Mexico's black history is little-known

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In Mexico, the story of the country's black population has been largely ignored in favor of an ideology that declares that all Mexicans are "mixed race." But it's the mixture of indigenous and European heritage that most Mexicans embrace; the African legacy is overlooked.

"They are saying we are all the same and therefore there is no reason to distinguish yourself," said Padre Glyn Jemmott, a Roman Catholic priest from Trinidad and Tobago who has had a parish of a dozen Costa Chican pueblos since 1984.

"What they are not saying is that in ordinary life in Mexico, lighter-skinned Mexicans are accepted and have first place," he said.

Jemmott, a co-founder of Mexico Negro, an organization that seeks to promote cultural pride and political strength in the coastal pueblos, said many Costa Chicans often don't fully understand what it means to be black in Mexico until they leave their region.

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