To increase awareness and understanding of the cultures and contributions of people of African descent in Latin America, Portland Community College is showing three of the PBS documentary series Black in Latin America hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
According to historian David Eltis and the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, approximately 700,000 Africans were brought to Mexico and Peru over the course of the slave trade, a quarter million more black people than came to the United States. If this is so, where are their descendants? Why don’t we think of Mexico or Peru as Afro-Latin American countries? These are some of the questions that Professor Gates will explore in the multi-part series.
The first episode, Mexico and Peru: The Hidden Race, was shown on Tuesday, November 29, at the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, 104 Auditorium, on the PCC Cascade Campus. Every seat was filled in the auditorium.
Following the film, Dr. Carlos Aguirre, who appears in this episode, lead a discussion on the documentary. Dr. Aguirre, Professor of History and Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Oregon, is a social historian specializing in 19th- and 20th-century Peru and Latin America. He has written extensively about slavery, abolition, crime, and punishment, and has taught courses such as “Race and Ethnicity in Modern Latin America.” It was a great honor to have Dr. Aguirre at PCC Cascade for this event.
The Internationalization Initiative and PCC Cascade Liberal Arts Division are co-sponsoring these events, and two additional episodes will be shown on campus, one in winter 2012 exploring the Dominican Republic and the second in spring 2012 addressing Cuba. For more information, call Tara Foster at 971-722-5213.