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Preview: Black in Latin America

Black in Latin America is the third of a trilogy that began in 1999 with the broadcast of Professor Gates’s first series for public television, Wonders of the African World, an exploration of the relationship between Africa and the New World, a story he continued in 2004 with America Beyond the Color Line, a report on the lives of modern-day African Americans. Black In Latin America, premiering nationally Tuesdays April 19, 26 and May 3, 10, 2011 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings), examines how Africa and Europe came together to create the rich cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean. Watch preview:

  • Carla Gardner

    Thank you for doing this documentary about Blacks In Latin America . I will be viewing it with my Belizean/American daughter. I am from a Central American county, Belize which is not considered a Latin American country because it is non-spanish speaking country. However the trajectory of Blacks in Belize is probably the same as in the latin regions. I remember my grade school history, or what was told to us was our history. I am looking forward to hearing what Mr. Gates discovered . One common thread that I heard from the preview is that despite the variations in skin color, Cubans identify themselves as Cubans and not African Cuban or European Cuban, etc; Belize and other Latin countries do likewise. Thanks again for discussing this important subject.

  • Elenor Young

    Thanks to my wonderful professor ,Professor Cumberbatch for recommending this video. It is very interesting

  • Lucy Jones

    I am a from Durango Mexico and have heard this said about being Mexican “You cannot be Mexican and not have Black in you.” If you are born in Mexico it does not matter where you came from you are Mexican. This however I don’t think that it has nothing to do with class or race tensions.

    We need more programs like this. Thanks PBS.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m Belizean as well and I’m really excited for this, because the idea of black people besides African American is something that’s overlooked.

  • Ashley

    I traveled from upstate, NY to study all the way in Dominican Republic to gain an in depth knowledge of the African presence in the Americas. The teachings of the great Afro Dominican professor that was interviewed, Prof Juan led me to obtain my BA in Spanish Language and Culture with a special focus on the African Heritage in Latin America. Now the missing pages of world history is available on our TV screen due to Prof Juan’s great efforts in addition to many others.

    Thank you Mr. Gates and PBS for this treasure of knowledge, and I hope this publication promotes major institutions to invest more time and study for the preservation and transmission of the African Hertiage, Languages, and Presence in Latin America.

  • Dr. Ruben S. Cedeno

    Thank you professor Gates; Finally the african connection to Latin America and the new world is brought to the surface. However, I do not think we should confuse the African American exprience with the Afro-Latino experience in Latin America.

    It is not just that simple to depict Afro-latinos as Just “BLACK” as you can see we come in all different shades of brown and indentify with our country of birth or heritage. We also accept the fact we have a multi-cultural mix and this should also be celebrated as we carry our rich history and ancestors in our blood.

    In America, it is seen as an either or society (you are either black or white), in Latin America we are one people who happen to be brown, this is the evidence of the rich mixng and evolution of the three primary cultures comng together (African, Indio and European).

    Here in the United States, we have a strong Latino presence that is influencing America in becoming a multi-cultural society. Let me say, we are a nation of multiple cultures, this is what makes us strong and unique.

    Thanks again

    Dr. Ruben S, Cedeno
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    currently living in Los Cerrillos, NM

  • Doondi

    I’ve been going to Brasil for the last 5 years. I spent six months there last year. Prof Gates is not going into the salient reality of being Black in Latin America if he does not bring to the front and presents a “worms eye view” deep into the lopsided ratio non-blacks to blacks as measured across the number public office holders, administrators/managers (relative to the size of business) and hectares of land owners for non-blacks versus blacks. This presentation while welcomed, is more like saying”hey! there are black people outside of the USA”.

  • Rhonda

    I would love to work on a program that links USA Blacks with those in these countries. Our poor are RICH in comparison. Think of the impact on USA kids visiting and sharing with these people. Imagine the cross cultural RICHES that could be earned on both sides.

  • Suzette Van Aken

    I look forward to viewing this program as my ancestors are from Suriname.

  • Maria

    Wow! I am looking forward to this program. As one with a degree in Africana Studies, I am always eager to learn more about my people. This program looks informative, decorative, and unique. I have not seen one documentary style program outlining the African Diaspora during slavery. I will be telling other African Americans about this program in hopes of igniting fires within them about the greatness of their people. Keep up the great work PBS;-)

  • Alex Serrano

    While living in Latin America, I never heard of an African Brazilian, an African Costa Rican or an African Peruvian. To me and to many others in Latin America, they do not exist. I knew only of Brazilians, Costa Ricans and Peruvians. Nothing else.

  • Christina Marie Castro

    I am so excited for this series. I am Puerto Rican, born & raised & still living in NY, and the conflicting views of race within my various creative & artistic communities, as well as within my own family, often lead to tense conversations on naming (as in Latino vs Afro Latino vs American, etc), heritage, and history. It’s fascinating! This is a topic I see leading the dialogue in more than a few places, among academics and artists. I look forward to learning more about our rich history and adding to the conversation. Thank you.

  • Nkenge Mollineau

    Mi familia, su familia. Thank you Professor Gates for all of your wonderful research. Knowledge is Power, indeed. Asante sana PBS. You are a TREASURE.

  • Rafael Teles

    Moro no Brasil, e achei o documentário sensacional, o mundo é colorido e todos devemos respeitar nossas raizes, sejam elas negras, brancas, amarelas, ou qualquer que seja a cor.
    Mes felicitation professeur!, Notre histoire est l’histoire du monde. Mes felicitation! Pour notre coleur.

  • justicecarly

    this is is very important as so many latins are racist towards blacks; not knowing what their history really is. whites too for that matter, considering that one in ten whites have Negro ancestry and yet harbor racial hatred towards blacks. most latins have black in their ancestry and are most ignorant about it. i fool mexicans all the time whenever i speak spanish after them speaking spanish as though i don’t understand.

  • Lisa Ellerbee

    Tony Gleaton kicked this door open the first time 25+ years ago with his photographs. (
    Many of which are included in Dr. Gates’s ENCYCLOPEDIA AFRICANA. It is wonderful that Dr. Gates is in the position to bring this knowledge to a wider audience!

  • Hanifah

    Dr. Gates also presents insightful productions dealing with the history of people of color, specifically those of us of African descent, in the world. I thank him for presenting this and pray people of all ethnicities watch and honest dialogue ensues on the issue of worldwide racism and how to eradicate it.

  • Morena Linda

    I think a program such as this is so important because many Afro-latinos are not taught much of their own history. Here in the states there was the Civil Rights Movement, but such a movement has not occurred in any latin american country. I hope that this program will indeed bring more awareness of afro-latino heritage and culture to not only North American African-Americans, but to various peoples all throughout the world. Great work PBS!

  • Karen Alita

    I am so excited about this program. I attended a small college in New England where I met a very good friend from the Domican Republic. I am from the American South the Delta and I am a fairly light complextion African American and my friend was darker than I. She did not identify as African. I was astonished that someone some beautiful and brown did not see themselves as having African heritage. I now understand why. I look forward to seeing this series.

  • Yvonne Badgett

    I grew up in a small town called Lincoln NE. As an African American child within the Lincoln school system back in the middle 50th’s, we were not given a real opportunite to learn of our culture anywhere esle in the world beside a magazine on african tribes and lions. We didnt see the pictures of beautiful black people threw the ages, only blacks during share cropping times. I grew up thinking blacks where ugly dusty and bent over in a field some where. Even as a child, I knew these teaching were wrong. Thanks to PBS and Dr Gates.

  • Diana

    I’m so excited you are doing this since so many US Latinos are in denial of their African ancestry. This is a beautiful story that needs to be told. Everyone should watch this, Latino or not. Teachers should do school lessons about this.

  • zora lloyd

    as a black male bone in the south in 1938, and seeing how when some one ask you what race are you.i would think to myself to be true full i really do not know my self, so thank you for giving me a chance to kind know who i am, thank you and PBS and Dr Gates

  • Delroy Bryan

    I too am excited about this journey into the Afro Latino world in North America, Central, and South America. I was born in Panama where the mixture of the races is so beautiful because of it’s past heritage.

    In the early 1900’s during the initial building of the Panama Canal by the French Government, and later completed by the United States, there was an exodus of cultures that came to Panama. Europeans, Chinese, Hindus, and ultimately the blacks that came from the West Indies. These blacks were the children of slaves that came from Africa.

    The Panama Canal was built by the backs of the blacks that came from Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, and many other countries. Our grandparents were the children of slaves, but we were born in a Latin country where we integrated and mixed with the Indios, Mestizos, Mulatos, and Spaniards.

    Today, and as long as I can remember, we are only known as Panamanians. I never knew about the differences in people and races until I visited America in 1976. I celebrate PBS and Dr. Gates for bringing us this journey into our African, Latino heritage!!

  • Joyce aka: Olufemi

    Thanks so much Dr. Gates for your input in educating your people regardless where they may have been dropped off. PBS has contributed so much of my knowledge of my true persona. I am a Black American woman but also a woman of Black African Ancestry in mind, body and spirit. “Olufemi” (God loves me), is my West African name. I am a child of Obatala and Yemaja, initiated by my Cuban god-father (Padrino)and Puerto Rican god-mother (Madrina), I experienced goose-pimples as I previewed the upcoming program. I alerted my community family (Bedford-Stuyvesant) on Facebook of the program. Although a born-again Christian, I will not be held hostage of the White man’s ways by forgetting my history. A Luta Continua!

  • Zartan

    Alex Serrano , if your point is to not distinguish color, then kudos to you. It’s important to know and understand who you are and where you came from but never to seperate yourself from being human.

  • Jacqueline Howard

    As a black R.N. I have the opportunity to meet many of my brothers and sisters from Latin American. Growing
    up in Nueva York, I also had to become bi-lingual. I can’t wait to watch the program tonight. Thanks to PBS and
    Prof. Gates.

  • Yettekov Wilson Jr

    I will be watching this with great interest. It is so good to see all of this knowledge coming out in the open. Hopefully all will see this and revel in the work that was done to bring this out.

  • Paola Rubio-Ferrer

    Thank you Professor Gates! I’m really looking forward to watching this series. I’m from Cartagena, Colombia – but live in Richmond, Virginia since 2002. Cartagena was a widely renown city during the colonial period. It played an important role during the Spanish ruling years, since it was the major (continental) entrance for slavery to South America. The majority of our population is obviously black; however, the city preserves its colonial mentality and racial divisions still determine our social dynamics (not precisely in a positive manner.) Imagine the cruel legacy and the infinite scars. . .
    I’ve recommended the series to some people there, so they can watch it online. Do you have any version of the series with Spanish subtitles? — Accessible scholarly work of this kind is much needed in my hometown (and elsewhere!) Please consider ‘marketing’ this series to educational institutions, non-profits and media in Latin America. Your work is a must see there!
    Thank you for bringing this knowledge and these studies outside of Academia. The world needs more public intellectuals. :)

  • Shauna Connell

    Thank you Professor Gates for sharing what many African and African Americans have known for years, the denial and rejection of African ancestry in Latin America. I work in diversity recruitment, and when you look at the number of self identified blacks, the numbers are becomning less and less because people want to deny their roots. They can do what they want, but you cannot deny your roots, as it will come to bite you behind later. It really frustrates me how Latinos, has received the most benefit from the sacrifices of African and African Americans, but so often turn their backs and choose to disassociate with African culture. However, when convenient they will choose otherwise.

  • Grace Sarria

    I cannot even start to explain how excited I am to watch this document series. My parents are Nicaraguan, my mother from the Caribbean coast and of Miskito and African descent and father from the Pacific coast more Spanish descent. I had a very confusing childhood, never really identifying to anyone group. For one I don’t speak Spanish, and yes shame on me for not but I never learned as a child. People don’t realize that my mother, although from a Spanish speaking country actually learned English as her 1st language. The Atlantic coast of Nicaragua is VERY different from the Pacific. The Blacks of Central American countries have little to No voice. Many don’t know we exist. Many are so distant from the rest of the country they are easily forgotten. Thank you Professor Gates for taking the time to put this together; I definitely will be watching and am encouraging all my friends and family members to watch!

  • G. B. Perez Molineaux

    There are not such things as different races, THERE ARE JUST A RACE: HUMAN.
    The politician, traders, riches and people in the power always had tried to differentiated themselves from the other and had evilly divided the mankind and one of those divisions is the characteristic that identified people from one region with the rest of the others regions, which is more related to weather and environmental conditions than to any other else.

  • Bryan

    I am really looking forward to watching this program because Gates is examining a part of the Black Diaspora that rarely discussed in this country. People forget that the vast majority of African slaves ended up in Latin American and the Caribbean.

  • Shirley

    I’m with you Rhonda…so many of our youth and their parents think they have it so hard and sometimes unfortunately that is true but compared to Haiti…it’s a walk in the park

    “……………Rhonda says:
    April 8, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    I would love to work on a program that links USA Blacks with those in these countries. Our poor are RICH in comparison. Think of the impact on USA kids visiting and sharing with these people. Imagine the cross cultural RICHES that could be earned on both sides.

  • Dede

    I’ve already watched the first series online and am very impressed. I can’t wait to see parts 2-4. As my family historian, I am well aware of the blood and sweat of my African ancestors. Here in America, it was just black and white and we are forced to choose. In Latin American everyone is proud to be from their own country, overlooking skin color. In my travels whenever I came across someone from Cuba, Jamaica, or D.R., they would never say that they are Black, to do so meant that they were American, which they were not. I thank Dr. Gates for exploring this avenue. I hope that he continues with looking into blacks in other parts of the world like India, China, PapuaNew Guinea and others.

  • Robert

    Now, it’s on PBS, and it will be talked about. The Washington D.C.-based NASALH, which sponsors “Black History Month” did this several years ago. Most students of African-American history did it in the 60s and 70s. Glad someone can get all this attention for the subject. I just trust Gates won’t make it an “exotic” topic.

  • Lamar Dansby Sr.

    Professor Gates this is great work that you have done. I’m and African American raised in California and I have read as much as I could find about people of African decent in Central and South America. I think this series will really educate many on a subject that is not covered all that much south of the U.S.
    Thank you.

  • Wayne Young

    With all do respect to Mr. Gates, I don’t think you are going back far enough to clearly bring out the point of your story. Black people have escaped and run from slavery and its ties since the begining, and in all directions that they could. Which mean that they traveled to many countries and had families and babies and as a result our pigmintation is prominate in many cultures. The United States Armed Forces promotes prostitution where ever a base is established, and a explosion of its offsprings will growup to denie or accept their begining. I think my point is that our (Black) complexsion is established throughout the world and has simply been denied.

  • James

    For all those people saying color does not matter in Latin America; get a grip. Look at the reality of how people live instead of the rhetoric. The majority of people of the United States have always said America does nto have issues with race or color or class for that matter. This was the case 100 years ago and its the case now.

  • Luke

    Hallelugah. God knows this is needed. Thank you Professor Gates. I will be tuning in.

  • Nico Espinosa

    i enjoy these video very much, i am from the Dominican Republic, i am neither black or white. please make your video sub-tittle in spanish. my people need to learn their history.
    growing up in the Dominican Republic, i have seen people confusion with they heritage. some kind of re-education have to occur in my native land DR. thank for the video professor.

  • sand

    Black people are everywhere from the Olmec’s in Mexico and Central America over 1,000 years ago to the early West African voyagers to the West Indies hundreds of years before any European presence. African presence is in Asia, Latin America, Australia etc.. We reject these facts at times because we’ve been taught to reject them by experts in their field but then to be an expert requires revision too.

