Updates from Frederick Smith, former Detroiter living in Los Angeles, and author of Down For Whatever (July2005) and Right Side of the Wrong Bed (December 2007).
Friday, September 16, 2005
Black Mexico. Independence Day.
I love listening to the Front Page radio show on KJLH 102.3 in L.A. And since the addition of my personal favorite, Dominique DiPrima, the shows have been even better. Dominique has the best way of asking questions that get people to think about why they're saying what they're saying. Go Dominique!
Anyway, today's topic. Black Mexico. Quite fitting since today is Mexican Independence Day. The guest was Ron Wilkins, (above left) a professor, whose academic concentration is on the African cultural roots in Mexico. Teaches Africana Studies at Cal State Dominguez Hills, here in L.A. area. In fact, I've met him before, as he's done a presentation for my students on the same topic of Black Mexico.
On Front Page, Wilkins discussed several topics this morning, including the fact that several black Mexican soldiers fought in the Mexican war for independence, that black and brown people have a shared history that needs to be talked about, and that there still is a struggle for black Mexican people living in Mexico. And if any of you watch Spanish-language television coming out of Mexico, you'll see what Professor Wilkins is talking about... lighter people in power and darker people in subserviant roles. Media representation often reflects the reality and mores and unspoken rules of a society.
Professor Wilkins explains that he's had mixed responses to his work. That some people are completely fascinated with this history and information, which is often new to them. But there are others who are in complete denial of the African presence (and struggle) in Mexico. Interesting. West Coast dynamics. Hmmm. Kinda like the U.S. South. Hmmm... I talked a little about this a few days ago in the Alex Pires entry.
Anyway, just adding someone else to the files of knowledge. Have a great weekend! fs