Afro-Mexicans are finally getting their due recognition in the newest edition of Mexico’s census.
Mexico Negro, a pro-Black Mexican group, won a campaign to have Afro-Mexicans listed as an identity option in the national census that was released on Dec. 8.
The country has about 1.38 million people of African descent, making up approximately 1.2 percent of its population. This is the first time in Mexican history that Blacks can fully identify themselves on the census report, a significant move towards equality in a country that has historically tried to erase blackness from its national legacy since the Mexican Revolution in 1910.
For almost a century, the term “mestizage” has been exclusively used to recognize interracial lineage from colonizers mixed with indigenous people—simultaneously ignoring Mexico’s history and descendants of African slaves.
Getting Black people to be recognized on the census has been a battle forged by Mexico Negro for the past 15 years. The organization points out that having Black people accurately represented on the country’s census combats the anti-black/structural racism that is pervasive throughout Latin America.