This Summer I had the opportunity to complete the second leg of the research I started on 2004 on Afro-Mexican culture. My original goal (which has been greatly expanded) was to document traces and or vestiges of African cultures in Mexico focusing on the two major colonial ports: Veracruz in the east and Acapulco in the west. The first part allowed me to visit the town of Yanga, an African enclave declared free and independent by the Crown a hundred and forty six years before the United States. Traditionally the timeline has been that the US obtained independence in 1776 making it the first free territory in the Western Hemisphere, later Haiti obtained independence in 1791. However, my research shows that the town of Yanga obtained Independence from Spain in 1630. https://ospace.otis.edu/MexicanSilkRoute/Home//
This Summer I continued my research of the “Mexican Silk Road” and the evidence became more complex by bringing Asians into the Afro-Mexican mix. New questions and issues had developed as a result of this trip which as any researcher knows is the nature of the field. I am still in the process of evaluating the data but it seems that this research is far from over. Questions such as the interactions between Africans, Mestizos, Asians and Spaniards must be explored to produce a clear picture of this forgotten and hardly researched topic (in Spanish or English) in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Stay tuned for pictures, videos and relevant bibliography on the topic.