Henry Louis Gates is no stranger to conversations about black identity.
The newest piece of his PBS documentary series — “Black in Latin America” — explores the African racial identity in Latin American countries. Gates visits Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Dominican Republic and Haiti probing into the cultural influence on racial classification in the Caribbean and Latin America.
In the episode “Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided,” Gates speaks with Juan Rodriguez from the Dominican Ministry of Culture about a clear aversion within the country to self-identification as black.
Rodriguez explains that he only associated himself with his African heritage after visiting the United States and realizing that his roots lay in Africa not in Spain. Rodriguez asserts that most Dominicans see themselves as “indio” not “black.”
Read more here.