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Monterrey & African Legacy

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By lunalatina1955 - Posted on 28 December 2006

Hi Alicia and Welester and Ranchos Group,

I was just in Monterrey,as part of the Chicago educators and Mexican Fine
Arts Museum delegation dedicating an exhibit to Monterrey's exhibit on our
African legacy. Please check this out Welester while the exhibit is still there
(right across the street from the state capitol building). It is beautiful
and very enlightening, particularly for those of us with limited information
of our African legacy in Mexico.

I have shared many of my resources with my district's curriculum director.
However, Joseph, I have two CD's about this (African legacy in Mexico), plus
an enormous amount of wonderful photos I took. Please let me know how I can
share with the group. The CD's have music and voice to them...I have some
beautiful photos of Santiago...I believe another member of the group mentioned
they have family from there. In addition, I was fortunate enough to speak
personally with Santiago's historian..anyone with questions, let me know.

Perhaps one of the nicest things I got to do was to interview an elder from
this side of the family in Monterrery- I learned some additional information
that would normally not be shared...additionally, I got a photo of my great
great aunt whose last name was Elizondo Elizondo - she was not only beautiful,
but I was amazed how much our gene pool skips first generation and resembles
2nd and 3rd generation. I was able to take a photo of the painting...

Also, I attended my mom's funeral shortly after I returned from Mexico.
There were originally 10 siblings, now there is only one. This is the reason
why I was unable to contact the group earlier. My mother and an aunt are the
last of the Luna/Herrera's 2nd generation that came from my grandparents
(Manuel Luna Herrera and Norberta Herrera Luna were the 1st generation) that were
born in the Tlaltenango, Zacatecas. I took pictures of the family during
this occasion, I can certainly forward them to the group as well. Perhaps one of
you might look one of us?

Alicia, you ask why there may be so much interest and formalized groups of
us researchers in the United States. I think the reasons vary - but I suspect
many of us still have one foot in Mexico (even if we were never there)
because of the stories we heard as young ones or because of the discrimination we
felt in this country. I also think that many people in Mexico "saben las
movidas", and don't necessarily rely on formalized groups to share information.
But like many of this group, I feel it is important to share, because we all
share a similar disenfranchised past. Connecting the dots makes us all feel
part of a family, and hence part of a larger group such as nuestros ranchos.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful
memories and a shared family past.

Esperanza
Chicagoland area

Hi there Esperanza ,

How unfortunate that we we're not able to meet while you were here in Monterrey . I was in Villa de Santiago last week and met with the historian that you mentioned his name is Jose ( Pepe ) Lastra Cavazos , Director del Archivo Historico Municipal . Pepe has all his information in his head I've asked him to start to video record his thoughts . I passed on to him the Protocolos de Monterrey and he gave me copies of Garmendias books from Saltillo . While I was there Pepe gave me a brochure with the info on the exhibit and I do plan on going ,thanks for the reminder .

On second thought and with hind sight I have to agree with you on the fact that there are alot of great things here that are not available in the states . Like you mentioned to be able to take fotos of the places to meet some of the people and the overall feeling of what it might have been back in those days .

