The root word for "Black" in Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is bhel- or bhleg-, meaning "bright, shining, burn". This cognates into the latin word flagrare, "blaze". (This is according to the online etymology dictionary.)
This is also the root for the words "bleach", "blank" "blanc (white)" and "bleak". My guess is that the root word bhleg- meant blaze, like bright and white light, and also blazed, something burnt by a blaze, and therefore black. The original English word for black was swearte (where we get swarthy). "Black" in English really connotes "scorched".
So Kerry Davis from "African Americans Ain't African" is half right: black does originally mean "white". But it also originally means "black". If you want to get semantically picky about it.
Has this term, "black" (a recent term used to denote African descent dated to 13th century Europe) always been used pejoratively? I believe it has. During the Black Power '70s, my grandmother couldn't handle being called black. She'd point to something black and say "I am not that". When Stokely said "they" use the words "black" and "colored" to divide us, we all agreed to embrace the term that was most used to hurt us, much like we've embraced "niggah" today.
We call ourselves black because we've been trained too. We ignore the denigrating, derogatory, pejorative meaning because we're tired of fighting it, like a perverted if-you-can't-beat-em... mentality. I was always told I had "bad" hair, and my brother had "good" hair. When I'd protest that my hair wasn't bad, I'd be told, "bad" doesn't mean bad, it means "nappy", not-straight. It wasn't a value judgement, just a "description". I'd point out that it was called "bad" because someone, somewhere, thought fluffy hair is bad. My hair is not bad. It's fluffy.
Regarding "black", it really means "blank", a non-entity, nothing there. Blancked Out. Regardless of our skin color, our brown-skinned ancestors were members of different cultures, not different skin colors. We're African descendants ( Fulani, Akan, Mandinka, Soninke), or American descendants (Taino, Seminole, Amaru), people who come in all shades of brown.
Our general identity that we check off on application forms should be African, because that is what our alleged continent of descent is (e.g. Asian, Latin American). Asians aren't compelled to check the "Asian-American" box. The assumption is that Asian residents descend from people who don't come from here. These forms are really trying to propagate the myth that brown-skinned, fluffy-haired residents aren't from here, and we aren't from there. KRS-One was right, African-American doesn't mean that we are both, it means we're neither.
But in truth our heritage is rich and complex. We're descendants of the AmerIndians who migrated over from Africa millennia ago (Olmecs, Amaru-Khan, Washitaw); and also descendants of the European Moors (maroons, quadroons, octaroons, mulattos, ladinos, morenos, whatever you want to call them) who were kicked out of Europe beginning in the 1200's, during the crusades, and resettled in the U.S. (Virginia, the Carolinas); and we're descendants of enslaved people brought over directly from Africa and from other parts of the Americas, especially the Caribbean.
Not just our arrival in, but the colonization of, "the New World" is always tethered to the year 1492, when Columbus' arrived. But if we examine the year PRIOR to Columbus' journey, we can see a much larger picture that will give us insight into to who we all are.
1491 was the year that the Moors were expelled from Spain. But Spain was the very last place they were expelled from. For centuries the Morrocan Empire, dominated by Mandinka Moors, Fulani Moors, Hausa Moors, extended from Africa throughout Europe and the Middle East. Century by century they were pushed from France, Germany, Italy, Holland and Great Britain, and back into Africa, and to the Americas, where they already knew of African Moorish colonies. The Americas were populated by people fleeing the Inquisition, and no one living in the English colonies was going to admit their family was originally from Spain. Maybe some of our ancestors forgot our names because they wanted to hide.
Moor is a general term, and certainly derives from Egypt, or Ta-Meri. Mu meant sea or ocean. and -r added to a word masculinized it, much like adding -er makes a verb into its doer, e.g. bake - baker, wait - waiter, teach - teacher. Mu-r would have been sea man. This term has been associated with sailing and navigation since the time of the Phoenicians sailing the Mediteranean and the Nubians sailing down the Nile.
