Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexico?s unexpected victory over France in the 1862 Battle of Puebla. The French, in their attempt to take control of Mexico under the command of Napoleon III, intended to re-enslave those Blacks in Mexico who had attained their freedom by escaping the South. Mexico had abolished slavery 33 years prior to this battle, and the Mexicans refused to have that practice reinstituted in their country. Many of the Blacks who became involved in the Cinco de Mayo power struggle were products of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 put into effect by the United States. This act ruled that slave masters from the southern United States could go into the northern part of the country to locate their runaway slaves. If an owner could find them, the law read, he could apprehend them and take back to his plantation. For slaves in the deep South, the northern trek to Canada was virtually impossible and unrealistic. Instead, Blacks from the Delta, Bayou, and Gulf Shores found that liberation could come by fleeing further south to Mexico. So on May 5th 1862 the Mexican army with the help of former enslaved Africans defeated the French invasion. This victory was big blow to the slaveholders of the United States. SO MY BLACK FAMILY YOU CAN CELEBRATE AS WELL.
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