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Friday, November 19, 2010

Afro-Latino National Heroes

Black Latinos & their Historic Victories for Freedom















Antonio Maceo,
1845-1896, Cuba

General Antonio Maceo was known as the Bronze Titan. So named because of his skin color, physical prowess, and social status as he led his troops to consistently outmaneuver the Spanish army in the 10-year war.


Alonso de Illescas
1528-1585
Ecuador

Illescas, a native of Senegal, West Africa was brought to Ecuador on a slave ship around the age of 25 and grew up to be a strategist skilled in guerrilla warfare. Behind a fortress built by by an alliance of escaped African slaves and Indigenous people, Illescas and his men fought and turned back many expeditions of Spanish forces.











Vicente Guerrero
1782-1831
Mexico

Born of an African slave mother and a Mestizo father, Vicente Guerrero joined the Mexican Revolution in 1810, and achieved the ranks of Captain, Colonel, and finally general before becoming Mexico's second president in 1829.







Benkos Bioho
Late 15th Century-1621
Colombia

Benkos Bioho, a successful slave revolter in Colombia who left a legacy of a free black town that stands to this day----San Basilio de Palenque, 40 km south of Cartagena. This town still holds on to African dialects like the Gullah people off the South Sea islands of the United States and the Garífuna people of Central America.


Gaspar Yanga in Mexico was said to be a member of a royal family in an area of West Africa now called Gabon. For three decades, Yanga and his African warriors survived and thrivedin the remote hills of Vera Cruz, Mexico by swooping down on caravans bringing goods to Veracruz, and raiding local Spanish settlements and slave plantations.

In 1630, Yanga established the first free black town in all of the western world. The town was originally called San Lorenzo de los Negros de Cerralvo. In the early 1950s, descendants of Yanga's African warriors positioned the Mexican government to change the name of the town to Yanga.