"Mer" is "sea" in French, the root of Mermaid, marine, and merchant, which is a maritime trader. First and foremost the Moors (Mu'urs) were a class of traders, everywhere in Africa. Moor in Scotland means a sea of grass, originally the wetland area at the coast where the Moors would have come ashore because the rest of the Scottish coastline is craggy and rocky. They were the sons and daughters of people who'd traveled the world and brought the mysteries of other cultures back to their nations of Ta-Meri, Nubia, Kanem-Borno, Mali, Songay, Futa Jallon, and Ghana. They could navigate across the trade roots of the Sahara, because they could read the stars, which is the ancient, fundamental wisdom out of Nubia/Kush, the progenitor science of astronomy and geometry, and the basis of Moorish and Masonic Science.
We can research our own family histories here in the U.S. and find out which groups most reflect our cultural history. We aren't all the same, no more than Europeans, or Asians, Pacific Islanders, or Latin Americans are.
My father's people, for example, from Virginia, are most likely a mix of natives and Moors. There's no oral history of enslavement on my father's side, but there is Native (Saponi, Shinnecock) history. Although I can't prove it, I know this from family stories, and that's good enough. We don't have to prove anything to anyone except ourselves. My father took me to Shinnecock Pow-Wows when I was little. That's history. And when I took my kids there, years later, half of the people looked like my uncles.
My mother's line emigrated to Jamaica from Haiti in the mid 1800's. My great-great grandfather was an overseer, which means that he likely descended from Moors taking refuge in Moorish-friendly French territory (Moors fleeing the Spanish Inquisition were accepted into France). His last name was Irish, but his children had French first names. His father and grandfather were probably indentured servants, i.e. overseers in bondage.
Beginning centuries earlier, Irish, Scottish and Dutch sailors joined with the Spaniards to fight against the English, on land and, later, at sea. The Celtic people of Spain, France, Ireland, Holland; the Breton people of Wales, and the Picts of Scotland came from Egypt and were originally dark-skinned and Moorish. The Spanish and Portuguese mulatto descendants of these Celtic seamen and Iberian Moorish women would not have been granted refuge in Morocco, (the seat of retreat of the Moorish empire after the expulsion) because they didn't have African last names (Moroccan, Fulani, Madinka, Hausa, Akan). Until recently, Moroccan-African heritage was determined through the male line.
Moorish sailors and navigators from all nations took to the high seas to escape persecution from the Roman Catholic Church, because, especially in Spain, the tortures of the Inquisition were inflicted primarily upon brown-skinned people. That was the easiest way to identify Muslims. And this is the main religious persecution that people in Europe were fleeing to America to escape, the Inquisition against Muslims! The oppression of British religious groups (the Pilgrims, Puritans) wasn't nearly as horrific.
The crusades and the Inquisition were race wars, primarily, although they've been represented in western history books as conflicts of ideology. But in reality the Catholic church pursued and tortured and/or purged, dark-skinned people in Europe. In some places, like Portugal, Moorish descendants, even those with Portuguese paternity, were rounded up and dumped on islands off the coast of Portuguese-occupied Africa that had no food or shelter on them, and left to starve and die of the elements.
So as many as could, migrated to the Americas. And often, unfortunately, they found themselves em-bounded (in bondage for 7-15 years) when they got here. Mostly they were in bondage as overseers of the indigenous brown, fluffy haired people, because they spoke the language of the conquistadors, and maybe even the language of the natives, documented to have been a form of Hebrew.
In the U.S., in states like Virginia and North and South Carolina, after their term of servitude expired, they'd have been classed as free persons of color (FPC). But this designation, while exempting them from literal enslavement as chattel property, nonetheless required that the family pay tax (a tithe) not just on the male head of the family (for all "races", white, Indian and Negro), but also on his wife and children, on the assumption that non-white women and children should be in some form of remunerative bondage.
As evidenced by the Melungeons of Virginia and Tennessee, people were consequently inclined to deny their African descent, to avoid the tithes. But their vigilant neighbors often hounded them out, and many a so-called Melungeon of Portuguese and Native descent was hung by the neck in front of his family for concealing "tithables", i.e., the status of his FPC family. No wonder so many retreated into the Appalachians and tried to hide their African/Moorish ancestry.
There is an African saying, it doesn't matter what you are called. It only matters what you answer to. The term for any people that they give themselves is "The People", or "The Real People", which usually means, we are the civilized ones, the real humans, who behave humanely, not beastly. The names others give us, however, usually mock us, or marginalize us, e.g. the word "Welsh" means "stranger" in Anglo-Saxon. The Greeks called them Bretons, which derives from the word for "Tattooed People". The Eskimo hate that name for themselves. It means "flesh eaters". They call themselves Inuits. They object to being classified as a people based on their practice of eating meat, as if they were bloodthirsty demons.
