Most students of Mexican history would be surprised to know that an extensive Black population, which will be referred to as Afro-Mexican, existed during the colonial period. However, Afro-Mexicans, both slave and free at one time outnumbered the current domination Mestizo population and the Whites. Mexico had an extensive Black population, which eventually assimilated into the dominant majority Mestizo population by the eighteenth century. This paper will concentrate on the factors that caused the decline of the Afro-Mexican population in Mexico during the colonial period, from the sixteenth century to the eighteenth century. It will not focus of the Afro-Mexican population, slave or free, but only explain their disappearance. Although the Afro-Mexicans were an extensive dominant population during the colonial period, by the eighteenth century, they became a negligible population that the Indians, Whites and Mestizos supplanted. What accounted form their demographic decline in colonial society. The prevalent mestijaze ethos and pernicious racism caused the Afro-Mexican gradual population decline in colonial Mexican society.
Nobody knows when the first African slaves came to Mexico, or New Spain as it was called, but their numbers grew in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 1501 marked the earliest date of the Black slaves arriving in the Americas from Spain. Blacks served as companions, servants, auxiliaries to the Spanish explorers and conquistadors.1 Not till 1519, when Hernan Cortes conquered the Aztec empire did Blacks come to New Spain. Cortes brought two slaves with him, Juan Cortes and Juan Garrido.2 Hernan Cortes was the first Spaniard to introduce Blacks to the region.3 Though most Blacks that came to New Spain were slaves, some arrived as free men. A few plagued active roles in the Conquest of 1519.4 Cortes, himself, used Black slaves not only in the Conquest but also on his plantations. Continue reading article here