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The Jewish state comes to an end in 70 AD, when the Romans begin to actively drive Jews from the home they had lived in for over a millennium. But the Jewish Diaspora (“diaspora” =”dispersion, scattering”) had begun long before the Romans had even dreamed of Judaea. When the Assyrians conquered Israel in 722, the Hebrew inhabitants were scattered all over the Middle East; these early victims of the dispersion disappeared utterly from the pages of history. However, when Nebuchadnezzar deported the Judaeans in 597 and 586 BC, he allowed them to remain in a unified community in Babylon. Another group of Judaeans fled to Egypt, where they settled in the Nile delta. So from 597 onwards, there were three distinct groups of Hebrews: a group in Babylon and other parts of the Middle East, a group in Judaea, and another group in Egypt. Thus, 597 is considered the beginning date of the Jewish Diaspora. While Cyrus the Persian allowed the Judaeans to return to their homeland in 538 BC, most chose to remain in Babylon. A large number of Jews in Egypt became mercenaries in Upper Egypt on an island called the Elephantine. All of these Jews retained their religion, identity, and social customs; both under the Persians and the Greeks, they were allowed to run their lives under their own laws. Some converted to other religions; still others combined the Yahweh cult with local cults; but the majority clung to the Hebraic religion and its new-found core document, the Torah.

In 63 BC, Judaea became a protectorate of Rome. Coming under the administration of a governor, Judaea was allowed a king; the governor’s business was to regulate trade and maximize tax revenue. While the Jews despised the Greeks, the Romans were a nightmare. Governorships were bought at high prices; the governors would attempt to squeeze as much revenue as possible from their regions and pocket as much as they could. Even with a Jewish king, the Judaeans revolted in 70 AD, a desperate revolt that ended tragically. In 73 AD, the last of the revolutionaries were holed up in a mountain fort called Masada; the Romans had besieged the fort for two years, and the 1,000 men, women, and children inside were beginning to starve. In desperation, the Jewish revolutionaries killed themselves rather than surrender to the Romans. The Romans then destroyed Jerusalem, annexed Judaea as a Roman province, and systematically drove the Jews from Palestine. After 73 AD, Hebrew history would only be the history of the Diaspora as the Jews and their world view spread over Africa, Asia, and Europe.

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Written on October 5th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Africa And The Africans In The Age Of The Atlantic Slave Trade Author: Stearns, Peter N.;Adas, Michael;Schwartz, Stuart B. Date: 1992

The African Diaspora

The slave trade was the means by which the history of the Americas and Africa became linked and a principal way in which African societies were drawn into the world economy. The import into Africa of European firearms, Indian textiles, Indonesian cowrie shells, and American tobacco in return for African ivory, gold, and especially slaves demonstrated Africa’s integration into the mercantile structure of the world. Africans involved in the trade learned to deal effectively with this situation. The price of slaves rose steadily in the 18th century and the terms of trade increasingly favored African dealers. In many African ports, such as Whydah, Porto Novo, and Luanda, an African or Afro-European community developed that specialized in the slave trade and used their position as middlemen to advantage.

Slave Lives

For those carried in the trade, such considerations had little meaning. For them slavery meant destruction of their villages or capture in war, separation from friends and family, and then the forced march to an interior trading town or to the slave pens at the towns or forts of the coast. Conditions during the process were deadly and perhaps as many as one-third of the captives died along the way or in the slave pens. Eventually the slaves were loaded onto the ships. Cargo size varied and could go as high as 700 slaves packed and crowded into the dank, unhealthy conditions of the slave ships, but most cargoes were smaller and overcrowding was less of a factor in mortality than the length of the voyage or the point of origin in Africa – the Bights of Benin and Biafra being particularly unhealthy. The average rate of mortality for slaves varied over time but ran at about 18 to 20 percent until the 18th century when it declined somewhat. Still, on individual ships losses could be catastrophic, as on a Dutch ship of 1737 where 700 of the 716 slaves perished on the voyage.