    “they came before columbus”

    -Ivan Van Sertima

  • Charles S Calaman, I

    I am looking forward to this series with much anticipation. I was first exposed to the differing views of many ‘mixed’ latinos from Central and South America as a trainer and supervisor with the Census 2000. There were so many words to describe those descendants of several ethnic groups. Mulatto, Metizo, Indio, etc. The forms didn’t help much either, because there was no way to explain your ethnicities. If we, (all peoples), can ever get to the point of accepting our selves as, ” the human race”, a beautiful, and diverse rainbow of many colors, the world be a much better place. Thank you, thank you, Dr. Gates for moving us closer in that direction by showing us that there many “flavas” to the African Dispora.

  • Stacy Salas

    Wonderful job. I think it’s great that you are educating other cultures about the different races within a latin culture.

  • Richter

    April 13,2011 at 8:30 am

    Professor Gates this is a great story on Black in latin countries. But the only thing is that Haiti was not always that poor as you discribed in your story, i wish you had film in your story a more presentable place/s of Haiti . I am tired of seeing and hearing the poorest nation in the American hemisphere . i’m sure where you spend the night in Haiti in order to shoot that documentary wasn’t that so degrading. You showed all the country their marvelous places but us the slums . Next time take a tour in what haiti have best to offer.

  • Maria

    And where’s Colombia in this documentary? After the U.S. and Brazil, Colombia has the largest black population in America…really missed a big chunk of history.

  • the Super Sistah

    This is fabulous and so informative. Black people span the globe no matter our native tongue. When we begin to take pride in our heritage and accept our similarities that language, religion and skin tone cannot destroy, the closer we will come to being a powerful, unstoppable force.

    the Super Sistah

  • Rose

    I wonder if he will mention “Dutty Boukman”?

  • Adisa

    I happened to be in Haiti while Dr. Gates was filming this documentary (July 2010). I met Dr. Gates and recommended he visit Belize to shed light on that part of our Black world, but he replied that his itinerary was already set and that he’d consider it ‘next time’. I sincerely hope he gets around to Belize and the whole of Central America.

    I’m really looking forward to this work from Dr. Gates. Thanks PBS!

  • Marlon

    This is good stuff, there are many blacks in America that would be considered mestizo, or mulatto. Due to slavery, in America, they were often not identfied as mulit-ethnic, but solely black. Therefore, in America, when black of mixed heritage see others that look like them, thy will ask, “Are you black?” this was due to negative socialization and he lack of creedance given to multi-ethnicities. Ironically, this issue was manifest on the Tyra show, where a young lady that appeared to be mestizo in apperance, siad that she was Puerto-Rican. She, based out of ignorance, denied her obvious afican roots. However; she said that she wanted a personof Afican descent.. lol. Blacks in America were trained that “one drop”, would make one black, especially if they could not “pass” for anything else. Therefore people of Latino background, if your phenotype- the genetic marker for your identity appears to be black, then you are black, with a mixed heritage. There are many blacks in America that affirm their native indian ancestory, but affirm that they are balck, because of the dominance of the Afican gene. The truth, all civilization came out of Africa, but racisim and systematic socialization has hindered the necessary progress for change. Brazilian women are shaped like black women, but have a variety of diferent features. I would never deny or change my ethincity, as I love being a child from the ‘SUN!:”

  • Alexandria

    I’am so vey grateful that PBS has chosen to air this and so thankful for Dr. Gates’ research. It’s amazing to me how Latinos will have no association with their African heritage……ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! I use to go to a Dominican hairdresser, when the discussion of race came up, I told her if she didn’t open her mouth to speak spanish, I would have mistaken her for an African American, she was highly offended. Unbelievable!!!

  • Barbara Renaud

    Bravisimo, Dr. Gates!

    Long overdue. Years ago, when I was travelling in Mexico, I asked the workers at the Hospicio Cabanas in Guadalajara what they thought of the revolutionary muralist Jose Clemente Orozco…they said there were “no blacks” in Mexico anymore — that they’d all gone north. Mexico still has many prejudices about being Black and indigenous…
    In Cuba, my black fellow traveler was shocked when the Cuban women asked me why he didn’t speak
    Spanish — he couldn’t believe they didn’t know how. After that, he learned how to dance salsa really well…
    I found Cuba to be a beautiful Black country, and the White cubanos in Florida have caused much of the suffering in Cuba because of their old, deep-seated racism.

  • Dwann

    I am really looking forward to watching this program with my daughters and Trinidian husband.

  • Gabrie’l

    Thank you Mr. Gates for this series, but please do not just stop here. I am sure that there is so much more to learn.

    This film does correspond to my own look at my racial background. As an African American from the “South”, I am mostly of West African ancestry (those who were brought from early 1600s to early mid 1800s to the US as slaves), Indian heritage (Cherokee and Blackfoot), and European (English and Irish). Honestly, if you are from anywhere in the Americas you are most likely of African, Indian, and European heritage. On the question of what is to claim, I did notice some of the comments on “blacks” in the US only claiming black. I do not wish to complicate this by complaining as I sense many people are tired of and disgusted that (yes I have seen this too) African-Americans always seem to be complaining and asking people to feel sorry for them, but I just want to add to the conversation some understanding in simple terms of how some of it came to be. These are my own observations as I, like mentioned earlier, try to retrace my roots.

    A rule that was in existence in America was if you’re great-great grandmother was black, then so are you. Also known as the “if-you-have-one-drop-black-blood-then-you-are-black. (I guess it is too bad I and every other human being bleeds red right ;-) This thinking is just part of the strict classification of races that exists in America. Although this rule was created during slavery, it definitely has an effect today where many accept not just because it is assumed, but because it is almost impossible to do otherwise. For example, I do see myself culturally as a black American girl. Those in family that I constant interaction with are a variety of shades from light-skinned to dark skinned yet all are considered black. I have little access to my Native American heritage. My great-grandmother for reasons I do not know but can only guess did not live with other Cherokees when she married by black great-grandfather nor did she pass down her Cherokee heritage to my grandmother. In some ways I think she may have felt it was reserved for other Cherokees or maybe she felt out of place among blacks to be comfortable enough to do so. Perhaps someone who is of Indian heritage within the US, Canada, Caribbean, or South America can explain this to me. In the region I grew up in (southern Virginia and North Carolina), Blacks and Indians do not really hate each other but they do not interact much either. Both still face racism from white Southerners in personal life and institutional. In fact, most blacks in these rural areas still live on the land former slave masters placed them on during the sharecropping area and most Indian tribes are on reservations. Without much coincidence, these areas these two ethnic/racial groups live are close together and are the poorest. I do see the commonality shared and wish we find some way to work together. To other African-Americans, let me ask a real question: In the face of integration, we were willing to work along with whites. Yet why do you not see much of (only some) African Americans working with other racial/ethnic groups of color?

  • J.Guity

    you didn’t mention the Garifunas, from Hom duras, Guatemala and Belize. Garifunas were never slave

  • Sherrie

    Thank for this series. I look forward to watching it

  • NikNak

    @ Maria, my Colombian friend just mentioned that same thing to me.

    I watched the online clip of the Haiti/ Dominican divide and I thought it was very revealing. I’m from Miami where the Hispanic culture is expansive. It used to bug the heck out of me to hear people who looked just like me continually disassociate themselves w/ the Black race. Then they’d give illogical reasoning as to why: “I consider Black a culture. I associate w/ Hispanic culture.” Which obviously made no sense to me since it is clear that Black people come from all over the world and have different cultures, e.g. I am Jamaican but am also Black. I also saw first hand how Haitians are treated as lower class. Even by Afro Americans. Watching the documentary made it seem so far away – almost like it’s no big deal – whereas living it really puts it into perspective. It’s really upsetting to feel the disgust that Black Hispanics feel towards Black people, which it turn makes me almost kind of despise them.

  • Gabrie’l

    As a result, I really cannot claim Cherokee heritage much since the strong influence customs and language was not passed down. With this remark I am not trying to blame anyone. Like mentioned earlier I am just trying to explain and work out the history of my cultural identity as an African-American. (Sorry I am taking up so much and I know everyone that was commented has a story. I am not trying to preach, but I really wanted to include this perspective to encourage more dialogue). For some black Americans, this is the reality as well. America created a dichotomy that claims diversity, but discourages racial mixture unlike what I seen in many Latin American countries from a distance. There is only a small percentage than can really claim African-tribal Indian heritage in America, like the black Seminoles in Florida. For others, you really cannot claim it or do not know much about it.

    As for my European heritage, that is also a complicated. For what I know, those in my heritage line that were English and/or Irish descent were slaveowners who had slept with the female slaves. Again I do not say this with a conspiratory tone. This happened regularly to slaves of African descent in all the Americas. I know a couple of examples from the information my family has passed down for generations. It does make me resentful of this heritage because of the way and time that it occurred. Additionally, because of the “if your mother is black, then you are black” and “one drop of black blood makes you black” rules, that heritage was not passed down as well. Meaning, the discussion of how a family came from england to america for economic opportunity, had a mixing with an irish family (that had its controversy as well) is not really my family’s story to tell. Although there were some exceptions, I at least know here in the US, slave owners who had children with the slave women regarded his “black” children as his slaves. This makes up the reason why I do not want to claim this heritage in this way. Not even with regard to race, but the fact that a slave owner thought it was okay to have sex with his female slave then regard his child as a slave because of race. Yet, at the same time, I strongly believe that biracial children who come from parents of two races and love each other as people who happen to different skin color, heritage and background is wonderful and a heritage that should be accepted without hesitation.

    As a black American, I also find my African tricky to claim. It is also hard to find evidence of it. People regard African-Americans as being so different. The presence of West African influence is not as obvious as Jamaica, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Brazil, and many other countries in the Caribbean and South America. In fact I have friends from Jamaica and Nigeria, who both separately stated that black Americans have no culture of their own. I understand how this looks from their viewpoint and for anyone outside the US, especially those of African-descent/heritage. Black Americans do seem to have that missing. In part, I think it because we are a minority that has in the past assimilated. Some was from events in the past. I have heard from several historical sites that the American colonies/United States was the only slave colony to ban the use of the African drums, a major part of African culture that was not passed through the generations. And there is other evidence to support a strong cultural abhorrence to all things African in the US. In fact, until the Black Power movement 30 years ago, blacks in the US did not claim or like their African heritage. During the 1970s with the cultural movement born of influences like Malcolm X, many black Americans began to see ignoring their African heritage as a negative thinking that was passed from slavery. For those who were curious why black Americans call themselves African-American, this is why. We did not want to ignore it or regard it as negative. It was not made to slight African immigrants to US, but to say yes, this is where we came from before slavery. It is a liberating thought to know that your people were something else before slavery. As far as the presence of West African culture, yes I know visibly it is not that apparent. I think it can be regarded not so much as transplanted but as transformed. We may not have to drums, but we created rhythms with other instruments into varied musical forms. Some aspects of soul food I see in West Africa and the same for other aspects and evidence of culture. I do not say this to make some far fetched claim of ancestry; I am not even asking anyone to feel sorry for black Americans. I already know little sympathy exists for this fact. From some reactions, I sense the repulsion felt by some Caribbean and West African people in comparing culture to that of black Americans. Some based on that fact that we are Americans and the connotations of the mainstream portrayal of us which I hate as well. And I see examples of the emotions in vice versa.

  • Gabrie’l

    That leaves me with the black American, who has complications with claiming African, Indian, or European heritage. I see this as a reflection of the cultural splitting that does happen in American society. Perhaps this can help explain to some why black Americans cling to the blackness created on American soil. I feel that we do not have much else to claim. Just getting to the “American” was hard to do, but at the same time I can laugh about it. In regards to the American, I know I am and do not mind saying in introduction that my nationality is American, but if given the opportunity, I would say African-American or black American. Sometimes, just saying American makes me feel like it does not explain everything. In retrospect, neither does black American, but it is the culture that I was raised in with family and claim. For other Americans, particularly European-Americans, this is viewed as divisive, to others, on the border of ironic and funny to in denial. I really have learned that many regard “black” as an American thing, which is probably what makes this series on the controversial side. And you have the “black culture” that is a representative of America. The music of soul, r&b, blues, bebop, swing, and hip hop in the mainstream, the Civil Rights Movement of Martin Luther King Jr that blacks have the rights as Americans. When I say black American, I do not say it to exclude others from this culture. But I do believe we have a unique cultural space and perspective to come from and with saying I do not deny anyone else with having a unique space and perspective either.

    Personally, I do not believe “black” to only meaning black Americans and our culture, although speaking of it is tricky. I will say this: when this series talks about “Black in Latin America” I do not feel like my cultural space has been threatened. I do feel I have a connection to “black” Latin Americans because of the shared history of slavery and racial discrimination and cultural roots that extend to West Africa. Yet I acknowledge all the differences that exist in the cultures. I saw a segment of a series on affirmative action in Brazil and saw a firsthand account of how complex race is there and the imposition of the American terms for “black” and white” has little in common with how race works in Brazil. Those terms formed here in America and every country needs to decide for themselves the groupings that exist. Yet I also see that to have the dark skin, kinky hair, and strong African heritage background is not received with many positive results in all the Americas period.

    I really do believe that we all have cultural connections to each other and it can be done without simplifying distinctive cultures. I plan to go to western Africa and be in the possible/close proximity place my family had come from before slavery although there is only so much since the place and tribe(s) are unknown and much time has passed since. Despite this, I know when I go, I need to do more of “shut-up-and-listen” and experience the present of west Africa now.

    I see the Americas as connected. We are historically for the most part the result of the mixing of the African, European, and Indian and currently have even more mixing from almost every part of the world. It is amazing to see how diverse and varied all of our cultures came out to be. Americans, more than anyone, need to have a “shut-up-and-listen-and-learn experience” and then change the way we act and think the notion of superiority in race, nationality, culture, ethnicity, and many others.

    I just wanted to submit these thoughts to sort my own feelings and find out what others think as well.
    If my comments are unclear or make too many assumptions, forgive me. I am still in the beginning stages of articulating how my thoughts on this subject. Feel free to comment with negative and positive, but please do not response in hatred

  • Gabrie’l

    I know I am saying a lot, but this is the final comment ;)

    To black americans, let us please acknowledge and work through our own history of self-hatred especially on skin color and hair type although we can admit that some things are better now. We have been dealing with this since slavery: the light skinned, straight hair blacks vs dark skinned, coarse hair blacks. This also exists in my family heritage. My great grandmother on my mother’s side is a very dark skinned black woman from a sharecropping family and my great grandfather was a light skinned black man from a more prosperous black family. Neither of their families encouraged their interaction with each other because of skin color although both identified as black: one from a “negro” family, the other “mulatto”.

    Even today, there are still distinctions of this in America. Some like Spike Lee, Chris Rock, and Keri Davis have captured this is in the films School Daze, Good Hair, and A Girl Like Me respectively. I can concur that as a black girl that recently stopped perming and straightening my hair that there are negative reactions, the stronger from other blacks, the strongest from my own family. Although black Americans carry the term black and are better at acknowledging our African past than before, physical characteristics that are seen as “black” are still not celebrated. My mother regarded my hair as good looking and beautiful until I stopped using all that “Motions” and “Dark and Lovely” relaxers. I am making comment on the reality of being black in America and wanted to know how a situation like this plays out throughout the various cultures in Latin America.

