Music of Resistance in Colombia

Colombia has the largest Afro-descendant population of all the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. Like most Afrodescendientes in the Americas they have been marginalized and discriminated against in countries their ancestors helped to build and liberate from European colonialism.

Most Afro-Colombians live on the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of the country. Although slavery was abolished in 1851 in Colpmbia, more than a decade before the U.S., emancipation did little to improve the conditions of their lives. Moreover, the same year slavery was abolished, the Colombian government instituted a policy of metizaje (miscegenation) designed specifically to “whiten” and erase the visible evidence of the African contributions to the population. Many “blacks” in Colombia resisted this assault on their African identity and heritage. And resistance continues in new forms as Afro-descendents face new challenges to their identity, security, and basic human rights.

The link below to an article and video in Aljazeera documents the struggle of one community—Bajamar—to resist an urban renewal project designed to displace and remove them from the neighbor they built for themselves. Thanks to Sister Roxanne over at WhosWorld for sharing this on Facebook.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/artscape/2011/07/2011717123051994160.html.

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