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  • Interview with Graciano Romero Garcia
  • Charles H. Rowell, Marcus Jones, and Florentino Flores Castro
  • Interview with Graciano Romero Garcia
  • Charles H. Rowell, Marcus Jones, and Florentino Flores Castro

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Graciano Romero Garcia and Juana Rico Pulido
Piedra Gorda, Mexico

Photo by Marcus D. Jones © 2007

[End Page 18]

This interview took place on May 11, 2007, in Piedra Gorda, Veracruz, Mexico.

ROWELL: Do you know how long this community has existed here?

GARCIA: Since it was founded?


GARCIA: I'm not sure, but I would say it might be around seventy years.

JONES: Were you born here? Were your parents and grandparents born here, also?

GARCIA: Yes. They were all born here.

JONES: All of them?

GARCIA: Yes, all of them.

ROWELL: Who owns the cane fields? Do you own the cane fields?

GARCIA: There are various owners.

ROWELL: Is this the source of people's livelihood, or do they have other ways of making money to support their families?

GARCIA: Right now, that's mostly what we have: sugar cane and lemons.

JONES: Do many people go to other places to work?

GARCIA: Yes, some people do. [End Page 19]

JONES: And why is that?

GARCIA: Because there's almost no work, and we need work. There are almost no jobs.

CASTRO: Do people call you black or brown?

GARCIA: Yes, they do. Or they call us African. Some of them do call us that.

JONES: Some of them do?

GARCIA: Some of them do, but not all of them. But some of them do. Then they talk about large gatherings of blacks.

ROWELL: Do you have any knowledge of the continent of Africa?

GARCIA: No. It's through television that we find out.

ROWELL: Do the people here know how they arrived here? This whole land before the 1600s was indigenous. And then the Spanish came. The Spanish brought enslaved Africans here. Do the people know anything about that history?

GARCIA: Many don't know how they arrived here. Maybe the older ones do, but we don't. We have no idea.

ROWELL: Do the people know who Gaspar Yanga is?

GARCIA: The man Yanga? Many others do know about him, but I don't.

ROWELL: I noticed that there's a church in this community. Is there also a school?

GARCIA: Yes, there's an elementary school.

JONES: Only an elementary school?

GARCIA: Only an elementary school and kindergarten.

ROWELL: And where do the children go to high school?

GARCIA: They have to go to Cuitlahuac.

ROWELL: Do many go to universities after they graduate from high school? [End Page 20]

GARCIA: Not really, because the economic means aren't available.

ROWELL: So what do they do after high school? Do they work in the cane fields?

GARCIA: Most of them do.

CASTRO: They study and then go to the sugar cane fields.

GARCIA: That's right.

JONES: Through television, do you get a lot of information about the people of the United States?

GARCIA: No, not really.

CASTRO: People like the two of you have never come to this area before.

JONES: And what do you think about our coming here to talk to you?

GARCIA: It's a great pleasure that you've come to chat. Florentino had mentioned that Mr. Rowell would come, but I didn't think it would be so soon. But it's a pleasure to say hello to you and to have you here with us.

JONES: And do you know why we came here to talk to you?

GARCIA: Florentino told me that you enjoy talking to us, that the reason for your visit is simply to get to know this area and to be with us for a while.

ROWELL: All of my life, I have wanted to connect with all of the people in the Americas who are descendents of Africans or African people. For instance, next month I'm going to Peru, and eventually, I'm going to go to Ecuador. Later, I will go to Guatemala. I will go to all of these different countries to connect the voices of descendents of African slaves. The journal that...


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