Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo Gallery

You can move through the gallery by clicking on the “PREV” and “NEXT” buttons that appear in the upper left and right of each image.

  • Henry Smith

    Mexico abolished slavery in 1829. One of the bones of contention during the 1830’s Texas independence movement was that Texans wanted to be free to own slaves. I don’t know anything about what happened to Mexico’s slaves after they were emancipated, but I do know that the British in the West Indies quickly educated their slaves to bring them up to the level of the other citizenry, something that did not happen in the United States where there was another hundred years of segregation and even then full freedom was granted reluctantly.

  • Yettekov Wilson Jr

    Lot’s of good information coming out of the shadows finally. I am so glad to see all these beautiful people living their lives.

  • Kevin Credle

    It’s amazing that the information regarding the former slave population is not better connected between the regions. As slaves were distributed in North, Central and South America collectively, by the British, French, Spanish and Portugese, you would think that in today’s education environment, this would be a subject taught in all curriculums throughout the Western Hemisphere . It’s no surprise that many children today have no concept of it’s ever having existed as an institution. More shameful for some who are aware, is being under the impression that it only happened in the United States in general, and the East Coast Southern States in particular. This program should begin to help to broaden the awareness of how vast an area, over which this type of labor was utilized, just a little bit.

  • art fleming

    Great intro to the next level of our global consciousness as BLACK citizens of the world. THERE IS MUCH IGNORANCE IN THIS WORLD, THANK YOU DR. GATES FOR CONNECTING US, THERE IS MUCH WORK TO BE DONE!!!!

  • Frank

    Thank you Dr. Gates for broadening the scope of this inhumane treatment of the African people and forced slavery. I hope one day the ancestors and descendants that profited from the pain, and suffering of those subjected will pay in full for their deeds, meaning eternal suffering in Hades.
    Yes, I’m bitter, my paternal grandfather was shot, dragged, mutilated, lynched and burned for not walking in a muddied dirt road although sufficient wooden sidewalk was available for whites.

  • mari

    What about the rest of the countries in Latin America ? Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Hounduras, icaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, to name a few ? They should all been included .

  • Eduardo Añorve

    Los personajes de la foto número 38 no son músicos del Toro de Petate: el de la izquierda es Don Melquia, versero y contador de historias; el de la derecha es Foncho Rendón, quien falleció en enero pasado, y fue músico y corridista excelente. La foto fue hecha en San Nicolás, municipio de Cuajinicuilapa, Gro.

  • Mario Rios Pinot

    I’m so glad this is being done and so rich like the proverbial tapestry. I’m not sure about Mr. Gates, I hope he does not have a meltdown…maybe two hosts…why not one from Haiti or Dominican Republic or even a…dare I say it?…a white scholar???!!! Maybe its time to get away from the monopolies: white race and black race? Sort of working together, hhmmmm. Thank you.

  • Melissa

    I agree! Although – the history of Black people in Central America is often told incorrectly. Perhaps it’s better that we were left out.
    mari says:
    April 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm
    What about the rest of the countries in Latin America ? Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Argentina, Hounduras, icaragua, Panama, Costa Rica, to name a few ? They should all been included

  • Ron Gay

    This rich history has been denied to many of afrocaribbean and latino students . the states need to free teachers at the k-12 levels to at least offer this info as part of world history or just as an interesting elective the forgotten history of the Americas . A title like that would definitely get students attention …

  • Victoria Molina

    Finally! I’ve been waiting for someone to do a documentary on the West African culture and its importance in Latin America. I cant wait for the episode on Cuba. Being an afro-cubana myself makes me proud to see more of my people on TV.

    Special thanks to Mr.Gates and PBS

  • Frank Gonzalez

    I agree with w/Mari on April 17. A great example would be the African influence in the roots of Tango fro Argentina, Read “Tango: The Art History of Love” by Robert Farris Thompson of Yale.

  • Robert Muñoz


    Over 90% of the black africans that came to the “new world” went to latin america to be slaves, this`s something the people of the US don`t know, they think the blacks in latin america are natives of the different countries.

  • Carlos Quesada

    As a Afro-Latino working on combating racial discrimination in Latin America, it is good to see that this documentary will raise awareness about the human rights conditions of Afro-Latinos and it is also a lesson for all of us (afrodescendants) on how much more we need to do in order to combat racial discrimination in the world. Felicidades, nuestros ancestros estan celebrando!

  • June Reed

    Three years ago I left this country and moved to San Jose, Costa Rica. The first thing I noticed was that there were very few black Costa Ricans. When I finally asked, “Where are are of the black people?” I was informed that the majority lived in Limon. I immediately got on a bus and made my way there. For the remainder of my time there I spent every weekend in Limon. Every three months I had to leave the country for 72 hrs. (visa run). This time was spent in Bocas De Torro, Panama. Three quarters of the population of the city is black. When I left Costa Rica a year later I traveled for two years to the following cities, all of which have a VERY LARGE black population or a totally black population.

