Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Afro-Asian:the forgotten diaspora


While Afro-descendants in the Americas came from Angola up to Senegal, Asian Afro-descendants came from Mozambique, Tanzania, kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt. They helped Africanize the Indian Ocean. Between 1600-1900 5.5 million slaves were taken to Asia, in the Indian Ocean Trade. It is estimated a total of 7 million from 800 AD to 1600, very unreliable figure. The Indian ocean slave trade was as active as the Atlantic ocean slave trade and much older. African immigrants also came as soldiers, merchants, diplomats, and sailors. Numerous terms have been used to refer to Afro-Asian-habshi, siddi,sidhi, sheedi, nubee, kaffir

Sheedis-Afro-Pakistani, Pakistanis of African descent

Siddis--Afro-descendants in India

Afro-Iraqis -Iraqis of African descent

Afro-Iranians-Iranians of African descent

Sri-Lankan Kaffirs -Afro-descendants in Sri-Lanka

Afro-Turks -Turks of African descent

Famous Turkish Singer Esmeray Gel Tezkere

Afro-Abkhazians -Georgians on the west coast of the Black Sea

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Afro Global Dance Fads


Numerous dance fads exist among the young Afro-descendants, from North America to South America, and Africa. The creativity displayed in these dance are limitless. A lot are theme dances like the Crank dances and Coupé-Décalé , which tries to emulate the object, situation, event, or individuals. Some bring new meaning to dirty dancing.

Stickin and Rollin most recent dance from the USA

The Crank Dances from the USA

Crank the Peter Pan

Kuduro from Angola, the Tchiriri group dance craze

Artist Costuleta from Angola, with one leg(symbol of the Angolan civil war) He tears it up. Kudos!

Kuduro, freestyle dance from Angola

Coupé-Décalé from Ivory Coast

Coupé-Décalé from Ivory Coast

Coupé-Décalé from Ivory Coast

Choque/Choke dance from Colombia brings new meaning to dirty dancing on a Reggaeton beat

Ndombolo from Congo

Latest from Congo the Kisanoladance

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Anti-Drought Technologies


Drought has become a major problem for the Afro-descendant. In this blog, I will be Listing technologies that alleviate drought.


2. SAND DAMS are small dams built on river beds during the dry seasons. The dams are able to collect sand which in turn stores water for the dry seasons. It is advocated as means of water harvesting for semi-arid areas.

3. ISRAELI WATER MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY is water management systems developed in Israel and is the most advance in the world. Israel's ability to manage water has turned the desert green and has made Israel a food exporting country, A COUNTRY IN THE DESERT.

4. DRIP IRRIGATION is an irrigation technique that uses minimal water to water plants. The simplest example is an elevated bucket with hose attached going to plants, where via small holes, water drips at the roots or base of the plant.

5. FANYA JUU TERRACES are a form of irrigation found mostly in Kenya. A ditch is dug and soil thrown atop forming hedges, to capture and retain water during the rainy season for use in the dry season.

6. HALF MOON(DEMI LUNE) is an irrigation technique found in the Sahel, that captures and retain water for the dry season, shaped as a half moon.

7. RECHARGE PIT is a pit comprising of sand and gravel that is dug and re-waters boreholes, groundwater, wells, etc. It also does a bit of water filtering.

8. STONE LINES are lines of stones used for preventing run-off causing soil erosion, while retaining water. It is found mostly in the flat Sahel. Stone lines are an old and traditional technique.

9. PERMACULTURE TECHNOLOGY is a non-intrusive technology that tries to use natural forces to achieve an objective. Permaculture has been used to green desert, with techniques like swales.

10. SWALES are irrigation mounds/ditches that is used to retain and capture water. It is a major, component of permaculture.

11. MANZANAR PROJECT is a project in Eritrea that is researching the use of mangrove plants as means of animal feed.

12. GREYWATER is water from showers, washers, kitchen sinks, etc. It is not blackwater or water from the toilet. Greywater can be recycle for domestic use and farming. Evironmentally friendly and biodegradable cleaners and soaps should be used if greywater re-use is planned.

13. DESALINATION is the process of converting saltwater into freshwater. The process is energy intensive and produce brine, a concentrated salt by-product, which can be harmful to the environment.

14. GREAT GREEN WALL OF THE SAHARA/SAHEL is a wall of green plant, comprising of plants that can withstand desert condition and have some economic/agricultural value. The purpose of the wall is to halt the spread of the Sahara Desert. The following plants have been selected for building the Great Green Wall.