The so-called Middle Passage, or slave voyage to the Americas, was a traumatic experience for the slaves. Taken from their homes, branded, confined, and shackled, they faced not only the dangers of poor hygiene, dysentery, disease, and bad treatment, but also the fear of being eaten or worse by the Europeans. Their situation led sometimes to suicide or to resistance and mutiny on the ships. However traumatic, the Middle Passage certainly did not strip Africans of their culture, and they arrived in the Americas with their languages, beliefs, artistic traditions, and strong memories of their past.

Africans In America

The destination of the slaves carried across the Atlantic was principally the plantations and mines of America. Landed estates using large amounts of often coerced labor became characteristic of American agriculture, at first in the production of sugar, and later for rice, cotton, and tobacco. The plantation system already used for producing sugar on the Atlantic islands of Spain and Portugal was transferred to the New World. After attempts to use Indian laborers in places like Brazil and Hispaniola, Africans were brought in. West Africans, in fact, coming from societies in which herding, metallurgy, and intensive agriculture were widely practiced were sought by Europeans for the specialized tasks of making sugar. In the English colonies of Barbados and Virginia, indentured servants from England were eventually replaced by enslaved ofricans when either new crops, such as sugar, were introduced or when indentured servants became less available. In any case, the plantation system of farming with a dependent or enslaved work force characterized the production of many tropical and semitropical crops in demand in Europe, and thus the plantation became the locus of African and Afro-American life.

Slaves did many other things as well. As we saw in Chapter 24, gold mining in Brazil made extensive use of black slaves and the Spanish used slaves in the silver mines of Mexico. Urban slavery was characteristic of Latin American cities, where slaves were often artisans, street vendors, and household servants. In early 17th century Lima, Peru, capital of Spain’s colony in South America, blacks outnumbered Europeans. Later cities, such as Charleston and New Orleans, would also develop a large slave and free Afro-American population. In short, there was virtually no occupation that slaves did not perform, although the vast majority lived their lives as agricultural laborers.

American Slave Societies

Each American slave-based society reflected the variations of its European origin and its component African cultures, but there were certain similarities and common features. Each recognized distinctions between African-born “salt water” slaves who were almost invariably black (by European standards) and their American-born descendants, the Creole slaves, some of whom were mulattoes as a result of sexual exploitation of slave women or the process of miscegenation. In all the American slave societies, a hierarchy of status evolved in which free whites were at the top, slaves were at the bottom, and free people of color had an intermediate position. In this sense color and “race” played a role in American slavery it had not played in Africa. Among the slaves, slaveholders also created a hierarchy based on origin and color. Creole and especially mulatto slaves were given more opportunities to acquire skilled jobs or to work in the house as servants rather than in the fields or mines. They were also more likely to win their freedom by manumission.

This system of hierarchy was a creation of the slaveholders and did not necessarily reflect perceptions among the slaves. There is evidence that important African nobles or religious leaders, who for one reason or another were sold into slavery, continued to exercise authority within the slave community. Still, the distinctions between Creole and African slaves tended to divide that community, as did the distinctions between different African groups who maintained their ties and affiliations in America. Many of the slave rebellions in the Caribbean and Brazil were organized along African rebellions in the 18th century and the largest escaped-slave community in 17th century Brazil was apparently organized and led by Angolans.

While economic organization and European concepts of hierarchy imposed a certain similarity in the various colonies in which Africans formed a part, the slave-based societies also varied in their composition. In the 18th century, for example, on the Caribbean islands where the Indian population had died out or had been exterminated and where few Europeans settled, Africans and their descendants formed the vast majority. In Jamaica and St. Domingue, slaves made up over 80 percent of the population, and because mortality levels were so high, a large proportion were African-born. Brazil also had large numbers of imported Africans, but its more diverse population and economy, as well as a tradition of manumitting slaves and high levels of miscegenation, meant that slaves made up only about 35 percent of the population. Free people of color, the descendants of former slaves, however, made up about another one-third, so that together slaves and free colored constituted two-thirds of the total population.