    Nicaragua: Bluefields and Puerto Cabezas
    Honduras: Oma, Trujillo, La Ceiba, Tela and San Pedro Sula
    Guatamala: Puerto Barrios and Livingston
    Panama: Panama City and Colon (Colon in 95% black)
    Colombia: Cartagena, Armenia, Cali and Quibdo (Quibdo is 97% black, 2% indigenous people and 1% white)

    We are everywhere and it saddens me that most African Americans will never visit these places because they are not tourist destinations.

  • Yolanda H.

    Thank you for such an informative piece. It is refreshing to see the histories of Afro Latinos told by Afro Latinos. The current history books are loaded with European points of views. We have found our voices and we must speak so that others may hear and know that we are here. We’ve been here for some time and will continue to be here. As a woman of color from Latin America, I do not see myself in the magazines geared for Latinas. And I am still here. We must tell our stories as they happened, not a sanitized version. Only then will we be able to move forward in our thought processes, and aspirations. Soy prieta, mulata, negra, latina y negra y tan orgullosa de serlo.

  • devia

    Thank you Mr Gates for the info. I pray that this history is talk about in schools around the world.

  • Joyce Clerge

    I really enjoyed watching the documentary highlighting the rich culture, beauty, history, and traditions of Haiti. We are a resilient people indeed, and Haiti will overcome in time. We need more of our Haitian diaspora to return to Haiti, and suport reconstruction efforts in all sectors. La perle des antilles, Ayiti cherie:) Knowledge is power!

  • manuel elizondo

    I enjoyed your show.. I wish that you had done a sement on puerto rico.. where we still practice african culture

  • Sarah Garrido

    Finally!!! Im so glad this was done. As an Afro Latina its difficult to leave in a society (US) in most dont even seem to know that my ethnicity exist. I am here and I’m real!!!!! Thank You Prof. Gates!!!!!!!
    - A happy Afro Dominicana

  • Jill

    Mr. Gates,

    I am from the Dominican Republic and I’m PROUD to be Black. I have never been confused about my roots. So let’s NOT put All Dominicans on the same basket stating that “Dominicans are in denial” about their African roots.

  • Bahati Ansari

    Finally the truth shall make us free, it hope.

  • El Negro Mota

    What a delightful series…It was about time for a serious conversation about the Black identity in Latin America, its importance and relevance not just to Afro-Latinos but also to Afro-Americans has long been neglected. As a Dominican of obvious African heritage and very proud of it I was consider to be out of my mind when at an early age in the DR we identify with African Music, Religion and to some extend the language. Growing up in the post Trujillo era embracing this rich heritage was subject of shame and dangerous social disconnect. to this day we still face this level of ignorance.

  • Virginia Williams

    This is a brilliant idea for a series as it gathers together information from various sources to present a never before compiled history of African slavery in the ENTIRE New World. There is so much that we do not yet know about this – for example, In reading a book on the history of capitalism recently, I was astonished to learn that Brazil, when a Portuguese colony, imported the bulk of all African slaves ever brought across the Atlantic to work the sugar plantations there, in numbers far reater than the Caribbean islands and the United States combined. Also, I hope Prof. Gates will continue to explore throughout the influence of African religion, music and customs on New World culture, this is fascinating.
    That book on capitalism is “The Relentless Revolution” by Prof. Joyce Appleby and is an excellent introduction to the history of the market economy in which we live. She has a lot on the origins and growth of the slave trade and the importance of sugar production, it’s all connected, of course.

  • Jim

    I was a Peace Corps volunteer and lived in Dajabon on the Haitian border for 2 years. I was a frequent visitor to the bi-weekly marketplace, and I took trips across the border into Haiti from time to time. I was constantly amazed at the stark contrasts: Paved roads in the DR, Dirt roads in Haiti; Electricity (albeit with black-outs) in the DR, Lack of electricity to many “houses” in Haiti; Running water provided to each house in the DR, wells for bucket retrieval in Haiti… the list goes on and on. And of course, the total negation of their African descent in the DR, while Haiti clinged closely to its roots. Interesting that the marines brought baseball to the DR, while in Haiti, which was also occupied by our military, such connections necver materialized.

    I ascribed Haiti’s consistent poverty to their “pariah” status as being the first to reject the colonial system. No passports, no visas, no decent trade arrangements, led to a crushing impoverishment. The DR, on the other hand, embraced their former colonial connections, and were able to say that they beat back the pariah Haitian state. They were independent, but with much better land for agriculture and connections to Multi-national interests (United Fruit, Gulf + Western)… Still, the DR is poor, owing to their lack of freedom to travel, but with a significant population in the U.S., the most popular places in many towns in the Western Union office.