Have a Great New Year !
Welester

> From: Latina1955@aol.com> Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2006 20:56:24 -0500> To: research@NuestrosRanchos.com> Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Monterrey & African Legacy> > Hi Alicia and Welester and Ranchos Group,> > I was just in Monterrey,as part of the Chicago educators and Mexican Fine > Arts Museum delegation dedicating an exhibit to Monterrey's exhibit on our > African legacy. Please check this out Welester while the exhibit is still there > (right across the street from the state capitol building). It is beautiful > and very enlightening, particularly for those of us with limited information > of our African legacy in Mexico. > > I have shared many of my resources with my district's curriculum director. > However, Joseph, I have two CD's about this (African legacy in Mexico), plus > an enormous amount of wonderful photos I took. Please let me know how I can > share with the group. The CD's have music and voice to them...I have some > beautiful photos of Santiago...I believe another member of the group mentioned > they have family from there. In addition, I was fortunate enough to speak > personally with Santiago's historian..anyone with questions, let me know. > > Perhaps one of the nicest things I got to do was to interview an elder from > this side of the family in Monterrery- I learned some additional information > that would normally not be shared...additionally, I got a photo of my great > great aunt whose last name was Elizondo Elizondo - she was not only beautiful, > but I was amazed how much our gene pool skips first generation and resembles > 2nd and 3rd generation. I was able to take a photo of the painting...> > Also, I attended my mom's funeral shortly after I returned from Mexico. > There were originally 10 siblings, now there is only one. This is the reason > why I was unable to contact the group earlier. My mother and an aunt are the > last of the Luna/Herrera's 2nd generation that came from my grandparents > (Manuel Luna Herrera and Norberta Herrera Luna were the 1st generation) that were > born in the Tlaltenango, Zacatecas. I took pictures of the family during > this occasion, I can certainly forward them to the group as well. Perhaps one of > you might look one of us?> > Alicia, you ask why there may be so much interest and formalized groups of > us researchers in the United States. I think the reasons vary - but I suspect > many of us still have one foot in Mexico (even if we were never there) > because of the stories we heard as young ones or because of the discrimination we > felt in this country. I also think that many people in Mexico "saben las > movidas", and don't necessarily rely on formalized groups to share information. > But like many of this group, I feel it is important to share, because we all > share a similar disenfranchised past. Connecting the dots makes us all feel > part of a family, and hence part of a larger group such as nuestros ranchos.> > Happy New Year everyone. Hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful > memories and a shared family past.> > Esperanza> Chicagoland area> > > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > Nuestros Ranchos Research Mailing List> > To post, send email to:> research(at)NuestrosRanchos.com> > To change your subscription, log on to:> http://www.NuestrosRanchos.com
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Esperanza,

I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing away..........what a difficult thing to do at this time of the year although there is never a good time. (By the way, Esperanza is my mother's name and she has never liked her name).

Do you teach Mexican History? Thank you for bringing up this topic of our African ancestry, many want to talk about the Spanish heritage but not about the African heritage. I look forward to hearing or seeing it on Nuestros Ranchos. Do you give presentations in Chicago?

Feliz Año/Happy New Year to all, May our ancestors have something to smile about.

Alicia,
San Jose, Calif

----- Original Message ----
From: "Latina1955@aol.com"
To: research@NuestrosRanchos.com
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 5:56:24 PM
Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Monterrey & African Legacy

Hi Alicia and Welester and Ranchos Group,

I was just in Monterrey,as part of the Chicago educators and Mexican Fine
Arts Museum delegation dedicating an exhibit to Monterrey's exhibit on our
African legacy. Please check this out Welester while the exhibit is still there
(right across the street from the state capitol building). It is beautiful
and very enlightening, particularly for those of us with limited information
of our African legacy in Mexico.

I have shared many of my resources with my district's curriculum director.
However, Joseph, I have two CD's about this (African legacy in Mexico), plus
an enormous amount of wonderful photos I took. Please let me know how I can
share with the group. The CD's have music and voice to them...I have some
beautiful photos of Santiago...I believe another member of the group mentioned
they have family from there. In addition, I was fortunate enough to speak
personally with Santiago's historian..anyone with questions, let me know.

Perhaps one of the nicest things I got to do was to interview an elder from
this side of the family in Monterrery- I learned some additional information
that would normally not be shared...additionally, I got a photo of my great
great aunt whose last name was Elizondo Elizondo - she was not only beautiful,
but I was amazed how much our gene pool skips first generation and resembles
2nd and 3rd generation. I was able to take a photo of the painting...

