Discussion in 'African American History Culture' started by 1milehi, May 20, 2005.
Thank you for posting this information 1milehi. Efforts to education Black people about how they share a common history/culture with Blacks in other countries is extremely important. Indeed if forms the basis of PanAfricanism. This is why I moved your thread from the Open Forum to the PanAfrican Forum.
I think there definately needs to be some sort of program to educate our people on the history of black people through out all of Latin America because the media and public educational system in America certainly aren't doing the job.
Too many of our people see Africa as a "nation" rather than an entire continent; and think the "nations" of Africa and Jamaica are the only places black people live outside of America.
Thus, they have an inferior "minority" image of themselves.
We also need to understand that many if not most of our people in Latin America as well as most Arab countries don't see themselves as being apart of our race.
They are genetically our people, but cultural differences have divided us.
But I'll tell you what....
You take the average man from Harlem who calls himself Black.
The average man from Panama who calls himself Latino.
And the average man from Sudan who calls himself Arab.
....and let a healthy stout sista with a lovely round back-side stroll pass them.
And every one of them will have the same genetic reaction to her shape and figure.
I had read that about 45% of Brazils population is Black but I was arguing with someone on the internet about it and he was saying that figure is really about 6%, at least who identify as Black, because Brazil and Latin America don't have the same one drop rule and mentality the U.S has and interracial marriages has been strongly promoted to 'cure' racism, ever since the end of slavery, so about 39% of Brazillians just have African ancestry and may be 'Black' in the U.S but not in Brazil and it's only about 6% that are primarily African descended, I don't know if that's true or not.
Black Panamanians are descended from West Indians who came to work on the Panama canal since the early 20th century I don't know if they would call themselves 'Latino' or deny they were Black ( I know J.August Richards ("Gunn" from Angel) and Tatiana Ali's mom are from Panama ). I've heard that the Northern Arab Sudanese are really just mixed with African/Arab and embrace the Arab culture and identity,( is that the same scenario in Mauritania and Chad?). I don't know if I give a **** about them.
In previous years I had always read that 86% of Brazil's population was Black. Recent reports have contradicty that figure and dropped it significanly to 45% Black and 55% White. Not being from Brazil, and not having visited (it is on my list of places to go)...I can not dispute this change in figures. However I am suspicious! There is a big difference between 86% Black which I've always heard, and 45% Black which I'm recently hearing. Is it safe to say that a large portion of those 55% who are calling themselves White are really what we would classify as Mulatto? I wish I know more Brazilians so I could ask them personally.
Some thing you may have read is that in the state of Baiha, Brazil the population is 80% black. This is the state, that most black Africans were brought to, as well as Rio. The southern have of brazil is mostly white (Italian and German). Brazil did an intentional migration of these people to whiten the population.
I have visited Brazil twice, and one of my closes friends is from Baiha. He is an African-Brazilian Mestre of Capoeira. I have being training in Capoeira for 15 years and it’s an African/Brazilian fighting art form. Baiha has retained many African traditions, by disguising them to look like some thing else. A great many African traditions where permitted, because the plantation owners felt that if African slaves were able to partake in their music and religion they would be less likely to run away.
It's true, out side of the U.S, people see being black only if you are a fullblood. the Jim crow Laws of the U.S, are quite unique in the world. they have cussed many arguments in terms of identity. and now among the different diaspora communities.
African Brazilian histoy
The bantu diaspora
In 1452, half a century before Brasil was discovered, the portuguese started building Fort Arquim, in the beaches of Guiné establishing contact with coastal inhabitants, muslim black people. They called this people "mouros" (portuguese word meaning "muslims"), since there had been contact with muslims in Spain.
Initially, the relationship was based on commerce and exchange, but it soon became slavery: the mouros of Europe were enemies of Portugal, and they were loosing the war there. Documents from that times state that "since half of the XVth century, Fort Arquim, in Guiné, produced seven or eight hundred slaves per year".
