This Graphic Compares African Enslavement in Latin America and the U.S.

This Graphic Compares African Enslavement in Latin America to the U.S.

Conversations on American slavery almost always center on the U.S., but a new interactive graphic is illustrating that an overwhelming majority of enslaved Africans forcefully brought to the Americas were actually shipped to Latin America, particularly Brazil and the Caribbean.

According to the graphic, designed by Andrew Kahn for Slate, as many as 10 million people were robbed from their African countries and held in servitude on the Western Hemisphere. Of them, less than 4 percent – or 388,747 – was taken to North America. Four million were brought to the Caribbean, 4.8 million taken to Brazil and 1.3 million transported to Spanish Central America.

The large number of enslaved Africans in Latin America should come to no surprise to Latinos, considering many of us, as well as our family, friends and neighbors, are Black or African descendants. This reality, however, has attempted to be concealed by centuries of anti-blackness across our lands. It wasn’t until 2015, for instance, that Afro-Mexicans were able to identify themselves as Black on their country's census, meaning their presence was completely erased in Mexico all the decades before this.

PLUS: Language Lesson: The African Origins of Some Spanish and Portuguese Words

Head over to Slate to see the enlightening interactive graphic!