With almost 1.4 million people, Mexico finally recognizes Afro-Mexicans on its national survey. I must admit that I am not fully versed on the topic but I can tell that this is great and a step in the right direction for both the Afro-Mexican population and for Mexico as a whole. Because I only have a cursory knowledge of the recent happenings I will let the following Facebook post speak on my behalf:
The decision to include an “Afro” category is a major step toward recognizing the country’s Black population, many of whom are [descendants] of slaves forcibly removed from Africa during the height of the Atlantic slave trade. Mexico was one of only two Latin American countries (the other being Chile) that did not recognize its Black citizens on the national census. This stemmed in part from the ideological leaders of post-independence Mexico who created the concept of “mestizaje,” a national identity that did not incorporate Afro Mexicans. The result was the long-term marginalization and neglect of the nation’s Black population.
The simple act of recognition, particularly of something so important, innate and fixed as race, is a crucial part of creating a sense of security, identity, and place for any group of people. Recognition of this sort pulls people and groups from the margins and affords them the ability to (more) proudly identify themselves.
Quote from: Arquetopia