Also, I attended my mom's funeral shortly after I returned from Mexico.
There were originally 10 siblings, now there is only one. This is the reason
why I was unable to contact the group earlier. My mother and an aunt are the
last of the Luna/Herrera's 2nd generation that came from my grandparents
(Manuel Luna Herrera and Norberta Herrera Luna were the 1st generation) that were
born in the Tlaltenango, Zacatecas. I took pictures of the family during
this occasion, I can certainly forward them to the group as well. Perhaps one of
you might look one of us?

Alicia, you ask why there may be so much interest and formalized groups of
us researchers in the United States. I think the reasons vary - but I suspect
many of us still have one foot in Mexico (even if we were never there)
because of the stories we heard as young ones or because of the discrimination we
felt in this country. I also think that many people in Mexico "saben las
movidas", and don't necessarily rely on formalized groups to share information.
But like many of this group, I feel it is important to share, because we all
share a similar disenfranchised past. Connecting the dots makes us all feel
part of a family, and hence part of a larger group such as nuestros ranchos.

Happy New Year everyone. Hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful
memories and a shared family past.

Esperanza
Chicagoland area

I just wanted to address the statement below. I agree with the
sentiment of having one foot in Mexico, which I interpret as having
curiousity about our heritage and wanting to learn more about ourselves
even if we were "connected" to our heritage at some point. The few
days before Christmas I bought tamales de dulce and de puerco. On
Christmas Day, some of my grandchildren came to see me and I offered
them some tamales de dulce and hot Mexican chocolate. One of the
grandkids enjoyed the tamal and the other did not. But even so, as I
served them, I reminded them of the Mexican roots and family and spoke
of their heritage. I WANT these beautiful children to know where their
ancestors came from. ¡Feliz Año Nuevo y Prospero Año! from your prima,
Marge:)

>
> ****you ask why there may be so much interest and formalized groups of
> us researchers in the United States. I think the reasons vary - but I
> suspect
> many of us still have one foot in Mexico (even if we were never there)
> because of the stories we heard as young ones or because of the
> discrimination we
> felt in this country.

Marge,
Thank you for your kind words...it has been a bit stressful...but somehow I
find that I must put that smile on my face and carry on...for the sake of the
family...By the way, I hated my name when people substituted it to
"Hope"....then during the 70's, I officially started using the name I was born
with...made people pronounce it (smile)...and since the book published called
"Esperanza Rising"....people tell me I have a beautiful name. Ah, amazing what
timing can do to make even one's own name seem acceptable.

I wish I taught Mexican history formally. No, I teach US history and Social
Studies (World Cultures), which makes me more of a generalist of Mexican
history. A long time ago, I became interested in our African heritage (Mexico
officially recognize this heritage in 1995) and did extensive research using
books obtained from the Northwestern, where they have one of the most
comprehensive books about the African diaspora in the United States. Then of course,
when I bumped into archives with relatives that were "Lobos" and
"Mulattos"...I felt that indeed some of our ancestors were reaching out to me quite
loudly. Today, I make the connection about our African heritage when I teach US
History, such as pointing out that the underground slave movement led to
trails that went directly into Mexico, particularly Coahuila. Do you remember
the book "Como Agua para Chocolate"? That book takes place in Piedras Negras,
and alludes to this snipit of history....

It is amazing how we are interconnected. For example, when I was in
Santiago, it was very apparent to me that this tiny village was filled with people
that were not necessarily Spanish or Indian. The historian insists it is the
French influence, but what he doesn't realize that the French invasion brought
in many Austrian soldiers...these soldiers decided not to return, or left
their seeds....and the rest, as they say is history!!

In March, I will be giving a joint presentation (Mexican Fine Arts Museum)
to educators about our African legacy. The purpose, of course, is to
enlighten high school Art teachers, Music teachers, and U.S History and Social
Studies teachers about this aspect of our culture. It is hoped that they will
begin to teach students by incorporating their new knowledge in their respective
curriculum. Despite the fact that my district has over 40% Hispanic
population, there is no coursework offered about their own culture. Isn't that a
tragedy? I believe that if our students saw their own history and faces
integrated in what they are learning, there might be less of a drop out rate...or at
the very least, more engaged learning...

