I was writing a long response on a video, Youtube suggested, to people arguing about whether black people were Jewish, Native American, Native Mexican (this is redundant Mexico is a country on the continent of America, like Canada).
Some people were debating, “why do blacks want to be everything but African?” I’d argue, why can’t we be everything, including Africans? Others were saying, different perspectives were hustles to call us Africans and keep us from knowing our true selves. Will social constructs tell us who we are? Will knowing our exact history change our current situation? Maybe it will be a mental shift. Maybe the identity many currently have limits their thinking and possibilities. I do know seeing reflections of myself in college on “A Different World” made me want to attend a Historically Black College. The Black college experience made me aware of how we buy into false narratives.
The actual Youtube video was a series of clips to prove the Atlantic Slave Trade never happened. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with people, the Atlanta Slave Trade is well documented, it happened. Then again, there are people trying to prove the Holocaust didn’t happen. However, they aren’t Jewish people. HEY BLACK PEOPLE!!!! Black people were actually enslaved. Black people were transported on the violently, stormy Atlantic… Many of them died. Some of them chose death and jumped overboard. Please don’t deny their existence by trying to disprove this historical fact.
About black people being indigenous to the Americas… everyone was right except the people saying the Atlantic Slave Trade was part of this larger conspiracy to rob black people of their history. Global History is our history.
First, all the land on Earth was connected. This was called a Pangaea or Pangea. The first spelling, I consider correct, but depending on the site and researcher it changes so I wanted to share both spellings.
I recognize that our education system dances around the fact of the PANGAEA for religious reasons, so I’m going to share how black people covered all the land on Earth. We are the indigenous everything.
Malietoa Tanumafili King of Samoa
Over dinner, I recently asked a biologist who studies human DNA, migration patterns, the history of man and so on… And it was the first time I learned that Neanderthals are a completely different species. We didn’t evolve from Neanderthals, they existed simultaneously and eventually were extinct. I don’t care to get into all of that, but you are welcome to use Google.
Everyone is from the Pangaea with the oldest traces of human life being found on the continent of Africa. That means all humans, every single one of us originated from Africa until they find an older body on some other part of Earth. White people are younger than black people. There was a time when white people did not exist and all the human life on Earth was Black people. We spread out and over time the earth shifts. Black people are all over the earth. See how that works? Black skinned people are then Indigenous Americans, Indigenous Filipinos, Indigenous Mexicans and Indigenous Europeans… Whaaaaat?
Othello was written before the slave trade, he was a Moor from modern day Syria. Skin tone was not a dividing factor until slavery became skin based. Slavery is not new to America or Earth, but skin based systemic oppression of brown people all over the globe created by slavery is unique.
Now that I’ve shared that, there were black Europeans who held slaves. There were initially Native Americans, whites(I’m not clear how these whites became slaves or where they came from. Because they spoke the language of the Europeans who enslaved them.) and African slaves. Native Americans died from the diseases Europeans brought, refused to reproduce in captivity and died from heat exhaustion. White slaves ran away and blended into society at large.
Also, some blacks arrived, like European whites as indentured servants. Indentured servitude was extremely expensive for wealthy landowners and lucrative for educated middle class Europeans who couldn’t afford to relocate in what they believed was the promise land. There were laws and contracts protecting indentured servants. As a result, indentured servants had to be given large parcels of land, tools, animals to work the land, materials to build a home and enough food to survive until their first successful harvest. As a result, indentured servitude ended and chattel slavery flourished. Because there were black Europeans who were rich and well established, as well as some black Europeans who came as indentured servants, some blacks held slaves. In my research, I could not find any enslaved blacks who came to own slaves outside of buying their own family members.
I should also note, I was NOT doing research on enslaved people. I was doing research to establish a setting for my historical fiction, Descendants of Hagar. My main character Madelyn “Linny” Remington was born around 1894. I wanted to get an understanding of her time period and who the people were walking the Earth. I wanted to know their family histories, motivations, fears why they moved North or stayed in the South, where lynching was a regular occurrence.
I accidentally found the answer to, “who were the blacks who held slaves in America?” Enslaved people didn’t buy their freedom or become free and then buy other enslaved people, unless they were buying relatives. There are very few situations very early on when slavery became skin based where white slave holders acknowledged their children and freed them. These situations overlapped with already existing blacks who were never enslaved living in a hostile America needing to reproduce and in some communities their goal was to breed out their dark skin. I learned about three communities who practices this in North Carolina, Kentucky and one other state I can’t recall.
