n African Renaissance - Afro-Mexicans : the third root of Mexico

Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


This article discusses a little known branch of the African Diaspora: Afro-Mexicans, who make up the chronological third 'root' of modern Mexico, after the indigenous Mexican and Spanish European. Documented presence of Africans in Mexico goes back to start of the colony of New Spain, as Mexico was then called, in mid-16th century. Twenty first century Afro-Mexico is the result of a lengthy gestation in the Diaspora, combined with a series of episodes of entries and sometimes exits of people of African origin into Mexico. It is argued that the planting of an African root in Mexico is best understood as part of the transnational capitalism related to mining and sugar industry - slavery, and indentured labour for the building roads and railways of 19th century Mexico. The paper argues that the little recognition given to Afro-Mexicans within their own nation state today is partly a result of the official doctrine of developed in the early 20th century which belies its founding in official racism of the colony introduced by influential intellectuals of Mexico. Using examples of cultural texts and productions, contemporary Afro-Mexicans are shown to be a living community whose sense of identity is being awakened in good part by the effects of modern transnational capitalism otherwise known as globalisation which has brought them into contact and affinity with other African Diaspora communities, particularly those of the neighbouring USA.

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