after the arrival of Africans to the coast of Veracruz.

Also it emphasizes that in the books of public education is vaguely mentioned their influence, to the extent that many people still do not know and / or deny their presence in the country. (I can attest to this)**

The Anthropologist tells that when Afro-Mexicans leave their communities, often for the United States, are constantly arrested by elements of the Mexican federal police who accuse them of being undocumented workers and force them to sing the national anthem to check their nationality.**

He adds that in the 90s a group of residents of Mata Clara, Veracruz, was jailed for several days in the Federal District (Now Ciudad de Mexico or simply El DeEfe), arguing that in Mexico "there are no blacks"

Glyn Jemmott priest of Trinidad and Tobago who has lived in Costa Chica over the past 25 years indicates that it is impossible to deny the African presence in Mexico. "You can ignore and has been rejected by several centuries, but you can not erase because he was born and raised in the country."

The priest said that Mexico don't account the group (the afro-mexicans), but it is so great that even the most "whitey" might have a drop of African blood, because the mixture of Spanish, Indian and African immediately started since they arriving in the coast of Veracruz.

Even mentioned that most of the black population in Mexico is not believed to be pure, that's why they identify as afromestizos.

Gonzalo Aguirre Beltran, father of the first study of blacks in Mexico in 1948, and from which there was no follow up to the last decade indicates that after the independence it was considered that 10% of the population was Afromestizo origin.

But Father Jemmott considers this number conservative, considering the stigma that exist in much of the Latin American countries to minimize or ignore the African presence of their own identity.

Despite his great contributions, the African population in Mexico is one of the most marginalized in Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz and Coahuila.

Currently some surnames of Afromestizo origin can be heard in Mexico, like Moreno, Crespo, Pardo and Prieto; and food that is usually is distinctly Mexican as guts and moronga have a clear African origin.

National heroes such as Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, leader of the independence ; Vicente Guerrero, second president of Mexico, and Lazaro Cardenas, one of the most recognized presidents that has had the country were of African descent.

In addition, music like jarocha and parties as El Fandango and carnivals have large African influences.

African Americans and Mexicans, a shared history undiscovered

States with African heritage in Mexico

- Oaxaca
Guerrero (Named after Vicente Guerrero)

- Surnames of this origin

- Heroes of African descent
Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon
Vicente Guerrero Lazaro Cardenas

The long road

Agustin Duran
The opinion. February 24, 2008

Following the arrival of the Spaniards in Mexico, more than five centuries, hundreds of thousands of black slaves were brought to the country, mainly to the coastal area to what is now the ports of Acapulco and Veracruz. From then on, the begining to write the history of miscegenation in Mexico between Spaniards, Indians and Africans.

During the colonial period, the Spaniards devised a caste system to classify the population increasingly mingled more.

Those born of an Indian and Spanish were called mestizos, and the descendants of Africans and Spaniards were called mulattos. If a person was the son of an African and an Indian they called coyote.

To the extent that the skin was clearer, the caste they belonged to the people was "superior" as well as the benefits and work could play as well as social status.

In 1609, before the British found Jamestown, an African named Yanga rebelled against the Spanish Crown and it ended up granting them freedom.

Yanga forced the Spaniards to cede a piece of land near Cordoba, Veracruz, where he was the first city free Africans in America, called San Lorenzo de los Negros.

Previously it was thought that the African presence was only in the Gulf and the Pacific; however, recent research has found that the African presence in the colony also it occurred in large numbers in the highlands, in the mountains and in big cities.

With this, it is established that the black influence, both biologically and culturally, is not limited to the coast, but a lot of activity centers around the country.

Another major exodus of Africans came to Mexico from the United States between 1840 and 1930, a period in which thousands of Africans escaped from slavery in the southern states and then of racism in the United States.

SALSA: https://www.um.es/tonosdigital/znum16/secciones/recortes-3-Afromexicanos.htm

All credit to AGUSTIN DURAN

** True story: A few years ago, my brother and i went took a trip to Monterrey. Since we couldn't affor plane tickets back we took the bus.

A few minutes before the bus parted some federales stepped in and started to ask for ID or some documentation.

When it was the turn for my brother and i to show us, they not only looked at us suspiciously but started to ask us questions about where we where from, where we were born, what we were doing there and shit like that (history questions too).

And as the article says, yeah. I've knew of people that actually have gone through that. Fucked up.

Back then i didn't take much tough of it, but now, in retrospective we were racially profiled ...... shiet.



they're trying to create Mewtwo or something the way they keep track of parentage to maintain those European bloodlines.
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