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Relations between Hispanic and African Americans in the U.S. today seen through the prism of the "Memin Pinguin" Controversy

According to the 2000 Census, Hispanics have now exceeded African-Americans as the largest ethnic minority group in the United States. The recent Memin Pinguin controversy, in which the Mexican post office issued stamps featuring a racial caricature of an Afro-Mexican, highlighted the fact that the Hispanic community is itself racially diverse, and that Afro-Mexicans have been an invisible and underprivileged community. In this lecture, delivered at the Liverpool John Moores University in March this year, Dr. Ezekiel Mobley argues that African Americans should become aware of their Latin cousins, and that the controversy also has lessons which Britain could learn.

Posted 20-Feb-2014

The author in Yanga
The author in Yanga

The changing fabric of the American racial Landscape
The Memin Pinguin Controversy
Afro-Mexicans: the forgotten people
The Third Root
Who is Memin Pinguin?
Hispanics the biggest minority
Afro-Hispanic Relationships
Light at the End of the Tunnel
Bibliography

We’ve all grown accustomed to thinking of African Americans as the most significant ethnic minority population in the United States, in terms of sheer numbers, cultural impact and political strength. African Americans, themselves, have become accustomed to this same kind of thinking. So, when we think of issues of race in the United States, we tend—primarily through inertia, I would maintain—to define these solely in terms of “black and white.” We have invested so much in how we have defined ourselves over the past 200 years to the point where we have ignored, or didn’t fully absorb, the “brown” relationship.

That must change now. The issue of race in the United States is far more complex than “black and white.” According to the year 2000 Census count in the United States, Latinos now equal, and in fact have exceeded, African Americans as the largest ethnic minority group in the U.S., constituting some 40 million people, which is at least 13% of the American population.

And, unlike that percentage of the American population that derives its descent from Africa, the Latino population continues to grow very rapidly through immigration, at present primarily through illegal immigration, but also potentially through legal “guest worker” programs. A recent study by The Pew Charitable Trust estimates some 12 million Latinos are now residing in the U.S. illegally, and it is again estimated that those numbers will increase by 850,000 each year. When we “do the math,” then, we would estimate there are currently more than 40 million Latinos residing in the US, but how much more nobody actually knows.

Large flows of legal and illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America have very far-reaching implications for U.S. national economic and security policy. U.S. media reports and possible legislative initiatives from the Bush administration bear out the sheer urgency of the immigration crisis. But, my discussion will mainly serve to highlight this immigration impact on African Americans and their displacement as the number one ethnic group in the U.S., and the repercussions therefrom. Top

The changing fabric of the American racial Landscape

Now, to understand the fabric of the changing American racial landscape, you must, and I say emphatically must, have a fuller comprehension of the Latino factor. It will take years of re-education among African Americans in the U.S., and likewise years in the United Kingdom, along the lines of a wholly new cultural awareness in order to fully grasp this phenomenon.

The rapid expansion of the Latino population, alone, has profound implications for people living in the western hemisphere: Spanish is the number one language in the western hemisphere. We must deal with this now, intellectually and emotionally. African Americans, especially, must accept this fact in a definitive way.

Furthermore African Americans and Latino Americans occupy the same urban space in the United States and, as such, will be in competition for, at first, the lowest level jobs and the lesser public offices. And, while Latino Americans are lagging behind African Americans in a number of areas, especially education, they have one advantage within their common urban space: they uniformly speak Spanish and maintain close family ties.

As a result of all this, there will be some real crises in the next few years and it will take creative approaches to find synergies between these two minority groups in the US population landscape. Top

The Memin Pinguin Controversy

I will begin with an examination of the now media famous (or infamous) “Memin Pinguin” controversy in Mexico and the U.S. “Memin Pinguin” is perhaps a metaphor for understanding many issues symbolic of the African American and Latino American relationship in the US. The Memin Pingiun controversy has released a set of issues that have galvanized the attention of the African American population at a time when the immigration issue is at the forefront of the American media and the halls of Congress. U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), for example, highlighted the immigration controversy recently by suggesting that if Jesus Christ were alive today, he would be caught in the net as an “illegal” immigrant.

