so, i was waiting for fly-brother to get back with the last installment of the "black in latin america" series, and he's never gotten around to it. i guess this is where i put in my two cents about it, until he does. [ernest, when you do post about it, don't forget to actually leave the comments open.]
so skippy went to mexico and peru and talked about how two of the founding fathers of mexico, morelos and guerrero -- if those names sound familiar, it's because there are states named after both of them -- were both mulato. he also talked about how veracruz was an important slave port. again, this is not a shock -- any place sugar was cultivated in the new world, there were african slaves. people tend not to think about mexico in this regard, but they were there, but not that many of them. but people in veracruz speak spanish like other caribbeans [ie, with the african influences] instead of like other mexicans.
gates also talked about the town founded by escaped slaves. basically, a bunch of slaves escaped from from veracruz and gave the spanish so much grief that the spanish just said, "okay, fuck it, you can have this bit of land, just leave us alone. deal?" so deep in south eastern mexico, you rock up and there's this statue of the black guy who founded the town.
black guy. mexico. i know, right? sounds... incongruous. everyone knows there are no black mexicans. [okay, there are like 5 or 6 -- which is the problem; it's a major reason that no one knows about them.]
[but shit... he totally butchered tenochtitlán. if i can learn how to say it in pennsylvania in eighth grade from a history teacher who had just gotten off the plane from ireland, he can fucking say it. jeebus.]
so then skippy pops over to peru. i know a lot of black peruvians, so i was especially interested in how he would do this bit. and to my surprise, he actually nailed it. for much of its history, lima was a black city -- this was something i knew, and this was something that was covered. something *else* that was covered, and i was looking for [i actually had a list of things that he *better* cover, and ticked them off as he went through them] was the fact that prominent people tend to have a bunch a big black guys as pallbearers when they die.
but my favorite part of this: skippy was picking cotton. that's right. he went to a cotton plantation -- yup, they still exist -- and skippy was out in the filed picking cotton. given that i know a few people whose academic careers skip personally ruined, i was tempted to teleport myself into this scene and whip him for picking it too slowly, but it was ... something else to see skippy's house slave self out in the field picking cotton.
that said, he was really annoying with his "oh my god, like totally, i've never been so close to cotton before" comments. bitch, please. quit it with your allegedly superior self.
but overall, this episode... very good, despite his purposefully bad spanish [he had to have done this on purpose, unless he was definitely channeling his not-so-inner cracker through this whole series].