Afro-Mexicans known as Black Mexicans, are Mexicans who have a predominant heritage from Sub-Saharan Africa and identify as such. As a single population, Afro-Mexicans includes individuals descended from Spanish colonial era transatlantic African slaves brought to Mexico, as well as others of more recent immigrant African descent, including Afro-descended persons from neighboring English and Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean and Central America, descendants of fugitive slaves who escaped to Mexico from the Southern United States, to a lesser extent recent immigrants directly from Africa. Afro-Mexicans are most concentrated in specific isolated communities, including the populations of the Costa Chica of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Veracruz and in some cities in northern Mexico. According to recent DNA studies, although most Mexicans have a small amount of DNA dating back to African slave ancestors who had mixed into the predominant Mexican heritage gene pool, averaging to about 5% Sub-Saharan African DNA, Afro-Mexican refers to those Mexicans who, are predominantly of African ancestry.
As opposed to other Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America with visible Afro-Latino populations, the history of Africans in Mexico has been lesser known for a number of reasons. Included among these reasons were their small numbers as a proportion of the overall population of Mexico, irregular intermarriage with other Mexican ethnic groups, racism in Mexico and other Latin-American countries to where Africans are not recognized as citizens, Mexico's tradition of defining itself as a "Mestizo" country. Although mestizo etymologically means "mixed", the word is misunderstood with the specific meaning of "mixed Spanish and Amerindian”, because not all Mexicans are Mestizos. A large percentage of indigenous Mexicans reside in Mexico. According to The Atlantic Slave Trade an estimated 200,000 enslaved Africans disembarked in New Spain, which became modern Mexico. From the beginning, the slaves, who were male, intermarried with indigenous women. In other cases, Spanish colonists raped the female slaves.
Spanish colonists created an elaborate racial caste system. This system broke down in the late colonial period; the creation of a national Mexican identity after the Mexican Revolution, emphasized Mexico's indigenous Amerindians and Spanish European heritage, excluding Africans' history and contributions from Mexico's national consciousness. Although Mexico had a significant number of African slaves during the colonial era, most of the African-descended population were absorbed into the several times larger surrounding Mestizo and indigenous populations through unions among the groups. In 1992, the Mexican government recognized African culture as being one of the three major influences on the culture of Mexico, the others being Spanish and Indigenous; the genetic legacy of Mexico's once significant number of colonial-era African slaves is evidenced in non-Black Mexicans as trace amounts of sub-Saharan African DNA found in the average Mexican. Evidence of this long history of intermarriage with Mestizo and indigenous Mexicans is expressed in the fact that in the 2015 census, 64.9% of Afro-Mexicans identified as indigenous Amerindian Mexicans.
It was reported that 9.3% of Afro-Mexicans speak an indigenous Mexican language. About 1.2% of Mexico's population has significant African ancestry, with 1.38 million self-recognized during the 2015 Intercensus Estimate. Numerous Afro-Mexicans in the 21st century are naturalized black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean; the 2015 Intercensus Estimate was the first time in which Afro-Mexicans could identify themselves as such and was a preliminary effort to include the identity before the 2020 census. The question asked on the survey was "Based on your culture and traditions, do you consider yourself black, meaning Afro-Mexican or Afro-descendant?" and came about following various complaints made by civil rights groups and government officials. Some of their activists, like Benigno Gallardo, do feel their communities lack "recognition and differentiation", by what he calls "mainstream mexican culture". This, however, is due to the small numbers of Afro-descendant individuals relative to the gross Mexican population, their defined and isolated communities, Enslaved Africans were brought in large numbers to Spanish America and to Mexico in particular, becoming an integral part of Mexican society.
Afro-Mexicans engaged in a variety of economic activities as free persons. Mexico never became a society based on slavery, as happened in the Anglo-American southern colonies or Caribbean islands, where plantations utilized large numbers of field slaves. At conquest, central Mexico had a large, hierarchically organized Indian population that provided coerced labor. Mexico's economy utilized African slave labor during the colonial period in Spanish cities as domestic workers and laborers in textile workshops. Although Mexico has celebrated its mixed indigenous and European roots mestizaje, Africans' presence and contributions have until were not part of the national discourse; the historical record has been revised to take account of Afro-Mexicans' long presence in Mexico. Although the vast majority had their roots in Africa, not all slaves made the trip directly to America, some came from other Hispanic territories; those from Africa belonged to groups coming from Western Sudan and ethnic Bantu.
