Black In Latin America is a a four part series produced by PBS and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Professor of English and African American Studies, which was shown on the PBS public cable channel. In this highly educational and informational series, Dr. Gates goes on a journey to the Latin American countries of Mexico, Peru and Brazil as well as the Caribbean islands of Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic investigating the cultural history of Africans and the role they played in forming what is today Latin America and Latino culture. You can purchase the series on DVD at Amazon or watch it for free on the official website. What’s great about the official website is that it also offers a wealth of academic essays, timelines and photo galleries.
On his academic odyssey throughout the video series, Dr. Henry Louis Gates discovers very detailed stories and people identified with African heritage, which of course was brought upon by a shared legacy of colonialism and slavery during the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Western Hemisphere. Latin America and the Caribbean islands have the largest population of people with African ancestry outside Africa, approximately up to 70% in some countries. The Latin American and Caribbean region brought in more than ten times as many African slaves as the United States, and kept them in bondage far longer and treated more unfairly. As Professor Gates explores these various Latino countries, he discovers and praises the tremendous contribution millions of people of African ancestry had on both the history and culture of Latin America and the Caribbean but he also uncovers the fact that much like the United States, Latinos do succumb to prejudices and negative minority stereotypes within their own Latino society.
If you’re into studying Latino culture and history or are into Hispanic marketing I highly recommend that you watch this entire series. Dr. Gates proves that we live in a multiracial and multiethnic nation, whether it be in North America, Central America or South America. The people of Latin America is either biracial or triracial with African, European and Ameri-Indian origins. I hope those who watch this series will truly consider and accept how much African culture and history played a part here in the Western hemisphere and not just in Latin America.
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