The Rio Grande Valley is majority Hispanic but there are and were a few people of African descent who settled in this region. To learn more about this complex history, Dr. Jamie Starling, a professor at the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, will present “Afro-Mexican Spaces and Legacies on the Rio Grande” at the Sunday Speaker Series Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.

The presentation will discuss the accounts of people of African descent along the Spanish-Mexican frontier of the lower Rio Grande. Most of the research was derived from the legacy of the “Hacienda de Miguel Pérez” in present-day Starr County. The ranch was home to a number of servants of African and Native American heritage. Afro-Mexicans also became soldiers, landholders, and political leaders of note in the region, especially in the first decades after Mexican independence.

Starling has a doctorate’s degree in history from the University of Texas - El Paso and has published articles on intermarriage during the U.S.-Mexico War (American Catholic Studies), Afro-Mexicans in South Texas (The Journal of South Texas), and Catholicism in the colonial period (Password). Starling is the co-founder of the Global Latin America lecture and engagement series at UTRGV.

Sunday Speakers Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.