Texas Tech University

Tony Gleaton, cultural photographer of 'the Third Root' of Black life in the Americas, dies at 67

The Philadelphia Tribune

September 4, 2015

The Philadelphia Tribune - Afro-Mexicans, the descendants of Mexico’s original slaves, have resided in the country for several centuries. Many Mexicans assume Black nationals hail from the Caribbean; however, colonial records show that around 200,000 African slaves were imported into Mexico in the 16th and 17th centuries to work in silver mines, sugar plantations and cattle ranches. After Mexico won its independence from Spain, slavery was officially abolished in 1822. Since then, the country’s native Blacks have encountered cultural stigma, and although considerably removed from their African roots, they have retained an essence of their historical past.

Historian William Tydeman, Director of the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection, predicted Gleaton would have a prominent place in the history of documentary photography. According to Tydeman, "Tony will be at the absolute top of those photographers who have had a concentration on ethnicity, on race and the interactions between race, culture and behavior."

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