Palenque: Colombia’s 1st free black community
March 8, 2010 § 1 Comment
Back in August of last year, I wrote about an article I had read on a Colombian Palenque near Cartagena, but the link is now defunct. Here’s what I wrote along with a part of the article plus a 1992 documentary, which is why I’m reposting it.
There was an interesting story over at Colombia Journal (now nonexistent) on what has been deemed the first free black community of the Americas living along Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Here’s the intro…
“Four hundred years ago, Afro-Colombians living along Colombia’s Caribbean coast would cry when a child was born because the youth was destined to suffer a life of slavery under Spanish colonial rule. And when an Afro-Colombian died, people would engage in a nine-day and nine-night wake to celebrate the deceased’s return to Africa. Back then it appeared that death was the only path to liberation. But today, parents in the remote village of San Basilio de Palenque no longer cry when their children are born thanks to the bravery and resilience of their ancestors, who successfully gained freedom from the Spanish crown in 1603.”
“1992 documentary on the Caribbean Colombian Maroon Community of San Basilio Palenque located near Cartagena in the department of Bolivar. The focus is on present day descendants of African maroons who resisted against the Spaniards and claimed their liberty early during the colonial era with the escape of slavery and establishment of free communities termed palenques also known as maroon communities in English. This particular community was founded by the maroon leader Benkos Bioho, which is a hero to many Colombians of African heritage.”