Yes prima...it will indeed be a better year next year...with not only our
ancestors smiling and blessing us, but we will reflect that blessings with our
own smiles and blessings upon everyone else...

Esperanza
Chicagoland area

Alice and Esperanza ,

The number of africans that came to Mexico are estimated at between 100,000 to 250,000 most of them came through Veracru ( they don't pronounce the z ) Here's a bit of trivia the president of Venazuela is a descendent of one of the africans that came to Mexico and his ancestors still live in a village in Veracru .

Welester

> Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 09:26:37 -0800> From: alliecar@pacbell.net> To: research@NuestrosRanchos.com> Subject: [Nuestros Ranchos] Monterrey & African Legacy> > Esperanza,> > I am sorry to hear of your mother's passing away..........what a difficult thing to do at this time of the year although there is never a good time. (By the way, Esperanza is my mother's name and she has never liked her name).> > Do you teach Mexican History? Thank you for bringing up this topic of our African ancestry, many want to talk about the Spanish heritage but not about the African heritage. I look forward to hearing or seeing it on Nuestros Ranchos. Do you give presentations in Chicago?> > Feliz Año/Happy New Year to all, May our ancestors have something to smile about.> > Alicia,> San Jose, Calif> > > ----- Original Message ----> From: "Latina1955@aol.com" > To: research@NuestrosRanchos.com> Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 5:56:24 PM> Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Monterrey & African Legacy> > > Hi Alicia and Welester and Ranchos Group,> > I was just in Monterrey,as part of the Chicago educators and Mexican Fine > Arts Museum delegation dedicating an exhibit to Monterrey's exhibit on our > African legacy. Please check this out Welester while the exhibit is still there > (right across the street from the state capitol building). It is beautiful > and very enlightening, particularly for those of us with limited information > of our African legacy in Mexico. > > I have shared many of my resources with my district's curriculum director. > However, Joseph, I have two CD's about this (African legacy in Mexico), plus > an enormous amount of wonderful photos I took. Please let me know how I can > share with the group. The CD's have music and voice to them...I have some > beautiful photos of Santiago...I believe another member of the group mentioned > they have family from there. In addition, I was fortunate enough to speak > personally with Santiago's historian..anyone with questions, let me know. > > Perhaps one of the nicest things I got to do was to interview an elder from > this side of the family in Monterrery- I learned some additional information > that would normally not be shared...additionally, I got a photo of my great > great aunt whose last name was Elizondo Elizondo - she was not only beautiful, > but I was amazed how much our gene pool skips first generation and resembles > 2nd and 3rd generation. I was able to take a photo of the painting...> > Also, I attended my mom's funeral shortly after I returned from Mexico. > There were originally 10 siblings, now there is only one. This is the reason > why I was unable to contact the group earlier. My mother and an aunt are the > last of the Luna/Herrera's 2nd generation that came from my grandparents > (Manuel Luna Herrera and Norberta Herrera Luna were the 1st generation) that were > born in the Tlaltenango, Zacatecas. I took pictures of the family during > this occasion, I can certainly forward them to the group as well. Perhaps one of > you might look one of us?> > Alicia, you ask why there may be so much interest and formalized groups of > us researchers in the United States. I think the reasons vary - but I suspect > many of us still have one foot in Mexico (even if we were never there) > because of the stories we heard as young ones or because of the discrimination we > felt in this country. I also think that many people in Mexico "saben las > movidas", and don't necessarily rely on formalized groups to share information. > But like many of this group, I feel it is important to share, because we all > share a similar disenfranchised past. Connecting the dots makes us all feel > part of a family, and hence part of a larger group such as nuestros ranchos.> > Happy New Year everyone. Hope your Christmas was filled with wonderful > memories and a shared family past.> > Esperanza> Chicagoland area> > > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > Nuestros Ranchos Research Mailing List> > To post, send email to:> research(at)NuestrosRanchos.com> > To change your subscription, log on to:> http://www.NuestrosRanchos.com> -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > Nuestros Ranchos Research Mailing List> > To post, send email to:> research(at)NuestrosRanchos.com> > To change your subscription, log on to:> http://www.NuestrosRanchos.com
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Hi there Esperanza ,