List of Plants Used for Great Green Wall

15. WATER HARVESTING is a process of collecting and storing rainwater for later use. There numerous methods, BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Rocket Stove--less wood and smoke, more fire


A rocket stove is an efficient wood burning stove that produces more flames, less smoke, and uses less wood. The rocket stove typically has a combustion area for placing wood--horizontal tunnel and a chimney--vertical tunnel. Air comes in through the combustion area burning wood, but heat is efficiently distributed, so one does not have instant heat loss. Mudbrick made of sawdust is the most efficient at retaining heat.

The most efficient use mudbricks, mixed with clay and sawdust.


There are numerous configuration and material used:



The most basic rocket stove:


Sunday, July 3, 2011

Making an earthen oven


An earthen oven is a simple oven made of earth. It can be used to bake bread, pizza, etc.

To create an earthen oven, a base foundation will be needed, created of rammed earth, mudbrick, cement, etc.

Then a dome of sand, covered with newspaper is formed.

A mud mixture of sawdust, straw, or any binder is mixed. The first layer of mud applied to the sand dome should be more clay than sand called the thermal layer.

A second layer of mud, the insulation layer should be added, but the mud mixture should be more sand than clay.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who has survived and thrived?


People always criticize the one drop rule of North America, but to me it preserved African Americans and allowed them to thrive. African American contributions are not an obscurity. African Americans thermselves are not an obscurity.

I can't say the same thing about Central and South America. I remember 20 years ago reading the country profile on Brazil. It never occured to me that Brazil had the largest Afro-descendants in the new world. Afro-descendant were completely invisible.Ten years ago, I would argue that Mexican society was only mestizo, no African element. Come to find out, this was far from truth. In fact, when I thought of the diaspora in the new world 20 years ago, I only thought of North America and the Caribbean, not Central or South America, again far from truth. Of the 12.5 million Africans brought to the new world, 11 million went to Latin America, the vast majority.

Who has survived and thrived? In studying the history of Central and South America, it is pretty depressing. In South America, the white elites used the Africans as cannon fodder for wars of independence and civil wars and later via whitening, literally f&!k them out existence. Simon Bolivar and the mindset of the elites was to use the Africans in wars so there numbers would diminish, so the country would be the inheritance of whites. They would later import millions of Europeans into the country to whiten the nation, race mixing used a weapon.

I once ask a lady friend of mines, a black woman, I won't say the country, what is whitening? She said to me she once dated a white guy and one of her countrymen said she was "improving the race."

450,000 Africans went to America. Their descendants are now 12.85 percent of 313,232,044 population or 40 million. Their descendant self identify as "African" American and proud of their African heritage. 4.8 million Africans arrived in Brazil. Only 6.2% of 203,429,773 population or 13 million self identify as Black. Who has thrived and survived?

African American have survived in my mind. African Americans you have survived. The one drop rule has preserved you. You are not an obscurity fighting even recognition on the census. Your technological/scientific, economic, cultural contribution to America is clear. America would not be America without you. In studying the history of Central and South America, I now understand the rage of Abdias Do Nascimento (1914-2011), who used the word "genocide" to describe the admixture. As a person of anglo/franco Caribbean roots, I must thank the Frenchman and Englishman for viewing me as sub-human. They did not dip too much into the brown sugar. They did not steal too much honey.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Above and Beyond the Bell Curve


Africans are the most educated immigrant group in America.
Study examines success of African immigrants

Nigerians are the most educated Americans. 17% have masters degrees double the 7% average in the USA. 4% have doctorates 4x the average.

"Nigerian immigrants have the highest levels of education in this city and the nation, surpassing whites and Asians, according to Census data bolstered by an analysis of 13 annual Houston-area surveys conducted by Rice University."
Bachelor's and Beyond

Saheela Ibraheem, daughters of Nigerian immigrants, 15 year old accepted to Havard.

Saheela Ibraheem--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXbyOTs_UrU&feature=related

I found it amusing a lot of my English speaking West African buddies would always say "he is illiterate" or "un-educated" to insult their leaders and people they don't like, which was indicative of the value of education.

Paula and Peter Imafidon 8 year old of Nigerian parents passed the Cambridge Advance Maths A level, in Britain.