Last July, I reported on the famous "Memin Penguin" cartoon character in The African Times newspaper (see Mobley 2005). The Memin Pinguin comic books have been a broad staple of many Mexican households for the last 60 years. In 2005, the government of Mexican President Vicente Fox issued a new federal postage stamp commemorating the likeness of Memin Pinguin.. This commemorative stamp was interpreted by African American religious leaders Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton as a direct slap in the face to African Americans, and a subsequent and very public controversy ensued. Jackson and Sharpton pointed out the physical similarities of Memin Pinguin to certain racially stereotypical U.S. radio and television characters of the 1930s thru 1960s, such as the infamous “Amos n' Andy” comic duet. These personalities and others like them were much more often than not perceived as derisive and ridiculing of African Americans and, furthermore, supporting, even exhorting, ideas of white racial supremacy. “Comedy masks tragedy,” the Rev. Jesse Jackson said at a meeting of civil rights leaders in Little Rock, Arkansas. “In this instance, it’s comedy with a demeaning punch line and we hope that President Fox will take it off the market.”

 

“Black Mexicans: Forgotten Africans?” pointed out that the Memin Pinguin debate in Mexico and the U.S. was merely a harbinger of things to come. For example, it had unintentionally opened a “Pandora’s Box,” revealing the plight of Afro-Mexicans who now populate the Mexican states of Coahuila, Veracruz, Guerrero and Oaxaca. You see, Afro-Mexicans have a long history, which is in much need of detailed and public examination. For instance, not many are even aware of the African element in the population of Mexico, let alone that it was in 1608, when a west African known as Gaspar Yanga led a significant slave rebellion in Veracruz, Mexico, that created the first “free” African town in the Americas. And, two of the four black heroes of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain (1810-1821)—Vicente Guerrero and Jose Maria Morelos—had Mexican states named for them. Top

Afro-Mexicans: the forgotten people

The story of Mexico’s failure to credit and acknowledge its Afro-Mestizo history is painful, given what else has happened politically and socially since the early 1990s. For example, in Chiapas, the southernmost state of Mexico bordering Guatemala, a rebel indigenous movement took up arms and threatened to overthrow oligarchic land owners to relieve the burden of generations of near-feudal rule. The rebels have successfully petitioned for increased federal government attention to land reform, education and health needs. And, the current president, Vicente Fox, was freely elected from an opposition party, which had not happened in Mexico for over 70 years.

Blacks have been officially “invisible” in Mexico because until recently the federal government did not recognize them in census counts. This was tolerated over the centuries by the policy of mestizaje or “cosmic mixture” of exclusively Spanish (Europeans) and indigenous (Indian) peoples. This policy was perpetuated by a mythology that neatly fit with the ideology of the early 16 th century conquests by Hernan Cortes, a representative of the Spanish crown, who subdued the Aztec emperor Montezuma II, pre-colonial ruler of most of Mexico and Central America. Afro-Mexicans therefore, until recently, had no official recognition and it was consequently easy to dismiss them. However, due to the emergence of the recent “third root” movement, that is increasingly difficult to do. In that regard, some institutions like the University of Veracruz presently sponsor academic courses that emphasize the African impact and history. But, this divergence is still rare.

In modern Mexico, the so-called “Third Root” movement is headed by Afro-Mexicans and is dedicated to recognizing and improving the civic, social and economic conditions of this much-neglected group. Mexican blacks have had a significant history not well recognized by the government and media. But some groups of Afro-Mexicans have started to speak out. Mexican scholars such as Sagrario Cruz-Carretaro, at the University of Veracruz, bring attention to Afro-Mexicans and have made studies of Yanga and the black towns near border crossings between Texas and Mexico’s Coahuila state. She is the co-curator of a significant museum exhibition in Chicago, Illinois, that boldly spells out the Afro-Mexican contribution to modern history. “It’s the most important thing we’ve ever done,” said Mexican Fine Arts Museum in Chicago president Carlos Tortolero. “‘The African Presence in Mexico’ tells a virtually unknown and still-unfolding story.”

Mexican filmmakers such as Rafael Rebollar are receiving recognition for their documentary work illustrating “La Raiz Olvidar” (The Forgotten Ones) and “Los Moscogos.” The latter film concerns so-called “Black Seminoles,” a mixed-race people of Native American and African slave heritage, who were forced into submission by American general, later President Andrew Jackson, and ultimately were forced to abandon their traditional lands in the states of Georgia and Florida for a life of neglect in Oklahoma and Texas in the 1840’s. Descendants of these same people later gained distinction from the U.S. Army as scouts, who won four Medals of Honor for military campaigns against the Apache and Comanche nations in the south-western United States. Intellectuals like Cruz-Carretaro and Rebollar have, in their respective fields, started to organize and demand a strong public acknowledgement of the role of Afro-Mexicans in shaping Mexico’s national character.

