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    Black Mexico: Unearthing the ‘Third Root’



    From the photo collection of Bobby Vaughn, professor of anthropology at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Calif. Vaughn has amassed a photo collection as part of his studies of Black-Mexicans of the Costa Chica region in Guerrero,


    Spaniards, African slaves, and indigenous Indians in Colonial Mexico forged a unique ethnic blend known as ‘Black Mexicans’

    This multiple-part series will unravel the little-known history of how Mexico’s 15th-century assimilation of Spaniards, indigenous Indians, and African slaves into “Black Mexico,” eventually led to the founding of Los Angeles by Black Mexicans and Mestizos in the 17th century when California was still under the rule of Mexico. Even though the Black imprint in Mexico is unraveling more and more as time moves on, the reality of the truth is still largely mired in a Shadow History because the masses do not frequent libraries and this truth has never been taught as a history lesson in Mexico, much less as historic text in the U.S. To now, this invaluable historic truth has largely been available as scholarly works. The Compton Herald sought out this history, scaled down its volume from multiple scholarly sources, and now present it in nine parts for public consumption — Jarrette




    Statue of Gaspar Yanga, the African slave who led a revolt against his Spanish captors, who eventually capitulated to a peace treaty with Yanga after 38 years of fighting. The town of Yanga is named after the freedom fighter.THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE of ancient Spanish America were the Aztecs, Mayans, Olmecs, Toltecs, Zapotecs and the Mixtecs, who inhabited a geographical area encompassing present-day Florida and much of what is now the Western U.S., Mexico, and parts of the Caribbean. These ancient peoples comprised the pre-Columbian indigenous civilizations before the arrival of all-conquering Spain as a colonizer of the region prior to the 16th century. These indigenous natives constituted modern-day Mexico’s “First Root.”



    Years following Spain’s conquest and colonization of the region — which included Central America, and the northern rim of South America, according to scholar/ historians, the indigenous population was all but decimated by previously unknown diseases from Europe. The remaining indigenous natives assimilated over time with the Spaniards — who were the “Second Root,” — producing a mixed race called mestizos, which eventually evolved as the most influential culture in the nation, dominating every facet of Mexican society in business and government to the present day.





    Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence. He fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and later served as the first mestizo president of Mexico. Of African and indigenous Indian descent, he was the grandfather of the Mexican politician and intellectual Vicente Riva Palacio. Photo: WikipediaMexico’s race mixing did not end there with the Spaniards and indigenous culture. Though scant historical records exist about the acculturation of Africans in Mexico, the introduction of hundreds of thousands of African slaves — the ethnic “Third Root” into Mexico in the 14th and 15th centuries cannot be denied. This process of interracial mixing in Mexico became known as mestizaje.



    A homogenous race of any significant indigenous stock, which began to disappear as Mexico’s majority between the 17th and 21st centuries, morphed into a cross-section of the three roots — indigenous, Spaniard, and African. But due to the suppressive efforts of the mestizo-dominant government through an inexact census, little is known of Mexico’s Third Root, or African ancestry as scholar/historians have come to identify Mexico’s African slave imprint, hence, Black Mexico.The inter-marriage of Spaniards and African slaves yielded the mulattos in Mexican culture, better known as Black-Mexicans, who have faced discrimination and been largely ignored by the ruling mestizos—a display of both classism and racism. Mulattos represent Mexico’s “Shadow History,” which is only now being exposed by scholarly curiosity, meddling and probing historians.


    To a lesser degree, Black-Mexicans also include zambanos, a mix of Africans and indigenous natives — more acculturation with scant documentation by the Mexican government due to the lack of investigative intrusion, analysis, and archiving.


    Like America where White colonialists from England spearheaded the direction of the nation, the European colonial influence of Spain dictated the political and economic direction of the country with African and indigenous inroads minimal at best. The major difference is White settlers from England did not assimilate with America’s indigenous natives and African slaves who would come later, whereas the opposite was true in colonial Mexico.


    The aforementioned history came painstakingly through the efforts of researchers and historians who traveled to the inner reaches of Mexico to locate the regions there bearing indelible imprints originating from across the Atlantic to West African shores. This multiple-part feature leans heavily on the scholarly work of historians here, and in Mexico to expose the shrouded history of Black Mexico’s link to the African continent.


    Photographer Tony Gleaton photographed visual evidence in a stunning photo essay of Black Mexicans titled, “Africa’s Legacy In Mexico.” Images of the present day descendants of the African slaves brought to New Spain between 1500 and 1700 — are on display in the Smithsonian Museum as part of an exhibit titled, “Migrations in History,” which explores the nature and complexity of the movement of peoples, cultures, ideas, and objects.





