My wish to know more about my great African ancestors motivated this post. Further, for Black History Month I wanted to step outside the box of paying tribute to the popular black leaders, murdered by the US government. I am not a historian or an anthropologist but rather a student attempting to seek the truth about my ancestral past.
First, I embarked on an online literature search, aka, a poor man’s search, for African history pre-Transatlantic Slavery, unsurprisingly, there wasn’t much. And what there was, many would not consider legitimate sources. Then I stumbled upon a video or article that led me to the book Nature Knows No Color-Line by J. A. Rogers. It is the information in this research into the “Negro Ancestry in the white race” that I’d like to share with you.
There is irrefutable evidence that civilization began in Africa and that the first people were dark-skinned with wooly-hair, black African people. The oldest human skulls found in South Africa were of black Africans. The earliest Christians depicted the Virgin Mary and Christ as black. (1). Some of the greatest scholars and ancient philosophers believed (and this is without full gene mapping) man originated from Africa and that climate or rather the degree of sunlight along with racial intermixture accounted for the different races. They believed race was a dynamic process that produced new races over time. In ancient times color prejudice was minor. While slavery existed (captives from war), it was viewed as indentured servants or poor farmers as opposed to objects to be exploited and denigrated. Freed slaves could go on to serve in high positions. There was a core respect for all human beings and the contributions made by everyone based on their role or position in society.
So how did color prejudice begin? To Be Continued.
There are two videos below: the first one appeared to be a research project that was sponsored by IsraelUnite.org and the second is a collection of art at the Princeton University Art Museum that examined the roles of African/black people in 16th century Europe. Both were very informative and not long.
Black People Ruled Russia & All Europe During The Dark Ages – IUIC
The Africans of Renaissance Europe: A painted record
- Rogers, J. A. (1980) Nature Knows No Color-Line. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.