Afro-Mexicans, commonly known as Black Mexicans (Spanish: mexicanos negros), are Mexican citizens who identify as such and have ancestry in Sub-Saharan Africa. The term “Afro-Mexican” refers to people who are descended from black Africans who came to Mexico during the colonial era, both free and enslaved, as well as post-independence immigration.
After the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1519, a sizable number of African slaves were transported to Veracruz throughout the course of the next century. An estimated 200,000 Africans were abducted and carried to New Spain, which subsequently developed into modern-day Mexico, according to The Atlantic Slave Trade. Spanish America, especially Mexico, was home to enslaved Africans who shaped Mexican culture. As slaves and as free people, Afro-Mexicans participated in a range of economic enterprises. Unlike the Anglo- American southern colonies or the Caribbean islands, where plantations used vast numbers of field slaves, Mexico never developed into a civilization founded on slavery.
José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix, often known as Guadalupe Victoria, was a black Mexican military and political figure who fought for Mexico’s independence from the Spanish empire. Quite popular for his influence, Victoria became the first black Mexican president after the Constitution of 1824 was enacted and he was elected. As president, he established diplomatic relations with Gran Colombia, the Federal Republic of Central America, the United States, and the United Kingdom. He also established the National Museum, backed up education, and approved the establishment of the border with the United States of America. In more over 30 years of Mexico’s independence, only Victoria’s presidency was completed to the conclusion.
In contrast, the 2010 census found that indigenous people made up roughly 10% of Mexico’s population. People that identify as black Mexicans come in a wide variety of looks. Some are difficult to tell apart from Mexican natives. Much of their identification is predicated on where they reside; for example, Chogo el Bandeno would likely identify as black if he lived in Santiago Llano Grande, a mostly black town. Despite their differences, there was and is, however, a shared culture. For instance, black artists have adapted the distinctive chilena musical genre, which Chilean seamen brought to the Costa Chica during the 19th century on their route to the California gold rush. Afro-Mexican instruments like the quijada, a dried-out donkey’s jawbone with chattering molar teeth, have been incorporated. The bote is a friction drum that produces a type of growling percussion sound when a stick is rubbed across the drum skin. These sounds play a major role in Afro-Mexican music. Mexicans are also brought together by their cultural foods. Mexican ingredients and flavors have shaped American cooking for generations. However, Mexican-inspired cuisine spread throughout the country in the latter part of the 20th century and became widely consumed. In addition to classic fare like tortillas, tacos, tamales, enchiladas, and salsas, new cuisine that reflected the fusion of Mexican, regional American, and other Latino cultures came into being.
Currently, Afro-Mexican identity is claimed by an estimated 1.4 million persons, according to a national study from 2015 and the numbers keep on increasing as Mexico is progressing over the years.
Visit our website and follow us to learn more about these incredible people and much more.
This article was written by Maya Mitala