‘LA ESCLAVA BLANCA’, NOVELA ADDRESSES RACISM AND SLAVERY
By Lechelle Barron
After the national and international success of the high rated series ‘Celia’, the novela based on the life and career of the iconic Afro-Cuban salsa singer, Celia Cruz, Telemundo televises another drama series, ‘La Esclava Blanca’ (The White Slave); ‘El Amor No Tiene Color’ (Love Has No Color), that features Afro-Latino actors in leading roles, something that is seldom seen in Spanish language television history. This series will draw the attention of millions of viewers throughout the United States and Latin America.
La Esclava Blanca is a Colombian series produced by Caracol Televisión, and does full justice to the Afro-Latino experience in its depiction of the harsh realities of black life in Latin America. The rawness of La Esclava Blanca’s storyline gives viewers a glimpse into the history and the lives of the enslaved Africans in Colombia, and touches on the subject of racism within the Hispanic community in a way that is often ignored in the mainstream media.
The first episode begins with the story of a white woman named Victoria Quintero (The White Slave), as a newborn baby, whose parents were murdered at the hands of a greedy slave owner, Nicolás Parreño (Miguel de Miguel), who wanted to obtain their land. Thanks to the loving hands of her wet nurse, Lorenza (Miroslava Morales), a black slave, she is saved from the fire that took her parents life, and is raised deep in the jungle as a cimarrona (runaway slave), by Lorenza and her husband, Tomás (Modesto Lacen), from them she learns the spiritual heritage of Africa. Shortly after they arrive in the Palenque, Spanish conquistadors discover this remote community of fugitive black slaves, and destroy the palenquero people. With the help of a priest named Padre Octavio (Juan Franco), Victoria is sent to a convent in Spain, and raised by nuns.
After many failed attempts to escape the convent, Victoria leaves Spain under the identity of a marquise, (Lucia de Parreño “La Marquesa”), who is arranged to marry Nicolás, the slave owner who killed her real parents. Under her new identity, she returns to her native city Santa Marta to avenge the murder of her parents, and to be reunited and fight for the freedom of her adoptive black family, and her childhood sweetheart, Miguel (Orian Suárez), who is also a black slave.
La Esclava Blanca shows viewers that the heart has no color (El Corazón No Tiene Color), and that love (Amor), has the power to break barriers and can influence change even when living in a harsh and brutal society. Love conquers all, and has no barriers. Though, the novela is broadcasted in Spanish, the English speaking audience can tune in to this program by choosing the ‘CC3’ closed caption option on their TV screen to see the English subtitles.
La Esclava Blanca airs Monday through Friday at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on the Telemundo network.