Africa in Mexico: Like It Or Not

Paz! Tau!

Below is a video and a brief article about the African influence in Mexico.
And while some Mexica continue the same propaganda, that Mexicans are not black, and that only certain towns and neighborhoods have "black blood", the truth continues to remain. These are the same people who give praises and exalt their "European" roots over their African and Indigenous roots. Why? Throughout so-called Latin America, we, the people, are 'Indios y Africanos'. The mindset that states otherwise is a mindset of colonialism. It is the product of 515 years of self-hatred and identity crisis', psychological and emotional rape and servitude. This is not a conspiracy theory and far from a political ploy to simply 'unite' the two groups of Original people under false bonds. It is the reclaiming of a rich and wonderful history shared by both and the re-bonding of those peoples whom who were taken away from that history. We are 'one' because we are Original peoples. Black, brown (red) and yellow....some may have more African or some may have more Indian. Understand that our legacy extends farther back than chattel slavery.

Black Oaxacans Demand Recognition

Pinotepa Nacional, Oaxaca - Seated in the dusty front yard of her ramshackle home in the El Ciruelo community of Pinotepa Nacional, Elena Ruiz's bright white blouse accents the deep ebony color of her skin. "We (Mexican) blacks are not even in the history books," she laments. "It's as if we were invisible in the eyes of the government."

Further down the road from El Ciruelo is Llano Grande, another predominantly black community of the municipality of Pinotepa Nacional where, says local farmer Fulmencio González Mariche, "there's not even anybody left to see us." A few children play in the street while their grandparents relax nearby in hammocks, but people of working age are noticeably absent. "The young folks have all gone to North Carolina," says González Mariche.

In Collantes, which like El Ciruelo and Llano Grande, is one of the "pueblos negros," or "black towns," of this southwestern corner of Oaxaca, resident doña Fidela Bernal Noyola regretfully admits that "the majority of us never went to school, and as a result, we don't know how to read or write." Trapped in poverty, Bernal Noyola has managed to eke out a meager living by shucking corn, making coconut oil, or hauling gravel from the nearby river.

Corralero is another riverside community of Pinotepa Nacional where "the fish are all gone and the earth is dry," say local residents. Corralero local Anastasio Colón Rodríguez, admits that "nobody really knows where my ancestors came from, although around here they say that our roots are in Africa, which, owing to the color of my skin, I don't deny."

Along the Costa Chica, or "Little Coast" of Oaxaca, lie dozens of small communities inhabited primarily by Mexicans of African descent. Exactly how many African-Mexicans live here, or in the rest of the country, is uncertain, because blacks are not counted as a distinct minority by the federal government. Instead, say community members and leaders, African-Mexicans are largely ignored by government services, marginalized by racist attitudes and, like doña Fidela Bernal Noyola, relegated to lives of poverty and illiteracy on the fringes of society. As a result, many black communities like Llano Grande are experiencing an exodus of young African-Mexicans who are leaving in search of better opportunities elsewhere.


With indignation, Elena Ruiz asks: "If our ancestors fought for the cause of independence, why is it that Mexican history does not recognize us in textbooks? It's just one more form of discrimination against blacks and it makes us feel bad to know that we have no place in history."

Ruiz is the granddaughter of Artemio Ruiz, one of a group of castaways from an African ship that reportedly made its way to Puerto Minizo, Oaxaca, in the early 20th century. The other members of the African-Mexican community here are descendents of 17th- and 18th-century slaves brought here by the Spanish.

Elena remembers that as a child, others would tease her with the name "negra vendepescado" or "black fishmonger." Sometimes she even used her fists to defend herself, she said, "because the color of my skin is a source of pride, not ridicule."

Gladis Arellanes Herrera, a teacher at the secondary school in the community of Llano Grande Tapextla, related how discrimination and racism has affected her. "My partner, with whom I lived in a common-law marriage, was getting a lot of flak from his family," she says. "They would tell him: 'Are you really going to marry a black? Those blacks have some really ugly customs, you know,' and so he left me with a child that he doesn't even know."


Obdulio Serrano Morales, a 75-year-old fisherman from Corralero, said he has little idea of his ancestry. "I don't know anything; no one has ever told us the story about how our ancestors got here," he says. "All I know is that this is where I was born."

The organization Mexico Negro, or "Black Mexico," is now working to help African-Mexicans like Serrano Morales to learn about their heritage. Pedro Baños, director of the local cultural center and a researcher for Mexico Negro, says that the first Africans arrived at Costa Chica on the southwest corner of Oaxaca state 470 years ago as slaves who were brought to pick cotton. Many died from disease upon arrival, he says.

The Africans who came to this area were primarily from the Congo, Mozambique and Angola, says Baños. His organization is also working to help the black community recognize its rights and to embrace its cultural identity.

"The problem of the loss of cultural identity, along with that of racial discrimination, is that even some black people will deny their own racial heritage," said Elena Ruiz.

Gladis Arellanes Herrera, the Llano Grande teacher, recalled that when she finished her master's degree, her mother told her: "Now you are old enough to marry, but please don't marry another black. Just imagine what that would mean for your children."


