African Roots in Colombia

The Palenqueros of Americas

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

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 Colombia  . Let’s do it

Content – History Background:

Today, we are talking about Colombia. Colombia is a beautiful country located in South America.  The official name is Republica de Colombia and share borders with Panama, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Colombia also shares it maritime limits with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Jamaica, Haity and the Dominican Republic. The capital city of Colombia is Bogota. 

The Spanish arrived in 1499 and by the 16th century conquered and colonized much of the region. 

Panama left Colombia in 1903. 1960, Colombia suffered armed conflict and political violence which scaled until the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security, stability, and rule of law.

Content: Afro-Latinidad

Let’s talk about Afro-Colombians

Afro-Colombians are citizens of Colombia. They are African descents. Colombia is considered to have the fourth largest Black African population in the western hemisphere, following Brazil, Haiti and the United States.

In 1520s, Africans were imported into Colombia as slaves, from places such as Congo, Angola, Gambia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Liberia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Mali (West Africa, in other words),  to replace the declining Native American population. 

African slaves were forced to work in gold mines, on sugar cane plantations, cattle ranches, and large haciendas. 

Historians note that three of every five soldiers in Simon Bolívar’s army were African. Not only that, Afro-Colombians also participated at all levels of military and political life

In 1851 the life of the African Colombians was very difficult. African Colombians were forced to live in jungle areas as a mechanism of self-protection. There, they learned to have a harmonious relationship with the jungle environment and to share the territory with Colombia’s indigenous.

From 1851, the Colombian State promoted the ideology of mestizaje. So, in order to maintain their cultural traditions, many Africans and indigenous peoples went deep into the isolated jungles. 

In 1945 the department of El Chocó was created; it was the first predominantly African political-administrative division. El Chocó gave African people the possibility of building an African territorial identity and some autonomous decision-making power. 

In the country of Colombia, the most popular native songs are characterized by an exchange of multiple energetic and progressive musical processes. 

The bambuco, cumbia, and porro, among others, are examples of typical folkloric music that can be traced to have an African origin. Cumbia is a typical Colombian music that emerges from the African slaves in Colombia.

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

Well people there you have it. Afro-Colombians

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