  • Theresa

    Marion has made a good point. The history of slavery in America determined your identity. I have been told through the years that my great grandmother was white and my great grandfather was Cherokee. My grandfather “looked white” and could have passed for white, instead he chose to identify has black. He had the one-drop of black blood. He had children that looked white, but also chose to identify as black. Looking at Census records, the taker could not decide what he was. He has been listed as “non-white, mulatto, colored, black”. My great grandmother gave my grandfather away to be raised by a black couple. Today, I proudly identify myself as a Black American, born and raised in the South. I remember Halley Berry’s comment from her mother: “You are what you see in the mirror”. My family now consist of relatives with various cultures, which I also proudly celebrate when we come together as one family.

  • S’ann

    Dr. Gates, I thoroughly enjoyed the video clip and look forward to seeing the rest of the film. Many people do not have the opportunity to visit other countries and experience firsthand the different cultures; so, I appreciate that you are bringing them to us. What an outstanding accomplishment. I also understand the value in making the connection within the African Diaspora, as I feel we are all brothers and sisters of the same family. It is definitely a shared learning experience. I have been fortunate to travel throughout Europe and have met people from all over the world, and hope to visit Spain, Africa, the Caribbean’s and other countries. Best wishes as you continue your endeavors, and thank you for sharing your experience and broadening our worldview.

  • Meru

    Thank you, professor Gates. i am a Harvard student, and I studied Latin American culture and the connection with Africa. This series timely and needed.

  • Marie- Jo

    You must not forget about Haiti, that most of the Hispanics ignored like the plague due to the fact that the majority is dark. Don’ t forget even, that Hispanola is about 33.2% Haiti and 66.8% Dominican republic; the same island. Since spanish is not their main language, eventhough they are latino just like the rest of them, they rather adopt Brazil, where most of the people ’s hair is slick eventhough they speak Portugese and not spanish.

  • Michael

    Nice. As someone of African American and Cuban descent..I will definitely tune in.

  • Lourdes

    Thank you Dr. Gates for this documentary. Here is an Afro-Columbian who has made quite an impact. His story is very compelling. He is descended from Afro-Columbians who created a colony. Currently he owns his own bio-tech business and teaches and Prairie View A&M.

  • pedro

    Africans came to the New World from Africa as chattel property slaves of England, France, Portugal,Holland and Spain. After slavery they were second class citizens who have never had a reconstruction or a civil rights movement.

    Pretending that they are now defined only by the culture of those who enslaved them or the nationality of the nations they now live in is delusional and hypocritical.

    Brazil has more black people as defined in America than any country on Earth except Nigeria. And despite Brazilian claims of a racial paradise the white people run everything of significance in the socioeconomic political educational world in Brazil. While Blacks can excell in sports and entertainment. Brazil was one of the last nations to abolish slavery.

    Mexico and America both had a population that was about 20% black African in 1820. Mexico stopped counting. White Cubans lead Cuba while blacks entertain and play sports.

  • pedro

    Does Latin include the Portuguese speaking blacks in Brazil?

    Does Latin include the French speaking blacks in Haiti?

    Does Latin include the English speaking blacks in Belize and Guyana?

  • marlene jean

    Can’t wait. Thank you professor Gates. You found your ancestors and now you are helping us find ours. Lots of black people don’t know their history, this will help no doubt. I am Haitian. Sometimes people say to me I thought you were African, I say I am I just don’t know from which part of the continent.

  • Juan Valentin’

    I can’t thank you enough for doing this documentary , I was born to a light skined mother [ from Honduras } & a biological father from Venezuela { when Venezuela & French Guyuna wore having land desputes } . All my life I had been called Indio but my hair was drie & nappy , I had tried combing it in different ways with & with-out mouse , gell or hairs pray . I did’nt fully study the history of my ancestors until six years ago cause the Americans told one storie , the schools in my moms home country of Honduras told a different one so I finally decided to look at the Garifuna websites , Whos ancestors wore never slaves but escapeies from the boats going towards Jamaica , Haiti, The Dominican Republic . Now whenever I grow my frow proudly the lesser educated hispanics either look at me side-ways or they think I’m trying to be Black , this is not only going to empower the Hispanic community but also bring the Hispanic & African American communities together . Thank you very much , Godbless

  • Ken

    I cannot wait to see this 3rd installment of Blacks in America…

  • Son of Che

    Dr. Gates, very interesting work but it is unfortunate that you did not travel to Colombia where there exists the 2nd largest population of people of African descent (1st is Brazil).
    @ Dr. Ruben S. Cedeno: with all due respect Dr. Cedeno, I disagree with your contention that “in Latin America we are one people who happen to be brown”. In Colombia, and Ecuador for example black people face rampant discrimination. In Colombia, the state El Choco, which is predominantly Afro-Colombia, is the poorest in the country. Furthermore, I suspect that this is the case in the majority of South America. I am not too familiar with the Caribbean. Please see:
    A snippet below:
    “AfroColombians, like other AfroLatinos, have the worst socio-economic indicators in Latin America. AfroColombians live in the urban and rural areas with the highest indices of poverty, violence and social unrest in Colombia. Nearly 85% of all AfroColombian families are poor, with the annual income at approximately $500US, as opposed to $1,700US for non-Black Colombians. We have a 32% illiteracy rate, compared with 15% among non-Blacks. Only 38% of AfroColombian teenagers can go to high school, compared to 66% of non-Black Colombian teenagers. Only 2% of all AfroColombian young people go on to the university.

    In health care, nutrition, government services, military and diplomatic service and other social issues, there is marked disparity between AfroColombians and the rest of the population.” Luis Gilberto Murillo Urrutia
    Former Governor Choco State – Colombia

  • Boogie and Hustle

    Thank you all for this work. Americans will learn that while they are a great nation and people, they are really the “sole center” of nothing! Slavery was a distant outpost in the US, and centered in the Caribbean and Brazil. I am no more “Spanish” because of my language than African Americans are “Englishmen” because that is the colonizer’s language that they speak. America and its ways are not the only ways to think about anything, and it is not the center of the universe!

  • Dee

    Information is Knowledge, Knowledge is Power, Power is Freedom !!!

  • ipeqi

    I just visited Belize and was very intrigued by the Garifuna culture there. The contribution to the New World by descendants of Africa seems to have been violently suppressed in north America to the point where Blacks seem to have naturally developed an inferior complex. But I’m very delighted to see the more natural self confident contributions to society and cultural in countries like Belize.

  • Dee

    You can’t talk about black in Latin America and leave out Colombia! One of the major ports of slavery. The coast of Colombia is rich in black culture.

    GET ON IT!

  • Maria P.

    I’m confused: the talk about merengue was accompanied by music that was more like Cuban son. This disconnect seems somehow appropriate within the context of Dominicans who call themselves ‘Indio’…
    What I really would like to know, is why did Prof. Gates not include Colombia in this series? Especially at this moment in history, when Colombian ‘Afros’ — as Colombians of African descent self-identify: ‘Afro-decendiente’ — are gathering strength to resist being removed from their ancestral villages (usually located next to hardwood forests, or mineral deposits, or fishing areas), and learning to proclaim to the world the beauty of their traditional African culture, whether it be music, dance, social customs, cuisine, or hairstyles!
    Colombia was one of the top three importers of enslaved Africans, right up there with Brazil and the U.S. The cultural legacy is rich, and well-preserved. Please, Dr. Gates, give it the attention it deserves! And let the rest of the world see its beauty!

  • S’ann

    Dr. Gates, I thoroughly enjoyed the video clip and look forward to seeing the rest of the film. Many people do not have the opportunity to visit other countries and experience firsthand the different cultures; so, I appreciate that you are bringing them to us. What an outstanding accomplishment. I also understand the value in making the connection within the African Diaspora, as I feel we are all brothers and sisters of the same family. It is definitely a shared learning experience. I have been fortunate to travel throughout Europe and have met people from all over the world, and hope to, too, visit Spain, Africa, the Caribbean’s and other countries. Best wishes as you continue your endeavors, and thank you for sharing your experience and broadening our worldview.

  • AlexJV

    I am really looking forward to this series as well. Having lived for a while in Brasil where as Prof. Gates says when people describe who they are or what their origins are the use terms as if they are describing the colors of the rainbow. They do not use the term “Black” to universally describe African origins or decent. While some Racism does exist there, I found it to be a much more inclusive society all around.

    (I just had to self correct the almost instinctual use of the statement; “On Both Sides” there instead of “all around” which is what I feel comes from using the terms “Black” and “White” here).

  • Sharon Samaroo

    Love it, I this is a treat to us here in caribbean, but not much is new to us about what will be discolse in this documentry, but rather to educate more and more people of black heritage in latin amen fnd the caribbean.This documentry is just touching the surface of blacks beyond the United States,there are so many veriations of the black experience in this hemisphere,I for one knows my country will be on the unique ones even for latin american themselves.I’m from Guyana,my mom is native blk and wht and my dad id third generation indian from india, Guyana, Trinidad, Jamaica and Suirname shared the indians form india ecperience, our stories would be differently for other caribbean country.
    Thank you Mr Gated, hope u get into the nitty grettiy of black culture in other countries other than latin american.

  • Y. Sabio

    I watcehd the preview and look forward to the series starting soon, but am very disappointed that the Garifuna of Honduras, Belize, Nicaragua and Guatemal are not mentioned! That’s a travesty. I don’t understand how any serious research would not include them, the group that refused to be enslaved! I expect better from you, Dr. Gates.

  • Paulo Mejia

    My comment is how come the Garifuna culture from Central America was not mention in this documentary besides speaking the garifuna language in school we are teach spanish at home the language and culture is pass to us true our family and elders, google garifuna and learn more about the garifuna people of african race we are located in Honduras, Guatemala, Belize & Nicaragua thank you.

  • Elga Garcia

    Very interesting piece!! I would also recommend Prof. Gates to highlight the Garifuna Culture alive in the countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Belize. These are also the very same people who liberated themselves from French/English domination in the island of Saint Vincent……These very same people the Garifunas, have maintained their religion “Dugu” similar to Vodoo in Haiti and Santeria in Cuba. The Garifunas have also maintained their rich dialect-Garifuna, music- “punta”, “gunche”, “wuanaragua” and cuisine. Two of our popular music aritsts Andy Palacios(RIP) from Belize and Aurelio Martinez from Honduras. Thank you so much for this documentary- it’s been long overdue. I hope it will create the necessary dialogue in the African Diaspora to better understand our history and strengthen relationships that will allow the platform for socio-economic development and cultural education which will faciliate the preservation/proliferation of our rich AFRICAN HERITAGE!

  • SilviaLorenso

    To expand the debate, there is a PBS episode (Wide Angle) that features what they call “Brazil in Black and White”, discussing the current debate in Brazil: the implementation of a more diverse educational system. The episode is pretty decent and I have been using it in my classes/lectures.

    There is also a 53-minute documentary by Dr. Sheila Walker “Scattered Africa: Faces and Voices of the African Diaspora.”

    In May, 2010, Salvador/Bahia/Brazil hosted the II Conference on Afro-Latinos.

    So, yes, the subject needs much more work that brings it to light, but also we cannot forget that it has been part of the debate on African Diaspora. For those who are getting into the debate now, make sure to check some previous work as well.

  • Ken

    I can see how the documentary desperately tries to assimilate the Afro-Latino experience with that of African Americans; Nevertheless, they are worlds apart. Mr. Gates wants Afro-Latinos to “open their eyes” as African Americans did, but the reality is that Afro-Latinos don’t carry that level of hate and resentment toward the white race as African Americans do. One reason is that in Latin America the below poverty line class includes more indians and whites than blacks. We all suffer together!

    The interesting thing, accordng to Mr. Gate, is that if Afro-Latinos don’t have that hate for whites, then they must be in denial (Dominicans). I guess Mr. Gates thinks black Domicans are not that smart! Could it be that the Spaniers did not treat the black Dominican slaves as bad as the English did in the USA? and instead the white and black races mixed together to form a new nation? In my opinion, If somebody is in race denial is the USA. Since I came here, I couldn’t help to notice that there are two Americas: White USA and Black USA. I could never undestand why I have more black friends than my white friends do, and why I have more white friends than my black friends do! I guess Mr. Gates just helped me understand that!

  • Raul Ramos y Sanchez

    Despite an alleged bias toward the left, the U.S. media is firmly entrenched in a racist mentality toward the people of Latin America. In most demographic reporting, people from Spanish-speaking countries are presumed to be a fourth homogeneous “race” called Hispanic along with White, Black and Asian. The reality is that the nations of Latin America are composed of people from Europe, Africa and Asia, just like the United States.

    This show by Dr. Gates exposes U.S. viewers to the long-ignored diversity of Latin America by focusing on the region’s most overlooked ancestral thread in the U.S. media, the rich and powerful legacy of those of African descent.

    I applaud Dr. Gates for yet another media breakthrough.

  • Sweeney James

    This is awesome! I can’t wait to see this program. Knowing South America, Mexico, and the Dominiquine Republic is VERY RICH with AFRICAN HERITAGE is wonderful. And it came from their 4 BLACK MOTHERS! :)

  • Gee

    I have been waiting for this for years I have tried to explain to black folk how we all came from one basket but we have been divided by other cultures. It is time we know our history and how we all are all one; and one from all . We need to come together and build bridges economically first and foremost then cuturally and sprituality which we have plenty of. We need to stop the hating thinking hey i from the states i am better than them folks over there ani’t me ship those big computer monitors to Africa cos they need over there atitude and consider ourselves as brothers and sister in the struggle. I applaud professor Gates for taking people from all colors and finding their history.

  • Patricia

    Garcias a Dios..I feel very much like those slaves who were liberated after the Civil War who imagined themselves free at last. The was a false sense of freedom as we know. But today Prof Gates with his documentary will lift the veil of shame and lead us into the path of pride and dignity. I know and respect my American brethen struggle in this land, but now its our turn to voice our grievances and sorrow and show how our survival was no less and no more painful. The slaves that were transported into “las islas del Caribe” y sur america” also endured the lash, but somehow came out of the nightmare with a greater sense of our African roots. One day we will all sit together and tell each other our stories of how we survived the African diaspora. We will laugh, cry and dance . We will eat our delicous food, pray to our powerful God and stand tall so that the world can see yes we are still here.

  • Jackie

    wow! I really learned alot about my history, I never knew that latian america was really black and that my ancestors were really black(african americain) I would share this with everyone I know!!!!!!!!

  • gil rodriguez

    i have been researching this for years so i am thrilled to see this finally come to the forefront. i work with many mexican and guatemalan nationals who cannot believe that african blood exists in their history. when i show them on the internet about Gaspar Yanga, Vicente Guerrero and even Emilio Zapata, they still don’t believe it. it is baffling that even after reading the facts, they still don’t believe they might have african blood in their families…mind control is something that is very powerful, but i believe that knowledge can overcome that control, so to my fellow latinos, learn your history not HIS-story…

    one love,

  • Estfar

    I am Latin, from Central America and I am so happy that this program is coming on. I grew up in a country where Black people, mulattos, metizos, indios and whites co-existed. I am also happy that the deliberate whitening of certain countries in Latin America, is being addressed. We see it on these telenovelas on Spanish language channels like Univision,etc. I find it hard to relate to any of the characters on these programs because none of the characters look like me. And if they do, they are either someone’s maid, servant, or some one on the lower rung of society. Even famous brands that are trying to appeal to the strength of the Latino market place use the lightest Latin person to represent their brands. This program should serve as an education. Can’t wait to watch.

  • April Centrone

    This is truly wonderful and I think a Very as-yet untold story. I look very much forward to seeing the full documentary and spreading the word. Thank you to my friend and colleague of Belize, percussionista, Hatshepsut Pakeman-Symister, for referring this to me.

  • Joe

    Just asked any Afro-Latino what they think of African Americans!

  • Epifanio

    Looks like this is a critical addition to the the history of the western hemisphere! Nevertheless, the Puerto Rican piece of the mosaic has been, once again, left out! Perhaps because we are wedged between the US mainland and the rest of the Latin sectors of the hemisphere? Or worse, its history has just been forgotten. Please advise.

  • Brent Butler

    First and foremost, I’d like to applaud Dr. Gates on this documentary. It is much needed to open our eyes to the similarities and differences of our vast world. I know that there are many people in the U.S. that don’t realize that there are so many black people in the Latin America and that the numbers that represent their presence are equal to and greater in many cases than those of blacks in the U.S. Really, the video/documentary is great for me. I am an African-American male that speaks and teaches Spanish in a prodominantly African American community. This is going to be a wonderful tool for my classroom! Thanks Dr. Gates.

  • Kevin Mahdi

    All praises are due to Allah for giving Dr. Gates the vision and fortitude to construct such a great piece of work to enlighten our lost people. No other people on the face of this earth has been through a holocaust like the Blackman and women, to the extent that we are so fragmented that we don’t even recongnize our own brothers and sisters of this earth. We identify to every other race except our own. We talk about how much indian or european blood we have in us not realizing that our blackness is the orgin of all people. In this time we desperately need teachers like Dr. Gates to shed the facts and not the interpretations of those whom do not have our best interest at heart when it comes to teaching us our true history.

    Thank you Dr. Gates

  • Adolphe

    Thank you Professor Gates for this documentary. As a Haitian-American living in New Mexico, I take great pride in my heritage and the enormous contribution of my forefathers to the history of the United States of America. A lot of Americans don’t even know that the Louisiana Purchase was due to the Haitian Revolution and the victory over Napoleon’s army. The whole eastern part of New Mexico belonged to France prior to 1803.

  • Marla

    I had no ideal about Peru and Columbia it is amazing and sad how the victorious distort true history. I now understand so much better and I am better off for it. It is time for the world to know the truth.

  • Ricardo

    Finally someone has the courage along with the support of a major TV network to produce a documentary that is rarely presented to a national US audience. I am a 53-year-old male of Afro-American of Latino descent. I know for a fact that a program on the history Afro-Latinos has never been presented on US television, including the major Latino TV networks, Univision or Telemundo. What disturbs me most is that racism is rampant and goes unchallenged in Latin America and the Caribbean. A perfect example of this is that you rarely see Afro-Latinos as news anchors, lead actors on the major soap operas or serving in major positions of power in both government and private sectors. Furthermore, Afro-Latinos and indigenous people of Latin America are usually stuck at the bottom of the economic ladder by virtue of institutionalized racism. Racism is a major yet unspoken problem in these countries, which the white minority does not feel compelled to end. I would like to express my thanks to Prof. Gates for creating this TV special on Afro-Latino history. I hope it will raise everyone’s consciousness and promote desperately needed change in these countries.

  • Jhoannette

    I lived in the Dominican Republic all my life, I moved recently almost two years ago and my mom comes from a CAMPO called Pedernales; in Haiti’s border. I feel so proud of my dominican culture and i could not discribe my eternal love for QUISQUEYA. I’m what is called India; cinnamon color, tostadita but never black. My ID says it: INDIA. This tipe of description was implemented during the Trujillato to deny that his country was mostly black in front of the United States with the purpose of borrowing money. Dominican Republic as beutifly mixed that is, is clearly devided by colors. Most of the “other side”, the rich, are “white”( clearly you can still see the mix in the body shape or curly hair, but skin color is what matters isn’t?) It’s sad how my people is in constant denyal of their native and african roots, they see it as a flaw and don’t embrace the beauty of being us; the whole package. I’m really looking forward to whatch these series special and see, even from a tiny window my special place.

  • Jackniel Delgado

    Thanks Mr. for this documentary, I am Puerto Rican you know Boricua!. On Puerto Rico those with lighter brown tones of skins we call it: Triguenos.My Dad is Black, Mom is Mestiza, My Grandpa (RIP) was a Native Taino indian. When somebody ask me what I am I always say:Boricua even that I’m Trigueno. I Love Puerto Rico and My People and I always will say:I am Boricua! Gracias por este Documental
    Jackniel Delgado (Las Vegas,NV)

  • Emily

    Can’t wait for this to air….I’m hoping after seeing this and sharing it with friends and family, that I’ll hear “We’re not black, we’re Dominican” less often.
    Thank you!!!

  • Thiercito

    I just saw a small preview and I am really looking forward to watching this show… I would always remember the day when my Mulata Cuban friend walked by a a Black Homeless man and she yelled at him in spanish “get out of here stinky negro” I been always intrigued by how black latins that are lighter in skin feel superior that those with darker skin. Looking forward to this show

  • Mel Dawson

    Though I am not a Latin American black, my appearance speaks otherwise in many respects. In any case, being an American Black, I have always been drawn to relate and interact with my Latin Black brothers and sisters. I have had a great interest and felt a strong kinship to their beliefs, customs, and even their culinary venues. Our African heritage that links us all is more profound than any of us can imagine. So to have professor Gates present this documentary to the world should have a powerful effect in bringing all blacks closer to knowing just how similar we are. As well as to foster better relations with one another in the understanding and intermingling of our customs and ways of life. My family and I have done so with my Latin black friends for many years and I am happy and look forward to seeing professor Gates convey the diversity we have in skin colors and culture only to say that we are all still one in the same through this moving and powerful documentary.

  • Glenne Narcisso

    Thanks you Mr Gates, I’ll be waiting for this information, In Nicaragua on the Atlantic Coast we always speak about our Ethnic groups and Afrodescendants, our afrodescendants groups are the Garifuna and the Creole, I will really like you to mention both groups. As an Afrodescendants of Nicaragua I’m very intersted in this program.

  • Frankie Peña

    good & long overdue topic, but Professor Gates, if you’re going to examine the Dominican people, at least get their music correct.
    the episode examining the African diaspora throughout the Dominican Republic had a band playing guaguanco and not merengue. This may be a minor error for some but to us this is the equivalent of a documentary about French wine making in the Bordeaux region whereupon the host & narrator are drinking lager.

    Africa is alive and well in the Dominican Republic, a better revision of the episode is needed

  • Oscar Alba

    Well im colombian and i think that you forget to visit my country
    becouse Colombia has the 2nd black population in South America
    after Brazil , and Mexico and Peru has not a lot of black population
    as Colombia , becouse those countries was the ancient empíres azteca and inca and
    there was too many indian people to satisfy the necessities in those spanish
    colonies and Spain put few slave population in méxico and Perú .
    Colombia in that time was Virreinato de nueva Granada
    and the port of Cartagena was the most important center of slave trade in south
    América ,and Colombia has a special types of black population:black people from the caribean coast, black people from pacific coast and the black anglo american people from san Andres island .please visit Colombia . Thanks

  • Greg

    I really hope African-Americans and come to the understanding that we are not the only Black people around.

  • PanJam

    Thank you very much PBS and Prof. Gates. As a proud Panamanian/Jamaican of African heritage, this is the knowledge that needs to be imparted in the school system for the young generation to be aware of this multicultural world we live in. All Blacks originated in Africa…unfortunately the slave ships dropped us off all over this world. Looking like an African American and Spanish being my first language, people are often confused and almost freaked out very often. Knowledge is power.

  • Lew Welge

    Viva La Raza!

  • Roxana

    I am so excited about this program ! Finally ! an in depth look at blacks in Latin America ! This is such an important history ! So many are not aware of the black experience in Latin american its rich history , foods, culture and folkore… iThis program NEEDS to be in ALL classrooms NOW! How beautiful !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so happy to be American of Cuban parents… Spanish grandparents and great great grandparents who were a black.

  • Jacqueline Thomas

    Although something similar to this documentary has been done before, I do appreciate all the exposure to Afro-Latinos in Latin America and I commend Prof. Gates for his work.
    I am however a bit disappointed as these locations are always the focused when chronicling the history of African slaves in Latin America. Afro-Latinos in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Brazil are not news it’s apparent, with the exception of Peru and Mexico.
    I wish they could show how they were and are viewed in those country, the types of struggled that they led and the intermingling of the two cultures, that makes us Afro-Latinos.
    I also wish that prof. Gates would have included Central American in his research on Afro-Latinos as the African that were taken there experiences are somewhat different than those in the countries that he chose.
    I am from Panama and my grandparents struggle with racism on the Canal Zone, as the Americans brought the same Jim Crow mentality there when they took over the construction of the canal. Outside of the canal things are different. You are considered just a Panamanian no color, required. I definitely will watch this program. Gracias!

    Jacqueline Thomas
    Panameña y Afro-Latina

  • Nancy Navarro

    I was born in Caracas, Venezuela from a family that clearly had African, Native American and European ancestry. In short, I am a reflection of most people in Venezuela and many other Caribbean and Latin American Countries. My husband is from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and we met, married and live in the United States. We have two beautiful Haitian-Venezuela-American daughters, and we have made sure that they have a strong understanding of their Afro-Latino heritage. My oldest is a student at Howard University and she is so excited about this documentary. I am so thrilled to watch this documentary with my family, simply to reinforce what we have been teaching them all these years. I am so proud of the multiplicity of cultures that make Latin America and the Caribbean such an extraordinary place- no matter what people’s perceptions are, it is a place where all these cultures co-mingle, co-exist, evolve, and persist.

  • Antoine

    Understandings of race and racism – or racial literacy – are learned ? Is Latin America/Carribean being pressured to emulate not only US models of capitalism, modernity and democracy, but also its less than-laudable politics of race qualified as ‘brutal ethnocentric intrusions’ or the advancement of ‘racistoid perspectives. Racism is valorization of differences real or imagined profitable to the agressor and detrimental to the victim to legitimate prerogatives and justify the agression or structural violence: ‘constraint to human potential by policy that limit access to education, healthcare, access to resources and participatin in the political process. Race matters in America! RACE MATTTERS THE SAME WAY IN LATIN AMERICA AND CARRIBEAN? NO
    Prof Gates It will take more than 1 hour to interview selected people and countless scholar works to look at outcomes of sound policy regarding breaking barriers to human potentials based on skin tone and shades as a social construct. .









  • james murray

    I dont always agree with you but you cause people to think and make up their own minds Didnt know you had a comic side to you. But just as Dick Gregory and Bill Cosby went from being comics to leaders out to save the world. We had to take them with a grain of salt Like Ali going to Africa to settle the situation there. And the ungreatfull African leaders saying How dare you insult us by sending a boxer to solve our problems. That George Jefferson skit you did in Cambridge what. a howl Do you Know who I am. And the cop scratching his head and thinking If he doesnt know who he is. How am I suppoes to. And to end up with both of you sippin beers with the president. And still maintaining your dignety.I laugh till I cried. The only thing funnier was Jesse crying at the inaugaration ( H town and castrat ect) Then I heard PBS sent you down to Hati during the earthquakes. Was it something you said. lol. Or was it your idea. Anyway I straying from the original thought. I think you can get into show bidness. bro. Hears the intro. Folks if you love P- Nuts youll love Skippy yoo so funny. PS sa hello to weezie.

  • nzo.califa

    (TO ALL: with much respect to the subject matter at hand)

    @Gabrie’l, my contact: [] Sounds like a Soul’s awakening yet – The United States is a continent, not an island, so in light of regions, time, and depending on the influence YES you’re going to get varied degrees of consciousness that directly influence your experience, believe it or not these are FORTUNATE times for such an awakening and realizing YOU and YOURS; at the comment “…In fact, until the Black Power movement 30 years ago, blacks in the US did not claim or like their African heritage.” – GO DEEPER! IN FACT all up and down the East Coast and throughout are fine institutions of cultural narratives, artifacts, historical evidence that clearly demonstrates otherwise dating back to 1700’s, you are aware there was a multitude of freed populations of Af-AM in the 5-digits?!…and TRUTH be told given the divisive systemic forces of slavery and its long-standing historical effects: psychologically, economically, politically, education, the matter of sympathy “feel sorry” is NOT what anyone is truly articulating, it’s empathy/compassion – and sometimes words like “complex”, “mixed” or simply NOT KNOWING to SELF HATE will mar the understanding of one’s plight.

    I celebrate these discussions because it brings to light what is deserving for those generations of the oppressed, teachers, preachers, midwives, merchants, field hands or freedom fighters….OUR SURVIVAL, remembering THOSE Ancestors who pro-actively contributed to our very being and THAT matters to everyone.

    …I’ll tell you simply like my Grandfather said from West Carroll Parish, LA- “…we ain’t nevah needed no African to tell us who we are, but by that same token – ask these folks about Our history -see what THEY know, and then ya gonna know who respects you.” and then he said…”you tell all these folks enjoying they way of life in these United States – that I said, “You Are Welcome”

    but I digress Gabrie’l, as I’ve been fortunate to widely travel to the places featured on these series, I say let’s give some real time and attention to the information at hand, as I know that it may relate directly and or indirectly to all of us in some form and fashion – and I envision more meaningful dialogue, education building, family care-taking measures of preservation. And to that effort I offer this MUST read:

    “Slavery and the African Ethnicities in The Americas” ['05] *Gwendolyn Midlo Hall; and a rare find
    “Colored People” ['94] by Dr. Gates himself.

    *peace and prosperity ALL!

  • Morena 40

    Thank you prof, Gates for bringing to light the history of Afro- Latinos. I only wish that you would have also included Central America and Colombia. I am a proud Panamanian and it would have been nice to see the contrast between the African slaves of those countries you selected and those in Central America.
    I am looking forward to watching the program tonight.

    Proud Panamanian

  • Antonio

    I applaud PBS for bringing to the front end this topic for public discussion and, hopefully, close a gap and bring more understanding to our heritage as Latino/as and Caribeño/as. I am a Dominican native, who has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and – unlike many from Latin America or the Caribbean who have migrated to the U.S., I have lived in unusual places like Wichita, KS (Midwest), Columbus (Ohio), and most recently moved to Albuquerque (NM). My ethnic background , that is ‘mixed’ from a mom who has tanned skin – and whose mom was black – and my father who is light skin middle eastern looking (tall, hairy and built) always draws interesting comments not only in the U.S., but also when I travel abroad. But when asked, I plain say that I am Dominican.

    I have been blessed with the opportunity of traveling extensively throughout the Caribbean (English, French, Dutch and Spanish speaking), and parts of Central America (Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize) and South America (Peru, Argentina and Chile). The issue of being ‘black’ and for an underrepresented ethnic group has always being a very complex and ‘taboo’ issue to deal with, primarily in countries where the majority is not from that underrepresented group or those on positions of influence or power are of White European decent. On my recent trip to Peru, I noticed that the only blacks I saw in Lima worked as bellmen (five hotels in a row). That was surprising to me, but later I thought….it is not! Because growing up I used to see the same situation in the Dominican Republic, where resorts and high end hotels would only hire very light skinned employees to work at the front desk and other jobs -that were not on the public eye or serving kind of jobs – would be reserved for others who were of dark complexion or blacks.

    In the Dominican Republic, even though we are all ‘Dominicans’ it is also true we have different ways to classify our blacks and all of them from bad to worse or degrading, terms such as ‘negro, Moreno, prieto, indio, morenito, or azul are often heard. One grows hearing them and there comes the time when it becomes something ‘normal’ or accepted, but that is not the case if it directly affects you or a member of your family. No one wants to be called ‘prieto or negro”! May be it is the fact that many Dominicans don’t want to be associated with someone of Haitian descent (not African) under the perception of feeling less or , like in the U.S., the message we have all received from the media was that ‘white’ is good, and ‘black’ is bad or not to be trusted.