    Two fascinating and complex countries !

  • Faith

    Jill, I think you are rare.

  • Deborah Carpenter

    I now understand why Haiti has suffered so much for so long.

  • Jackie Henderson

    I hope their are some young educators watching who have the desire to share this history with their students.
    In my World History classes in the ’80’s and ’90’s, I was able to share with my students a documentary series “EYES ON THE PRIZE”, which covered the civil rights movement in America. They were enlightened!
    Thanks Dr. Gates

  • Luz V.

    This was fascinating to watch! I look forward to watching the Black in Latin America, in Mexico.

  • gralan

    Nice Program. This should have been learned from parents,family,church and community. This where the true failure.

  • Ana Castillo

    This was beautifully done. I wish they would teach this in our children’s schools.

  • M Diaz

    I cried when I watched this program. I am of Dominican Haitian heritage. My grandfather was taken by the Trujillio army when he took my mother who at the time was an infant trying to cross the border. Through the grace of God my mother’s life was speared. I grew up hearing about the Trujillo regime, but to actually see a show about it brought tears to my eyes. I am married to a Dominican and it pains me to see how many Dominicans view Haitian people. Trujillo does not exist anymore, but his spirit seems to be alive and well in the Dominican Republic.

  • Luis Lassen

    I am a black Puerto Rican man….and I’m so proud of being an Afro-Latino and Puerto Rican…Black is beautiful!

  • Yawo

    This is was excellent, ,Haiti/Dominican Republic, I look foward to the to watching the rest of the series. Thank you PBS and Dr. Gates for telling true history as it should be told.

  • TJ

    Finally, we as African Americans get a chance to see others African descendants living in the “America’s”. I will be watching every episode and will be purcahsing the DVD of the entire program. This is exciting information and I will be telling all of my friends and relatives about this series of programs. Outstanding work Dr. Gates.

  • KeeKee

    When is the next episode? I really enjoyed watching last nughts program…. Don’t tell me I have to wait until May 10….that sucks.

  • Roberto Mendez

    Mr. Gates view of race is of an American perspective! In Latin America, Africa ,and some Caribe islands race have different meanings. Mulatto is not just 1st generation like Obama, its is also multi-generation, where Mulattoes only mix with other Mulattoes and Whites, that’s why those Mulattoes can have 100 % European features or a little Black African features. In addition, the Mulattoes in Haiti are the most privileged along with the White Haitians. A lot of Black Haitians do not like Mulatto’s or White Haitians and some think they are all rich. Its similar to Jamaica where the Mulattoes/ Brownings/ Brown people are mostly or middle class. Race is subjective, political and regional. A lot of Latin Americans are Mulattoes, Mestizos or Creoles; just because they don’t subscribe to the American 1 drop rule mean that they are in denial of their culture! Dont impose your view of culture or race upon Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Robin

    The Dominicans (not all) are in very deep denial, while the Haitians are proud and embraced their heritage.
    Thank You Mr. Gates for bringing this documentary to the screen!!! I’m wondering if Sammy Sosa watched?

  • Melissa Banks

    Great job. I encourage my African-American sons to give ear so that they may know our truth!

  • Lionel Louis

    Thank you Mr Gates it’s was a good segment about Haiti and St Domingo. knowledge is power.

  • Chef Alisia

    My maternal grandmother was born in Mexico and it was discovered by Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation that in the place that she grew up, Piedras Negras, they also spoke Gullah! My parents moved us to Beaufort, SC when I was 6 years old and my grandmother could always understand people on the island who spoke Gullah, but we never thought it was because they spoke the language in her village! This has really made me want to know more! I am so happy that Dr. Gates is doing this! Thank you!!

  • Ramon

    This program was very informative, but I have to admit I didn’t like the vibe it put out. The program came across as depicting virtually all Dominicans in the country as hating their African roots. Not all Dominicans are ashamed of their past. And what about other Latin countries with people of African descent? This show made it seem like the Dominican Republic is the only Latin nation with ancestral black heritage. The other thing I didn’t appreciate was how slightly off the professor’s racial statistics were. He said 90% of Dominicans have African ancestry all while highlighting mostly really black Dominicans, thereby anyone watching this who doesn’t know the history of the Dominican Republic would think 90% of Dominicans look purely black. He even made a comment at one point while walking with one of those he interviewed that “here they consider themselves Indio but in America they would ALL be black. In that segment, I saw several people in the background that from the outside didn’t look black at all to me. And just to clarify on the racial statistics in the Dominican Republic, 75% of the country is mixed with black, white, Indian, and Native Dominican while 9% are purely black similar in appearance to the Haitians themselves. And while this means that 84% (not 90% like the professor said but close enough) have some form of African blood, only 9% are truly black. And let’s not forget the Dominican population that the professor completely failed to mention, the purely white population of Dominicans. Yes people they do exist and I’m not simply referring to white skinned Dominicans, but instead of those with German ancestry ( what I call the Caucasian Dominicans).
    They make up 16% of the population yet the professor didn’t even so much as mention them in
    this program. This program received a grade of F from me for the way it portrayed what made it
    seem like ALL Dominicans. Perhaps had their been two hosts of different backgrounds and not just an African American host, that this program would have been more accurate. One can only speculate that he carefully chose his interviewees.

