Black in Latin America

27 Apr

For the past few weeks, I’ve been watching episodes of Black in Latin America on PBS- a documentary series that delves into the history of African-descended people in the following countries- the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, and Mexico. It’s hosted by Henry Louis Gates, a Harvard professor, well- known for African American Lives,  his documentary about African-American geneology.

The documentaries deal with such heady issues as the African roots of many Latin American cultures and how those roots have been historically denied and suppressed, how most of those cultures categorize race differently than here in the United States, and how people of African descent continue to face disproportionately high rates of poverty, disease, unemployment, and incarceration due to ongoing discrimination.

If you already know a lot about the African contribution to Latin American culture, this documentary only skims the surface. But it does it really, really well and piques the interest to learn more. I’m definitely looking forward to the episodes dealing with the African diaspora in Mexico and Peru as I know very little about them. Check it out!

Bon Voyaj,

Dalia

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