Frank Jack Daniel, Reuters, February 14, 2021
King, the eldest son of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, is visiting Mexico to join a government commemoration of Afro-Mexican liberation hero Vicente Guerrero, who as the nation’s second president abolished most slavery in 1829, before the practice was ended in Britain and the United States.
King, 63, said both Mexico and the United States could consider South African-style reconciliation processes to fully acknowledge the past.
Conversations about “reparations in my judgment are certainly in order in places around the world, particularly where people have been enslaved,” he said. “I think the conversations must take place.”
African slavery in Mexico was at its height in the late 16th and early 17th centuries after Spain prohibited enslaving the indigenous population, with around 200,000 Africans brought to Mexico.
Growing awareness has led more people to self-identify as Afro-Mexican in recent years, with the 2020 census counting 2.5 million people, or 2% of the population, who self-identified as having African descent, up significantly from a count five years earlier.