I like your name too , when I had a leather jacket manufacturing company in Los Angeles I used to put ads in the newspaper La Opinion under the name Roberto Esperanza ( Bob Hope ;-)
Anyway , you're right about the african contribution here in Mexico even in L.A. the 11 or 13 founding families I believe 6 or 7 were of mulato or negro heritage . In all of Mexico the blacks were used for labor and eventually alot of them became free, every once in awhile I see people here in Monterrey that have negroid features with blond hair green eyes and very white skin .
As for the rumor of the french in Villa de Santiago I've yet to prove it same goes for the austrians . The cronista from V de S Pepe Lastra says that it was unlikely because the soldiers never came in the direction of V de S . My ancestors thier are very french looking and I'm trying to see if there is anyway possible to confirm the french connection .

In the town of Allende all of the early settlers were just like the people of V de S and that is because 100 families from V de S were sent to settle it .

Welester

> From: Latina1955@aol.com> Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 14:36:27 -0500> To: research@NuestrosRanchos.com> Subject: Re: [Nuestros Ranchos] Monterrey & African Legacy> > Marge,> Thank you for your kind words...it has been a bit stressful...but somehow I > find that I must put that smile on my face and carry on...for the sake of the > family...By the way, I hated my name when people substituted it to > "Hope"....then during the 70's, I officially started using the name I was born > with...made people pronounce it (smile)...and since the book published called > "Esperanza Rising"....people tell me I have a beautiful name. Ah, amazing what > timing can do to make even one's own name seem acceptable.> > I wish I taught Mexican history formally. No, I teach US history and Social > Studies (World Cultures), which makes me more of a generalist of Mexican > history. A long time ago, I became interested in our African heritage (Mexico > officially recognize this heritage in 1995) and did ext
ensive r
esearch using > books obtained from the Northwestern, where they have one of the most > comprehensive books about the African diaspora in the United States. Then of course, > when I bumped into archives with relatives that were "Lobos" and > "Mulattos"...I felt that indeed some of our ancestors were reaching out to me quite > loudly. Today, I make the connection about our African heritage when I teach US > History, such as pointing out that the underground slave movement led to > trails that went directly into Mexico, particularly Coahuila. Do you remember > the book "Como Agua para Chocolate"? That book takes place in Piedras Negras, > and alludes to this snipit of history....> > It is amazing how we are interconnected. For example, when I was in > Santiago, it was very apparent to me that this tiny village was filled with people > that were not necessarily Spanish or Indian. The historian insists it is the > French influence, but what he doesn't realize that the French inv
asion br
ought > in many Austrian soldiers...these soldiers decided not to return, or left > their seeds....and the rest, as they say is history!!> > In March, I will be giving a joint presentation (Mexican Fine Arts Museum) > to educators about our African legacy. The purpose, of course, is to > enlighten high school Art teachers, Music teachers, and U.S History and Social > Studies teachers about this aspect of our culture. It is hoped that they will > begin to teach students by incorporating their new knowledge in their respective > curriculum. Despite the fact that my district has over 40% Hispanic > population, there is no coursework offered about their own culture. Isn't that a > tragedy? I believe that if our students saw their own history and faces > integrated in what they are learning, there might be less of a drop out rate...or at > the very least, more engaged learning...> > Yes prima...it will indeed be a better year next year...with not only our > ancestors smiling and
blessing
us, but we will reflect that blessings with our > own smiles and blessings upon everyone else...> > Esperanza> Chicagoland area> > > -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- > Nuestros Ranchos Research Mailing List> > To post, send email to:> research(at)NuestrosRanchos.com> > To change your subscription, log on to:> http://www.NuestrosRanchos.com
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Esperanza,

Please, please, please (tres veces please) record your presentation and
let's use it for the http://NuestraFamiliaUnida.com podcast project.
More material on this subject is needed and you don't need to be a Ph.D.
in "African Legacy" to make the point.