According to Pedro Baños, the black population of the Costa Chica is slowly beginning to die out due to a poverty-driven exodus. "Since about four years ago, there has been a large migration of people trying to escape the bleak economic situation," he says. Today Baños estimates that there are little more than 5,000 people of direct African lineage left on the Costa Chica, and another 15,000 of mixed AfricanMexican descent.

"People are leaving because there's no work here," says Higinio Guillermo Verónica Cruz, a municipal representative from Tapextla who only recently returned from a five-year stint as a migrant laborer in North Carolina. "The cornfield is no longer producing, and so there's no money to be made here."

In the "pueblos negros," the lack of proper sanitation is alarming. "There's no sewage system nor waste treatment centers. The health clinics don't have doctors nor medicine. You have to drink from the wells because there's no other source of potable water, and the dusty roads and dusty floors of most homes make the children sick with bronchitis," says Verónica Cruz.

Surrounded by this scenario, Fulmencio González Mariche sits at his Llano Grande home beside his bed-ridden wife, waiting for the traveling doctor to make his visit to the town. He's at least 30 days late. "There's not even anybody left to see us," repeats the elderly farmer.

from: http://www.banderasnews.com/0506/edat-oaxacans.htm


Palante! Despite the Propaganda

The following article was originally posted by 'Vivirlatino' and then cross-posted by 'The Latin Americanist', I wanted to post it and share it as well. It is an interesting and important topic to be discussed.

It is an issue that reveals the propaganda that is used and can be used against us within this society. As the article states, a larger issue is the perpetuating of the stereotype as so-called Latina women as hyper-sexual, lustful baby-makers. A perspective that Anglos have long carried with them in their relationships with our people. We must only harken back to the days in Puerto Rico of forced sterilizations and experimenting of the birth control on Original women. Also, the large numbers of Native American women who were forcefully sterilized throughout the United States. We need to continue to educate our people and provide for them so that we can raise our babies in the best conditions possible. We should continue to reach out and aid our sisters in need. Not just to avoid being labeled or prevent an issue from being used as propaganda against us. But so that we can do what's right and what's best for our ninos. Of course we want to resist, and fight against the labels and stereotypes projected upon us. But it is better to have understanding then it is to be understood. First and foremost, our ways, words and actions should be concentrated on the progress of our families and our communities. So that we can show our children ways to be successful within this society, without sacrificing la cultura, and so that they do not simply repeat whatever efforts we have made in the struggle. We have to create avenues for this to be possible.

Those who seek to do so, will continue on teaching falsehoods about us and slandering our people on the world stage. They will continue to fabricate and formulate propaganda against us to mislead the masses. They will continue to be 'them'. We need to continue to be 'us'. And still, be wise. La matematica de hoy es 'sabiduria'.

Making Babies is The Cause of Latino Population Growth, Not Immigration (and no one else is concerned with this framing?)

We'll say it once and I'll say it again, all those new brown faces in your hood are not coming from across the border. They are being born here. A study done out of the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute shows that the growth in the Latino population has to do with births increasing, not immigration.

This natural increase — more births than deaths — is accelerating among Hispanics in the USA because they are younger than the U.S. population as a whole. Their median age is 27.4, compared with 37.9 overall, 40.8 for whites, 35.4 for Asians and 31.1 for blacks.

And while the blogosphere and the media is using this study as an opportunity to say, "I told you so" to anti-immigration activists, My concern is another direction that this information could be used in.

There is a growing resurgence of the stereotype of Latina women as prolific breeders, reducing the role and image of mujeres to animals concerned with feeding their hot blooded lust and then feeding the babies that follow. There is a growing concern in the anti-immigrant movement with "anchor-babies", a disgusting way of describing children born in the U.S to undocumented women with the idea that these children will allow the women to stay in the U.S. or to take the fucked up analogy, anchor them to the U.S.

For declining counties, many in the Great Plains, the growth in young Hispanics may be the only way out of a population spiral.

"Demographically, they can't recover unless something like this happens," Johnson says. "There's no way older white populations can replace themselves."

Because more than half of births to Hispanic immigrants are to low-income women who have no high school degree, a natural population increase challenges communities, says Steve Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which promotes limits on immigration.

"It's a huge growth in low-income population and low tax payments," he says. "If the town is not viable economically, immigration is not going to fix that problem."

Along with the image of the perpetually hot, knocked up mami, comes the image of what people expect to happen after children are born. These Latina women and their children are assumed to go onto the welfare rolls, to overwhelm the public school system, the change the language and way people communicate.
Just read some of the comments under the original USA Today article (if you can keep from going off).

Immigration activists and all (hey feminists want a cause to get behind), need to be on point for a resurgence of eugenicist calls that only certain people, meeting certain requirements should have babies (these requirements of course based on the intersections of race and class). Be prepared for calls for mass sterilizations and forced birth control.

There is no analysis of what families consume more. Be prepared for so called environmentalist pointing their green fingers at brown mamis and their babies.