A group of women in Oaxaca, Mexico are driving a movement to encourage other Afro-Mexicans to feel proud of their roots.
And they’re doing this through dance.
The Internet plays a huge part of this movement. After researching online and discovering that most Afro-Mexicans descend from the northeast region of Africa, they decided they would only focus on dances that come from that part of the continent. And as for how they’re learning the traditional dances? YouTube.
Their efforts are inspiring many to feel a sense of pride, but this group is also impacting the Mexican Census. Afro-Mexican was never an option in the Mexican Census until 2015. That year, 1.4 million were mexicanos identified as Afro-Mexicans.
“We want equal rights and we want to be proud of being black and be able to share that pride,” said Anai Herrera, a lead of the Obatala Afro-Mexican dance group.
Here’s a video that proves what we’ve known all along: tamales make everyone happy. During a recent trip to the local HEB grocery store, shopper John Castillo came across an HEB employee singing about tamales to the tune of the classic James Brown track “Get Up Offa That Thing.” Castillo did what most people would do: he recorded the experience and posted the video to his Facebook wall. The infectious energy of the unnamed employee — though her name tag says “Jewel” — caught on, and the video gained half a million views in just a few days. No word on whether or not “Jewel” has any songs up her sleeve about enchiladas or tacos, but that tamale track is definitely going on my playlist.
“Get up off of that thing, and get your hot tamales.”