Afro-Mexican Department
Director of Afro-Mexican Department: Jorge Gonzalez   

      On behalf of the WorldBeat Center, we present to you a newly emerged topic and reality which touches basis on what has been underrepresented on Mexican official establishments and institutions: Afro-Mexico.  Since the arrival of Hernan Cortez--not to mention the Olmec presence which clearly resembles African traits in early Mesoamerica--the African presence became notorious throughout Mexico.  Thus, slavery like in the rest of the Americas became fundamental in the minery, sugar cane, and cattle industry. In spite of their key role in fueling a strong economy that would allow Mexico to become an independent nation from Spain, African descendants to this day remain systematically in the shadows of society.  They are not only underrepresented and ignored in the Mexican CENSUS (INEGI) but also have been going through what we refer to as a cultural drought.  The effects of globalization projects (such as NAFTA and PPP (Plan Puebla Panama)), which spread deep in rural, coastal, and southern Mexico, currently eliminate any intermediate option between the preservation of culture and that of economic sustainability for Afro-Mexicans.  In effect, the African presence in Mexico has been consecutively struggling and resisting to obtain national recognition; thus allowing them the right to be considered in institutional reforms based on standard necessities.
    We refer to this resistance as a Maroon Cultural Resistance: a common struggle amongst all African descendants of the Americas which focuses in forming a collective identity by rediscovering, reclaiming, and manifesting their African heritage.  As a marginalized sub-culture, Afro-Mexicans have been evidently organizing for the past three decades.  Here at the WorldBeat Center we been investigating this topic since 2003.  Our goal here at the WorldBeat Center, nonetheless, is to raise awareness about this topic and educate the African-American and Mexican/Chicano/Latino youth in the San Diego/Tijuana area; all with the intention of building cultural bridges of common understanding.
    With the resources we have accommodated over the past three decades at WorldBeat Center, we intent to put our tools in practice. One of our strategies will be to film every step we take along the way as well as to publicize what we document throughout public access TV and archive it in our online TV station called "WorldBeat Live!".  Furthermore, through our experience promoting music, we intent to help document, support, and spread Afro-Mexican dance, music and other forms of culture.  The information and material we gather will be used for educational purposes as well as to fund (e.g. art exhibits, music/dance groups, photographic exhibits, clothing and textiles, fair trade products, musical instruments, CD's and DVD's).  This entire process and strategies used in the end will help empower communities for the purpose of reaching self-autonomy.

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Last Updated: 09/03/2009

--News Article: Son Jarocho (Afro-Mestizo Music) bridges from Veracruz, Mexico to Santa Ana, CA:

--WorldBeat Live! attends 2nd Annual Son Jarocho Fandango in Tijuana, Mexico May 2009 held at Casa Del Tunel:

--WorldBeat Live! Interview and Discussion with CESAR MORENO co-curator of the Afro-Mexican exhibit at the California, Oakland Museum May 2009:

--Online Afro-Argentinean Magazine:

--Short-documentary about the history behind Son Jarocho encounters (a.k.a "FANDANGO")--sources indicate it started mid-18th century:

--1st Annual AfroAmerica Multi-Media exhibit in Oaxaca, Mexico gets canceled because of over-booking of space by city officials:

--Caste Paintings Museum in Mexico City:

--Afromexicans reaction to Obamas presidency (short news video):

--RADIO EDUCACION presenta: Una crónica del SON JAROCHO, a 25 años del Encuentro de Jaraneros, con entrevistas y música recopiladas por Radio Educación en Tlacotalpan, Veracruz. (Amazing radio show that has documented SON JAROCHO for 25 years):

--EXTRA! EXTRA! Afromexicanos organizing in Los Angeles. Check out the website: and also article in El Oaxaqueno newspaper in California

--The only Afromestizo Radio show in Mexico: XEJAM "CIMARRON"- La voz de los Afromestizos" Sundays 13:30-14:00pm

--Articulo reciente de Mexico: Un pedacito de Africa en Mexico (Recent Article from Mexico: A small piece of Africa in Mexico

--Afromexican Photo Exhibit on TOUR: (next stop in Oakland, CA). News article on exhibit:

--"SANTA NEGRITUD" trailer:

--CONACULTA rescues and documents the history of Son Jarocho (Afromestizo Musical movement) through a Online Radio Broadcast:

--News article on Afromexican identity politics in Mexico (SPANISH):

--News Video: Mexican comic book called 'racist'

Afro-Mexico Musical Slideshow 2005


For more info and educational presentations: Give us a call at 619-230-1190 and ask for Jorge Gonzalez. Thank you for visiting.

More info: 619-230-1190 | email:
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