Although the percentages were low, the population of enslaved Africans in Mexico had a huge presence in colonial Mexico (1521-1810) working as domestic servants, day laborers, cattle ranchers, artisans and miners on haciendas (large plantation estates).

You see, there was, and to a wide extent currently is, outright denial about a tangible African bloodline running through Mexico's population. I recall quite clearly more than a decade ago, listening to a television interview with an official of the Mexican government. The official was describing the ethnic make-up of the Mexican population, and nowhere did she mention any African population element in the entire country. This “racial amnesia,” as it has been termed, officially exists despite the fact that some 200,000 Africans were brought to Mexico during the early years of the slave trade. In fact, historians estimate that the African population of Mexico constituted around a half-million persons by 1810.

And would it surprise you to know that Vincente Guerrero, a leading general of the Mexican War of Independence and the new nation’s second president, appears to have been of African descent. And, finally, photographs of the great revolutionary hero Emiliano Zapata show clearly that he was of African descent. Even modern-day rebels from Mexico’s southern Chiapas state proudly called themselves “zapatistas” during the 1990s.

Dating to the years immediately following the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, official national ideology defined the Mexican population as a unified one, created out of the mixture of Spanish and indigenous population—mestizo. The African element was completely and unambiguously excluded. In fact, since 1928, Mexico has celebrated October 12 as "The Day of the Race" and this singular Spanish-Indian mix denies the African-descended population. In that early era, even Mexican public commentators, media officials and university scholars were in total denial of the African contribution to Mexican history. Top

The Third Root

The "Third Root" movement—deriving its name from this third and African population element--is now bringing a sea-change to that mind-set of race denial in Mexico. In 1992, the Mexican government finally acknowledged Africa to be Mexico's "Third Root" but, securing a wholesale list of democratic reforms, employment opportunities, adequate housing, minimal education and health care for Afro-Mexicans will take a long time and much public pressure. And, the political will to accomplish something dramatic is needed as well.

Afro-Mexican population centers in the Costa Chica area (in Guerrero and Oaxaca), Veracruz and Coahuila maintain very strong cultural examples of racial heritage through song, dance and other art forms. These people often endure in isolated, but unmistakably “African” communities. In the state of Veracruz, for example, you can find towns named Mandinga, Matamba and Mozambique, which clearly denote the historical African presence in Mexico.

When the Memin Pinguin controversy started to gather steam in the U.S. media in 2005, Bush White House insiders conveniently seized the moment to join with African American leaders in denouncing Mexico's President Fox.  Many conservative U.S. policy-makers were thoroughly annoyed at Fox’s pro-Mexican immigration announcements and opposing construction of hundreds of miles of “barbed-wire fence” between Mexico and the U.S. Of course, these announcements further encouraged conservative groups in the U.S., who were already reeling from the daily headlines concerning Mexican “illegal” immigration. Top

Who is Memin Pinguin?

Well, who is “Memin Pinguin,” the comic book character, and why does he figure so prominently in understanding the Mexican psyche today? Obviously, the look, feel and characterization of Memin Pinguin ridicules African and African American individuals. In fact, Memin Pinguin does not even look reasonably human like the other, white, characters in the comic books. The dialogue of many “Memin Pinguin” comic books portray the character as a very meek, gentle and well-meaning character (not a real person) that you would hardly give any responsibility. He is often dim-witted. His look is radically different, e.g. simian or animal like, from the other characters. In fact, until you actually see Memin Pinguin himself, in the comic books, you can hardly believe your eyes. Why is this the case and why was the character perpetuated for so many years? Why does an image like this exist in 2006? Why did the Memin Pinguin character become prominent enough to be placed on a federal stamp of the Mexican republic? What was the controversy really about?

"Memin Pinguin," substantively and symbolically, is one of the principal "next steps" in a comprehensive understanding of Latino-African American relations.  There are several important reasons for this.  For decades, African Americans held a center stage position in the never-ending civil rights debate.  The legacy of legal slavery until 1863 and legal discrimination until the 1960s in the United States, was so pervasive and fundamentally important to appreciating American social history, that to consider it in any other way was, and continues to be, often publicly ridiculed.