The Caribbean and Brazil differed significantly from the southern colonies of British North America, which depended less on imported Africans because of a positive rate of growth among the slave population. There, Creoles predominated but manumission was less common and free people of color were less than ten percent of the total Afro- American origin. The result was that slavery in North America was less influenced directly by Africa: By the mid-18th century, the slave population in most places in North America was reproducing itself. By 1850 less than one percent of the slaves there were African-born. The combination of natural growth and the relatively small direct trade from Africa reduced the degree of African cultural reinforcement in comparison with Cuba or Brazil.

The People And Gods In exile

Africans brought as slaves to America faced a peculiar series of problems. Working conditions were exhausting and life for most slaves was often “nasty, brutish, and short.” Family formation was made difficult because of the general shortage of women carried in the slave trade, a situation made even worse where the ratio of men to women was sometimes as much as three to one. To this was added the insecurity of slave status in which family members might be separated by sale or by the masters’ whim. Still, most slaves lived in family units even if their marriages were not always sanctioned by the religion of their masters.

Throughout the Americas, wherever Africans were brought, aspects of their language, religion, artistic sensibilities, and other elements of culture survived. To some extent the amount of continuity depended on the intensity and volume of the slave trade from a particular area. Yoruba culture, for example, was particularly strong in northeastern Brazil because the trade between it and the Bight of Benin was heavy and continuous in the early 19th century. During certain periods, Akan peoples predominated in Jamaica, while Ewe or Dahomeans predominated in Haiti. Some slaveholders tried to mix up the slaves on their plantations so that strong African identities would be lost, but colonial dependence on slavers who dealt continually with the same region tended to undercut such policies. In the reality of slavery in the Americas, Africans had to adapt and change and to incorporate other African peoples and their ideas and customs. Moreover, there were also the ways and customs of the masters that were both imposed and adopted. Thus, what emerged as Afro-American culture reflected specific African roots adapted to a new reality. Afro-American culture was dynamic and creative in this sense.

Religion was an obvious example of continuity and adaptation. Slaves were converted to Catholicism by Spaniards and Portuguese, and slaves were capable of fervent devotion as members of Black Catholic brotherhoods some of which were organized by African origins. Still, African religious ideas and practices did not die out, and many African slaves were accused of “witchcraft” by the Inquisition in those colonies. In the English islands, obeah was the name given to the African religious practices, and the men and women knowledgeable in them were held in high regard within the community. In Brazilian candomble (Yoruba) and Haitian Vodun (Aja), rather fully developed versions of African religion flourished and continue until the present, despite attempts to suppress them.

The reality of the Middle Passage meant that religious ideas and concepts were easier to transfer than the institutional aspects of religion. Without religious specialists or a priestly class, aspects of African religions were changed or transformed by contact with other African peoples as well as with colonial society. In many cases slaves held their new faith in Christianity and their African beliefs at the same time, and sought to fuse the two. For Muslim Africans this was less possible. In 1835 in Bahia, the largest slave rebellion in Brazil was organized by Muslim Yoruba and Hausa slaves and directed against the whites and against nonbelievers.

Resistance and rebellion were other aspects of African- American history. Recalcitrance, running away, and direct confrontation were present wherever slaves were held. As early as 1508 African runaways disrupted communications on Hispaniola, and in 1527 a plot to rebel was uncovered in Mexico City. Throughout the Americas communities of runaway slaves formed. In Jamaica, Colombia, Venezuela, Haiti, and Brazil runaway communities were continuous and persistent. In Brazil, during the 17th century, Palmares, an enormous runaway slave kingdom with numerous villages and a population of perhaps 8,000 to 10,000 people, resisted Portuguese and Dutch attempts to destroy it for a century. Although its inhabitants were both Creoles and Africans of various backgrounds, its origins, organization, and leadership were Angolan. In Jamaica, the runaway “Maroons” were able to gain some independence and a recognition of their freedom. So-called ethnic slave rebellions organized by a particular African group were relatively common in the Caribbean and Brazil in the 18th century. In North America where reinforcement from the slave trade was less important, resistance was also important, but it was based less on African origins or ethnicities.

