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Blacks in Latin America

Portuguese explorers, Caribbean nations, Iberia, Latin American countries, European exploration

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Blacks in Latin America, a history of blacks in the various countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Latin American and Caribbean regions were the first areas of the Americas to be populated by African immigrants. African immigration to the Americas may have begun before European exploration of the region. Blacks sailed with Christopher Columbus even on his first voyage in 1492, and the earliest Spanish and Portuguese 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 as slaves. 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 profound influence on all facets of life in Latin America.


Blacks in Latin America

Davis, Darien J., ed. Slavery and Beyond: The African Impact on Latin America and the Caribbean. SR Books, 1995. Essays focusing on the legacy of African slavery in Latin America.

Moore, Robin D. Nationalizing Blackness. University of Pittsburgh Press, 1997. An analysis of the racial issue as the key to Cuba's musical history and heritage.

Murphy, Joseph. Working the Spirit: Ceremonies of the African Diaspora. Beacon, 1994. An exploration of black religious practices in Latin America, from Haitian voodoo to Jamaican Revival Zionism.

Palmer, Colin A. The First Passage: Blacks in the Americas, 1502-1617. Oxford University Press, 1995. A detailed examination of the slave trade and forced migration of blacks to Latin America; for younger readers.

Wade, Peter. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America. Pluto, 1997. Examines changing perspectives on black and Indian populations in the region.


Carson, Clayborne, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of History, Stanford University. Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Papers Project. Editor of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Volumes I-III.

Knight, Franklin W., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University. Author of Slave Society in Cuba, The Caribbean, and The African Dimension in Latin America.

Microsoft Encarta 2009. 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation.

Article key phrases:

Portuguese explorers, Caribbean nations, Iberia, Latin American countries, European exploration, Christopher Columbus, African immigrants, black people, black Africans, history of blacks, facets of life, slaves, voyage, centuries, New World, Americas, areas

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