The origin of the slaves is known t
Alphons Joseph is a music director and playback singer in the Malayalam film industry who got a break as a film music composer after composing for the film Vellithira. Alphons is noted for singing the famous song "Aaromale" from the film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, composed by A. R. Rahman. Alphons was born in Kaachery near Nadathara, Kerala, India to a musically affluent Christian family, his mother was Thankamma and father was Koladi Joseph, a tablist and a singer but by profession, a KSEB sub-engineer. Alphons was the second among their 7 children, his elder brother, Joemon had composed music for two Malayalam films. His younger brother Paulson was a well known exponent of Sitar and had got first rank in M. A. Hindustani from Dharwad university, he was introduced to music by his father's younger brother K. K. Paul, a well known violinist. Alphons considers another talented musician from Thrissur, as his mentor and guru, he was the one who diverted Alphons to ghazals. Alphons had professional training in Carnatic music from Shri.
Mangad K. Nadesan and got 7th grade in classical guitar from London Trinity College of Music and 7th Grade in Western Music Theory, he took up music as a profession after he received the Kala Prathibha award by Calicut University for the years 1990 and 1992. He is the lead guitarist and one among the founders of Rexband, a gospel music band with a few albums to their credit; this band experimented a lot in gospel music by blending Western music with Carnatic. They had listeners all over the world and was the only Asian band which got a chance to participate in World Youth Day. From 2000 onwards, he started working as a composer and a sound engineer in Asia-net Radio 657AM, a radio station in Dubai, he worked there after the release of his first film soundtrack and composed many jingles and title songs as part of his work. Apart from his master's degree in computer application from IGNOU, he completed his M. A. in Music from Calicut university. He was a permanent judge in the Reality Show Amrita TV Superstar 2.
He was a part of A. R. Rahman's JaiHo Concert – The Journey Home. Alphons was introduced to director Bhadran, looking for a new music director for his movie Vellithira, by Leo Thadevus, a friend of Alphons, who himself on became a film director; the audio release function of Vellithira was held with several film personalities participating in the grand function including composer A. R. Rahman who appreciated Alphons for the good orchestration of the songs; the songs "Hridayasakhi" and "Nee Manimukiladakal" won him immediate attention. "Kera Nirakal" from Alphons' next film Jalotsavam won him critical accolades. The next superhit from Alphons came with Amal Neerad directed movie Big B in which the songs "Vida Parayukayano" sung by Shreya Ghoshal and "Muthu Mazhai" got high acclaims. Alphons had sung some songs by some film songs which had music created by him, but in 2010, Alphons got a big break as a singer for singing "Aaromale", a song composed by Academy Award winner A. R. Rahman in the acclaimed soundtrack for the Tamil film Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.
The film as well as the song became a huge success in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and overseas and the composer called his rendition "soulful". Alphons is now a part of the Jai Ho Concert- The Journey Home World Tour by A. R. Rahman, he sang a beautiful song "Nee Yeppa pulla Solla ppora" for the movie "Kumki" music by D Imman. Another song called music by Santhosh Narayanan. Next one was "Yarukkum Thozhanillei" from music by Yuvan Shankar Raja, he has sung the Malayalam portion of the song "Chellena oru mazhai thuli from the movie "Raja Rani" and he himself wrote the malayalam lyrics for that song and music was composed by G V Prakash. He continues to sing in Tamil film industry for many other music directors, his recent malayalam rendition in Bijibal's music direction for the movie Rajamma@Yahoo got special appreciation and the song titled as "Mananivalude" was a khavali song. Alphons is a teacher and the Managing Director of his own music school Crossroads School of Music. There are the other in Panampilly Nagar.
2010 Commonwealth Games Theme song 2011 Composed music for Medical research project Music for the foetus. Alphons was awarded the 2004 Film Critics Award for the song Kera Nirakal from the movie Jalolsavam. 2011 Amrita TV FEFKA Film Awards – Best Music Director award for the songs of the movie "Atmakadha". 2011 Vijay TV Music Awards – Best Debut Singer award for the song Aaromale. 2011 L-Channel Film & TV Awards – Best Music Director award for the songs of "Cocktail". 2011 Pala Communications Yuva Prathibha Awards – For all the achievements in the year 2010. 2011 Radio mirchi music Awards – Best Singer Nomination for VTV Song Aaromale. Malayalam music maestro Raveendran commented about Alphons that he is'a composer to watch out for'. Official website Alphons Joseph on IMDb Joseph, Alphons at the Malayalam Movie Database Profile of Alphons Joseph