For people who look white, and can pass, but won't because they don't identify with All-American pure white culture where someone is always asking "What are you, Mariah?", it is absurd for them to have to say "I'm Black", when there's nothing resembling black on them. And there's always some so-called pure African saying, "You ain't black", well yeah! So let's drop the black, so we can get some cultural unity not based on blankness.
If we identify as a descendant of brown skinned people in a country that really makes a point about that, then what is the general ethnicity that we can all claim? African? Certainly. Nubian? Why not? Kushitic? Absolutely. American? Yes. And if we want to be particular, Shinnecock, Jamaican, Trinidadian, Nigerian, Ghanaian, Morrocan, Washitaw, etc.
As far as our nationality is concerned, we belong to our nation state, which in my case is New York. The United States of America are really the United Countries of America, because a state is a country. That means that my nationality is New Yorkan. I am a New Yorker of Virginian descent. My ethnicity is half Jamaican and half Virginian.
We don't need DNA tests to prove to ourselves who we are. These early-stage testing conclusions will prove to be inaccurate, crude and false, just like so much of what we were taught as kids about dinosaurs turned out to be false. Obviously DNA testing is just another tool of the Inquisition to ferret out who is really "black", not just those of us who "look" black. It's the present day equivalent of the yellow star, sewn on the clothing of Jews, to identify the ones that "don't look Jewish".
If 6 million American white people's DNA has revealed that they're really 10-20% African, then these people will be classified as black by our country's fine statisticians. They'll see how easy it is for them to get a loan now that they're "African-American"; or how it feels when their boss finds out, and fires them, not because they're "black", but because they were passing, and therefore, liars. When you see the hateful comments posted on chat room bulletin boards or video discussion pages, directed towards brown-skinned people, we'll see that white Americans will stop taking DNA tests, unless there's a way to reclassify their "African" genes as "European".
Those of us with "African" DNA will find our samples transferred to police department databases across America, so that they can apprehend us faster and link us to crimes we didn't do. And they'll be able to use it against our descendants, too, who won't even need to have their DNA gene sequence on file. This has happened already wherein a man was arrested for a crime that his father was suspected of committing, based on a DNA test the DAD had taken years earlier.
I've been told by Senegalese people that I look Fulani, so I like to think that my Haitian and Virginian great-great grandparents were descendants of Fulani Moors. I can't prove this, but I have deduced it.
I now do research on Fulani people. I buy books about them and show the pictures to my kids. I go to hear Fulani musicians when they come to town. I learned about West African celebrations. I stopped celebrating Kwanza and just try to enjoy the winter solstice season the way I was taught by my Jamaican and Virginian ancestors, which always includes candied sweet potatoes, collard greens and macaroni and cheese.
Lord Abba, thank you so much for all of the scholarship you've done on this subject. Thanks also to Ayin Amaru Ka'Re, Hakim Bey, Taj Tarik Bey, Sara Suten Seti, Dr.Ali Muhammad, Mfundishi, Dr. Wesley Muhammad, Kerry Davis, Dr. Clyde Winters, DeDe Hunt, Professor Larry, Minister Enqi, Stephen Mehler, Santos Bonnacci, Jordan Maxwell, Verdiacee Hampton-Goston, H.I.M. Empress Shebah 'Ra III, Travis and Rene Saunders, InDeed TV, Sa-Neter TV, Steve Cokely and Amos Wilson. The information from all of you is mind-blowing.
Please, House of Konciousness, can you sponsor more presentations and less debates? The delivery of information is becoming more and more adversarial and combative. We don't all have to be the same ethnic group, in order to have unity. Whether we are Pan-Africanists, Moorish Science Templars, Black Israelites, Canaanland Moors, Washitaws, Kemetics, Nuwabians, 5 Percenters, Amaru or Muslims, we share a common enemy, which is enforced ignorance!
