Afro-Dominican are Dominicans of African descent. According to CIA Factbook, Dominicans are 11% black and 73% mix(predominantly mulatto).
Of all Hispanic countries, Afro-Dominicans are the most phenotypically African. Eighty percent of the population range from black, the ranges in between, to the lightest mulatto. Most deny the African and blackness of their heritage, culturally and phenotypically. Being called black is like being insulted. This denial stems from three major historical sources.
The first stems from the Spanish casta social value system, which regarded negro as slave and low in Dominican society. The perspective was reflected in laws that forbade marriage between black and white, but marriage between indian and white was perfectly legal. In 1784, the Codigo Negro Carolino(Black Code) divided the population into free and slave. The free was broken into categories of shades black, mulattos, and pardos, again with black, occupying the lowest undesirable status.
The second stemmed from the Haitian occupation of the Dominican Republic between 1822-1844. Haiti tried to impose her french language culture on the population. The Haitian presence was very much hated, and since Haitians were predominantly darker skinned, this caused further complexes against blackness.
Between 1930 to 1961, Rafael Trujillo ruled the Dominican Republic as a dictator. The country became his personal real-estate. He instituted policies that suppress any expression of Africa and blackness. He doctored himself to look whiter, as well as his darker brother, Hector Trujillo. Like most of Latin America, he wanted to whiten the country. The Dominican Republic was portrayed as a white nation to the rest of the world. Dark skinned people were almost rejected in the country. This revulsion of dark skinned people, culminated in the greatest trajedy in the Caribbean. In 1930, cheap Haitian labor immigrated into the country to cut cane. Trujillo under the guise of controlling the Dominican border and expelling the Dominican Republic of dark-skinned Haitians ordered the massacre of 18,000 Haitian, El Corte(the Cutting). At the border, the military apparatus openned fired on all Haitian fleeing the Dominican Republic. The police and military went around interrogating dark-skinned people within the country, asking to repeat certain words, if they did not pronounce the word properly as in Spanish, they were shot.
Prominent and Famous Dominicans
Gregorio Urbano Gilberto
José Joaquin Puello
Florinda Muñoz Soriano
CIA, Factbook, Dominican Republic