But, frankly we knew very little of “Memin Pinguin” beforehand because Americans are not serious students of our neighbors to the south, in matters of culture, society and habits. That is apparently one main reason why we were so shocked by the stamp issued last year which bore the likeness of Memin Pinguin. Most of us had never seen Memin Pinguin before last year. Our American recollections of Mexican life and culture were until recently mainly influenced by media images of characters like “Speedy Gonzales” and the “Taco Bell” Chihuahua dog, not “Memin Pinguin.”

On average, Americans really do not mix socially with Mexicans on their vacations, preferring instead to enjoy themselves frolicking on the clean beaches of Acapulco and Cancun. We don’t really understand how necessary and easy it was for Mexican society to create, maintain and flourish with “Memin Pinguin” in acceptable fashion. This image was perpetuated by notions of a mestizo (mixed race Euro-Indian society), wholly absent of considerations of race and class as they historically existed in the United States. In other words, “Memin Pinguin” in comic book version could flourish for many years without social criticism from Mexicans—even as Afro-Mexicans suffered from discrimination. Thus, the “Memin Pinguin” cartoon character remained an unchallenged daily staple of Mexican popular culture since the 1940s, when author Yolanda Vargas Dulche conceptualized the character.

Unfortunately, the Memin Pinguin controversy, spilling over into the U.S. last year, is making many African Americans look urgently, for the first time, at Mexican history and society. Many of them are asking questions about the 19 th century abolition of slavery in Mexico. They are asking questions about the ill-treatment and decades-long lack of social advancement for Afro-Mexicans in the states of Coahuila, Veracruz and on the Pacific Ocean coast. Inhabitants of these lands and elsewhere are demanding more recognition and rights for Afro-Mexicans, especially in some of the border towns (like Nacimiento) between Mexico and the U.S.

This interesting situation raises other questions. For example, African Americans are frequently focused on the African Diaspora. Then, why do they sometimes reject the Latin American black experience?

The answer may be that African Americans are not rejecting the black experience in Latin America, but rather that they have never been exposed to it. Their eyes have always been traditionally focused on Africa, where English is spoken in Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa. Now they must deal with the black experience in Latin America, and tackle the hurdle of the Spanish language, whether they like it or not. Top

Hispanics the biggest minority

A dramatic event happened in the year 2000 that had no precedent...ever!  In that year, according to the US national census, Latinos exceeded African Americans as the leading minority population group in the U.S.  This has a far reaching impact currently unknown to social scientists, government officials, media commentators and just ordinary people.  Latinos now comprise officially over 40 million persons in the U.S.  This does not include the 10-12 million people of Latino racial and ethnic background caught in the web of illegal immigration across the immense Mexico-U.S. border.  That border alone stretches for nearly 2,000 miles along the southern portions of the states of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, not including the Gulf of Mexico running its own waterline from east Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Most of these “illegal immigrants” end up in teeming “inner-city” areas.

Professor Jennifer Hochschild of Harvard University recently wrote, “In 2000, the racial/ethnic makeup of US residents was: White, 69 percent; Hispanic and Black, 13 percent each; and Asian and other, six percent. By 2050, these percentages are projected to be: 50, 24, 15 and 13.” Looking closely at studies dealing with Hispanics, Hochschild notes that

“the sheer magnitude of immigration and the high birth rates among Latinos who share a language, religion, and background and who mostly live in a distinct section of the United States are creating a de facto split between a pre-dominantly Spanish-speaking Unites States and an English-speaking United States.”

Making matters worse, the political gains African Americans have made in the inner city areas, since the 1960s Civil Rights era have, relatively speaking, disappeared by the 1990s. For example, in the 1980s the largest U.S. cities, such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, all had African American mayors, and voting blocks that assured their reelection.  But, with increased opportunities for racial integration in the suburbs of these large cities many middle-class African Americans simply moved out of the inner-city. More often than not, the “inner-city” areas are frequently inhabited now by recent immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America.

Latinos have made not only general population gains, but they are also beginning to take over the seats of municipal power in a few of the largest U.S. cities.  Latino mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's election in 2005 as mayor of Los Angles, California certifies the newest trend in “brown” power.  The population demographers have predicted even more pronounced Latino gains will surface politically as the new inheritors of American cities become more sophisticated about how to exercise the right to vote and demand political power. I’ll wager the gain made by Villaraigosa is a clarion call to other Latinos to try their hand at high government office.

