Black People : african diaspora

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by moham, Nov 22, 2003.

  1. moham

    moham Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    greetings,

    I was born in a little country in the north of South America(Surinam). I know that some of my ancestors came from Africa, West Africa that is. I don't know the exact location, but most of the people who live in Surinam, their ancestors came from countries like Ghana. So i guess my ancestors are also from around that area. Ghana, Benin and Goldcoast for example.

    Now my question is from which part of Africa do black or african-americans come from originally? And do you guys have a system with which you can track down information and data about your ancestors?
     
  2. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Welcome to Destee Moham, it is a pleasure to meet you. I also encourage you to visit the PanAfricanist forum, which addresses the African Diaspora almost exclusively. To answer you question African Americans do not originate from one African country or ethnic group (like Brazil and Angola for instance). Nor do we have a system to track down this information. This is done on a personal basis, through years of research (and some guess work, because many records have been lost) The majority of African Americans are believed to come from the West African States: Senegal, Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, etc. It is known that some African slaves were captured from Southern Africa. Also early North American slaves were taken from the Caribbean, because the British American colony (now the United States) lacked the funds to buy slaves directly from Africa. As a result of this, African Americans are a mix of numerous African ethnic groups.

    I'd like to ask you a couple of questions. It is interesting that the people of Suriname mostly come from Ghana (you have just put it on my places I'd like to visit list). Are the people of Suriname considered to be Latino? I know your neighbor, Guyana, also has a heavy African population, but is considered to be part of the Caribbean (dispite its geographic location). Can you share some details of the culture of Suriname?
     
  3. moham

    moham Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Hi panafrica

    Thank you so much for responding!!
    One question: isn't it possible to remove this thread to the PanAfricanist forum then?
    Or should I just retype my questions(/topic) under that forum?

    Further more, I would gladly share some details about the culture of Suriname with you!

    First I have to rectify one of my comments. "Most of the people who live in Surinam have Ghanese ancestors".
    This is not correct.
    Our descent is not that clear. I know for example that descendants from run away slaves, some of them, have Ghanese ancestors. This group of run away slaves
    had freed themselves and went to live in the forests of
    Surianm where they encountered the original inhibitants
    of Surinam: the Indians. The descendants of these run
    away slaves were born in total freedom. The collective name for this group is ' the Maroons' in Surinam. They settled themselves along different rivers and eventually adopted the names of the rivers.
    Not so long ago I saw a documentary about a black Surinamese guy that decided to follow the slave route along the West coast of Africa in order to find out where our ancestors came from, by whom they were captured, sold and bought and where all of that took place. Basically what our ancestors went through from the moment they were captured. On his journey he met an Ghanese man who guided him through some places that were on the slave route.
    Eventually he asked the man to come with him to Surinam, where he now worked as a guide for the Ghanese guy. And he showed him the country, the different people and cultures.
    Finally he took him (and this the best part and my keypoint) to the Maroons, where he introduced him
    to an Maroon chief. What happened there and then was, is and will always be very important and memorable to me.
    An African born in the motherland (the Ghanese man) and the African born in Surinam were able to communicate. They greeted each other and the maroon welcomed the Ghanese man with greeting rituals. The Ghanese could understand the man, not only his words but also his rituals looked familiar. And the Ghanese man started to wonder wheter it was possible that man originally came from his village or his area. Meanwhile the black Surinamese guy who had initially invited the Ghanese man to come to Surinam stood there watching a happening where I know he felt like an outsider.
    You see, in Surinam you used to have a division in denomination among black people during the colonial period and probably even more after the abolition of slavery in Suriam in 1863. This denomination was set about by the dutch who had colonised Surinam. Black people were didvided in two groups.
    One group of people who stayed to live and work on the plantations. Together with their desecendants they were called the 'citynegroes'.
    And then you have the group that resisted and held freedom higher than their lives. They also went back to the plantations on a regular basis to free slaves. They were called the 'bushnegroes', cause they went to live in the forest( nowadays they're called the Maroons).
    Very degrading names I find, but to continue my story, the Surinamese man was a descendant of socalled
    'citynegroes' and thus you would say he losed his identity, because citynegroes weren't allowed to talk their own language nor carry out their own rituals, traditions etc.
    'Bush negroes' on the contrary could. So they were able to preserve their identity. And here you had two Surinamese men which one of them was able to communicate with an African and the other not. Well, I cried when I saw this.

    But to come back to our origin. Further more I know that Surinam slaves were extracted from the region between Ivory Coast and Nigeria and also from Angola.

    Surinam is not part of Latin America, so we're not Latino's. We do not speak a Latin language, we speak dutch (that's the official language). But I think Surinam and the other two Guiana's were in an isolated and outsider's position for years, because they weren't part of Latin America, but they weren't really part of the Carribean either because they were part of the fast land. But for years now the notion has been growing that the Guianas are a part of the Carribean. I think the foundation of the Caricom (something like the unification of european countries resulting in the European society and 'the euro') has also contributed to this conciousness.

    Ok that's it . I have more to tell, but for now this is enough. Once I start I can't seem to stop. But next time I will tell more about the different ethnic groups in Surinam and their culture. And a little more structured.

    moham
     
  4. panafrica

    panafrica Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for sharing.....I'll give it another day or two, then I'll move this thread to the Panafrican forum. I believe you'll get more responses there.
     
  5. PositiveMindset

    PositiveMindset Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    panafrica and moham, thank you for this conversation, you have both contributed to the wider opening of my mind's eye.

    Any chance I get, I try to learn more about our heritage, and by our, I mean descendants of Africa as a whole, no matter where we were misplaced.

    Once again I thank you, highly.
     
  6. Oba Iparankanru

    Oba Iparankanru Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Most slaves that came to th british colonies were from what is now northern nigeria, also mende were sold to them by arabs in gambia, as well as angolans which they took themselves, and or bought from rival tribes.
     
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