“I’m Not Sitting Next To You”: Education and Racism in Afro-Mexican Communities

Cristina Verónica Masferrer León


Abstract: Today, the biggest concentration of Afro-Mexican communities is found in the Costa Chica region of Guerrero and Oaxaca, although their presence is also important in other areas and states of Mexico. The social, cultural, economic, and political contributions of Africans and their descendants were significant during the colonial period throughout the territory known today as Mexico. Still, historic processes of racism and discrimination have led to their invisibilization and exclusion.
This paper is a reflection on racism in schools of Afro-Mexican communities in the Costa Chica region. It presents an analysis of interactions between students, showing how bullying reproduces racism in school, as well as the role of teachers in this process, with some confronting the problem and collaborating to eradicate it and others reproducing racist ideas and discriminatory practices. Therefore, although school education promotes learning about discrimination to a certain degree, it also constitutes a space where racism is learned and lived, either in cases of bullying, in discriminatory attitudes by certain teachers, or in official textbooks that deny or minimize the presence and contributions of African descendants in Mexico. Key words: racism, discrimination, education, childhood, African descendants.

Palabras clave

racism, discrimination, education, childhood, African descendants

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