Perhaps, the most remarkable story of African American resistance is found in the forests of Suriname, a former Dutch plantation colony. There large numbers of slaves ran off in the 18th century and mounted an almost perpetual war in the rain forest against the various expeditions sent to hunt them down. Those captured were brutally executed, but eventually a truce developed. Today about 50,000 Maroon descendants still live in Suriname and French Guiana. The Suriname Maroons maintained many aspects of their West African background in terms of language, kinship relations, and religious beliefs, but these were fused with new forms and ways drawn from European and American Indian contacts resulting from their New World experience. From this fusion based on their own creativity, a truly Afro-American culture was created.

Africa And The End Of The Slave Trade

The end of the Atlantic slave trade and the abolition of slavery in the Atlantic world resulted from economic, political, and religious changes in Europe and in its overseas American colonies and former colonies. These changes, which were manifestations of the Enlightenment, the Age of Revolution, Christian revivalism, and perhaps the Industrial Revolution, were basically external to Africa but once again they determined the pace and nature of transformations within the African continent.

Like much else about the history of slavery, there is considerable disagreement about the end of the slave trade. It is true that some African societies began to export new “legitimate” commodities, such as peanuts, cotton, and palm oil, which made their dependence on the slave trade less important, but the supply of slaves to European merchants was not greatly affected by this development. In general, the British plantation economies were booming in the period from 1790 to 1830, and plantations in Cuba, Brazil, and the South of the United States flourished in the following decades. Thus, it is difficult to find a direct and simple link between economic self-interest and the movement to suppress the slave trade.

Opponents of slavery and the brutality of the trade had appeared in the mid-18th century, in relation to new intellectual movements in the West. The philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in France and the political economist Adam Smith in England had both written against it. Whereas in ancient Rome during the spread of Christianity and Islam or in 16th century Europe, enslavement of “barbarians” or nonbelievers was viewed as a positive benefit, a means to civilize others. Slavery during the European Enlightenment and bourgeois revolution came to be viewed as unprogressive, retrograde, and immoral. The slave trade was particularly criticized. It was the symbol of slavery’s inhumanity and cruelty.

England, as the major maritime power of the period, was the key to the end of the slave trade. Under the leadership of religious humanitarians, such as John Wesley and William Wilberforce, an abolitionist movement gained strength against its opponents made up of merchants and the “West Indies interests.” After considerable parliamentary debate, the British slave trade was abolished in 1807. Having set out on this course, Britain sought to impose abolition of the slave trade on other countries throughout the Atlantic. Spain and Portugal were pressured to gradual suppression, and the British navy was used as a means to enforce these agreements by capturing illegal slave ships, though the full end of slavery in the Americas occurred only in 1888.

Originally posted here:
The African Diaspora

Written on October 5th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Press Release

Date: Thursday November 29, 2012 To: All International and Kenyan Media Houses From: The Kenya Diaspora Alliance, Global Headquarters

Kenyans in the diaspora have expressed dismay and disbelief after the revelation by Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Kenyas Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs that the Cabinet of President Mwai Kibakis and Prime Minister Raila Odingas Ruling Coalition has expressly decided that eligible voters outside of Kenya will not be able to vote in the General Election slated for March 2013.

In their response at a hastily convened emergency teleconference immediately following the Tuesday November 27, 2012 Cabinet announcement, leaders of the Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA), a transnational Federation comprising 28 Kenya Diaspora organizations, overwhelmingly condemned the decision terming it unilateral and unacceptable.