  • Lydia

    This has been over due. My family is from Puerto Rico. I have always been curious about our history and Latin American History. My parents were not able to tell me much about this. I used to think that the black people in the islands were always there. I was not taught that the natives from these beautiful islands were killed off. I am curious to know if Puerto Rico has the most original natives of all the islands.

    I remember when I was a child hearing remarks about the texture of people’s hair (Good or Bad) If you had bad hair your were considered black even if you had light skin. If you had good hair You were considered non-black even if you were dark skin. I could not understand why hair was considered bad. On the other hand if you would brag about being pure white…. my grandmother had a saying for that If you are not a Dingo you are a Mandingo. ( I assumed African tribes).

    Thank you Prof. Gates I love all your programs I wish you had been my teacher when I was in school.
    Lydia NYC

  • Ui

    I hate that we can be found everywhere, and we can still find the same discrimination, poverty and disrespect. Thank you for the research and perspective. We just need more and more and more.

  • Isa gonzalez

    Me parece un documental excelente, pero creo que deberia explorar otro paises como Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, etc. La region de Caribe tiene ciertas diferencias con los paises del marco Sur.

  • Trina Beasley

    I’m proud that the African culture is shown in all it’s diversity and not simply viewed as a black and white. Africa has put it’s mark all over the globe and it’s high time the world know this fact.

  • Misti

    This is such great information. Even the reviews are great. My husband’s family is from Panama, and I have had so many questions for his mother because of my lack of ignorance. It’s great to see this special! I pray that you get more funding to visit more Latin countries.

    God Bless!

  • Sandra

    I am completely dumbfounded to African descendent’s in Latin countries. I want to learn more but this appears to be one of the best kept secrets that Latins dont want anyone to know. I think a lot of Afro-Latino are living in denial that they have a “drop” of black blood running through their veins. that fact that we just dont know about them is proof enough that they wont talk about it. there is self-racial hate in the Latin culture….the darks ones marry tall , light almost white looking women with blond hair. the t.v. programs are plastered with ladies that are white….but the bands have the afro-sound…is it important to claim your black to black Americans? yep because we have a backgound that is similar. then it wont seen like american blacks are the only ones crying about the mistreatment of black and how slavery have destroyed our culture as a whole.

  • William Larenas

    Let’s not forget the Afro-Bolivians from the northeast of La Paz, Los Yungas. This minority population has finally been recognized as an ethnicity by the Bolivian goverment.

  • William Larenas

    Let’s not forget the Afro-Bolivians from the northeast of La Paz in Los Yungas. This minority population has finally been recognized as an ethnicity by the Bolivian goverment.

  • Orlando N. Gomez

    It seems to me that a strong emphasis was made by professor Gate about the historical events through which all the atrocities and depersonalization inflicted to Haitian people since the slave trade to the present as the primary reason as to why Haiti is still the way Haiti is today. I believe that most of these historical events had touch most Haiti neighboring countries; including the Dominican Republic as well, and who was invaded by Haiti in the past. I believe that professor Gate failed to emphasize in Haiti’s neighboring counties’ mode of adaptation in the are which is somewhat different from Haiti’s mode of adaptation which is well nourished with the”power of occultism” or eclecticism through the practice of voodoo. For these neighboring countries voodoo is evil while in Haiti voodoo is part of many Haitians beliefs. Plus that similar to Haiti’s neighboring countries,the corruption among those who have been governing Haiti as a country, have been sucking Haitian people’s blood and preventing them from progressing as a nation. Therefore the difference between Haiti and its neighboring countries is that the high degree of corruption in Haiti, could not be contained by Haiti’s people to this moment. Professor Gate, therefore, I believe that the combination of voodoo beliefs with the high degree of corruption in Haiti, might be the force controlling and preventing Haiti from developing as a nation.Class does not commit suicide…

  • Donna

    Professor Gates,

    I hope you plan on making Part II. Clearly, you left out too many South American countries with huge African populations.

    Thank you for pursuing and documenting the truth.