Initially people identified with their culture/nation over their skin. Research the early 1900’s and you will see how the Irish and Germans were treated. They were white skinned, but were portrayed as monkeys in ads. Which is why you have groups in North Carolina who bought lighter slaves to try and weed out their dark skin. When slavery ended, there were already groups of light skinned blacks who had been tutored at home and were wealthy, where did they come from? These were combinations of a lot of different things. Black Europeans marrying white Europeans, Black Europeans marrying female white slaves, African Blacks and European Blacks marrying Native Americans, Black Native Americans marrying Creoles, victims and products of generational rape light skinned Blacks and so on.
Slavery by skin contributed to colorism in the American black community, there is evidence to argue it created colorism globally. Wealthy, established, educated and well traveled blacks were called “The 400” here in America. This is lost for two reasons. First, whites don’t acknowledge that their are different classes of blacks throughout American history. This is further supported, by exclusive, elitist and established black societies who wanted to fight negative propaganda of the lazy, dumb, happy, always hungry, dancing, promiscuous and self destructive negro.
Established black societies controlled the narratives created which is why there was always a bit of a war between W.E.B. Dubois and Marcus Garvey. There was the war between being Negro and being Colored. Colored people were black people who felt they were just darker whites. The lighter a black person was the better he was perceived. Lightening creams, hair pressing and perms appealed to this idea. Also, blacks were assigned to jobs based on their skin tones even within their own community.
Men, were allowed to be dark if they had wealth, accomplishments and/or notoriety. Dark men usually married light so their children would not be ostracized from the established light skinned black society. This is how we come to view the origins of our first sororities and fraternities. Many people argue, my aunt was in this sorority while discounting her background. Sometimes black children were dark but they came from old money and had the right connections.
There was a dual identity occurring at the turn of the century. Some were identifying as Colored while others, Negro. Negro was a race unto itself. It had great music, food a rich heritage. It was the basis for so many black people from all over the diaspora finding commonality. Jamaicans, Trinidadians, Panamanian and American black Sharecroppers. While Colored people achieved their best by becoming lighter and not necessarily self sufficient. Negro was a race unto itself, with nappy hair, black features and who deserved to be seen as equals without integrating with whites or imitating white culture. Negroes focused on pooling resources to buy land, own businesses, grow their own food and protect their families.
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s free from enslavement light skin, white looking blacks started to be welcomed into The 400’s close knit society. The 400 needed lighter skinned blacks to marry into their society, to maintain their skin. Otherwise, they were hostile towards newly freed dark skin and uneducated black people. Later, they would be called the The Talented Tenth. They would then be compromised of newly educated blacks, European black families and the acknowledged children created from the rape and breeding of slaves. However, they still harbored many of the old sentiments. Like, the refined and educated would lead the masses of blacks. Literally 90% of all black people were still in the south on plantations in the early 1900’s. Again, this is how they arrived at the name “The Talented 10th” or “The talented 10%.”
W.E.B. Dubois is known for coining the term Talented Tenth, but it was more of a known term. He is just the person who wrote it down and outlined a definition for it. Like we have slang terms now, that will become obsolete over time, but when written in literature may find a new purpose or give context to our era.
I must also add, Africans didn’t just sell other Africans, they sold black Jews running from persecution who entered Africa from the Middle East. Native Africans felt imposed upon, went to war with and eventually conquered the Black Jews. Victors of wars regularly enslaved the tribes they conquered. Black Jews became slaves to Native Africans. Because white people don’t acknowledge cultural or language differences and write American history, it is said, Africans sold Africans. Africans sold conquered tribes AND Black Jews.
Eventually, many African tribes became vulnerable and were themselves captured by whites and enslaved. So it is true, that black people in America are descendants of Black Hebrews, Black Europeans, Africans and Native Americans (who were also a form of Black people).
Black Jews are still practicing the original Hebrew religion in Sudan and parts of Asia. We have to remember, that white people came after black people. We have to remember that all the land on earth was connected at one time. So that would mean, all the people on earth were black at one time, again, for the people in the cheap seats. So this whole argument of whether blacks were indigenous or brought here by slavery is confusing because there is a bit of truth in all that is being debated. Everyone is African and Blacks are indigenous to every place on earth. You’re welcome.