Afro-Mexicans: Mexico's Invisible Ethnic Minority
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Afro-Mexicans: Mexico's Invisible Ethnic Minority

Afro-Mexicans: Mexico's Invisible Ethnic Minority

Afro-Mexicans are Mexicans who have heritage connections with Sub-Saharan Africa. They account for 0.4 percent of the Mexican population and many have African descendants that were slaves in Mexico during colonial times. Due to their small presence in Mexican culture, the Mexican government and people never quite acknowledged their existence, making them invisible in their own state.

After the Mexican Revolution in 1910, there was an erroneous assumption made from the government that the majority of Mexicans were racially mixed: European and Native. While this was true and still is today, they completely omitted the population of Mexicans of African descent. This time in Mexican history also saw a time when people believed that being Mexican could not be mixed with being African. Due to the racist beliefs of the times, Afro-Mexicans gained no legal recognition as an ethnic group in Mexico. The only ethnic groups that were granted legal recognition were: White (Spaniard), Mestizo (Mixed European and Native), and Native.

Fact : Mexico and Chile are the only two Latin American countries that do not formally recognize individuals with African descent.

Today, in Modern Mexico, Afro-Mexicans are concentrated in coastal states like Veracruz, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. Although Afro-Mexicans receive international recognition, they're still victims of social, economic, and structural neglect , living in a country that does not legally recognize their ethnic/racial background.

Portraits of Afro-Mexicans by photographer Mara Sanchez Renero. Photo via CNN.

Just a while ago, members from Mexico Negro, an Afro-Mexican advocacy group launched a movement to grant Mexicans with African descent a spot on the national census. The proposed bill would ensure that Afro-Mexicans receive important social and economic resources.

Sergio Peńaloza Perez, the leader of Black-Mexico, explained, "We are joining senators and deputies to be recognized in the Federal Constitution and the missing federal states so that the Mexican state pays off its historical debt with Afro-Mexicans,”

The bill hopes to launched in Oaxaca, Mexico on November 13-14th. While the bill is a huge step towards national recognition, it is only one step forward to end the social, and economic discrimination this group receives from its own state, but it is a great step towards the right direction.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments