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AfriGeneas Caribbean Research Forum

Re: Black-Mexico and Black-Mexicans

I am very late in entering the discussion on this list (in 2000 and 2001) on migration of Blacks to and from Mexico.

My grandfather (Daniel Thornton) migrated from Kerr County, Texas to Guadalajara, Mexico c.1901. My great-grandparents, who were former slaves, had counseled their children to seek work outside the U.S. so my grandfather chose Mexico. He quickly learned Spanish and became a foreman on the railroad. His bilingual skills allowed him to act as an interpreter between white management and the Mexican workers. He met my grandmother (Trancito Perez de Ruiz) during these years of the Mexican Revolution. She had quite a history of her own--having worked for the family of General Plutarco Elias Calles. They married and migrated back to southern Arizona (Nogales). My grandparents and their children (including my mother) were part of a small community of Afro Mexicans in that town. The families were mostly African American soldiers who had married Mexican women. The subject of Afro Mexicans in Mexico--those descended from slaves brought there beginning in the 16th century--is fascinating. When I began researching my family history over 20 years ago--I realized that research on the subject of American-born, biracial Afro Mexicans was nonexistent. I returned to school in 1999 for a Masters degree in African American Studies. My thesis--near completion at this point--focuses on this fascinating history of my mother's family. With any luck I will continue my studies to pursue a doctorate in Afro Latino Studies. I agree with others on the list that our collective history is not monolithic or one-dimensional but has many roots. I hope this very interesting discussion continues. I apologize for being so long-winded


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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