Did you know...

the two great generals, Guerrero and Morelos, that led Mexico to its independence, in 1821 were of African descent? In fact, Guerrero was known as "the Negro (neh-gro) Guerrero", who went on to become Mexico's 2nd president, and who also abolished slavery in Mexico in 1829. Gates, 2011

 

A slice of history:

Slavery lasted for 366 yrs totaling an estimated 12.5 million people that captured, stolen, or sold, from the continent of Africa. Eltis and Richardson, 2015. What's even more frightening, according to their research, is that around 2 million slaves never actually survived the journey. It's important to acknowledge that these are the people/numbers that can be accounted for, but what about those that vanished from their homelands with no official record on file, who either survived the journey, or didn't?

So where did the slaves go?

 

Less than 4% of slaves landed in the United States and the majority went to the Caribbean, South and Central America. When people have learned that I speak Spanish, there are only a couple places that they'll assume I'm from, either Dominican Republic, or Cuba, and this is generally from Spanish speakers. For me that shows how little exposure, there is in regards to Black history in Latin America, even amongst those that are native Spanish speakers. Unless one has taken the time to do some research it's not likely that when you think of slavery you think of Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela etc. Although people might know Brazil has the largest Black population next to the continent of Africa, I don't think we see "Black" when we see images of Brazil.

 

BUT...

That's what this project is about. Not only exposing the world to the African diaspora in Latin America, but educating the world on the history, culture, and impact that slavery had in Latin America. In fact, the name "Black and Sugar" is based off the fact that 80% of slaves taken from Africa went to sugar growing areas. Stay tuned for updates on upcoming countries I'll be visiting, the photobook release, and the photo exhibition.

© 2020 by Flikk Thornton Photography