Paula and Peter Imafidon--http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHHw6M2-Gwc

One must note, most African immigrants(unless one has refuge status) don't get financial aid or support from their governments or the US government for their advance degrees. I know a lot who work to save money for their education. Some stay out of school for semesters, working to save money for school tuition.

Friday, May 13, 2011

African Guns, Germs, and Steel


The book Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond is loaded with myths and half truths on Africa. I am surprise no Africanist and Afrocentrist have been critical of this book. There are a lot of distortions in its broad general brush strokes.

Point 1: Sub-Saharan Africans were inferior to Europeans on first contact and could easily be conquered. This is false. Europeans could not conquer most African states until the latter part of the 1800s. From the 1400s to the 1880s, Europeans were mainly trading entities on the coast. Europeans were not able to conquer sub-Saharan Africa until the invention of the maxim gun. Plus, the places they inhabited were sparsely populated regions, not densely populated places like West Africa and Uganda for example.

Point 2: Because writing was not widespread, that put SSA Africans at a dis-advantage. First of all, writing is very African. Most Eurasian(Europe and Asia) scripts can be traced to Egyptian Hieroglyphs via the Proto-Siniatic script. Hieroglyph was also the script of the Sudanic Kushite Empire. The Meroitic Script is the second script to directly come from Hieroglyphs. No modern day script can be traced to cuneiform. Cuneiform died with the Assyrian Empire. Diamond gives more ink to cuneiform and Greek Linear A and B(insignificant scripts in the global scheme) than Hieroglyphs which most Eurasian scripts(Phoenician, Greek, Brahmi, Aramaic, Arabic) can be traced to directly or indirectly. He also seems to think that for a script to be usable or widespread, it must follow the Greek model of having vowels or "alphabetize." Numerous widely used scripts don't have vowels or are "alphabetize", like Arabic for example. Diamond claims that writing gave Europeans the advantage of communicating long distance. The implication is that SSA Africans could not communicate long distance without writing. This is very false. African languages are tonal in nature. With a pitch drum or talking drum, messages could be sent long distance. This unique African communication device was banned in the New World by slave owners.

Point 3: Europeans conquered sub-Saharan Africa about the same time they were conquering the Middle East, India, parts of China, and other Asian regions. Guns were widespread in SSA. Europeans were not the ones to introduce guns to SSA. Kanem-Bornu was the first SSA empire to acquire guns from its close ties to the Ottoman Empire.

Point 4: The Boers were not superior to all Africans and they did not conquer South Africa. They conquered the Khoisan, but were no match for the Bantu speaking states. Bantu speaking people were also armed with guns. In some cases, like the Xhosa, Boers were removed from Bantu land. They settled in regions that were depopulated by the mfecane/difaqane. It was the British Empire, after the 1880s, who conquered South Africa, with new military hardware, maxim gun. The Boers defeated the Zulus at Blood River, but dare not enter Zulu land. Dingane had cease using Shaka's military tactics. The Zulu's had defeated a far more superior force in the Battle of Isandlwana, the British.

Point 5: Diamond calls the innovations Eurasian(Europe and Asia), with North Africa being part of this, not surprising he claims all of North Africa as white, again a distortion. All of the innovations were centered in the Nile Valley(Africa), India, and Mesopotamia(Asia)for 2,500 years. European civilization only rose in the latter part of the 1st Millenium (330s BC) , with the rise of Alexander the Great.

Point 6: Gun Germs and Steel claims to be non-racial in its explaination of European domination. This is rather dubious. This is one of the most racialist works to come along in a while. Beginning a chapter on Africa with a title how Africa became black and making other racial claims is far from race biological neutrality. The Africa chapter in its Africa language map claims all the Horn of Africa and all Afro-Asiatic speakers as white. Diamond also claims Pygmies and Khoisans as a separate race from other blacks. Mr. Diamond Pygmies and Khoisans are not separate from other blacks just because of their height and in the case of the Khoisan skin tone, also. Dinkas and Neurs are exceptionally tall and dark, should they be separated from other blacks. Mediterranean Whites(Spanish,Italians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Persians, Syrians) are phenotypically distinct from northern and western European whites and have distinct haplogroups, should one view them as a separate race?

Point 7: Egypt dominated the Mediterranean for almost 2,500 years, and the Kushite Empire became a Mediterranean power, way before Cyrus the Great of Persia, Alexander the Great of Macedonia, and Rome. The centers of civilization were the Nile Valley(Africa), Indus Valley(Asia), and Mesopotamia(Asia), Africa and Asia. The Eurasian nomenclature is a distortion.

