Afro-Mexicans still struggle for recognition in Mexico

Posted in Anthropology, Articles, Caribbean/Latin America, Census/Demographics, History, Media Archive, Mexico on 2016-07-03 00:25Z by Steven

Afro-Mexicans still struggle for recognition in Mexico

The Seattle Globalist
2016-06-22

Mayela Sánchez, Senior Reporter, Country Coordinator

Adriana Alcázar González, Reporter

María Gorge, Reporter


Luz María Martínez Montiel, 81, shown at home in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos state in central Mexico, is a specialist in African languages and culture. She works to promote the recognition of Afro-descendants in Mexico.(Photo by Mayela Sánchez for GPJ Mexico)

“It is latent racism. Nobody wants to be the descendant of black people,” Luz María Martínez Montiel says from her home in Cuernavaca, the capital of Morelos state in central Mexico.

Martínez Montiel says this was confirmed for her at an early age. When she was 9, she went to live with her paternal grandparents in Veracruz, a state on the country’s east coast. Even though there were people in her family who were dark-skinned, they didn’t identify as descendants of Africans, she says.

“‘Black’ always was the ‘other,’” says Martínez Montiel, now 80 years old.

Afro-descendants are defined as people whose ancestors were enslaved Africans who integrated into the places where they were transported, or to where they escaped, according to the Consejo Nacional para Prevenir la Discriminación (CONAPRED) the national council in charge of promoting policies for equality and inclusion…

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