African Americans now will have to learn how to share the political, economic and public affairs stage with Latinos, the “new” ethnic group in the coming years. Even now, there is a growing sense that African Americans could be challenged by Latinos, especially at first, politically. For example, I for one never imagined that the first non-white U.S. Attorney General would be the Mexican-descended Alberto Gonzalez. I always assumed the Democratic Party, when it occupied the White House, would appoint an African American to the position of chief law enforcement officer. But alas, it took the republican administration of George Bush to manage that hurdle.

Rapid U.S. domestic job increases by the Latino population group are being matched by tandem influences throughout the Western Hemisphere in foreign relations. Often, U.S. media commentators forget, or do not pay attention to the fact, that Spanish and Portuguese (the linguistic cousin Portuguese is spoken in Brazil with 170 million people) are the chief languages in the Western Hemisphere spoken by over 500 million people total in the Caribbean Basin, Mexico, the countries of Central America and South America.

In January 2006, the U.S. government had no clear plan to tackle the thorny problem of immigration. The backlog of cases, some taking years to sort out, created nightmares for the national Immigration Service. This problem was different from that facing “illegals” which was still simply a matter of apprehending them and adjudicating a quick return to the Mexican side of the border. But, more than once the problem of “return cases” people trying to escape across the U.S.-Mexican border became a matter of people coming back for a second or third try. And, “illegals” from Mexico were increasing targets of so-called “vigilante” groups operating on the U.S. side of the border. Sometimes, these confrontations would be violent.

This is why there are now several legislative proposals before the U.S. Congress to finally manage the “illegal” immigration issue. Many of the proposals will take months to work toward some overall consensus, perhaps with a conclusion in the early spring of 2006. Even though there are strong, unyielding voices on both sides of the controversy, including a pro-immigration stand by Roger Cardinal Mahoney, head of the millions-strong catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, who suggested that the faithful go outside the law, if necessary, to protect undocumented Mexicans. As I write, there have been significant protest demonstrations in high population cities around the United States in recent days. In the meantime, Republican legislators may be scrambling to hold on to their congressional seats and maintain small majorities in both houses of Congress while President Bush settles into his “lame duck” status. Top

Afro-Hispanic Relationships

African Americans who are inescapably in low-wage categories and therefore can not flee the inner cities are compelled to live beside recently settled Mexican or other Central American immigrants, “illegal” or not. These African Americans severely lack education, job skills or other means of advancement. In a personal way, I am most familiar with the urban cauldrons of the great “megalopolis” centers in New York City and Los Angeles where many times working class blacks, who previously occupied the neighborhoods and proudly showed their political and economic strength, now share streets crowded with Latino “bodegas” (small item neighborhood stores) and “carnicerias” (stores to purchase meat, fish and other ethnic staples). If there are inner-city “flashpoints” they will be seen in urban areas where poor African Americans and often “illegal” Mexican and Central American population groups can not manage their urban spaces and/or overcome their beleaguered economic conditions.

Clearly, the present government of President Vicente Fox of Mexico put itself into terrible fix by supporting the 60-year legacy of the cartoon character Memin Pinguin. That is, considering the opposite views of the American Reverends Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and the Bush White House. But, Fox has a social and historical situation at home that was hard to compromise. In any event, he had absolutely nothing to lose politically by taking a pro-Memin Pinguin stand. His presidential six year term expires with the new elections in July ’06. And, according to the Mexican constitution President Fox is prevented from seeking a second term in office.

True, there was a huge controversy last year surrounding the cartoon character Memin Pinguin, both in Mexico and the U.S., but like most flurries the big headlines merely lasted only a while. Those headlines have been replaced by “illegal” immigration from Mexico. Reverend Jessie Jackson was shrewd enough, during the debate with President Fox, to publicly encourage African American college students to begin studying the Spanish language in earnest. That way, the students could learn for themselves if the Mexican people really shared President Fox’s sentiments. Only time will tell if Reverend Jackson’s legendary persuasiveness compels large numbers of black university students to study Latin American language, culture and history.

