Scholar Exploring Black Experience in Latin America

By: JENNIFER KAY - Associated Press Writer
By: JENNIFER KAY - Associated Press Writer

A renowned scholar of African American studies is exploring the black experience in Latin America.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. has shot footage in Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico and Peru for his new PBS series, "Black in Latin America." The first of four episodes airs Tuesday and a book on the Harvard professor's research is to be published in July.

The series stems from a surprising number: Of roughly 11 million Africans who survived the trans-Atlantic slave trade, only about 450,000 came to the United States. By contrast, about five million slaves went to Brazil and roughly 700,000 to Mexico and Peru. And they all took their music and religion with them.

Gates says he hopes the series reveals to Americans the black experience south of the U.S. borders.

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