  • Alfie Alvarado

    Our African culture is strong and doing well in Puerto Rico as witnessed by our Bomba and Plena musical traditions. Although sadly, there still exists the colonial remnants of discrimination by color.

    One very important faux pas I want to point out is that throughout the segment on the Dominican Republic, Merengue wasn’t what was being played at all. Furthermore, I don’t think you even went into the origins of the Merengue form, Perico Ripiao. I’m sure that the budget for the series should’ve provided for better research into the country’s national music that you are featuring. Imagine the millions of chortles your viewers had during that whole segment on Merengue while the band played Cuban son, or Salsa as we call it in NY.
    Another major gaffe is why isn’t Puerto Rico included in your series? We have a rich tradition of sugar and coffee plantations and Spaniards who after killing off most of the indigenous Taino Indians brought in Africans as their replacements.

  • Tyan

    Being labeled an African American who has always felt, looked like and in solidarity with my Afro-Latin brothers and sista’s this documentary confirms what I have always spiritually know….that I am you and you are me. Growing up in California (Bay Area) where there is a very small Afro Latino community (the Hispanic Culture is prodimantly Mexican and they do not acknowledge any Africa culture) and then visiting the east coast (Ny,Chicago,Cinci) I would feel at home in the large Afro-Latino communites which I never felt on the West Coast. Growing up in the Bay Area my ethnic look was never truly bi-racial (white-black) but Mulato-Indio (Afro-Latin) and when i visted DR, PR and Cuba and I fell in love with the communities because they knew who and what I was…an Afro-Latino. Prof Gates his documentary uncovered and confirmed that I am a true product of the Diaspora but truly the Afro-Latino Diaspora although not documented in my family tree but confirmed in my looks, my walk, my rythm and my confort level which is at home amoungst an Afro-Latin cultures anywhere and everywhere! So…. Peace & Hair Grease with Plantine and Peas & Rice to fuel my Africo-Latino Spirit that is ME!

  • Monique

    I really hope there is a part 2 and I hope the other Latin American countries are covered. I am African-American and this has been a GREAT history lesson!

    I have been to Panama and loved it! My brother in law from there and he and his family are Afro-Latino.

  • Daniel B.

    Although this documentary my not go in depth about many things it is a starting point to an analysis and set of conversations and self reflections that need to happen. I am happy this is on the air. Regardless of whatever agenda anyone may feel Louis Gates may have, there is a lot of information here for us to use as staring points in our own journeys of discovery. I’m also keeping my eye out for this documentary also. It will be airing later this year and covers the same topic but from a more latino perspective “so to speak”

  • Terri B

    Thank You Dr. Gates for this informative series. Please continue to educate the world. I look foward to seeing more of your works. GOD BLESS YOU !

  • Desarden Ruiz

    Great series! I would like to see one on Puerto Rico. “Y tu abuela a’onde esta?”

  • Tucan veni

    Professor you need to go back to the Dominican Republic and re-evaluate, investigate more deeply in other areas within the Dominican Republic.Places like Santiago, Samana, La Vega, Hato Mayor and many other places of interests and rich history. There has to be part two and three. more more more……….The truth is there will always be a dividing line between people no matter how educated or raced.


  • Jose

    Why be black, white or anything else when you can just be Dominican. Dominicans are a happy mixed breed. I’m proud that my family is made up of many different skin tones and physical features. Some say Dominicans deny having black in them. This may be true due to social politics and how one is treated in society based on what you claim to be. If you really take a close look at the Dominican population, you can see that they have no problem mixing their race. When Dominicans marry someone who is not Dominican, they are usually told be prepared, because with our gene pool, you never know which previous generation the child may resemble. With Spaniard, African, French, and Taino in most of us, you just never know what your getting. I’ve seen this in my own family, with children that don’t resemble either parent, yet are the duplicate image of a great grandparent.

  • ubee

    Before I watch this I thought Dominican Republic were a bunch of self hating blacks, but yours series have given me a better perspective about people from DR!

  • Morana St

    This documentary is truly very awe inspiring being that i am Haitian male that was born here in America ,it is interesting though how we often forget that the african never asked to leave there country ,but instead despite there circumstance maintained there identity in these seemingly different cultures .What is wonderful though is that now a dominicans and haitians are beginning to mend there differences . Thank You Dr.Gates
    I have been to the Citadel and i came back a changed man .

  • Paisa

    Great series. I’ve only seen one so far, but am looking forward to more. Colombia has a vary vibrant Afro-Colombian community many of whom live on the Pacific and Atlantic coasts. They are not well represented by the government and are the most marginalized population. They have contributed greatly to Colombian culture and society and I hope that this is captured in the series or in a future episode. Also, not many people know that in Colombia, the English speakers are Afro-Colombians found on the islands of San Andres y Providencia. They are known as Raizals (roots). Please visit Colombia. Don’t believe the hype.

