Texas Black History Preservation Project
Documenting the Complete African American Experience in Texas -- "Know your history, know yourself"

Africans and Mexicans


In this section:

(click to enlarge)

The racial classification system in early
Mexico (New Spain)
Although there is evidence of an African presence in Mesoamerica (c. 800)
during the Olmec civilization, Spaniards brought Africans to Mexico (“New
Spain”) as slaves to work in the sugar fields and gold and silver mines in the
16th century. New Spain probably had more enslaved Africans than any other
colony in the Western Hemisphere. Many Blacks were born in Mexico and
followed their parents into slavery, which was abolished in Mexico in 1829. The
town of Yanga, in the state of Veracruz, was one of the Americas' earliest
“maroon” (escaped slaves) communities. Originally known as San Lorenzo de
los Negros, in 1932 the town was renamed for its founder, a rebellious Muslim
from Nigeria.