Please (numero cuatro),

joseph

ps: you said it was a joint presentation. Who is/are the other people
involved? Can I have your permission to contact them to see if they
would be willing to allow their part to be used for the
http://NuestraFamiliaUnida.com podcast project?

===================

Joseph Puentes
http://H2Opodcast.com (Environment Podcast)
http://NuestraFamiliaUnida.com (Latin American History)

Latina1955@aol.com wrote:
>
> In March, I will be giving a joint presentation (Mexican Fine Arts Museum)
> to educators about our African legacy.
>

Hi Welester,
The first mayor (kind of like a vice mayor) of Santiago and I had long
conversations regarding his heritage. Although he looks Mexican, his grandfather
was one of those French/Austrian soldiers. Apparently, his grandfather was
very young when he was sent to Mexico to fight. He was taken under the wing
of a Mexican family, and so when it was time to return, his grandfather was
hidden, and taken in by the same Mexican family, whereby later, he assumed this
family's name. I have no reason to dispute his story..

But it gives you yet another thing to think about regarding the actual
tracing of French descendents throughout Mexico...it might be very difficult to
prove it through family surnames.

You are right about the estimated numbers, and most of them coming through
Veracruz - another port of entry was Guerrero and Oaxaca....and as mentioned,
there was the underground railroad...further, many of the Africans were taken
into Mexico City - where they were preferred over the indigenous populations
as servants (it was prestigious to have paid for servants). Additionally,
many states such as Zacatecas and Michoacan actually had more African presence
than Spanish presence in the 1500 and 1600's. The tracing of African
heritage was stopped after the Mexican Independence - no doubt due to the fact that
Mexico's 2nd president, Vicente Guerrero was a mulatto. Indeed, slavery was
abolished at this time. But as you say, sometimes the blood is
undeniable...and can be seen throughout all of Mexico....just think...even Menguin Pepin
managed to be "acceptable" .... even though if you think about it, it was yet
another form of denigrating the African inheritance.

There was a conscious movement occurring throughout all of Latin America to
"whiten" their blood. As they were looking at the progressive and prosperous
United States throughout the industrial revolution, they wondered whether in
part, this was attributable to the fact that their countries had large
populations of people of color. Consequently, during the 1800's, many Latin
American countries offered Europeans free land to settle in their countries. I am
not sure if Mexico was involved in this attractive proposal, but I am sure
that such countries such as Venezuela and Colombia,others were....

Esperanza
Chicagoland area

Joseph,

Ay....me da verguenza.....while I do know a little of something, I don't
feel I am an authority, such as the Curriculum Director from the Mexican Fine
Arts Museum in Chicago. That is why I have asked her to accompany me to make the
joint presentation, using materials they developed for educators. Let me
ask her permission....and we can go from there....okay?

Contact me personally using my email....there may be yet another way to
share information without necessarily recording me...

Esperanza

I've entered in the albums section a painting I did that relates loosely to this African legacy discussion. It can be seen here, http://www.nuestrosranchos.com/node/15438 The explanation of the painting is in http://www.nuestrosranchos.com/node/13941 Joseph very kindly added it for me. The explanation should be read first to understand the painting.

I felt also that because of the lighter skin the family has acquired through the years our Indeginous and Mulato ancestors would be forgotten if I didn't make an effort to preserve it. Besides, the females of my line worked very hard to keep me up nights until they were remembered, working under the guidence of the Muse's of my line and been exhausting and invigorating!
Linda in Everett

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