  • Sparkle

    The series is wonderful and very informative. However, after reading many of the posts it seems like there is still much work to be done. There seems to be a reluctance to acknowledge the African roots or that “Latin” tendency to want to dismiss any discussion of race or racial equality with that “we are all mixed and happy” comments when the series have shown that people of African ancestry whether mixed or not still occupy the bottom rungs of society.

    Whenever anyone points out these obvious contradictions they are denigrated or accused of “applying” North American racial standards to the Latin American situation. I have even read a comment that black Brasilians are not like black Americans who are always “whining and playing the race card and putting whites on guilt trips” over something that “happened a long time ago.” With this deep level of denial and hush hush its no wonder that it has taken so long to produce a series on the BLACK presence in Latin America. I guess because according to some of the comments there are NO blacks in Latin America so why talk about them and racism. After all we are all one big happy mixed race family. Any social or economic inequality is not due to race but class.

  • MB

    This comment goes to Ramon who wrote at 11:45pm on April 20th. These documentaries are highlighting Latinos of African descent such as myself. Latinos are Euro descent are always in the public. All day every day. On novelas. At award galas. In the English and Spanish speaking media. The one time us Latinos and Dominicans of African descent get to shine and you complain about the lack of Euro talk? Are you serious? I bet you if this series was to highlight the Euro side of Latin America, no one would complain, bet let us black Spanish speaking folks finally get credit for the huge contributions we have made and sacrificed for the Americas and now there is a problem. Gates said that 90% of Dominicans have African ancestry. This is true. he didn’t say 90% was %100 African. He simply said that 90% had African ancestry in us. That means it could be just a quarter, half or whole. You are so quick to shut down the blackness of us yet you are just as easily able to highlight the Euro and the Native American indigenous population that doesn’t even exist anymore!!! The white man killed off the natives 500 years ago dude! You also said “Native Dominicans”? only natives were the original tribes before the whites and blacks came. Gates who is a black man although not entirely African is standing up for us Spanish speaking black folks because no one ever has. I will not speak for other countries in the Americas, but in DR, we have a huge hatred for our black skin and other black groups. DR and United States Americans of Dominican descent go through color issues every day. We hate our kinky hair we hate our black skin. Now there are Dominicans like myself who loves my color and hair texture, but i am rare. For every black Dominican who loves his color, there are 10 other black Dominicans who don’t and even more White Dominicans who can’t stand our color even more. We finally have someone standing up for us. be happy. Yes he may need to address more countries in this study, but this is a great step. Always trying to keep a brotha down.

  • Paula

    What an amazing and eye opening show – as Gates traveled from town to town and I saw a sea of all of those gorgeous black faces, I cried at the amazement of it all. It still troubles me that in 2011, we continue to disguise and ignore the blatant racial divide that permeates many parts of the U.S. and even though we have an African American president, it means nothing because there are many detractors who can’t see beyond his beautiful hue and how ignorantly unfortunate.

    I have taken many African American courses and yet, never heard or knew very little about the slave trade and Brazil – 75M blacks and yet, no voice……………..Mr. Gates, THANK YOU for your passion and determination in unleashing many hidden stories regarding our illustrious Black History.

  • Ms mena

    I love this series. I had recently become interrested about blacks in latin America and this series basically confirmed what I knew to be true. Im afro american and im dating a dominican man who is obviously malotto. When I told him he was mixed he replied no im dominican or spanish. His parents never told him about his indian and african heritage. just sad! I hope this type of ignorance will become a thing of the past.
    Keep doing what your doing Dr. Gates.

  • Juan

    and what about Colombia, I’m afro-colombian and this is the third country with black population in the Americas, 1. Brazil, 2. USA, 3. Colombia

  • McNish

    Thanks very much Dr. Gates for continuing to educate the world on the rich history of black people. Please you consider doing a second series that covers the rest of latin america, It will be an injustice if you don’t.

    I have watched all your documentaries and I will love for your next documentary to be on the West Indies, I am from Trinidad.

    Please do not stop pursuing the truth, it needs to be told!

  • Bill

    I saw the complete series and found it very informative. I studied Latin America History in College and read about Blacks in Latin America. But not until I retired from work and actually went to South America (like Dr. Gates), that my eyes were completely wide opened to the contribution of Blacks in Latin America. Reading is one thing, seeing with your own eyes is completely different. And what is still sad is how much ignorance in the US their is to the contributions of Blacks in the Americas, and to a great degree this “great silence” is still perpetrated in the school systems across the US. Keeping one race in ignorance of one’s history is still a form of racial discrimination. Sometimes, I now realized how backwards the US is compared to other countries in regards to racial integration and racial harmony. That is not to say that their is no racial discrimination in Latin America, which their is, and as Dr. Gates pointed out. But, Black contribution to Latin Societies is acknowledged and the debate is in the open, versus the US, which is still going through the integration process. My hat is off to Dr. Gates for a great indepth Program.

