The Afro-Vision Experience


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THE AFRICAN DIASPORA


People of African descent can be found in large numbers all over the world. There are over 100,000,000 Black people in southern India, mostly of the Dalit  group. More Black people live in Brazil than in the United States of America. The majority of  people in the Caribbean are also of African descent. If one travels to the Pacific Islands, to Borneo, Fiji, Vanuatu, or the Solomon Islands, it becomes obvious that the original inhabitants of  those  lands came from Africa. Even  the so-called Aborigines of  Australia and New Zealand have African roots.


Africans dispersed from the  Motherland in  many periods  of  history, not just during the Slave Trade.










        In remote prehistory, millenia before the Ice Ages of  the Northern Hemisphere, Africa was home to early Man. The prehistoric remains of the earliest humans in Europe–Grimaldi, Peking  and Java Man– all suggest that these were Africans. Much later, the Africans of  the Nile Valley  travelled to and conquered many lands leaving scattered communities - diaspora- behind. During the rise of Islam many African groups settled in distant lands. The Moorish Empire established many Africans in Spain and Sicily.


People left Africa at different periods in the past. In the ancient past, from about 30,000 to 3,000  years ago, Africans settled many of the large and small  Pacific Islands (Oceania) and southern Asia. In the distant past, from 3,000 to 500 years ago, Africans migrated to India, Asia and the Middle East. Giant statues of Africans, made during the Olmec Civilization,2,500 years ago, have also  been found in Central America. You might ask, how  do we know that these people were Africans? There are three ways. First, many people left paintings, statues, and art that clearly showed how they looked. Second, there are old books which tell us their stories. Third, many times the people who live there today are clearly people of African descent.









A second African Diaspora was created 420 to 150 years ago, when there was a great forced movement of Africans called the Atlantic Slave Trade. This was a period of great suffering for the millions of innocent Africans captured, tortured, enslaved and forced to work all their lives. They were shipped to Brazil, Venezuela, Columbia, and other regions of South and Central America. They populated the Caribbean and the US, which were all  small, growing colonies.

The unpaid work and exploitation of millions of  laborers  made these colonies, and Europe, very rich. During same time period, there was during the a large Arab-led slave trade taking millions from within Africa to the Arabic speaking world to the north and east.

The TransAtlantic Slave Trade placed Africans in tremendous numbers  throughout North, Central, and South America. Some Africans successfully escaped slavery and established  their own states in numerous territories including Brazil, Jamaica, Columbia, and Haiti.

In the United States, people of African descent have had a profound impact on the history and culture of  this country. There were numerous Black inventors and scientists, political leaders, artists, soldiers, cowboys and Indians. These  Black people helped shape America.


         As we will demonstrate throughout this website, these massive displacements damaged but did not cripple Africa’s development, as millions of people–the majority– remained in Africa. These large, forced movements did however create vibrant Black communities throughout the world–collectively called  the African Diaspora. Here are some links to these regions and peoples:


African Diaspora Studies   Florida State University site 

                        http://www.africandiasporastudies.com/encyclopedia/index.html

African Diaspora Archaeology Network     

                        http://www.diaspora.uiuc.edu/

Latin America Network Center African Diaspora links       

                        http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/region/african/

African Diaspora Music     Links from the rich Sanford University site        

                        http://library.stanford.edu/depts/ssrg/africa/african-diaspora/african-diaspora-music.html

W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research Harvard University

                        http://dubois.fas.harvard.edu/

 

The First Wave of African Descendants

The African Holocaust – Dispersal through Slave Trades