Point 8: Another myth is SSA was isolated from the rest of the world, pure rubbish. First of all the Sahara desert dessicated 5000 years ago, this is recent history with very little population effect. It was not a barrier before or after. All of Africa was connected via trade. Since ancient time Africa was always a source of raw material-- gold, ivory. Nubia/Kerma provide the ancient world with gold. Carthage became a wealthy Mediterranean power due to its trade links south of the Sahara all the way to the Senegal River. Axum which was among the four great civilization, on par with Rome, provided the world ivory and incense. Swahili, Mali, Ghana, Songhai, Kanem-Bornu, Great Zimbabwe provided the rest of the world with African raw material and slaves and also partook in the world's product. Eurasia has always been dependent on African raw material for its manufactured goods, as is today. Africa is not poor and does not lack "cargo", raw materials. Eurasia would not be able to produce her abundant "cargo" without African raw material, "cargo."

Point 9: There was no such thing as a unified "Bantu Civilization." There were several Bantu speaking civilizations: Kongo, Kuba, Luba, Lunda, Buganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Great Zimbabwe, Swahili, Zulu, Ndongo, Mutapa, Rozwi. All spoke a Bantu language. They were certainly not one civilization.

Point 10:European dominance, colonizaton of Africa lasted 70 years on average, not even a hundred years, but left significant changes. By the 1960s, most Africans had received independence. Conquest began around 1880s(about the same time conquest of Asia) and dominance lasted until 1960s, with the exception of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.

Point 11: In my mind, the domesticated plants and animals had nothing to do with it. It had to do with technology-- maxim gun, quinine for treatment of malaria. The same technology that gave European an advantage in conquest of the Asian part of Eurasia. Most SSA societies were mature iron age societies, they could not be easily conquered like North and South America. Most SSA societies knew how to manufacture iron and some, even steel. Plus, the non-African domesticated plants that had massive impact on African populations(cassava and corn/maize) were not Eurasian. They were new world plants, introduced via trade with the Portuguese.

Point 12: Yes, SSA African used the Arabic script. The Arabic script spread due to trade and spread of Islam, same with the spread of the Latin and Cyrillic script, with the spread of Christianity in Northern and Western Europe, during the Medieval Period. Arabs never conquered SSA, or any Asian group. To a certain degree the spread of Christianity, caused the spread of the Latin script in SSA. But ultimately all these scripts can be traced indirectly to one African source, no matter how far away it is.

Conclusion: In my mind it was African germs(malaria), guns(widespread in SSA), and steel(the Haya made steel), that prevented European colonization of Africa for 400 years. If Bantu speakers weren't far away from the desert and there was no Sahara, I am sure Bantu shock troops would have conquered Eurasia. Hannibal did invade Eurasia with his elephants. His genius failed him. Instead of running back to defend Carthage, he should have sacked Rome creating and impasse. In this case it would be his genius that would brought about the conquest of Eurasia, not geography.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Writing is African


Every racist, bigot always say "Africans never wrote" and use the term sub-Saharan to indirectly refer to race. But is this true? Far from it. A lot of societies in Africa did not write and did not develop a script or alphabet, but a few did, in very ancient times.

Most of the world's modern day alphabets in Europe and Asia can be traced to Egyptian Hieroglyphs via the proto-siniatic script, a derivative of Hieroglyphs. This include Arabic, Latin, Greek, Brahmi.

There were two derivative of the Proto-Siniatic Script, Phoenician and South Arabian. Out of the Phoenician Alphabet, the Berber Script in the Maghreb and Greek Alphabet were derived. The Geez Script in Ethiopia/Eritrea was derived from South Arabian Sript.

Nubians when they were colonized by Egypt in 1500 BC, wrote in Hieroglyphs. The Kushite Empire wrote in Hieroglyphs. Later in her Meroitic phase, the Nubians developed their own script directly from Hieroglyphs, called the Meroitic Script. When Nubians stopped writing in Hieroglyphs and began to use their own script, their history became osbcure. Meroitic remains an undeciphered script.

The racist will persist and say "only northeast Africa wrote." Again very wrong, during the Medieval period c. 1000, writing began to spread in the Sahel and the Swahili coast. Arabic script called ajami was used to write Hausa, Mandinka, Yoruba, Songhai, Wolof, Fulani, Swahili, and others.