In an unprecedented show of commitment, the alliance members passed a raft of resolutions challenging the authorities to reverse the decision and ensure Diaspora Kenyans are not denied their right to vote. Said the session chairman, Mr. Robinson Gichuhi. Citizens right to choose leaders is an inalienable right. This right is enshrined in Kenyas new constitution under Article 83, sub-section 3. Diaspora Kenyans are within their right to demand for their full participation in the historic March 2013 elections, Mr. Gichuhi added.

The leaders dismissed the allegation by the cabinet that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) lacked preparedness to handle the massive exercise of the registration of voters abroad. We have been trying to work hand-in-hand with the IEBC for over 3 years and even offered financial and technical support; but the IEBC, through its chairman, rejected our offer at a Kenya Embassy in Washington DC organized meeting in early 2012. Hence the citation by the government that it lacked logistical and financial resources was really an excuse to disenfranchise Kenyans abroad because they know the impact their participation will have on the outcome of the elections, said Mr. Hebron Mosomi.

We even offered and proceeded to build an online system that is secure, tested and elaborate enough to ensure that any Kenyan living outside of Kenya would be able to exercise their constitutional right per Section 83 Sub-section (3) of the Kenya Constitution, said Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo, one of the participants. . The site, allows eligible Diaspora voters to sign-up via the Internet (and extensible to accept secure SMS), should IEBC accept to use online registration and voting for Diaspora. KDA aims to have 1 million eligible, potential Diaspora voters to sign-up by close of registration date.

The leaders could not come to terms with the statement from the Minister that it is not practical for the them to take part now. The leaders at the meeting were not impressed by the total lack of order demonstrated by the Cabinets statement and felt that it was an indication that there are forces within the Kenyan political system that are bent on stopping the Diaspora from becoming full participants in Kenyas political development, said Dr. Githua Kariuki, Mr. Alex Momanyi, Ms. Annette Ruah and Mr. Symon Ogeto. However, the alliance vowed to continue to fight for the Diasporas rightful place in Kenyas national affairs.

The leaders joined Kenyans in the Diaspora in condemning this decision overwhelmingly as an unwarranted retraction of a right entrenched in the new Kenyan constitution. They consider the grounds for the cabinet decision injudicious, frivolous and, without foundation in law and in fact, said Dr. William Yimbo. Indeed, the action seemed to confirm their fear that an invisible hand could have been behind the shocking, retrogressive ruling against a court petition KDA had filed to facilitate Diaspora voting and representation. It only fortified their resolve to proceed to expeditiously appeal and vigorously contest the court decision in the Appeal Court, added Dr. Shem Ochuodho while in the meeting via global link.

Shifting Goal Posts

The leaders at the meeting were of the opinion that authorities in Kenya are using conjecture, innuendo and subterfuge to hoodwink and disenfranchise them. For example, the shifting of goal posts by using controvertible rationalizations of their actions such as logistics, the un-researched numbers of Kenyans living overseas, and, resources, among others. It goes to show that the authorities are desperate for an excuse to deny the Diaspora their rights, said Mr. Benson Metho and Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity.

Legal Question

The legality of the Cabinet to make such a move came into question during this leaders meeting. It appears that the Cabinet has over-stepped its bounds for obvious reasons, The leaders declared that the Kenyan Cabinet does not have the authority to stop the Diaspora from voting. They felt that the announcement sounded like some decrees announced in some banana republics and had ill-intentions. The leaders asserted that the decision has no merit and no standing. The Cabinet ignored the legal and due process and in a meeting that was not publicized at all, they made a decision that they will stand to regret. came forth a general consensus among the attendees. What the Cabinet purported to do was illegal and unconstitutional. It usurped the authority of IEBC (which is the body constitutionally mandated to conduct elections) and issued a legally untenable decree, said one of KDAs legal counsel, Mr HenryOngeri.

Polling Stations & Online Voting

In the case of the United States, 3 polling stations as recommended by the IEBC was seen as impractical and not in line with a true effort to have full participation of Kenyans in the region.