    Again, it is a very complex issue but one that Latin Americans and Spanish speaking Caribbean in general tend to avoid when having to deal with it. I agree 100% with Ricardo’s comment about “… I know for a fact that a program on the history Afro-Latinos has never been presented on [any] major Latino TV networks, Univision or Telemundo. What disturbs me most is that racism is rampant and goes unchallenged in Latin America and the Caribbean.” Just turn to one of those networks and may be one or two are the anchors who are Black and let’s not talk about the ‘telenove-R-las’.

    Finally, the history of Civil Rights in the U.S. shaped how this nation operates, respects, enforces and embraces the issues of diversity and inclusion; however, the same cannot be expected over night in Latin America and parts of the Caribbean as we are talking about many countries where cultural and historical events have shaped who we are today, and there is not only ‘black and white’. But we can start at being more understanding, tolerant and tactful when interacting with others who may look like us, but who have a very different background and history.

  • Laura R Benedetto

    Looking fwd to see this doc.
    I am originally from Uruguay and we have a rich black heritage there… can’t wait to see the program.

  • terrance

    The Afro latino people must remember they are African first I don’t care how mixed the countinent is and everyone is one people that’s a lie,when you are black you will always be sticking out in any society as a outcast.

  • Natasha

    …I am so called, Black in the U.S., interesting, as I travel abroad, I am referred to as American, not African American, only the United States keeps this ridiculous “color line” a problem in the new century!

  • Dianca

    Thank you Dr. Gates and your team! I am elated that you have given Afro-Americans a chance to learn that, yes, Latinos with black skin are black-like us they are people whose ancestors originated in Africa! Also, I hope this is a chance for Afro-Latinos who are not ready to acknowledge African blood to learn that black, regardless of your nationality, is beautiful! We can be proud of our country while celebrating our African forefathers (and mothers). I am excited about this series and look forward to future documentaries regarding the varied cultures and experiences of descendants of the African diaspora.


  • PTB

    Already got the DVR queue’d for this one!

    Haven’t heard this much buzz since “Platanos & Collard Greens” came out.

    I find it interesting no one dared touch this subject before and thought it not worth speaking
    about – especially many Latino’s of African descent. Now HLG starts it up, and folks
    are complaining that they’ve been excluded.

    I do hope this brings up further dialog between Blacks – at least those in the western hemisphere.

  • Tony

    Just for the record; A genetic study was done in Puerto Rico. the results were that Puerto Ricans were overwhelmingly Amerindian on their maternal DNA and Overwhelmingly European on their paternal DNA. the rest was African. In general Puerto Ricans are 45% Amerindian (indegenous), 40 % European and 15 % African. Theses are facts. The reason I post this is because Dr Gates is trying to promote Latin America as predominately
    African and European which is inaccurate. Most Latin American Countries are predominately Amerindian and European with some African. The main Ingredient in Latin America are the indigenous people the Aztecs, Incas, Tainos and many more. This is not to discredit the African presence in Latin American but the one drop rule doesn’t count. if you want to reply you can raech me at

  • Daniel Ponce

    It is about time a piece on the African influence in Latin America was done. I will never forget how shocked I was when I moved to the mainland from Puerto Rico and discovered how ludicrously ignorant the majority of self-described “Latinos” are to the ethnic and racial diversity of Latin America.

    Sadly, due to continued racism I would bet a month’s salary that none of the major Spanish-speaking networks will ever air the documentary.

  • Fritz

    This is a totally beautiful piece, however from the comments that I have read this should only be the beginning of a long and numerous series. By the way, I am Haitian although I am 100% of african blood it is not necessary to add the african prefix to your nationality. You know this land belonged to the many tribes of indians who were the true owners of this land and space, and I have never heard of any european-americans then why should we consider adding any prefix.
    It may be important to draw a comparison among the population of the whole american continent and see who have what as far as how the distribution is done.
    By the way there need to be a redefinition of the term african-american which is really meaningless, being american means that you are of the continent of america and that america is not a country. It seems like a small portion of the continent considered himself being the owner of the whole continent, which is errorneous.

  • Judith

    It’s commendable to address the black influence in latin america. In relationship to Santo domingo, the music played as merengue, was in fact an erroroneous reference. It was guaganco. I hope you address this critical point.

  • Elissa

    This sounds so enlightening! Having worked with a Colombian dance company I am very excited to see it and better educate myself. Will there be a version in Spanish, and will the program eventually be available for viewing online?

  • Renee

    I missed the whole program and only came in to see the closing of the show. I hope this will re-air some time because I do feel like I missed some valuable information.

  • Jhoannette

    Talking about Merengue while cuban son is in the background? really? Anyways, I’m dominican and I felt very identified whith the things that were pointed. That constant denial we dominicans have towards our african roots is very distintive of our identity. I couldn’t help feeling disappointed by facing the sometimes ingenue ignorance of my people. Thanks for this amazing documentary, with some holes but still very informative and on point. Oh, and Gabrie’l, I’m 18 now and I hope to writte like you when i grow up men.

  • Ousseau

    Thank you Professor Gates for this historic documentary. I am a Haitian Visual Artist base in Harlem New York. I just watch the program with my 90 years old father. My family are very proud of our African heritage and glad that the world had the chance to learn even 10% of our proud history that was covered in the program. Its a start.

    Haiti, is here to stay – no matter what is place in front of us.

  • George

    I am dissapointed that you do not have Colombia, as the 3rd nation with the largest black population
    in the Western Hemisphere. 1st is Brazil 2nd USA 3rd Colombia. You talk about Haiti, Cuba Peru & Mexico in the series, but you do not mention Colombia. There are about 10.5 Million Colombians with African roots, making it the 3rd country country with the largest Afro latino population. Available estimates range from 4.4 to 10.5 million Afro-Colombians.[3] Afro-Colombians make up approximately 21% (9,154,537) of the population according to a projection of the National Administration Department of Statistics (DANE)[4], most of whom are concentrated on the northwest Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast in such departments as Chocó, although considerable numbers are also in Cali, Cartagena, and Barranquilla. Colombia is considered to have the third largest Black/African-descent population in the western hemisphere, following Brazil and the USA. The African presence in Colombia dates back to the 8th century. In the 8th century, nearly all of the Iberian Peninsula was conquered by largely Moorish Muslim armies from North Africa.African slaves began being imported by the Spaniards in the first decade of the 16th century. By the 1520s, Africans were being imported into Colombia steadily to replace the rapidly declining native American population. Africans were forced to work in gold mines, on sugar cane plantations, cattle ranches, and large haciendas. African labor was essential in all the regions of Colombia, even until modern times. African workers pioneered the extracting of alluvial gold deposits and the growing of sugar cane in the areas that correspond to the modern day departments of Chocó, Antioquia, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, and Nariño in western Colombia. . In pre-abolition Colombian society, many Afro-Colombian slaves fought for their freedom as soon as they arrived in Colombia. It is clear that there were strong free Black African towns called palenques, where Africans could live as cimarrones, that is, they who escaped from their oppressors.

  • Nilla

    I can’t wait to watch…being Nicaraguan. I am proud of having, Indian (Native of American) and African blood and whatever else ….But I know one thing I am very proud. Becase us LATINOS have such ritch cultures that for some reason we grow up with a stigma of not being good enough …..when we should love and be proud!!

    And we are not SPANISH or HISPANIC …..look it up it was during the Nixon Administration !

  • AM Moni

    Thank you Prof Gates for this documentary – I know that many people in the US do not know that there are black people in Latin America – Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the list goes on. Also there are many non-Spanish speaking countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean with significant black populations as well. I believe this ignorance also comes from Latin America itself. Where are Afro-Latinos in poitics, business, telenovellas??? Sure I see them during the World Cup, but I believe that many people don’t know they exist because they are second class citizens, even if they don’t consider themselves black the way US blacks self-identify. I’m from the English-speaking Caribbean, and would have loved to see Jamaica or Trinidad there, simply because the issues of color such as the ones noted in the DR segment are very much an issue – perhaps another time. Eagerly looking forward to the rest, particularly Cuba and Brazil.

    On a final note, I take offence to the sweeping of Haiti into a title that only mentions ‘Latin America’. Haiti isn’t Latin, perhaps a more apt title would have included Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • AM Moni

    Thank you Prof Gates for this documentary – I know that many people in the US do not know that there are black people in Latin America – Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and the list goes on. Also there are many non-Spanish speaking countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean with significant black populations as well. I believe this ignorance also comes from Latin America itself. I occasionally pass the remote to Telemundo, Univision etc – where are they? Where are Afro-Latinos in poitics, business, telenovellas??? Sure I see them during the World Cup, but I believe that many people don’t know they exist because they are second class citizens, even if they don’t consider themselves black the way US blacks self-identify. I’m from the English-speaking Caribbean, and would have loved to see Jamaica or Trinidad there, simply because the issues of color such as the ones noted in the DR segment are very much an issue – perhaps another time. Eagerly looking forward to the rest, particularly Cuba and Brazil.

    On a final note, I take offence to the sweeping of Haiti into a title that only mentions ‘Latin America’. Haiti isn’t Latin, perhaps a more apt title would have included Latin America and the Caribbean.

  • Jesskah

    As a Panamanian-American, whenever I meet people who discover my nationality (I look white and nothing more), they usually say “Oh! I once met a Panamanian, but you’d never know it because he was Black.” I don’t say anything so I don’t hurt their feelings by correcting them, but Black Panamanians are as abundant as in most other Latin American countries.

  • Keith

    This looks great but one problem I have is the act at the end it appeared to celebrate the genocidal attitude of the Hatians towards the French during colonial times. Other than that I was very fascinated with the many cultural contributions of the African peoples to Latin America. I was particularly interested in Capoeta.

  • Jessy Trouillot

    i just watched the special “black in latin america”Thank you pbs for showing it and Dr gates as a proud haitian
    tonight you brought tears to my eyes.Yes we are poor, yes we are living in tent with no sanitation but we are a nation that is proud to be black,with a lot of human ressources,with a very riche history and we will overcome one day

  • John Torres

    Thank you from an Afro Bori-Cubano
    Born of Black Cuban and Puerto Rican parents.

    We Afro-Latinos are a unique people. Creative and colorful. Please keep telling our story.

  • angie

    This is what a lot of people were waiting for because there is a lot of discrimination in Latin American because of ignorance about not to want to understand that we are the result of a big mix in which Africans took the most racial part of all of us…. I am from the Dominican Republic and i want to say Thank you very much PBS and Prof. Gates for this great and very informative documental.

  • Bryant

    I watch Black in Latin Amercan tonight with some friends, I really did found what Gates was telling us viewer about the history production of life was really amazing, I really did not know any of the detail fact about Latin American before like I learn tonight, I hate to think that I just would not have paid attention to the facts on my own if my teacher Ms. lee at SOF have not asked us, her student to watch this program. I am happy that I got a chance to watch this program tonight and look forward to reviewing Black in Latin Amercan again.


  • Arnaldo Casillas

    I am not only extremely pleased, but also extremely honored that this documentary, at last, was produced to be shown to the masses, primarily to those residing in the United States — it was long overdue. Moreover, I am sure that such documentary will diffuse vital information about Latin America’s preponderant black, African heritage to both black and white citizens in the States who do not have a clear view of said heritage yet; principally, dealing with misconceived Latino racial related stereotypes. Although I look Caucasian, I consider myself being a multiracial individual from Puerto Rico, U. S.’ s only Spanish-speaking territory, colony.

    Having mentioned the latter, I am somewhat disappointed — perhaps in utter awe — that Puerto Rico was not even mentioned, except for few comments made by a Mexican lady regarding one of the Island’s traditional dishes (fufú) being similar to theirs, as part of PBS’s presentation where the African heritage has played a significant role in the island’s culture, identity as well. As a matter of fact, along with Antonio Maceo and José Martí, there was a black Puerto Rican, Arturo A. Schomberg, of African and German ancestry, who was instrumental in the War of Independence of the 1890s against Spain and a political luminary of his time while living in Harlem, NYC. Further, he made the latter borough his home (until his ultimate death) and embarked on a long time struggle advocating for not only Civil Rights, but also the betterment of the Latino (mainly Puerto Ricans and Cubans at the time) and Black communities. By the way, his extensive historical collection of black heritage amassed so much factual information that the City turned it into the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Perhaps the reason being for not mentioning Puerto Rico is the fact that by not being a sovereign nation, like the others portrayed in the documentary, belonging to the USA, it was not even considered.

    In closing, even with Puerto Rico’s — by the way, and Panama’s — omission in the documentary, it was an extraordinary piece of historical and factual information. Wish everyone the very BEST.

    With highest regards,

    Arnaldo Casillas-Berberena
    Originally from Carolina, Puerto Rico (currently residing in Rockville, MD)

    P. S. This is the link to Arturo Schomburg’s biography:

  • Jay

    This is an awesome program. Too many Americans think that “Latino” or “Hispanic” is a racial group or an ethnic group. It’s not. It’s only place of origin. The fact is many Latinos/Hispanics in the US are in fact Amerindians, many are black, many are white and even some are Asian. This programs shows that in the US we need to stop saying things like Hispanics/Latinos outnumber blacks. Because many of these folks as we see are black. This leads to question what is the real motive of the US Census to count the “Latino/Hispanic” population as a sub-group when there is no total population count of people from Anglo nations (of English speaking) regardless of race and lumped together as one group like we do the Latinos/Hispanics.

  • Carlos

    Black in Latin America Series (Musical ERROR Note)

    Hello Professor Gates,

    I saw your first episode Haiti / Dominican Republic. It was very informative, and I will watch all the up coming episodes. I don’t usually e-mail, but when you were interviewing the musician from Dominican Republic both of you were talking about Merengue, yet unfortunately the music they were playing was NOT Merengue it was the Cuban Son. Merengue is very fast pace and played with a Double Headed Drum and a Metal Guira (Scratching instrument) it’s timing is in 2/4. I was surprised that not you, but someone else didn’t catch this big musical mistake during the editing process. Merengue is played all over the Caribbean but it’s origin is Dominican. Just thought you should know so maybe this can be fixed before the DVD is released. After all it would make the most sense if an actual Merengue was playing while you are talking about Merengue.

    With Lots of Respect,

  • Mystic

    For everyone asking about the omission of Columbia, and other countries, read the Q&A with Gates:

    “Q: For Black in Latin America you visited Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. How did you choose to focus on these particular six countries?

    A: Well, we had to pick a country that reflected quite dramatically the history of the slave trade. So the largest countries with the biggest black populations are Brazil and Venezuela. So that was one category. We divided all the countries into categories. We only had four hours. We couldn’t do all the Caribbean and all of South America. We had to come up with criteria. So category one is size. Brazil’s the largest country in South America and it’s Portuguese-speaking, so that was interesting. Second, we wanted to do something representative from the Caribbean.”

    He only had 4 hours to work with, and he wanted to represent different areas. If he had 8 or 16 hours for the documentary, then sure he could’ve covered Columbia, Venezuela, Belize, and all the other countries. Had he spent time on Columbia, there would’ve been no time for the Caribbean or Central America, and the special would’ve been called “Blacks in SOUTH America”. But maybe the rest of us shouldn’t sit and wait; maybe someone else can take the baton from Prof. Gates and do our own individual documentaries on these countries! Don’t sit & complain, stand up & get active! :-)

  • Kent Taylor Hopkins

    I have been following the the extraordinary work of Dr Gates for a long time, and this documentary of blacks

    in latin america was very educational for me. I think every one should watch this historcal piece, as a matter of

    fact it should be included in our schools curriculum here in the U.S. Thanks again Dr gates I cant wait to see

    the rest of the four part series. It makes me more proud to be black after viewing this work.

