Summary Of The Film 'Black In Latin America'

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Professor Henry Gates visits the island divided in his very first episode of Black in Latin America. The island of Hispaniola hosts both the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic and have so for five centuries. The island was the first land in the Americas to import African slaves and from that point the two nations have shared the Massacre River, but nothing else. Haiti and Dominican Republic have two completely different cultural identities and this relates to the connections they have with their African ancestors. Professor Gates explores and compares both of these cultures and why they have so many differences, even though they are in very close proximity. The film begins with an explanation of the differences between the two countries. The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking country influenced by European culture. The citizens of the Dominican Republic are proud to be of mixed heritage, but often dismiss and forget their black ancestors. They equate their homeland only to Spain and not Africa. Dominicans tend to praise Spanish leaders like Bartholomew and Christopher Columbus instead of great black leaders. The film explained …show more content…

When the film teaches the viewer one thing about the Dominican Republic, the film makes sure the viewer learns about the same thing in Haiti and how it is different. For example, Professor Gates show images of statues and pictures of heroes in the Dominican Republic. The majority of these heroes are Spanish and in some cases white washed. When the film crosses the river to Haiti, they also have statues and figures of their heroes. Their heroes, though, are proudly black. The statues have very distinctive black features and is made out of a dark, black material unlike the Dominican Republic. Contrast is extremely important because it showcases how truly different the countries are from one

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