Cinco de Mayo – an American Civil War Holiday
Many people celebrate Cinco de Mayo for the wrong reasons. The holiday is not Mexico’s Independence Day, which is September 16, but rather celebrates the country’s brief victory over French forces in 1862. Cinco de Mayo also relates to the mass immigration to California by people in Mexico and Central and South America during the Civil War and those people’s fight for the abolition of slavery. Black people really have good reason to celebrate the French army’s defeat at the hands of Mexican forces for two reasons. First, Napoleon’s generals, who commanded the French invaders, supported the slave-holding Confederacy in the U.S. Second, Benito Juárez, the president of Mexico at that time, gave land to anti-colonial Black-Seminoles. Napoleon had hoped that the Confederacy wo ...