There's no need for conflict on Sa-Neter TV. Instead of saying "No, But..", we should say "Yes, And..." We can accept the probability that as a highly mixed people, we so-called African-Americans are genetically and culturally comprised of both the captives and the captors. This is an unavoidable conclusion that we must face. Whether our en-slavers were Europeans or Afro-European or African Moors, they were all in bondage at one time or another themselves, because the only way most Irish, Scottish, English, Italian, Swedish or German folk got here is as indentured servants, whether voluntarily or not, or as prisoners. They still had serfdom in Europe, and that was lifetime bondage. And if they weren't in bondage here, they were perpetually running away form the threat of it. The heartbreaking study done of the Melungeons illustrates this (it can be found online).
We need to stop running from our ancestral truths. We need to start talking about the ancestors we're afraid to mention, for fear of ridicule or dismissal (you're not really African, or Native American, or European) to fear of reprisal (losing your job, your spouse, your membership in whatever).
If we continue to feel that we must remain mum about the conflicts in our heritage, (field/house nigger; master/slave; overseer/laborer), then we create a void that can easily be filled by the degrading lies of others.
We don't like to think that we are part European. What if those Europeans that we descend from looked like us? What if the African DNA in our saliva samples is there from before we came to this continent (sometime after 711 A.D., when the Moors took over Europe). In order to avoid enslavement themselves, they would either have had to try and maintain their tenuous FPC class status separate from the enslaved Africans and Indians being trafficked up and down the eastern seaboard; or they would have fled the entire sordid affair altogether, fled west, and into the mountains. How many of us are from the mountainous parts of the south, and are almost hillbillies, culturally speaking? My grandfather was a proud squirrel and racoon hunter.
Ever wonder why the real Pirates of the Caribbean were dark, swarthy and with curly hair or locks, even? Like Captain Hook? Or why they flew the skull and crossbones, and had an earring in the left ear? Egyptians buried their dead with their arms folded across their heart. When you opened up their grave you'd find a skull and two crossed bones. And an earring in one ear was the mark of the Egyptian/Nubian/Kemite, as opposed to the Israelites, who were marked by circumcision.
Or why pirates are characterized as making that Scottish "argh" sound? Or why so many Cubans have Scottish and Irish names? And why were they pirates? They were mutineers, who didn't want to be in bondage. And why Caribbean English has such Scottish pronunciations of vowels, like "a" (eh) and "o" (aw)? Or why they have the term "Black Irish"? We can resolve our mixed heritage, our unity depends on it.
It isn't about blaming everything on "white" people, because if we're going by the metric of broad generalizations, then it could be argued that the real aggressors are MEN! It was men, male Moors, who bought, sold and traded Slavic women into their harems, because they preferred lighter skinned people to their own, and started the use of the word "slave" in the first place. The slave trade was a trade in women, first and foremost, and it was the sex trade. They weren't purchasing women to pick cotton or tobacco, or take care of kids.
And if we talk about Native Americans, Africans, Moors, Asians or Europeans, they all bought, sold and dominated their wives, sisters and daughters. So maybe we can refine our vilification to those people who are bad, meaning "bad people". They're the problem. We should be able to distinguish good people from bad people no matter what they look like.
DeDe Hunt has pointed out that the African nations aren't exactly rushing with open arms to embrace African descendant Americans. Another thing to consider is this: if the original Americans migrated here from Africa thousands of years ago, Native American DNA should test back to Africa, anyway. And if that's true, then whose DNA is that of the so-called REAL Native Americans?
Native Americans won't claim us, and the government is complicit. Tribal designation at the Federal level is often contingent upon denying membership to so-called Black Indians. We must remember that in Virginia in the 1700s they effectively eliminated the category of Indian by calling them Mulatto and FPsC, which in a few decades became grouped in with Negro. So the only legitimate Natives today are those who are part white? Most natives were scattered by the European invaders, so it's almost impossible to prove descent from some of the smaller tribes, like the Saponi, who have essentially been bred out.
Maybe we can just skip the DNA thing altogether, stop sending saliva samples to the African Ancestry site, and stop watching the Henry Louis Gates programming that we aren't Native American. Simply say we're African descendants on those application forms. Or write the tribe your grandmother always said you were, no matter if you can't prove it to some bureaucrat. Or write Amaru-Khan or American. After all, American originally referred to people who look just like Lord Abba, anyway.
Thank-you Lord Abba, for exploring this important issue.