The African Diaspora in Latin America: Afro-Peru and San Martín de Porres

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Omar H. Ali, Professor & Dean, Lloyd International Honors College (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: On May 7, 1962, The New York Times published an eye-opening article describing how “the illegitimate son of a sixteenth-century Spanish knight and a freed Negro slave girl was proclaimed a saint by Pope John XXIII.”2 The person the Roman Catholic Church canonized that day was a Lima-born Afro-Peruvian known as San Martín de Porres.3 The Times story goes on to mention how San Martín was born to a woman “descended from Abyssinian slaves,” how his intercession was credited for a number of miracles, including one involving a child from the Canary Islands, and how a “Negro Cardinal” from Tanganyika attended the canonization in the Vatican. In many ways, the story of San Martín is about a larger historical process—of colonization, African migration, cultural and religious assimilation, and, in the case of the celebrated Afro-Peruvian saint, distinction—in other words, it is a story about the making of the global African Diaspora.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
African Diaspora, Latin America, San Martin de Porres, Afro-Peru

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