To date, the diaspora is aware that some funds had already been allocated to voter registration and the voting process. This, the leaders said, was a step in the right direction. For an adverse statement, however, to come from a source that was not directly involved in the implementation of the constitution, demonstrates a total lack of political sensitivity and was seen as an affront to Kenyans abroad. The diaspora has been pushing for an elaborate system of voting that would not require travel to any polling station. KDA research associates indicate that several countries around the world, have effectively and successfully used online voting. . The research associates and computer experts within the diaspora are prepared to hand over and fine-tune the bank-standard secure system they have created that would reduce costs and make the work of IEBC easier.


In light of the outrage within the Kenya Community, leaders at the meeting also endorsed a potential use of demonstrations around the world if the Kenyan Cabinet fails to rescind this decision including the adverse adjudication of the lawsuit that KDA filed in mid-2012. Kenyans are ready to bring attention to this disenfranchisement. We are not taking this lightly, Mr. Peter Keere said.

There are credible reports that Kenyans around the world are already planning demonstrations even prior to our press release. This shows the anger and aggravation that statements coming from Nairobi are producing.

On the Diaspora Voter Set-up

1. The Kenyan cabinet overstepped its authority in the announcement made to parliament Tuesday. The Diaspora, including legal experts, feel that the matter lies squarely within the realm of IEBC responsibility;

2. An elaborate online system should be sought and implemented to solve the issue of polling stations. IEBC should stop pretending that the Internet does not exist and take advantage of major security advancement to ensure a free and fair election. If it has to be a physical voting exercise, then there are no known or written parameters on the number of voters required to establish a voter registration center. BVR kits should be deployed or set up at polling stations recommended by a recent report that had been submitted by the Diaspora to Kenyas Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There are numerous voter registration/polling centers with less than 1000 eligible voters that have been readily supplied with BVR kits, staff and other logistics back in Kenya.

3. Proper diaspora headcount is being coordinated by several groups, businesses and individuals in the United States and in other parts of the world, and can be concluded with IEBC or GoK cooperation before mid-December. Figuring ranging from 26,000 to 150,000 Kenyans abroad is another example of attempts to bar the Diaspora from effective participation in a free and fair election.

4. The Kenyan Diaspora has been ready and still willing to use its technical knowhow and expertise to make the next general election a model exercise free of flaw and dispute. Failure to include Diaspora in the vote will be a sure recipe for protracted post-election law suits challenging validity of the vote, a situation that can be avoided NOW.

KDA Resolutions

In this extra-ordinary meeting within the Kenyan diaspora, the leaders discussed and ratified various resolutions and made pronouncements to counter the announcement from Nairobi. Resolutions were centered on the following:

The meeting was attended by the following: Mr. Robinson Gichuhi (DMK), Ms. Mkawasi Mcharo (KCA), Mr. Ben Metho (KDDF), Mr. Hebron Mosomi (K4C), Mr. Peter Keere (Atktive)., Ms. Annette Ruah (KIC), Dr. Githua Kariuki (IADDS), Mr. Isaac Newton Kinity (KIKIMO), Mr. Alex Momanyi (KINC), Dr. William Yimbo (KDDF), Mr. Henry Ongeri (KDA Legal Counsel) and Mr. Symon Ogeto (CKO), Dr. Shem Ochuodho (NVK), Mr. Anthony Lenaiyara (China), Mr. Anthony Mwaura (Finland), Mr. Thomas Musau (UK), Apologies from: Mr. Ngethe Mbiyu (KDMJ), Ms. Sharon Opuge (Iceland), Mr.Johvine.Wanyingo (Nigeria), Mr Francis Opondo, ), Mr. Shem Okore (Zimbabwe), Mr. Oscar OLawrence (KUDIMA, Dubai) and also other leaders worldwide who could not attend due to time difference.


For more information and further details, please contact the Kenya Diaspora Alliance at

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Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) | The New Kenya Has Arrived

Written on August 30th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

This article is on the historical emigration from Africa. See recent African origin of modern humans for pre-historic human migration and emigration from Africa for recent migration.

