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This documentary provides insights into the rich African culture that is intertwined in Mexico and Peru. Over time, Africans became a part of the Spanish society and were identified as mestizo, creole, and mulatto. The Mexican historical museum historian explained that there were several variations of blackness. He even mentioned that Barack Obama and Beyonce would be considered mulattos. Mexico has a unique rich history in integrating slaves into their society. Peru was opposite because individuals with African roots were discriminated against. For example, Susana Baca is a Black Peruvian who was denied an opportunity to become involved with a dance company. This documentary raises awareness about African ancestry in Central and South America.
Prior to this documentary, I have been aware that people from Latin America have African ancestors. During Fall 2015, I went to an exhibit called Latinas and Intimacies, that showcased women with strong ties to their African roots. Most Afro-Latinas viewed themselves in a negative perspectives about discrimination and insecurity. However, despite the negative perceptions some women embrace themselves by encouraging the future generation to not feel ashamed of their skin colors. This relates to the documentary because there were people who had influence in their community such as the Trindadian priest, Israel the radio talk-show host, and the women that was trying to cancel the racist podcast Negro Mama. They were challenging society so that they can be recognized as citizens. The show, Negro Mama painted Black Peruvians as criminals, which created racial profiling. The documentary covered the historical, political, and social aspect of how the people learned to deal with the discrimination that they faced. However, the art pieces reflected no distinction of race and that everyone was able to coexist. Overall the documentary, was especially fascinating because the line between the Latin American and African cultures completely blended.
The documentary was very unique because it started by introducing Fandingo, which is a blend of African, Mexican and indigenous. Another aspect that I noticed about the documentary was that there were a lot of close ups of the people who had interviews with the guide. There were also location shots of historical sites, towns, and the ports that emphasize there value of being a part of the “lost history.” When the documentary spoke about free town that was founded by an escaped slave Yanaga, there was a close up that was supposed symbolize importance. I really learned a lot from this documentary of how some Mexicans and Peruvians who have unique identities and do not fit into one category. The one thing I noticed about the documentary is that the people who were interviewed did not believe of the importance of race. But instead created their own identities that they can call their own. Another reason why I would recommend this documentary because it shows Latin America as multi-dimensional with an intricate web of intimate family ties.
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