  • RosaM

    I happened to change the channel and found out about the series. Dr. Gates did a great job! I am from Puerto Rico and would’ve liked to see him vist the island. We were taught in school about slavery, the discovery and how the indians, Europeans and slaves melted. I applaud the fact that someone is exploring this. People do not understand the extend of slavery and that there are Black Latinos and how as in America, they suffered and still to this day get discriminated. Yes, even the Latina magazine was told to show all ethnicities and looks of latinas and not just the mainstream look one. It is ture on how the black and indian looking latinos always play the help in novelas. Ignorance is everywhere and as we see, some countries do not even want to acknowledge their African roots. It shows in the beats of our music, the dances, the food… just look around. It would be great to show our children born in the states, who did not receive the social studies education from our country, the history of what makes us.

  • zoretta

    Thank You Dr. Gates. You seek the truth with a smile. This makes all the difference.

  • Christopher D. Thomas Sr.

    Great job Dr.Gates this live documented research was neededand as an African American man I love this. Our American history and world educational systems have failed in telling this story. J.A. Rogers tried to tell this history but you showed this on PBS. Thank You and Congratulations Dr. Gates!!!

  • I-C-U

    Richly colorful African Culture with a touch of Spanish..a beautiful combination…my point of view.

  • Orlando

    Great job on this series! My only complain as a Colombian is that Colombia was not covered, which surprised me considering the statistics. Colombia has the 3rd largest black population in the western hemisphere after Brazil and the US at 21% or 10 million people, in a nation of 47 million people. They have contributed significantly to the cultural development of Colombia. I was disappointed because Colombia, a very conservative and racist country (coming from a Mestizo) is in need of such awareness. Choco is 95% Afro-Colombian and the most undeveloped department, yet it’s rich in natural resources that is only finally getting attention because multi-nationals want to exploit its resources and the government vis-a-vis criminal gangs and armed groups have forced many to leave their ancestral lands. I think it’s very important to showcase the contributions of Afro-Colombians in the media because Colombian society is ignorant of this history.

  • Paulo

    I was a student at the University of Pernambuco Brazil under Prof. Gilberto Freyre and I enjoyed his analysis of the black heritage in Brazil, which he highly extolled. Prof. Freyre made an effort to rehabilitate the black culture.
    He often mentioned the fact that he taught in France and many Frenchmen would ask him what was his ethnicity. He said that he always answered: I am part Black, Indian and European. I look white, but I am not. I miss Professor Gilberto Freyre and the invitations to his home in Recife where I always learned something new. I also appreciate the research that Dr. Gates has done in order to enlighten us.

  • Juan

    Great… you should make a video or a documentary from Black comunitys in Colombia, there are many topics to work with in this country, I agree with Orlando, I’m from Colombia and racism is still strond there.

  • Martin Franco

    Henry Louis Gates, congratulations on an excellent series but you made a HUGE omission… How do you make a series on Afro Latinos and not include the largest Spanish speaking Afro Latino community in the entire world – Afro-Colombians? Afro-Colombians have had a profound effect on the culture of Colombia and South America in general (just look at how popular the Cumbia is the US, Mexico, Central America, and South America. There are many landmark Afro-Colombian cities in Colombia, like Cartagena, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Quibdo, Cali etc… There are many amazing Afro-Latin artists like Toto La Momposina, Joe Arroyo, Niche, Guayacan etc…. Then there are the problems of the displaced Afro-Colombian communities and their plight as refugees in their own country… You really need to do another episode. Your series is woefully incomplete.
    Martin Franco

  • Martin Franco

    It is a serious oversight when you’re doing a story about the Dominican Republic and you’re talking about Merengue music in the piece and WHILE you’re talking about merengue, the band in the background is singing Cuban SON. Where is the editor? Don’t you guys hire any Latinos to check your work and make sure you’re not committing any serious errors. That one was pretty ridiculous.

  • caribq

    Dr Gates next series include the GARIFUNA/SANbos/Misquitos people of Central AMERICa who are the product of West Africans who were brought to the Americas intended for Slave Labor but got away one way or another into the mountains of St. Vincent and Grenadines and intermarried with the natives Arawaks/Caribs. Like Haitian, the Garifuna people fought the British invaders during slavery time but eventually were defeated and exiled to Honduras. The Garifuna people till this day speak their ancestors arawakan/taino/carib Languge, along with spanish, english and krio depending on what country they live in. The music PUNTA, PARANDA clearly African in origin. AFRICA IS alive in Central America please come and visit

  • caribq

    Arawakan/Carib natives+West African=Garifuna people=Caribean=South America=Africa=Central America

  • Catarina Williamson

    It is wonderful to know that the african descendent in latin america is aknowledge. Their rich culture that was mixed with the natives and europens is a worth to see and appreciate. The dance like in Brasil we have the samba, capoeira and others originate from Africa. Bahia in Brasil is the capital of the African in Brasil the Porto Seguro was the the entrance of the eslaves in Brasil. The religion of camdomble is a mixed of catholiscism and African’s religious. Brasil is the country in latin america that has more african descendents and also is the land of the famous Zulu tribe. The Zulus were a slave fugitives fro North east farms who organized to survive against the slave’s owners.