There is theory that because writing south of the Sahara was not widespread, that put Africans at a dis-advantage because they could not communicate long distance. This is false. Europeans were typically shocked that their presence were known ahead of time. This is largely due to the pitch drum or "talking drum", which could relay a message a 100 miles in 2 hours.

The pitch drums exploited the tonal nature of Niger-Congo languages and messages could be sent long-distance.

The talking drum-Donno.mpg-Kwame Ansah-Brew @ Frostburg State Univ.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salsa is Caribbean

When one says Caribbean, at least in anglo circles, the first thing that comes to mind is reggae music, steel pan, calypso, the anglo culture. This is far from the truth. Four broad Caribbean cultures exist: the spanish latin, the franco or french circular culture, the english circular, and the dutch circular culture.

But actually, the largest Caribbean culture, is the Latino/Spanish culture. Spanish is the most spoken language in the Caribbean. Salsa is more Caribbean than reggae. Salsa was incubated, from cultural elements in the Caribbean as Merengue. Three islands speak spanish, three of the largest, most populous.

The franco or french circular culture is larger than the anglo culture. Haiti alone has a population that can accommodate Jamaica, Trinidad, all the Leeward Anglo/Windward population. This is not including Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Martin-combined together constitute a million plus people. They listen to Zouk and Kompa.

Those who say Haiti is latino. Haitians listen to more zouk than salsa and are more tuned to the cultures of Martinique and Guadeloupe than to Cuba or the Dominican Republic, right next door.

The dutch circular is the smallest of the cultures, but the most cosmopolitan. I think I would enjoy their parties more, probably get a piece of all the other circular Caribbean cultures.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Nigeria's Election


Democracy at work, a success. This north/south divide needs to be fixed before it gets out hand. Hopefully, Goodluck Jonathan can be a uniter not a divider. This religious divide will be Nigeria's achilles heal, the Christian south vs. the Muslim north. Nigeria can look to Ghana for such a solution, Kwame Nkrumah's policies solidified his nation. This could be one solution.

'Many' killed in Nigeria unrest over Goodluck Jonathan's poll win

Ethiopian Music


Aster Aweke was my first introduction to Ethiopian pop in the latter part of the 80s. I am told that she is still going strong in the Ethiopian community. Amharic is the language she is singing in,language of one of the large ethnics.

New generation:Helen Berhe singing in Amharic

New Generation Ethiopian pop:

Below, she is singing in the Gurage language, one of the smaller ethnics in Ethiopia. Their music is the funkiest in Ethiopia, my opinion. I rarily, bump into them in the USA, lots of Amharas and Oromos

Singing in Welaita, another of the smaller ethnics in Ethiopia. I have met only 3 in the USA.

Singing in Oromo, the largest ethnic in Ethiopia. It is a spiritual song.

I know Eritrea is not Ethiopia. Every Eritrean household lost a family member in the civil war and earned the right to say I to say "I am Eritrean." They paid the price in blood, but the cultural historical boundaries between Ethiopia and Eritrea are pretty thin.

Love this song the spatial, sonic rhythmic pattern of this song. Sang in Tigrinya, one of the 9 ethnics in Eritrea. Like Amharic in Ethiopia, Tigrinya is widely spoken in Eritrea. Chances are if you meet someone from Eritrea in the USA, he or she is probably Tigrinya.

Birthplace of Human Language


Africa is the birthplace of human language. According to this theory, the more phonemes(basic sound) you have in the area the closer to origins of human language.

Africa said to be mother to all human language

Friday, April 15, 2011

Nigeria's Election

Nigeria's election this weekend, will make or break the continent. If Nigeria fails, Africa fails. Lets pray for a well held, peaceful election. Afropedea.org is not the only entity that feels this way:

Nigerian vote must succeed for Africa: Ghana ex-president

Black In Latin America

Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. series Black in Latin America is out. Check out the PBS site previews.

Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided

Buy the DVD to support informative programming.

Black In Latin America


Tuesdays, April 19-May 10, 2011, 8-9 p.m. ET

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Don't believe the Wikipedian social marketers or ambassadors (there are lots of black ones) who say that benign Wikipedia is a good starting point for research, it is ladden with and spread distortion on the afro-descendant, mainly any bigot or racist can edit it, sad the racism is internal. It is not just systemic bias. Start your research with BlackPast.org and donate your funds to this organization.

