Black in Latin America E03, Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandma inWhat did I learn from the Film?
As Professor Gates continues to explore the story of Blacks in Latin America, it becomes clear that the majority of Blacks found themselves in these countries as slaves. It appears that Peru and Mexico received the largest number of black slaves compared to the United States. The speaker made me understand the level of racial profiling in America. I was surprised to learn that Gates was arrested for breaking into his house simply because he was regarded as an arrogant black man.
The racial classification that subjected Mexicans to colonial regimes indicates the continuance of severe racial clashes between Whites and Blacks. White masters could subject black, indigenous women to sexual assaults and impregnate them. Looking back to the days when Mexicans were rioting against racial discrimination, it is clear that many people lost their lives during the struggle while others were disposed of. The country struggled to achieve stable political progress due to racial wars. Therefore, we can conclude that racial discrimination is the biggest enemy of progress in any country.
This film has made me understand why Blacks are being discriminated against in Mexico and Peru even today. It appears that the Whites are scared of the growing influence on the black race in national politics. The white race still wants to dominate the executive leadership and keep Blacks at bay. Despite the implementation of civil rights departments that grant all people equal rights and opportunities to all Americans, there is a lot to be done to eliminate racism in America, Mexico, and Peru.
How the Film Shed Light on Mexican and Chicanx History
According to the film, Chicanx emerged from the civil disobedience movements formed to fight for civil rights. Before the 1960s, Latinos were not given opportunities in national politics while the whites had grabbed their land. Mexican Americans struggled to break from the chains of slavery and demanded unionization for their farmworkers. This clearly shows that Blacks in Mexico were still regarded as “slaves.”
Students played an important role in the quest for justice for Mexican Americans. The famous Chicano fight organized by student groups such as the United Mexican Students in 1968 demanded the introduction of curriculums inclusive of all cultures. They continued protesting due to the high number of Chicano students dropping out of school due to racial abuse and discrimination (Prevatte, 2017). Sadly, Mexican students could not access education because they could not speak English.
The Mexicans journey towards achieving their freedom to civil rights encountered many challenges because they were restricted from accessing proper education, healthcare, and Blacks were living in extreme poverty. Blacks were treated with suspicion and were subjected to police brutality and assaults. Everything changed in 1960 when J.F. Kennedy became the President of the United States and made Latino an important voting bloc. Through their persistent fighting for recognition, black organizations have achieved so much progress in the last few decades. Chicanos have produced some scary human rights activities that have been vocal throughout history. They demanded recognition of African traditions and roots in Mexico and did not rest until some important non-discriminatory policies were enacted.
Prevatte, C. (2017). Black in Latin America E03, Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet [Video]. Retrieved 15 December 2021, from https://youtu.be/Ufut6qxt1ro.