  • Abraham Baker

    What about Belize? Everybody forgets Belize. A study of how Black Belizeans (namely English Creoles), Carib Indians (called Garifunas today), and Indo-Caribbeans (called Coolies within Belize) feel about heir “Blackness” can be bones for contention within Belize. Moreover, the groups have fought for socio-economic and political recognition within Belize against their fair-skin, Latin-Indian brethren such as the Mayans, Mestizos, and Kechies as well as mulattoes and white Europeans. The way the groups have interacted with each other throughout Belize’s history allows for very interesting observation, analysis, and qualitative data.

  • noordzee

    hey mr gates thank u for goin to latin america and do your story over there..
    i hope in the future u can go to my country suriname( or surinam) south america…..
    and i hope to hear from u
    thank u claudia

  • Renee B.

    Wow! What an eye opener, I sent this information to my daughter-in-law, who is part hispanic and german, she was amazed and informed as well.

    This is great information that needs a broader viewing.

  • Christine

    Thank you Professor Gates, for shedding light on the diversity of the cultures throughout Latin America and the Africano influence. My family has a mixture of Mexican-American and Dominican and I feel this series helps explain the beautiful diversity in Latin America. From the foods, culture and music. I feel Latin America is unique from many other countries because of the complex diversity that exist. I remember growing up and traveling to visit family in the DR and hearing how they viewed Hatians and the animosity between the two. After watching the first serious I began to understand. I feel that in Latin America we are more alike than we are different. I dislike that some countries with in Latin America feel they are better than others. We have a wonderful combination of food, culture and music and we should embrace it all. For this very reason I have started to create a website to celebrate the Latino Culture through food. Again thank you for this series.

  • Camila Maria

    Thanks for doing this program. I personally think that the Black population in Latin America is one of the most ignored and marginalized groups (Indian populations suffer too, but the Black population is almost never talked about)

    I do want to comment on what two other posters said though.

    @Abraham Baker…..Garifuna/Garinagu is a mixture of Carib and African, not just Carib Indians. But Belize is quite the interesting country, and yes everyone does forget about it, sadly. It’s one of the most diverse places I have ever seen in my life. Don’t forget the Lebanese, Chinese, Mennonites, Amish, Mexicans, Guatemalans that are also in Belize :) And the lovely mixtures in between :)

    @Carlos in Puerto Rico, Yes in the US we are usually categorized as Black and White. BUT we ARE a multicultural society as well–the same–European, Native American, and African–and we are all American (there are some issues yea I know about native americans being american, and even within the african american community)-but in an international aspect, you are American. Passports don’t say African American. My passport mentions nothing about the color of my skin, or anything like that. There are colors in Latin America. But in US, during maternal chattel slavery, it was the one-drop rule that favored. If your mother was black, or was a slave, so were you, and that means you are black, whether your father was white, or native american. There were mixtures, but the similar things happened–natives were killed, others were pushed into reservations–or living in remote areas separated from the rest of society. In many places of Latin America, they adopted the one drop of European blood, makes you European, no matter your complexion. Or some would talk about Natives as their ancestors. The point is it’s a multicultural place–the Americas. We have grown to be different in cultures, languages, etc…but there are very many similarities.

    Also I have experienced on both sides. Many blacks in Latin America don’t know about blacks in the US, nor do blacks know about blacks in Latin America: Ex: My brother got married to a Puerto Rican, grandfather looks at my brother’s new mother-in law and says “who’s that black woman?” As if being black and Puerto Rican have to be mutually exclusive, they can be one in the same. Ex 2: I’m in the Dominican Republic–they asked–are you Dominican? We have the same skin color. Or watch Sanky Panky and watch the bell hop get upset when there’s a black guy (I think he was from somewhere in the English speaking Caribbean, not sure) talking to a white woman, but he thought he was Dominican, how could he know, when they looked the same.

    The African Diaspora people….Get hip to it. It doesn’t mean you have to ignore your cultures and heritages as complex as they may be.

    From the girl who is proud to have Senegalese, Mexican/”India”, Puerto Rican, Creole, etc. heritage. Born and raised in the US, and all my families from here. We are categorized as Black/African American—but does that mean we are not mixed??? Hell fuckin no. Just saying. No African American person is a hundred percent “African” after the centuries of mixing.
    Just saying.

  • Louisa

    Dear Dr. Gates,

    How wonderful to keep turning the pages of our ancestry. Keep on keepin on, sharing our common cultural heritage, our African origins..I.hope you will follow this path along the route of the black madonnas and reach Sicily tooll!!!! Your friend and fan.



  • dee

    Wow I just read all these comments…
    Wow u puerto ricans are the proudest people in the world! He didn’t go to p.r. Get over it. The man has a small pbs budget… and I’m sorry cuba is a lot bigger and more interesting as as it is widely unknown… so is the dr\haiti story… And to the pr guy taking about dna facts.. Its already been proven that human life originated in africa… so essentially we are all african.. Deal with it…

  • Bonita Scye

    I thank you for this series. I am so proud of my culture. I hope you do a series on Cherokee Indians and Africans. I learned Fall semester, 2010 that all Africans didn’t come to the USA as slaves some came to work in servitude like my ancestors did. All African-Americans weren’t slaves. Once again thank you. I will be watching the reamaining three shows.

  • David Franco

    I wanted to like it and didn’t.. I would have preferred to not have it ‘hosted’ by Dr. Gates. He’s annoying and the point of view if the program is still shaped from his own black American experience. It’s not really presenting the point of view from each countries’ experience. He has a soft spot for Haiti. It’s clear. His presentation of the DR was one of a black denying country more aligned with Spain. He doesn’t even get the ‘motherland’ tongue in cheek reference that exists in Latin America and presents it as a warped truism, denying African culture. If his goal is to focus on Latin American countries that embrace Africa, Haiti is all there is. I was hoping to see more about the history of blacks in Latin America and the mark left on the new hybrid culture, mestizaje, that exists across Latin America which includes European and Indigenous/Native American. You have to look at colonialism- the good and the bad- to see what the results have been- the good ad the bad. A wasted opportunity and I know of other films that are going to do a better job.

  • S. Del PIno

    Although I’m a white Cuban, my ethnic background being Spanish and Italian, I too am very interested in learning about the black culture and the background of black Latins. I read several of the posting and agreed that it was about time to talk about Latin blacks. I have found over the years that the ever popular “Hispanic” or “Spanish” title has been given unfairly imposed on all Latins regardless of their color. What are we, a generic group of humans devoid of a race? I’m glad that people will finally realize that we Latins are not just Hispanic but also we are white or black or of mixed racial background. One note though, I found one woman’s posting not only racist but so incredibly slanted and insulting. This woman writes that the white Cubans in Miami where to blame for the racism in Cuba. This generalization is not only insulting but totally incorrect. To say that a whole group of people caused all the racism in Cuba is quite bigoted and absurd. Did this woman know all these White Cubans personally, to make such a bigoted statement? Did she interview white Cubans in Miami to come up with this statement? If you are going to make such an inflammatory remark, please have actual proof and not post your own personal prejudices. Merely by talking to one group of people on vacation does not the truth make.

  • Brenda H. Hargrove, Ed.D.

    I am so proud and excited to see that the importance of the African Diaspora is being explored! We are many mixtures and layers of people, but the beginning was Africa!
    Here is a curriculum project that I completed last summer after traveling to Mexico through a Fulbright Hays Seminar. I have been to Belize and felt right at home (many of the people could have been my cousins!). I was proud. Even when I went to Argentina, I woke up one day and saw Gabino Ezeiza, a Black troubadour, being honored on TV. The richness and style of Africa will never die! I want to be a part of spreading the knowledge!

  • Guy B. Lalanne

    Thank you, Professor Gates for your courage. I am Haitian, I know my history and I am aware of the world history, however many does not. While I was watching Black In Latin America, one phrase came to mind “Damage from Slavery” and one question came to mind “Are Black People in the positions and conditions they are today because of slavery and/or inspite of slavery?”

  • Mary Jane Perez Cornielle

    I would like to quote my Mother: “It’s not a shame being Black, what is a shame, is what they do to us for being Black.” Also, I would like to state, it amuses me how many White people, have Black ancestry, and they do not even know it. They do not know what their missing!

  • Janine

    I saw the show last night – Haiti & DR- at first I was so angry with the Dominicans – I kept saying what mirror are they looking in- but in the end I felt sadness for them and any other Black people who deny who they are . T
    I notice a lot of people love to say I’m this I’m that but being from a country is not the same thing as what race you are.
    I am so glad these shows are being done- There is nothgin wrogn with being Black it’s an honor.

    Mr. Gates your next series should be in English speaking islands such as the one I’m from

    I can’t wait to see the Cuban segmant.

  • Jazarti

    I doubt that Cartagena de Indias had a bigger role in the slave trade than Salvador, Bahia. Perhaps you meant to say that it was the most important in the Spanish Empire, not South America.

  • Regina

    I think there was alot of biases towards Dominicans. Many things were left out incorrectly stated. The Haitian side of the documentary was good though.

  • Latinanatlee

    Something like this has been long awaited. Hope PBS can provide translations of all Latin American languages. It would be great to show this at a family event, but with a translated version. Thanks for starting the discussion!

  • Guy B. Lalanne

    Thank you, Professor Gates, most people lack the courage to discuss race.

    I am Haitian, I know my history and I am aware of the world history, and many do not. Viewing the program “Black In Latin America” one phrase came to mind “Damage from Slavery” and one question came to mind, “Are Black People in the situations and conditions they are in today because of Slavery or inspite of Salavery?”

  • Abigail2901

    HI I am a proud Dominican raised in NY and the 1st series of Black in Latin America was beautifully executed can’t wait to watch the next episodes!!! HOWEVER the music played as Merengue was Salsa that’s my only complaint kudos!!!

  • ronniegirl

    I have studied the history of the spanish conquistadors and there various conquests throughtout the new world. However, it astonishes me with Gates documentary to learn just how much Africans were taken all over the continents and islands. I am a 4th generation Mexican American. With assimilation I never knew anything about my own culture except for maybe the food. The hunger for knowledge and to really know who I am and where I came from drove me to topics such as these. I love to learn about the history of people and cultures and how we came to be. It is very fascinating! I wish more people would learn just how closely related we all really are. Depsite skin color. Maybe then it would bring a better understanding and respect for human life.

  • Jennifer Estrella

    I am ecstatic to see this work broadcasted here in the United States, and for perhaps European viewers as well, that uncovers the highly counter-intuitive facts of the races that make up the Latin American culture. It is easy for American education to encompass an entire ethnicity under the umbrella of the Latino label and for its learners to generalize the make-up of the highly varied Spanish-speaking nations of the Americas. Being Dominican-American myself, it is unfortunate for me to say that my American upbringing and education has not adequately (if at all) educated me about my culture and ancestry. I was fortunate to grow up in the Bronx, New York and take on a bilingual education that by luck in the third grade enabled me a Puerto Rican teacher in the third grade who felt it was important one day in our history lesson to incorporate the story of the Greater Antilles’ rich racial ancestry. I grew up PROUD to inform everyone (Americans and Dominicans themselves) that I am made up of a beautiful mix of Black, Spanish and Taino Indian culture.

    I find Professor Gates’ research amazingly put together yet I feel as though the stress on Dominicans’ rejection of their Black heritage was not sufficiently profound. Yes there are political factors such as the reign of Trujillo that very much so created a collective consciousness of race among Dominicans against Blackness, yet I feel that today a Dominican’s self identity is not explicitly a rejection of their African heritage. I feel it should have been more stressed that the dominant Dominican identity is that of being mixed and perhaps this mixed notion might’ve diluted Black pride as well as the other factors in our racial makeup. I should be noted that Spanish heritage has been abandoned too as we’ve adopted the term Latino instead of Hispanic. The notions of race amongst Dominicans are not exactly of relevance when it comes to defining their identity because racial consciousness is not so much inculcated in the Dominican people as it has been in Americans. Naturally, Gates would try to look into this coming from an American background where race is a more tangible notion in society, but as the anthropologist he interviewed said, it is not until a Dominican comes to the United States that they are stricken with a sense of self race identity. In America, the census requires us to check a box that describes our racial makeup. In the Dominican Republic we are simply all Dominicans of a mixed race.

    I was very much stimulated by Gates research in Haiti though. It is refreshing to see a more positive perspective on the upbringing of this nation. Especially recognizing them as the first Black liberated nation of the New World. Strong people these Haitians are. I was glad to hear that the relations between the DR and Haiti are less opposing in present-day. I would also like to clarify, some of the resentment between the two nations in history was compared to the ideas taken on in America by whites towards blacks…perhaps a closer similarity of the DR and Haiti’s relation would be that of America and Mexico with the immigration circumstances.

    Overall, I am elated to watch Black in America! two thumbs up :)

  • tiffany g

    am belizean and am a lil perplexed why he didn’t come to belize. because we are the only english speaking country in central america, have a significant amount of black people from so many different ethnicities (creole, garifuna, etc) we would definitely put an interesting spin in his documentary on how we honestly view ourselves in the diaspara. hope he does come back next time.

  • VeroB

    This program was awesome and I cant wait for the rest….I am of mixed racial background. My mother is Mexican American and my father Black American. It is SO frustrating to see many Latinos not embracing their true racial heritage. Even to the point of straight up denial. Being black does not mean that you are American or that you have to deny your culture of language, food, music, etc. Clearly though we Americans have a different view of race. Our president, a mixed man is considered Black. I consider myself Black. It doesn’t matter what shade of brown we are. We clearly cannot deny our ancestry. I have friends with decedents from Panama, PR, DR who are CLEARLY Black but would not dare identify as such. Its sad because I have been to Africa and have never felt more proud of a culture that lets face it, I don’t know well enough. Embracing culture is wonderful but not if its a lie that has been ingrained for generations. I am ‘proud to be an American’ but I know what that means, for part of my ancestry was stripped and American became the culture. This is also true if you say I am Dominican or Cuban etc…. For the reasons outlined in the first installment I feel our Latino neighbors have a disadvantage. I’m grateful to learn more!

  • Charo S.

    A bit of an oversimplification of a complex subject. We can all agree that an hour is not sufficient to cover the subject matter at hand in any of the countries in this series. Still, I await the next episode and remain a fan of Mr. Gates’ work.

  • Guy B. Lalanne

    Black people are obsess with hispanics, latino and Latin Americans being black. Why is that? Often I hear black people say things like, “They think, they are white, you know they are not white.” For me as far as I am concern, I see myself first and foremost as a human being, second as a man and thirdly as a black man therefore I am not preoccupy with Latinos being black or white.

  • sharrieff furqan

    thank you again Dr. gates for your excellent work it is always rewarding to our intellectual development of which we are always in need of. Dr. Gates I pray to G-D that one day soon you will have THE DR. HENRY LOUIS GATES JR. DOCUMENTARIES ON THE OPARAH WINFREY NETWORK . YOU’LL BE WATCHED 24/7.