    “My Father, My Son,” Corralero, Oaxaca, Mexico, 1991 From the collection of Tony Gleason. Images of the present day descendants of the African slaves brought to New Spain between 1500 and 1700 — are on display in the Smithsonian Museum as part of an exhibit titled, “Migrations in History.”From 1982 through 1988, Gleaton traveled extensively in Mexico, eventually befriending the Tarahumara Indians of northern Mexico where he came and went for nearly two years before traveling to Guerrero and Oaxaca, photographing the people there, whose darkened faces, Gleaton said quietly testified of their African past.
    “The photographs are as much an effort to define my own life, with its heritage encompassing Africa and Europe,” Gleaton wrote in an essay, “as it is an endeavor to throw open the discourse on the broader aspects of ‘mestizaje,’ — the assimilation of Africans and Europeans with indigenous [Mexicans]. I came to photograph this area just south of Acapulco, a place I have come to view simply as a present-day reminder of Black Africa’s legacy in Mexico.”


    Bobby Vaughn, professor of anthropology at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, Calif. has amassed a photo collection as part of his studies of Black-Mexicans of the Costa Chica regions of Guerrero, Mexico and Oaxaca, Mexico. Both areas have significant populations of Black-Mexicans, who settled in the area as escaped slaves. Vaughn’s Web site and photo galleries report his extensive studies on the culture, history, and unique experience of Mexicans of African descent. He writes on his website: “One of the research questions that most interests me is ‘How do Black people in Mexico understand and live their Black identity — assuming they have a Black identity at all?’ ”
    Delving deeper into history

    The history of Black Mexico is both illuminating and mysterious. 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.




    Pío de Jesús Pico, the last governor of Alta California (now the State of California) under Mexican rule. His paternal grandmother, María Jacinta de la Bastida, was listed in the 1790 census as mulatta, meaning Spaniard mixed with African ancestry. His paternal grandfather, Santiago de la Cruz Pico, was described as a mestizo (Spaniard and indigenous Indian) in the same census. Photo: WikipediaAs the colonial period in Mexico unfolded, in particular during the 16th and 17th centuries, the indigenous population, weakened and reduced in number by disease, could no longer carry the heavy load of labor and Spain introduced African slaves to Mexico to replace them, toiling in sugar fields and in underground silver mines. African slaves proved to be superior to their indigenous counterparts and they were highly prized for their physical endurance and stamina in the debilitating hot tropical sun.


    The Spaniards were cruel taskmasters and drove the African slaves to work under horrendous conditions on the sugar plantations of coastal Veracruz. Attempting escape from their captors was the only viable option for the enslaved Africans. Successful escapees fled to the high country where jungle and canyons could conceal them. Indigenous natives also fled to these remote areas and joined forces with the escaped African slaves, which led to inter-mixing and the seed of the zambano culture.


    Part II of “Black Mexico: Unearthing the ‘Third Root,’” continues next week.


    source: http://comptonherald.com/black-mexic...he-third-root/

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  3. #2
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    Had this conversation a few weeks ago. She didn't believe me, when I told her there are native Afro/Black Mexican people.
    My point was made when we went to Mexico and she actually saw a few of them for herself.
    And you couldn't have scripted this shit, Lush: One of them walked up to us on the beach and called me "Brother". lol He was selling para-sailing rides.
    She was like "Well, I'll be damned". FTHO!
    Last edited by SteelCool; 08-28-2015 at 07:58 AM.

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    This is powerful, Lushus. Thanks for sharing this.

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    Last edited by the moor; 08-29-2015 at 11:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCool View Post
    Had this conversation a few weeks ago. She didn't believe me, when I told her there are native Afro/Black Mexican people.
    My point was made when we went to Mexico and she actually saw a few of them for herself.
    And you couldn't have scripted this shit, Lush: One of them walked up to us on the beach and called me "Brother". lol He was selling para-sailing rides.
    She was like "Well, I'll be damned". FTHO!


    Every nationality has an "afro" group in the mix

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by the moor View Post
    what was the video

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lushus2One View Post
    what was the video

    Blacks in Latin America; Mexico and Peru. This is a documentary by Henry Gates on youtube.
    Last edited by the moor; 12-20-2019 at 02:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by the moor View Post
    Blacks in Latin America; Mexico and Peru. This is a documentary by Henry Gates on youtube. http://youtu.be/JlzHlRCBtdE
    For some reason, You tube says it's not available.

  14. #10
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    After 4 years, hopefully I got it right.


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    https://www.kpbs.org/news/2011/may/0...-grandma-clos/

    In "Black In Latin America," Professor Gates' journey discovers, behind a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery, vivid stories and people marked by African roots. He introduces viewers to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans in six Latin-American countries, who created these worlds. He shows the similarities and distinctions between these cultures and how the New-World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents.

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