Tercera raíz (Third Root)
Desierto de los leones, Mexico City, Mexico.
“In a racist society, it’s not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
– Angela Davis.
For more than 400 years, 15 million Africans were massively abducted from their native towns, reduced to merchandise, and exported to the Americas. Many of these Africans were taken to Mexico through the main Atlantic port city of Veracruz, but also as a result of emergency disembarkation, slave contraband, and groups of maroons who reached the Costa region in Oaxaca and Guerrero on the Pacific littoral.
From colonial times to the independence of Mexico, Afro-descendants have played a relevant role in all areas of national life, but have been denied a place in history and invisibilized by structural racism and the political project of mestizaje.
In 2019, the Mexican government approved a piece of legislation acknowledging Afro-descendants as the cultural Third Root of the country. This gives way for a shift in the official racist narrative, which for hundreds of years has denied the Afro-Mexican population the right to hold a place of recognition and belonging in their own land.