  • tata, DR (CIBAO)

    Dr. GATES I am so overjoyed, so happy, thrilled that finally somebody took the stand, rose up with full courage to talk about the untouchables, the unspoken BLACKS IN LATIN AMERICA. Dr. Gates I hope that through this documentary well educated people from our countries ( specially DOM REP) historians with post graduate degrees will rise up and write our black history united with anthropologists, psychologists. I AM BLACK with very light complexion born in the US but I grew up in the middle section of Dom Rep , and started to feel discrimination the minute I stepped in that country by my own family members from my step father (which by the way they were black) and my mothers side of the family (mixed breed). It did not matter from both sides the lighter folks with the fair features even if they were dark skin would call me all kinds of names… and I grew up with low self esteem (just because I had the body, hair type and black facial features)… Now I fully embrace my blackness so I am not This is not the point that I’m here commenting on your documentary. When I grew up and went back to the US and finished my studies I understood why dominicans are the way they are… I always felt frustrated because our schools in DR do not teach the truth about our history. The goverment and educational system has brain washed our communitities and this ignorance does not let us progress. THanks DR GATES!!!!

  • Marquita

    Thanks Lisa Ellerbee for your information:

    Tony Gleaton, Africa’s Legacy In Mexico Part 1 of 3, You can find this on You Tube

  • Francisco

    I thought the documentary was very good. However, I felt that more effort should have been made to explain how the indigenous population played a role in establishing modern day Afro Latinos. Also, for me personally, the term “Black” corresponds directly to the African American experience. For me being Latino (or Afro Latino) to try and understand me based on my color is ridiculous. Why would I not identify with my Spanish or Indian side just as much? For most of my life, my experience has been that of an islander in the Caribbean. To have me neglect all of this, and suddenly embrace my “Blackness”, well I don’t even know what that means.

    Americans focus too much on the color of a persons skin. I believe in supporting my family, respecting my elders, showing my children how to become productive citizens, and practicing my faith. I do this with the unique flavor that my Puerto Rican heritage has provided me. I am proud of who I am.

    I feel sad for people who focus on this subject too much. Ultimately I believe they are letting the opportunity to grow who you are now slip right by. Embrace who you are, not what you “think” you are.

  • Rod

    Powerful, very powerful. It funny, because my family is from Panama and when I visit my family in Panama City, they get upset when I tell them that there not latinos and there black. I did find my experience in the Dominican Republic different than your documentary though, Afto Centric art can be seen throughout that country, and I did get into an argument with one of the bell boys who thought I was disrpecting him for not treating him like a black brother. Big up to Santo Domingo. The tension between the Hatians and Dominican is thick, becasue as you noted in the docmentary, they are doing the meanal jobs. Great job prof Gates

  • Julio Martinez

    As an Afro Boricua (Puerto Rican), I was glad to see this program on PBS. There need to be more programs like this shown on television to educate whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Too many people think, all Hispanics or Latinos are light skin/white with straight European features. I grew up in El Barrio in Spanish Harlem. Racism does exist amongst Puerto Ricans based on hair texture and skin color. Out of ignorance, people think all Dominicans are black/moreno and all Puerto Ricans are light skin/blanco. There are many light skin/mulatto Dominicans and many dark skin or black Puerto Ricans. In the future, I hope Dr. Gates will focus more on racism within the Hispanic community. I now live in Washington, DC and there are a lot of Salvadorans and other Central Americans living in this area. I’ve found many Salvadorans to be very racist towards Afro Latinos and black U.S. citizens.

  • RoxC

    I will definitely be watching! I am Peruvian, I look European because of my paternal ancestors, but my grandmother was Black and I have always been interested in this side of my history, and wondered if I even had slave ancestors. Being so racially mixed, I think makes me more fun and interesting :)

  • Guy B. Lalanne

    We accept people who are bi-racial, this a case of Option-racial. If you are a bi-racial person and you look black than you are black for example president Obama, If you look white than you are white ie Blake Griffin of the Clippers. There must be a science to this, the question where is the science?

  • Bronxarican Borinquen

    This statement is very well put by E. Sanchez and I couldn’t agree with him more. Mr. Gates is looking at Latinos from an African American perspective as an African American who is out of touch with the Latino culture. There is no denying that Latinos come in many colors, there is no denying our pride for being Latino and united through that pride.

    Personally speaking, as a brown-skinned “mulutta” Puerto Rican who has been to the island throughout my life I have never experienced, seen or heard of any racial tensions. Now I am not saying that it does not exist but its not blatant “in your face” as you would see here in the states among African Americans within their own culture. Now this is a topic that would definately be worth exploring because I’ve seen among friends or randomly obvious disregard to “mulatto/a” vs. stronger African featured African Americans espeically among the women.

    However, it is very common to have the same Latino parents and have siblings with different complections, hair textures of features so there is an “acceptability” among Latinos with different looks. This is because it’s common and within our own family without having to date outside our culture. It’s what makes being Latino beautiful our cultural mix (indigenous natives/Spaniards/African/European/and in some cases Asian).

    I truly hope that Mr. Gates experience doesn’t come across to others as trying to divide Latino people. Also, that the American 1 drop rule is not imposed on other non-American cultures because thats just another mentality driving to divide. Instead, I hope that everyone watching Mr. Gates vision sees that our Latino history isn’t the same as African Americans or Americans for that matter. Of course, the slave ships were sent to our countries/islands so we have African roots and yes these roots are embraced despite what may come across in non-Latino’s interpretations of us. Just taste our food, listen to our music and explore our Latino culture further on your OWN and you WILL find the Arfican influences are strongly there and even more so in NOS RAZA than in the African American food/music/culture. There is no denying that if you take the time to find the truth on your own.

    E. Sanchez

    “April 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm
    Mr. Gates vision is clearly partial and seemingly an attempt to draw a distinction between the “blacks” in South and Central American, and the Caribbean and the other folks who live among them, you know, ….the light skinned Latinos. But for someone who has never lived his childhood there, he has no inkling of the bonds held between most people who live in South, Central, North America, and the Caribbean, which include “blacks”, light skinned folks and everyone in between. If he truly understood “our” thing…..our RAZA, he would clearly see that regardless of the color of the people in Latin America….we are ALL Latinos!! We share a culture including music, religion, food and customs which date back hundreds of years. Just as in the U.S of course, there is racism but not on a level felt in the U.S. In Latin America….we are Latinos. We do not distinguish ourselves between being white, black, yellow, what have you. Ask yourselves if you have ever experienced that sort of unity in American among the blacks. I think not.
    I think what Mr. Gates is attempting to accomplish is division knowing full well that Latinos….and we are many colors, are now the largest minority in the United States and in order to remain relevant in the public debate, perhaps in his most vain assault he would like to introduce a topic so as to divide the Latino community among colors. You cannot speak to the history of blacks in South America without first including ALL Latinos of South America. This is not about color nor should it be. We are Latinos…We are La Raza.”

  • Carolyn Thomas

    Unfortunately what this video leaves out is just as important to the story and to understand the differences between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The DR was ruled by Spain, France and England at different times during its colonial history, and had a large native tribe of Tainos long before the europeans and africans arrived. The mixing of all of these colors and cultures is what makes up the Dominican culture. Travel the entire country and the range of skin tone and eye color is vast. It is a true melting pot in the center of the Caribbean. To consider it black or european or racist is a disservice to the island nation.
    The hatred/dislike of the haitians is not due to racism but due to the brutal invasion of the fledgling free country of the Dominican Republic in the 1800’s. 22 years of brutal haitian rule brought about loyal dominicans who, after having fought hard against spanish rule, now had to fight against haitian rule as well. The two countries are as different as black and white – not because of skin color but because of culture. Yet, even though the ancient history cannot be erased, the dominicans have been the best neighbors during Haiti’s recent tragedy and all through their political tragedies as well. They are now paying the price, even though they are a third world country also, of being overrun by the enormous migration of haitians to their cities and beaches in search for the work they cannot find in their own country. Please tell the complete story and not just the one that fits in with your own views. Thanks for your time. Arq. Carolyn D Thomas, FSIA

  • Katharine Soriano

    Dear Mr. Gates,

    Thank you for doing this documentary. It was very interesting, Although my parents are from South America Ecuador. I have to say that my grandmother was dark skin and so was my grandfather now made me believe some my ancestors are black. ( I am light skin here in America I am considered many times as a white woman and not Latina decent). Ecuador does have a population of blacks plus there is providence in Ecuador called “Esmeraldas” where its prodomently black. I had a relative that came from this providence “Esmeraldas” there they have their own food, practice some of their religion, and have their own dance. By watching this preview and this documentary I have realized and has open my eyes that even though I look like a white woman living in America that I too have have some black in me. Very proud to learn about the rich culture and be part of it. Please take a look at this link below. You may find this very interesting

    Katharine Soriano-Cruz

  • Katharine Soriano-Criz

    Hello Mr. Gates,

    As I stated before about Ecuador here is a video from “Esmeraldas Ecuador” playing the music Marimba that is heard in that providence of Ecuador I hope you enjoy!!


  • Paul Desmonde

    Enjoying the series. Thank you Dr. Gates. I am South American of Guyanese birth. I am curious to know if you have done any studies of the Guianas ie; Guyana (British), Suriname (Dutch), and French Guyana. Like the English speaking people of Belize in Central America, we are often overlooked as South Americans. Primarily because we are non-Spanish, non-Portuguese speakers. Guyanese are (listed by majority descending) East Indians Hindu, African, Mixed, Pakistani Muslim, Amerindian natives, Portuguese, Chinese, and Europeans.

    Non the less we share the same origins /struggles (the African Diaspora) yet posses unique cultural contrast to our Latin counterparts. I hope you can implement our presence during this series or some time in a future documentary.

  • Patricia

    I had the opportunity to view “Blacks in Latin America (Cuba…)” and I want to commend Dr. Gates and PBS for daring to explore the culture of Africans living in Latin America. I’m privileged to be an instructor of English for Students of Other Languages, in which I teach English primarily to Latinos. I’ve noticed that too often they do not acknowlege their African culture. I wonder if it is because it is not taught at home or is it because this part of their history is ignored by parents and society. There were various lessons shared in this documentary, from which I benefited tremendously. I am currently brainstorming methods in which I can incorporate this video, if not all, into my lessons. Perhaps this will empower the Latino students to embrace their rich African heritage.

    As I became engrossed in Dr. Gate’s documentary, I was compelled to include my child, who is black, since I felt that seeing how the struggles for blacks expand to other parts of the world was a needed lesson. Moreover, I thought it was important for him to observe the similarities of the struggles faced by blacks in Latin America to those faced by blacks in America. I celebrate Dr. Gates along with PBS for having the vision to educate the world on the contributions that Africans have made and to society. I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary on Blacks in Latin America – Cuba and look forward to viewing more…

  • aleswly

    Why is Argentina and Mexico not so good to Black people.
    Just simple answer,if possible.

  • Graciela Vega Carbajal

    Dear Professor Gates,
    Thank your bringing attention to the richness of Africa in Latin America.
    Many scholars have looked into the African presence in Mexico but it needs to be part of the national identity. We need to recognize and give credit where credit is due. Thank you for having this film bring attention to discussion on race. Your documentary series reminds of this art show my family visited at the Oakland Museum.

  • Maurizio Venegas

    This is a great documentary…. I wish this preview was translated…. I am posting it to my Facebook but a lot of my friends only understand Spanish…. Thank you.

  • Victor Cruz

    Dr. Gates, all I can say is WOW, great work! As a Latino of Puerto Rican descent I have always wondered about the history of my ancestors with regard to slavery, colonialism, etc. I grew-up wondering why, although my skin is fairly light, my hair isn’t as… how should I say manageable as I would think it should be for my skin tone. But in seeing my fathers darker skin tone, I have always wondered how slavery in early Puerto Rico has something to do with my families history. Anyhow, your series answers many of my longstanding questions. thank you!

  • Toni Robinson

    Unfortunately, one of the most profound revelations of these trilogies is that the American practice of racism was promoted and rewarded in these Latin nations. When the divisions were removed, the economic support was punitively withdrawn. Once the question of race was set aside and the castes became one people, they always succeeded in removing oppressive and dominating forces from their lands, even though in the end it resulted in economic retailiation. Now I understand how these countries became so economically deprived and also the role America played in each instance. It is also abundantly clear that the deep the roots of racism stretched out from America to choke the human history in Latin countries as well. I am so proud that we are a people of resilence and strength here in America but I am overjoyed to know that these qualities exist anywhere and everywhere African ancestry resides. We are a world wide majority!

  • Miranda

    I wish a documentary could be done about African heritage in Puerto Rico. I have observed that many don’t discuss their African heritage either and always mention the Taino and Spanish heritage….this is in our own back yard.

  • Andrea

    This series has been extremely informative, well-produced, and long overdue!!! Special thanks to Professor Gates and PBS! I praying for a part two, including Colombia, Venezuela, and Panama!!! Thanks again for helping to educate America about our Afro Latino neighbors, so sad this isn’t taught in school.

  • Alan Kobrin

    I have to agree at least in part with Doondi (April 8, 2:22 am) when he states, while this program is welcomed, it doesn’t seem to get into the lopsided race relations in terms of who owns what and who rules in these countries. Land and power distribution have always gone hand-in-hand with the disdain for the colorful African ancestry of the many communities across LATIN (western European, don’t forget) America. The diverse slave population did not put themselves on boats to come west. That relationship between white and the multitude of “blacks” persists today in favelas, ghettos and legislatures across the hemisphere. You simply cannot talk in an isolated way of the cultural aspects of Afro history in the so-called New World (Euro-focus again), without considering the story of capitalism, its “needs”, and what made it work. The fact that PBS seemingly attempts to do so shows its own vulnerability to pressures of dominant forces in capitalism which would like to shut it down. Congratulations to Prof. Gates. We need to go further if we are to understand.

  • Chuka OKonta

    Dr. Gates, thank you very much for this inciteful documentary. I wish I can have all my brothers and sisters see this back home in Nigeria where I’m from. I’ve always wanted to explore the connections of the Latin and African culture which is undeniably connected without any doubt. You can see it in both cultures cuisines, music, dance and a sense of enjoying life in midst of poverty. The African culture has such richness and diversity that this documentary cannot capture all of it in this series, so Dr. Gates we are pleading for you to explore the history a little bit more. Perhaps a longer series?

  • david battersby

    I am a Canadian, a gay white male, and my partner is a gay black Brazilian. As I watch this documentary I am filled with a sense of desperation and anger. Having lived much of my life in Vancouver Canada, I have always been surrounded by a racially diverse population. I have also always been extremely sensitive to any kind of discrimination. This sensitivity is surely the result of my own experiences of discrimination, real or imagined. Discrimination that goes unacknowledged has the most insidious affect on those that bear its burden. There is nothing worse than being denied the truth of one’s experience. You only need to watch the evening news, or a popular talk show on Brazilian television to see that something is terribly amiss. Other than criminals, soccer stars and the odd musician you rarely see any representation of the racial diversity of Brazil. There aren’t even any blacks in the studio audience! It is hard to imagine a future, where you can’t see yourself reflected in the present. Thanks so much for producing this documentary.

  • Claudia

    It is a wonderful series. Blacks have never seen themself as a nation and in my opinion is not proud to associate themself with a black nation as in general there is none which such a stellar reputation – African countries are still considered corrupt and have too much bad publicity. Until blacks can see themself as a nation and not as ‘browning’ or ‘half white’ or ‘light skinned’ the continued discrimination and self-doubt will be hard to address. Systemic discrimination is hard to fight individually but as a group of proud (not negative) balck people, whether rich or poor, black people can start to tear down the wall that exists after so many years

  • blacklatina



  • Jean F. Colin

    “All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words “Ich bin ein Berliner”. John F. Kennedy in Berlin 1963.