The current U.S. societal problems and friction, if any, between Latin Americans and African Americans will not easily go away. This is particularly true when urban resource pressures, caused by rapid illegal immigration from Mexico, begin to be taken in account. Soon, we should know the final outcome of the many immigration bills now facing directly before the U.S. Congress. These legislative bills will never make everyone happy. But, they were never specifically designed to do so.

My local newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran a front-page news article with the title “Black Latinos can find race niches hard to accept” only two weeks ago on Sunday, February 26, 2006. The story was about personal insights of darker-skinned Latinos, who recently immigrated to the U.S., and how they were treated in their adopted homeland. The accounts are very instructive, and sobering, in some ways. For instance, the article highlighted the case of Marisol Del Orbe, a mestizo of mixed-race origin like many inhabitants of the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico. She was never just black – until she came to the U.S. She felt, for the first time, a special cultural and racial isolation that was markedly absent in Puerto Rico. Del Orbe, like others in her situation, often find examples of discrimination, from many, in the majority of Americans. And, people like her reject the discrimination foisted upon her immediately upon arrival in the U.S., simply because of her skin color. I was quoted in the article saying “one issue uniting blacks in this nation [the U.S.] is the historical struggle against racism. So, when black Latinos can’t identify with that, because of pride in their mixed heritage, some blacks see them [Latinos] as running away from the issue.”

According to a recent study on race-mixing among Latinos, blacks and whites in the U.S, a large majority (over 70%) of white Hispanic children have parents who are both white Hispanic. In contrast, it is less common (only 31%) that a black Hispanic child has two black Hispanic parents. For nearly half of the black Hispanic children, one of the parents is non-Hispanic black. This result suggests that intermarriage is the most important source of the black Hispanic population, with a strong likelihood of having a non-Hispanic black parent. Top

Light at the End of the Tunnel

I do see a proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” in our evolving circumstances between Latin Americans and African Americans in the U.S. However, the complex and confusing tableau of “race relations” will not make things easier. Neither will the unyielding competition for jobs, decent housing and meaningful education from the bottom-up for recent Spanish-language immigrants who find themselves also competing with black Americans for scant social resources.

Now that Latinos are, since the year 2000’s enumeration, the largest non-white ethnic group in the U.S. with over 40 million people, the American media, and the federal, state and local governments will increasingly focus upon them. African Americans must adjust, however painfully, to that fact. African Americans must look for their own place in this new “race mosaic.” One future link could be identification and unification with the black experience in the wider context of Latin America—Afro-Latinos.

Perhaps, the new reconciliation would be easier and more fruitful in a lasting sense if African Americans simply began learning the Spanish language in order to live comfortably next to their new neighbors in the “inner cities.”

Britain can use this experience of American racial dynamics to understand their own issues of immigration. It needs to be able to absorb the American experience and use it as an analogy. Top

Bibliography

Aguirre Beltrán, Gonzalo. La Población Negra de Mexico. (Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1984).

Cuevas, Marco Polo Hernández. African Mexicans and the discourse on modern nation (University Press of America, Dallas, 2004).

Hochschild, Jennifer L. “Looking ahead: racial trends in the U.S.,” Daedalus. Journal of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences (Winter, 2005).

Krauze, Enrique. “The Pride in Memin Pinguin,” The Washington Post (July 12, 2005).

Logan, John R. How Race Counts for Hispanic Americans (Lewis Mumford Center for Comparative Urban and Regional Research, University of Albany, NY, 2003).

McKinley, James C., Jr. “New Racial Gaffe in Mexico; This Time It’s a Tasteless Stamp Set,” The New York Times (June 30, 2005).

Mobley, Ezekiel. “Black Mexicans: Forgotten Africans?” The African Times, Vol. 18, No. 9 (July 15-31, 2005).

Nance, Kevin. “Exploring the art of Mexico’s ‘Third Root’,” The Chicago Sun-Times, February 14, 2006.

Vincent, Ted. “The Blacks Who Freed Mexico,” The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 79, No. 3 (Summer, 1994), pp. 257-76. Top

If you enjoyed this article, you might also enjoy Hispanic-Americans: an under-represented group in American politics

Hispanics are one of the fastest growing groups in the United States, and yet they are under-represented in American political institutions. Here, Maria-Cristina Garcia, explains why. Maria-Cristina Garcia PhD. is in the Department of History of the Texas A&M University. She is a member of the Centre's U.S. Advisory Panel and a former Fulbright Scholar.

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