African Roots in Guyana

The fishers of South America

Intro: Hello everyone, I’m Alex Gutierrez, from Sacramento California, welcome to AFROSAYA the Afro-Latino Podcast.

Afro Guyana, afrosaya, saya, afro

Today in our show, we will continue with our journey through South America. As we intent, this is a podcast about Blackness in the Americas. We will share a little bit of history, music, culture and more. 

Our guess for today is Guyana. Let’s do it.

Content – History Background:

Today in our show, we will talk about Guyana.

The official name is the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, located in the northern part of South America. It is often considered part of the Caribbean region because of its strong cultural, historical, and political ties with other Anglo-Caribbean countries and the Caribbean Community

Guyana share borders with the Atlantic Ocean, Brazil, Venezuela and Suriname. 

Guyana is the third-smallest sovereign state on mainland South America after Uruguay and Suriname.

The region known as “the Guianas” consists of many rivers, but one is the most prominent, the Amazon River and the Orinoco River known as the “land of many waters.”

Gayana was originally inhabited by many indigenous groups. Guyana was settled by the Dutch before coming under British control in the late 18th century.

 It was governed as British Guiana, with a mostly plantation-style economy until the 1950s. It gained independence in 1966, and officially became a republic within the Commonwealth of Nations in 1970. 

The legacy of British rule is reflected in the country’s political administration and diverse population, which includes Indian, African, Amerindian, and multiracial groups.

Guyana is the only South American nation in which English is the official language. The majority of the population, however, speak Guyanese Creole, an English-based creole language, as a first language. Guyana is part of the Anglophone Caribbean.

The name “Guyana” derives from Guiana, the original name for the region that formerly included Guyana (British Guiana), Suriname (Dutch Guiana), French Guiana, and parts of Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil. 

Content: Afro-Latinidad

Let’s talk about Afro-Guayaneses

Afro-Guyanese people are citizens of Guyana. They are Sub-Saharan African descent. They were brought to Guyana as slaves to do slave labor on sugar plantations.

After the abolition of slavery in the British Empire, Afro-Guyanese people came together to develop small villages. They were not given land to compensate for their labor, unlike future immigrant groups.  When planters made land available to East Indians as part of an agreement in the late 19th century,

Emancipated slaves still did not have access to land and that created tension among ethnic group. By the early twentieth century, the majority of the urban population of the country was Afro-Guyanese. Many Afro-Guyanese people living in villages had migrated to the towns in search for work. 

Until the 1930s, Afro-Guyanese people, especially those of mixed descent, comprised the majority of the non-white professional class. During the 1930s, as Indo-Guyanese began to enter the middle class in large numbers, they began to compete with Afro-Guyanese for professional positions.

But let’s go back a little bit because after the international slave trade was abolished in the British Empire in 1807, slavery itself continued. 

For example, in what is known as the Demerara rebellion of 1823 13,000 slaves in Demerara-Essequibo rose up against their masters…

If you want to get more of our transcript email us here

Well people there you have it. Afro-Guyanese


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