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