Henry Louis Gates, Jr.: Black in Latin America, Important Latino History Lesson

Source: My Latino Voice, 4-18-11


Beginning on April 19th, PBS will air the four part series “Black in Latin America” hosted by Harvard professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Gates explores the cultural, religious, artistic and musical influences of Africa on the Caribbean and Latin America. Historian Gates said that between 1502 to 1867, 12.5 million Africans were brought to the new world as slaves; of that number only 450,000 came to the United States and the rest were sent “south of Miami,” he said.

Often never taught in primary, high school and some colleges the influence of Africa in Latino America has been suppressed. Latinos, who literally can see the influence of Africa on each other’s faces, in places like Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Peru, Panama and Columbia, live in denial that they have anything to do historically or culturally with Africans or African Americans.

In some instances being in total denial, Latinos tend to identify all too often with Europe while failing to acknowledge the contributions of Africa in Latino life, culture and music, and for far too long history was denied to Latinos searching for cultural identification….READ MORE

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