In 1471 the portuguese slave traders (called Santarém and Escobar) increased the traffic, and in 1483 the king João II ordered the building of a new fort in that coast. This one would be the biggest source of internation slave traffic: Fort São Jorge da Mina. The profit got by portuguese crown was so big that the entire region became worldwide known as "Costa dos Escravos" (Slaves' Coast)
In the beginning, the slaves were obtained by the destruction of small coastal towns, peaceful and unprotected, or by trading products (such as salt, tobacco, liquor, cotton and others) with black countries (which were, in many cases, enemies) such as Monomotapa, Manicongo, Angola, old Ghana and Mali.
As time went by, the holy cross became the sword, and helped conquering the kingdoms of Angola and Manicongo, by the means of pseudo-religious conversions and conspiracies. "New" christians such as Don Afonso I (known as the "black king of christian Congo") first enslaved their enemies, and after that, their own people.
There'll never be a fair explanation to slavery, but the wars at Africa, although instigated and supported by european countries, started because of the greed of local governors, eager for the easy profit of slave commerce. That was a common pattern, until these governors were thrown from their thrones by the same european countries.
This way, for almost two centuries, Brasil received slaves that belonged to the banto ethnic group, from Congo and Angola.
Here they were known as "minas", which denoted to the buyers only the place where the "pieces" had been put aboard, no matter what was their original ethnic group or region. These captives were doomed to create and maintain the wealth of Brazil.
For more than 200 years, the bantos were spreaded in a continent-sized country, in a diaspora that lead to the loss of many of their ancient religious beliefs. The reminiscences that survived refer to "a supreme entity" - Zambi - and a divine pantheon inhabited by the M'Inkisi. And of course, the faith in their semi-divine ancestors.
That happened because initially the "minas" (slaves boarded at São Jorge da Mina) barely adored their ancestors, since they only could practice their rituals along with the rituals that honoured the brasilian indians' ancestors (called "Ra-Angás") and the supernatural indian-catholic entities (called "Encantados", or " the charmed ones"). In these cults, they found
spiritual support to their escapes for freedom. It originated the cults of "Catimbó" and "Batuque", that actually are found in the countryside. Doing more than that was not possible, since they were taken daily to the torture of slave work in the diamond and gold mines, where their expected lifetime dropped to 4 years.
The only escape of this fate was to escape to their quilombos (in the mountains and unexplored countryside), which existed through entire Brazil, bigger or smaller. Well known or registered only a few years ago, here I honour their memory in the person of Aqualtune, the bantu princess that founded "Cerca Real do Macaco", capital of Palmares - quilombo which grew up and spreaded its borders for about 200 years, at Serra da Barriga (Alagoas, northeast of Brazil). Destroyed but never defeated in the person of its last king Zumbi, who chose suicide to rendition.
Posteriorly, as more and more bantus arrived to urban areas, the "Batuque" evolved to "Candombe", which was the allowed by the masters to avoid the "banzo" (the physical manifestation of the psychosomatic problem caused by the anxiety for freedom, which frequently lead the minas to suicide).
To get protection, the bantu Candombes dressed their M'Inkisi (divinities) with the appearance of catholic saints, which lead to a true religious syncretism among indigenous, bantu and catholic beliefes. But even that, "congos" and "angolas" never forgot their original identity.
this is from my notes, as I am researching a book I hope to white some day on Capoeira. I have alot more if you guys are interested.
Thank you for the insight brother Corvo!
This is a very enlightening thread…we had some information going forward here a while ago about the plight of Afro-Brazilians…I have always been into some of the musical artist from there, like Milton Nascimento, Nana Vasconcelos and Dom Um Romao, also you know Airto and Flora Purim were very big in the states when Jazz-Fusion was really powerful. There was also an extraordinary female Jazz vocalist and pianist I believed named Tina Maria (sp?), man this sister could scat. I had also tracked down this extraordinary berimbau player many years ago, by the name of, “I believe Papate (sp?)”. Man, there is nothing like hearing three or four master berimbau players playing in harmony, brother it is almost hypnotic. I need to research the last two artist discographies and get there names right, let alone see what they are doing now.
Man! you are so right bruh!
so much great music comes from our Black-Brazilian brothers. and I totally agree about the birimbau. it came make your hair stand on it's ends. did you know that, that instrument came from Angola?
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