Black in Latin America

In world history these two western regions were the first areas of the Americas to be populated by African immigrants. Yet wherever possible, they prepared and accepted reality with the African immigration to the Americas may have begun before European exploration of the area. African slave trading began before Columbus, and the earliest Spanish and Portuguese explorers. The most direct route from West Africa to the (then) New World was to what we now know as Brazil. Through the 15th and 16th centuries, slavery then moved up the coast of South America through the Caribbean. In fact today the largest population of African people outside of the African continent is in Brazil. The explorers were likewise accompanied by Black Africans who had been born and reared in Iberia. In the following four centuries millions of immigrants from Africa were brought to the New World in servitude.

Today, their descendants form significant ethnic minorities in several Latin American countries, and they are the dominant element in many of the Caribbean nations. Over the centuries, Black people have added their original contributions to the cultural mix of their respective societies and thus exerted a deep influence on all facets of life in Latin America. A strong African influence saturates music, dance, the arts, literature, speech forms, and religious practices in Latin America and the Caribbean. Africans, whether as slaves or free immigrants, brought a variety of African cultural influences to the New World. They came from so many places in Africa and were too scattered throughout the Americas to reestablish all the conditions of their homelands.

http://hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/afro-latin-american-research-institute

http://www.aaregistry.org/historic_events/view/blacks-latin-america-brief-history

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/black-in-latin-america/about/

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