port of harlem magazine
mike jones state farm
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña
Mexico’s First Black Indian President (1781-1831) Mexico
Jan 25 – Feb 07, 2024
Praising the Past

The Honoree

In Spanish tradition, his first or paternal family name is Guerrero and the second or maternal family name is Saldaña. He fought for and presided over the arrival of independence and the abolition of slavery. Theodore Vincent in his book “The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero, Mexico’s First Black Indian President,” and his 2001 article in the Journal of Negro History points out the African and Indian roots of his father Pedro, a mule driver, who passed onto his son a lifelong hatred of slavery and oppression. Guadalupe, Guerrero’s mother, was of Indian and European heritage.



The 2020 census allowed Afro-Mexicans to self-identify for the first time and recorded a total of 1.4 million (1.2 per cent of the population). The majority of Mexico's contemporary African descendant population lives in the Costa Chica region, which includes the Caribbean coastal regions of the southern states of Oaxaca and Guerrero.

The population includes Afro-descended people from neighboring English, French, and Spanish-speaking countries of the Caribbean and Central America, descendants of enslaved Africans in Mexico and those from the Deep South during Slavery in the United States, and recent migrants directly from Africa.

The Artist's Creative Explanation

“I use whatever resources I have available to create wonderful, second-life art because I grew up poor and use to using whatever is available. When I made this painting, I was incarcerated and working in the prison tailor shop where we made mattresses. I noticed that the guards were throwing away mattress scraps. The scraps were abundant and free; so, I used the scraps as the canvas for this picture.”

- larry walker

- Artist Larry Walker

About "From These Shores"

From These Shores celebrates the accomplishments of 18 known and lesser-known Africans in the diaspora across time and geography. The 12 panels hang at the Juffureh Slavery Museum, The Gambia and online. Timbooktoo Bookstore in New Bakau, The Gambia and Mansa Musa Restaurant in Takoma Park, MD USA each display one of the panels.
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