When I write articles for Afropedea.org, I also use BlackPast.org as a reference. To students, you don't have to worry about it being rejected by your professor as un-academic. It is written by academics.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

African Spirituality

One of the commonest notions, I keep running into is the term African Spirituality, Africa's spiritual notion religion, her world view, metaphysics, values, etc. In the West the term that is given is animism, for all african religions and spirituality.

What is african spirituality? African spirituality is rooted in her value system and world view and there have been four broad value systems, that have survived into modern times, around ethno-linguistic groups: the Afro-Asiatic, the Nilo-Saharan, Niger-Congo, and the Khoisan. There is overlap among the groups or hybrids.

The different family was constructed based on the root words they have in common, which can reveal technology and values. In the Afro-Asiatic family, evil is caused by evil spirits. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism(Abrahamic religion) is rooted in this world view.

This book goes into details. All of the Afro-Asiatic groups are in Africa except Semitic which includes Arabic, Hebrew. Ancient Egyptian, Berber, Amhara, Tigrinya, Oromo, Somali, Hausa belong to this family. The Horn of Africa has the greatest diversity of the family.

Among the Nilo-Saharan, evil is caused by Divine retribution or judgement. The Nubian Language belong to this family and world view. The ancient Egyptian religion fused the Afro-Asiatic with the Nilo-Saharan or Sudanic, the practice of burying the servants and possesions of the pharoah at death is Nilo-Saharan.

Among the Niger-Congo, evil is caused by ignoring the ancestor spirits, honoring your ancestor is critical, if you want good fortune. The Mandinka, Soninke, Asante, Yoruba, Fulani, Baluba, and Zulus all belong to this group. The importance of ancestors in vodun, condomble, santeria, and some of the Christian groups in southern Africa attest to this.

Among the khoisan, what causes evil is uncertain. They don't have gods, but believe in a spiritual force, that is behind reality.

In the Western world, African spirituality and religion is discarded as animism, which is the simple belief that objects have souls. African spirituality/religion is far from that. The Abrahamic religion(Islam, Christianity, and Judaism) is one form of African spirituality.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Making Ethanol

Energy is a problem of the afro-descendant. Many are in developing countries, but energy deficiency, in my mind, is not a problem. Afropedea.org is focus on providing information about methods of energy generation for the afro-descendant. Take ethanol for example, it is nothing but creating alcohol--moonshine. It can be used for cooking and running a generator, consumed like alcohol. It is easy to make.

Step 1. Mix the mash, which is cornmeal,sugar, yeast, and water---the following site shows you how to make the mash

Step 2. Put mash in a warm place for 3 to 4 days to ferment, producing the ethanol,

Step 3. Distill the mash, by boiling in a sealed pot, with copper tubing at the top. The gaseous ethanol rises through the copper tubing running through a bucket of cool water that cools the ethanol gas turning it into a liquid, ethanol.

Ethanol can be used for cooking. A simple stove can be made from soda cans.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Latin, Anglophone, Lusaphone, Francophone, Dutch circle?

One of the commonest question I keep coming across is whether Brazilians, Haitians, Martinicans, Cape Verdeans are latinos, being that they speak a latin derived or related language. One must understand that there is 5 spheres of linguistic cluster when you deal with people of afro-descent anglophone(english), francophone(french), lusaphone(portuguese), spanish sphere(latino), and dutch sphere.

From my experience and observation, those who speak a common language tend to have greater connection and interaction with one another. Being from the Caribbean, I see this first hand. Someone from Martinique has greater interaction with someone from Senegal, Mali, and Congo, than with someone from Jamaica, same with Haitians, because of the French language.

Same with Brazil, which might be more connected to lusaphone africa-- Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique than other spanish speaking South American countries. Brazilians understand spanish, most spanish speakers don't understand Brazilian Portuguese. This could be more spanish speaking countries border Brazil than the other way round.

The Dutch might be the exception, because the culture is a polyglot culture. People who speak Dutch could easily blend among the spanish culture, english, and possible lusaphone culture because their creole papiamento, is predominantly Portuguese and have great commonality with Cape Verdean and African criolos.

Even so, they interact more with each other Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and Suriname, greater interaction, than say with Trinidad or Cuba. They might be able to understand Afrikaaner in South Africa, which they might consider, bad Dutch, like bad English, ethnocentrism. Actually, one of my lady friends referred to it as such.

From my observation, I consider Brazilians more lusaphone than latin or Haitians more francophone than latin.

Friday, January 28, 2011


This is the blog for Afropedea.org, dealing with Africana subjects and topics.