  • Bea K.

    As a black woman from America who has been ‘fighting for the rights of Afro-latinos’ from ALL segments, I deeply applaud Mr. Gates for doing this particular segment, and pray it will “expand” if enough people write to him (and perhaps put together a petition as well for more show???) and tell him so.

    What I’ve come to learn is that the “media” is the largest way to get your point across here, but I’m NOT so certain that enough in the latino community (especially the ‘white’ latino community) would be willing to “join in the fight”, because it seems as I’ve been told over and over again, “We don’t see skin color the way you blacks do back in America”, or “negra latinos” only make up about 1 % in each community (which I KNOW is an out and out lie, because just like American blacks, people tend to forget that negra latinos come in “various shades as well”).

    Also when it comes to the media, networks such as ‘Telemundo’, ‘Telefutura’, and a few others might show a negro latino here or there (WITHOUT even adding their names to the rosters for the shows they appear in, so that you’ll search for months and perhaps even years to find out who they are, it’s as if they do their jobs but don’t really exist while all others who appear on these shows names are listed right out front), but they REFUSE TO HAVE EVEN ONE “LEAD” ROLE in a telenovela, movie, etc. (there have only been “6″ so far to date, and this is “2011″), and ‘Telemundo’ doesn’t seem to care if they ever have a negra latina/latino because it seems “the whiter the better” sadly. Just wanted to ask if there’s anyone here who could name even 10 negra latina/latino actors or actresses on both hands??? How about an actress who’s been in the business for over 25 years but has yet to even win one ‘TVyNovela’ award (negra latinos don’t even get the chance to appear on the shows by the way).

    Lastly, I’d love to see these and other negra latinos get their due, but as long as those who “hold the upper hand” won’t learn how to share and care about their “brothers and sisters”, sadly I don’t believe there can ever be any “real progress” for those who deserve it just like their counterparts do. A special “thanks” to the following individuals: Muriel Ricard (formerly Muriel Fouilland), Evelyn Jimenez, Walter Diaz, Adrian Makala, Yoraya Mejia, Carmen Marina Torres, and others who continue the ‘fight’ to be recognized just like all the others.

  • Carlos

    I’m so glad that this was presented to the public, I understand that we cannot tell everything in a few minutes but waooo great info. Please Mr Gates take a trip to Panama and come up with a similar segment about the racism which to my opinion is hidden with something “clase social”

  • Traci Waters-Fashoro

    Kudos Dr. Gates!!! You have done it yet again!!! Thank you!!!! As an African-American (Black and proud of it!!!) I am so tickled to see that Dr. Gates started the discussion for all of us about our African ancestry and to love who we really are in part. Yes, African ancestry is just one part of who we are but it is a part that has been thoroughly downplayed, ignored and taught to hate that crucial part of ourselves. It should make us wonder if this part of our ancestry is so downplayed, ignored, and taught to hate this profound part of our ancestry, there certainly must be something extremely special about it in some crucial way. Regardless of the discrimination of our African ancestry, the essence and beauty of our African ancestry displays itself in the food, the music, the language, the dance, etc. The truth can never been hidden. It always finds away to divulge itself. *Smile*

    I purchased the triology (3-DVD series of Wonders of the African World, Blacks in Latin America and America Beyond the Color Line) for my family. These DVDS will be a must-see for my two daughters and my husband who is Nigerian. Trust and believe that a thorough education will be conducted in our home.

    P.S. Dr. Gates: Have you considered researching Blacks in the Asias? Japan, India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, etc.? Just a thought.

  • Dalina

    Wonderful and moving series… I really felt the absence of Puerto Rico though since the other latin caribbean islands were so prominently examined. I encourage you to revisit this endeavor and include Puerto Rico to show you can how black culture has developed under both Spanish and U.S.colonial experiences.

  • eric davis

    Please mr Gates try and make a series about the Caribbean as a Jamaican I taught I know some history about the slave trade but you widen my knowledge a lot please keep up the good work and let me see what Jamaica was and is like thanks.

Support for provided by:



Produced by WNET    ©2014 WNET. All Rights Reserved.