“Black In Latin America”. The great Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. not only host this phenomenal documentary mini series, but is also the creator of this groundbreaking series. The series which broadcasts on PBS, has made huge educational strides in educating everyone about Black people in other areas of the world other than in America (although there is absolutely nothing wrong in doing that), and has made great strides in unveiling the corrosive nature of the intolerant in power molding society to where so much effort was put into trying to erase Black culture from their country. Sadly, Black people from all around the world know all too well of how their beauty has a vital history of others trying to erase it, or cover it up, or re-do it by using another ethnicity to bring forth what has already been done by them.
Who is Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. exactly? Well, it is difficult to reveal all of who he is professionally because he is a lot, but this is just a start into his professional and personal triumphs. Born in 1950 on September 16, this renowned man is widely known for his distinguished intellectual achievements in the humanities. A native of Keyser, West Virginia he is an American literary critic, scholar, writer, editor, but also a respected Professor.
He was the first African American to be honored and receive the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship, amongst gaining countless honorary degrees and awards for his research, development of academic institutions to study Black culture, and for his teaching. For another blessing on his belt, in 2002 Professor Gates was highly sought after to give the Jefferson Lecture, in recognition of his distinguished intellectual achievements in the humanities.
Not only does Gates host the series, but he is responsible for bringing the mini-series “Black In Latin America” to the world, and he also serves as the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at the top-notch Harvard University, where he is the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. What else should you know, the man is a star, and sits on the boards of many notable cultural, arts, and research institutions.
“Black In Latin America” mini-series on PBS given to you by the respected Professor Gates, uncovers Black life in Mexico and Peru, in the documentary called “Mexico and Peru: The Black Grandma in the Closet”. Black America you know all too well what this means and what it is, and you have quite the experience of it by witnessing first-hand this obsession by others to cover-up and bury African culture (in America) by those in power who want to erase Africa altogether. It does not have to end with those in power, but the sickness of trying to erase away the beauty of Africa, its people, its history, its traditions, and its culture belongs to the everyday people too- those who not only believe the lies and mis-perceptions, but help to make the cover-up possible.
Good thing Black people know and realize the truth and keep the fight alive to maintain that the given information are lies, and never quit preaching the facts. This is one group whom never quits informing their own kind, empowering their own kind, and continues to continue the fight that was started by their people from generations ago- and unfortunately this will be a long fight but this is one group that derives from strength so if it is not within our lifetime the fight will be won there after.
This sort of convoluted, coiled, and deep issue does not just go away but instead it takes a long time for it to unravel piece by piece. Remember when I said it is a “good thing Black people know and realize the truth….”? Well quite frankly there are those (fortunately not too many) Black people who do not love themselves enough to be able to love their own history, culture, people, and native land. You know the type- the person who would say something that you expected a White person to say about Black people or Africa. (That last comment is actually Black rhetoric, and an old saying) Remember, you remember the one family who decided to live in an all White or nearly all White community, and their children did not receive the Black experience but they sure did receive that racist or isolated one and they have never been the same ever since. (And of course this does not pertain to all Blacks who lived that experience, but was just enough to receive attention from the Black community) Well, those people are the weak links, those who are damaged and do not know or realize their worth so they continue on as the butt of the joke by the Black community. Not only their rhetoric is the joke, but the mentality behind their rhetoric is the punch line by many Black people.
This particular ethnic group knows nothing but to push on, push through, and be all that signifies strength because they derive from strong ancestry. What does that mean to the Black community really? Well, to them it means that because they derive from an ancestry line that survived some of the most evil hardships throughout history they believe it to be factual that they are the strongest ethnic group. You may have asked yourself why that information was stated because there are other ethnic groups that have endured hardships right? It was chosen to state it that way for a reason; many within the Black community will not even stand to hear that Jewish people had it hard, because to many within the Black community nothing can compare to what their ancestors lived through. It is actually an insult to the Black community to give credit to another group for experiencing harder times than their own group, because to them no horrid experience can ever beat over 200 years of slavery (how many times have you heard them say that line).
The PBS mini series “Black In Latin America” gives an in depth look into the African Diaspora- and the series showing what life is like for Black people in Latin America actually empowers every person more than we know.
Watch full episode here!