    President Obama will make history when he visit Haiti for the first time. And, as the first black president of the United States, I hope he can paraphrase President Kennedy with these important additional words as he honors the heroes of the Haitian Revolution.

    All free men and women of African descent in the Americas, wherever they may live, are citizens of Haiti, and, therefore, as a free black man in the Americas, I take pride in the words “Moi aussi, je suis fier d’etre haitien”
    ( I am also pride to be Haitian.)

  • Lisa Angelettie

    This was a fantastic series. I really learned a lot about my culture, my husband’s heritage, and many other Latin people. This is why everyone should support PBS. Where else would we something so well done, educational, and entertaining.

  • EloTalks!

    Your segment on “Black in Latin America – Mexico and Peru,” was eye opening for me but at the same time made me wonder if your own biases were integrated in your research about prejudice in these two countries. I grew up in Peru. My father had a black friend, and Andean friends, and I guess if your research is free of bias, then I grew up color-blind. It was surprising for me to see there is prejudice in Peru. I was disappointed that you did not research a little deeper because you would have found, not only Cecilia Baca, but another even more famous black singer Eva Ayllon, who is very loved. Peru’s music was also predominantly omitted, which is testament of the greater integration of Peruvian society than portrayed in this documentary; Peruvian music has a very heavy afro-base. I mean look up Eva Ayllon in YouTube. Another omitted aspect of Afro-Peruvian integration is “Peru Negro,” another well acclaimed Peruvian dance group of African-based traditional dances. And what about the famous Peruvian Cajon. I feel that amongst all Latin America cultures, Peru is one of the most Afro-integrated societies. They have zamacueca, tondero, lando, festejo, salsa, merengue, chicha, etc. I do hope you go back to Peru and research a little deeper, so you can find people like my family that love and appreciate African ancestry.

  • Dorette w

    I would love to thank Dr. Gates for doing this wonderful documentary ,my family and my self have really enjoyed watching this.. please come back with others like this..

  • Hanifa Saunders

    I am of African-American and Jamaican descent and having grown up around carribean people all my life and having friends who are Black Latinos, I have witnessed both sides of this particular coin. The pride in being both Black and Latino, and the predjudice regarding racing and skin color as well. I was happy to see the stories of blacks in latin countries, glad to see their stories being shown to the world.

  • Carlos Vidalc

    I sent this letter in April, no amswer so far. anyway there it is:
    Prof. Henry Gates
    Professor Gates it is a pleasure to salute you. I respect you a lot because of your work and consistency of your criteria. Nevertheless this time I am writing you because I Just watched the documentary on Haiti and Dominican Republic, an island divided, and found a couple of mistakes that are thought to let go.
    First, the musician in the interview is not Frank Cruz is Francis Santana. He is very well known and loved in this country.
    Second, the person that said that he is black, represent a point o view that is racist in itself because denies that Dominicans have more Hispanics heritage than Africans. Color has nothing to do here. It is culture.
    There are other points to discuss because shows some bias but I will address only the most important.
    The Dominicans don’t think in black and white. Nobody in a sane mind can blame us for that. None can characterize us like that. We know our heritage and we don’t deny it, which is no true. Despite of our mix heritage and race we are very, very different than Haitians. Our culture is unique and different.
    Please do not pretend, because of your obvious sympathy for Haitians, which I welcome, to favor the ill intention of certain groups to unify the island for their economic and dominion interest and convenience. These two countries should be help to understand, assist and cooperate with each other, but anyone favoring any suggestion of assimilation is wrong.
    This documentary is done, I guess nothing could we do to correct it, but should be some kind of apology to the people of Dominican Republic. If you are a serious person, as I believe, you will find the way to do it.
    Carlos Vidal

  • Robert

    After watching the video: Haiti and the Dominican Republic, An Island Divided, I came to the conclusion that having Haitians go back to the Dominican Republic in the 20th century after they had occupied it for more than twenty years, to cut sugar cane, a demeaning job that the Dominican themselves refused to do, was the biggest insult inflicted on the Haitian citizens by their own government whose job was to contribute to their pride and well-being. Allowing Haitians to play such a role is similar to having British citizens come pick crops in America, an insult that the British government would never inflict on their citizens.

    I hope that this new Haitian government is going to work tirelessly in order to help Haiti regain its pride and create the conditions that will make it possible for all the Haitians living in sub-human conditions in places like the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Island, to name these few, can go back Home and contribute wholeheartedly to the renewal of their country. If Haiti had embraced the Scientific Method, it would have been by now among the developed countries of the world because it would have shared the characteristics that made them capable of protecting the dignity of their citizens.

    Haiti has in its history played roles that are too big , and has contributed to the advancement of too many powerful nations to be ridiculed and insulted by the most meaningless countries and the least educated citizens of the world. Haiti has, in order words, changed the role that Black people were brought to play on the American continent. Therefore, Haiti must feverishly work to get rid off the poorest country in the hemisphere status, a label that those who may be jealous of its glorious past find much pleasure placing on its shoulder.

    I hope that the Haitians do not take too long to realize that to help Haiti regain its pride and respect as a nation, so that the Children of Haiti living in foreign lands can have a break from all the insult, disrespect, and assault they have been subjected to, they will need to work hard and will need to make of the scientific method the cornerstone of all their actions.

  • Rhonda

    Dr. Gates:

    The series of documentaries on race relations is very similar to the African Creek Indian people of Oklahoma, Known as the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen. We are a group of people of African decent, who can document our genealogy and history to the Creek Indian people/Creek rolls. African Creek Indian people served in Indian Territory as Senators, Judges, and were Interpreter as they were fluent in the Creek language. They Served as Indian Chiefs and were Treaty signers. They lived and dwelled in the nation, only to be disenfranchised from a Nation that they severed. Yes kicked out of the tribe in 1979. Please visit for more information about the African Creek Indian Freedmen people. We are still here in the great State of Oklahoma.

    Sharon and Rhonda

  • Angie

    Señor Doctor Gates!

    I love this series, however It’s so terribly disappointing that you left out Colombia and Venezuela in it.

    How come that is possible?

    I enjoyed all the episodes of this series, very informative.



  • Tony

    Thanks so much,its about time people are enlightened.I grew up in NYC,and my dad was born in Suriname and my mother was born in Grenada ,so I was well aware of my African heritage.Unlike many of the Latin American people of African origin I grew up with,they distance themselves and didn’t acknowledge they too have African roots that bind us together.The only difference is our ancestors were drop of at different places and that’s the reason they speak a different language.What they really need is a trip to the Gold Coast and visit Elmina Castle.Thanks again!!!!

  • Jairo

    I was born a Black Brazilian and naturalized African American. I can truly that the PBS story told about being Black in Latin America, primarily Brasil, is as close to the truth that one can get.
    I believe that African Americans are blessed with being able to have an identity as many other Afro Latin Americans don’t have such opportunity or choice.
    I think that it is really sad to see all of the blacks in Latin American trying to identify themselves with any and everything but being black. This is not so by choice but their society has condition an entire race to act in such way.
    I guess that I am one of the lucky ones who was able to get out to live in a country that we are proud to say and be what we are… I’m Black and I’m Proud!!!
    Thank you Dr. Gates!

  • vjay farrell

    ‘I have made of one blood all nations to dwell upon the face of the earth…..’ many faces, colors, shape and sizes..
    imagine what it would be like if we REALLY cared for each other…….we wouldn’t be in the condition that the world
    is in now…….Our maker had a plan, better than man could ever think of.

  • Juana


  • Juana

    West African+Arawakan/Carib Natives=Garifuna

  • Juana

    Thank you for this series

    Please next time look into Central America Garifuna people who are the product of west Africans who escaped slavery and Arawakan/Carib Natives, who were forcesibly exiled by the British from their native homeland of St Vincent and the Grenadines in the caribean to Honduras Central America. Despite being twice brutally removed from Home the Garifuna people Maintained Their African/Ameridian Culture Alive.

    Garifuna Language Arawakan/Carib sprinkled with French,varies West African language, English, Spanish
    Food Ameridian and African -machuca/casave/tapado/pescado/coco
    Music Punta/Paranda/Drums 90 to 100% African influence

  • Eva Reyes

    Thanks so much for this documentary. It was so sad to see/feel the repression in Cuba, and I know that from my personal experience. I am a Afro-Cuban living in the US and it is hard for me, sometimes, to understand why people don’t see me as Cuban, Often people ask me where am I from, even the Cubans, ask me if I am Dominican, or Brazilian, or from Panama. Because, the majority of Cuban that migrated to the US (Miami) were mainly white. So, today I am dealing the is blindness for a second time in my life, Still needs to proof my identity. (smile)

    I will show it to my Afro-Cuban-American son. Thanks

  • revista finca raiz bogota

    Este en realidad es un post muy interesante. Quiero comenzar mi propio oficina de comercio de vivienda y por esto trato conocer lo mas que pueda sobre el tema y adicionalmente sobre software y negocios. Su articulofue de mucha ayuda. Pero bueno, tambien buscotiempo para la diversion. Nuevamente muchas gracias =)

  • Alberto

    Being Belizean, I think that this documentary is great because i’ve come across a lot of people who don’t realize that there are Blacks in Central America. Infact in all countres except El Salvador, most of the blacks on the Caribbean Coast are English speaking. Officially Belize is an English speaking country so we do get exempt from a lot of the stats but most of us are Bilingual and have a proud Caribbean/ Latin American Heritage and can definitely relate to this program. Thanks for letting the world know about us Black people that exist in Latin America….

  • Miguel Cabrera Peña

    Estimado Henry Louis Gates Jr.
    Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research.

    Soy un cubano que vive en Chile y quisiera –por la alta estimación que tengo de su talento– que leyera con fines críticos mi tesis doctoral, que se titula: ¿Fue racista José Martí? Perspectiva sobre su visión de los negros en Cuba y Estados Unidos.

    Esta tesis obtuvo la máxima puntuación en el examen de grado que rendí en el Instituto de Estudios Avanzados de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile.

    Sus opiniones serían una enorme ayuda para lo que en el futuro puede convertirse en libro.

    Con sincera admiración,
    Miguel Cabrera Peña

  • Justin

    Thanks to my wonderful professor, Doctora Zobler, for recommending this video. It is very interesting.

  • Nikkie

    For years I have wanted to know about my famioy heritage. In America, I would be identified as African-American. But looking at my family ancestors, there is no doubt tha that is not the only race/culture that makes up my family. Especially on my dad’s side of the family. I recently learned that my great grandmother may have come from Cuba. How exciting, seeing as though I hold a BA in Spanish Langauge and Culture. I now put other on any informational paperwork that I submit. I am proud of my African roots, but realize that there are other races mixed in to make us who we are. I cannot wait to see this.

  • Ron

    Have not yet seen the series but will certainly purchase it. It is important that we become aware of all the countries throughout Latin America where black people live and know the conditions under which they live as well as the gains they have made in academia, law, politics , sports, religion and business.It is important that either Dr. gates or some other researcher expand this work so that we can gain a greater insight into the life and times of mblacks throughout Latin America. I believe the English Speaking caribbean [ The islands] have a lot to teach all of us. The importance of blacks in the USA leanring two other languages is also highlighted here: Spanish and Portugese. It is also critical that successful blacks in the USA reach out to blacks in latin America by investing and holidaying in these areas.

  • jennifer lopez

    im 15 years old i come frome Belizean parents on my mom side she is black and spanich and my dad is meztisos and mixed with black too. i realize that many Americans dont know that there is blacks in latin america they tink that every one that speaks spanish just has long hair tan skin when in fact you could be asian, black, etc and speak spanish for example i had a freind from cuba they were afro latino but the person only knew spanish and white and black americans would look at her as if she came from MARS that crap pisses me off and i think schools should be teachin us more about latin america period. shout out to my BELIZEANS GUATAMALANS PANAMAIANS HONDURIANS ETC. ALL OFF CENTRAL AMERICA

  • Sandra Vargas

    I found this episode extremely refreshing, I had no idea like most Mexicans how deep African culture has influenced Mexican cultured. I’ve always wondered what happened to the African population in Mexico as most people in Mexico claim to be mestizos (part Spanish and Indian). I find a lot of entries of blacks and mulatos in the old baptismal and marriage records from churches in “La Nueva España” as I research my genealogy in Mexico city. Personally I haven’t found any mulatos or blacks in my genealogy but I wouldnt be surprised if there were given the history of Mexico. However I do have extended family in Mexico that have some African features but as always they attribute it to an Indian ancestor. I think as Mexicans we should be proud to be all three races and cultures.

  • Carlos A.

    Great investigative series! Very educational. I am looking forward to a second part – Puerto Rico, Panama, Colombia and even what happened to the Blacks who were part of the St Augustine colonization in Florida. ( very interesting.

  • Marlon Michael Robinson Coombs

    Hello to everyone,
    How wonderful to finally have such investigative reports on the Black race, it’s various cultures and the Origin of slavery. I was born and reaized in the Republic of Panama, I’m proud to be panamanian but also proud to be black, i’m a Afro Latino. The cool thing is that i have been using this expresion long, long before learning about all this investigative documentary that the wonderful Dr Gates has brought to the public’s knodledge. It was simple to me, if i’m black, born in latin america then i’m Afro Latino. Is that so hard to understand?
    Anyway, somuch i have learned about my race from these reports and somuch more i want to learn. In the pass it was difficult to find information about the black race and black history simply because there was not much of it written in books and what was writte then was left up to the writer to convey what he wanted rather than facts and this is why i love this DVD reporting that Profesor Gates and PBS have made because not only do you have the facts about the matter but you also have a visual, you see the places and the people and their opinions or comments. My black history for the longest was every thing i had manage to learn in the USA with the black’s strugle for equality.
    I have read most of the comments made here and one thing stands out in my mind, no one, absolutely no one has said at any time that any of what Mr Gates reported is false, and that’s the beuty of this documentary.
    Children should be thought this in elementary school all the way up to hight school and college. I most certainly wish i had it growing up, something to make me understand better where I actually came from, something to make me proud. Even has a teenager, I never called my self hispanic like I see somany of my freinds and family do, I knew something about me was different from my fellow white skinned class mate, could it be that my skin was somuch darker? lololol.
    Some say they never felt the racial difference back in their native lands in latin america until they came to the US but that’s not true. We all felt it and seen it but the difference is that back in latin america it is almost look down on for soemone to treat a black person in a discriminative way, we inter mingle somuch more in our daily lives that it is kinda stupid to even want to act that way but do not think for a second that it is not there and their aren’t people who feel that because of their color they are better. Were do you think expressions like Chombo and calungo or other degreding words came about? Yeah they probably had a different meaning in the beginning but eventually became of a negative connotation just like the word Nigger in the US.
    I’m a man of African descent, born in latin america, raized in a mostly hispanic culture with a touch of african roots(food, dance etc). When i look at myself in the mirror i see the black race and that’s the race i identify myself with. I suggest everyone to do the same. It does not mean you cannot identify with what little Indian, french, italian or whatever else you have in you, just accept maybe the fact that you’re of afro descent also. But if after looking at yourself you see any other race then by all means you should be free to call yourself of that race.

  • Irma Nunez

    Yo soy guatemalteca una afrogarifuna de puerto informacion que el profesor da en estos documentos son muy baliosos y muy informaticos para la cultura negra ltina…me gustaria que hiciera un documental sobre nosotros los AFROGARIFUNAS de GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, BELIZE.NICARAGUA Y SAN VICENTE

  • Santiago

    I am an African Latino From, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Mexican Decent and my sister Refers to her self as a Morenita or a “Mujer negro fuerte”

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