The African diaspora refers to the communities throughout the world that are descended from the historic movement of peoples from Africa, predominantly to the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, among other areas around the globe. The term has been historically applied in particular to the descendants of the West and Central Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the Americas in the Atlantic slave trade, with the largest population in Brazil (see Afro-Brazilian), followed by the USA[1] and others.[2] Some scholars identify “four circulatory phases” of migration out of Africa.[3]

The term has also less commonly been used to refer to recent emigration from Africa.[4] The African Union defines the African diaspora as:

“[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” Its constitutive act declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.”

The phrase “African diaspora” was coined during the 1990s, and gradually entered common usage during the 2000s. Use of the term “diaspora” is modelled after the concept of Jewish diaspora.[5]

Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas during the Arab and the Atlantic slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent (where they were known as the Zanj) and sold them into markets in the Middle East and eastern Asia. Beginning in the 15th century, Europeans captured or bought African slaves from West Africa and brought them to Europe and primarily, in much greater number, to the Americas. The Atlantic Slave Trade ended in the 19th century, and the Arab Slave Trade ended in the middle of the 20th century.[6] The dispersal through slave trading represents the largest forced migrations in human history. The economic effect on the African continent was devastating, as generations of young people were taken from their communities and societies were disrupted. Some communities created by descendants of African slaves in Europe and Asia have survived to the modern day. In other cases, blacks intermarried with non-blacks, and their descendants blended into the local population.

In the Americas, the confluence of multiple ethnic groups from around the world created multi-ethnic societies. In Central and South America, most people are descended from European, indigenous American, and African ancestry. In Brazil, where in 1888 nearly half the population was descended from African slaves, the variation of physical characteristics extends across a broad range. In the United States, there was historically a greater European colonial population in relation to African slaves, especially in the Northern Tier. There was considerable racial intermarriage in colonial Virginia, and other racial mixing during the slavery and post-Civil War years. Racist Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws passed after the Reconstruction era in the South in the late nineteenth century, plus waves of vastly increased immigration from Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, maintained some distinction between racial groups. In the early 20th century, to institutionalize racial segregation, most southern states adopted the “one drop rule”, which defined and recorded anyone with any discernible African ancestry as black, even of obvious majority white or Native American ancestry.[7] One of the results of this implementation was the loss of records of Indian-identified groups, who were classified only as black because of being mixed race.

See Emigration from Africa for a general treatment of voluntary population movements since the late 20th century.

From the very onset of Spanish exploration and colonial activities in the Americas, Sub-Saharan Africans participated both as voluntary expeditionaries and as involuntary laborers.[2][8]Juan Garrido was such an African conquistador. He crossed the Atlantic as a freedman in the 1510s and participated in the siege of Tenochtitlan.[9] Africans had been present in Asia and Europe long before Columbus’ travels. Beginning in the late 20th century, Africans began to emigrate to Europe and the Americas in increasing numbers, constituting new African Diaspora communities not directly connected with the slave trade.

The African Union defined the African diaspora as “[consisting] of people of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” Its constitutive act declares that it shall “invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union.”

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African diaspora – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Written on August 9th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The African Diaspora

Introduction to the African Diaspora across the World

When once were dispersions, there now is Diaspora[i]. As illustrated by this quote, the notion of Diaspora underlines the specificity of some migration phenomenon, thereby contributing to make sense out of certain transnational movements.

Etymologically, the word diaspora, meaning dispersal, stems from the Greek sporo (seed), and speira (to spree). Originally, it was used in the Antique tradition to refer to the dispersion of Hellenic establishments around the Mediterranean Sea[ii]. Later on, in the biblical tradition, it was used to discuss the dispersal of the Jewish People.

Since the 1980s-90s, Diasporas have become the focus of numerous academic research and publications in the field of social sciences, gradually referring to more and more different communities around the world. Today, Diasporas can be defined as national migrant communities living in interaction among themselves and with their country of origin[iii]. The notion of diaspora must be distinguished with other phenomenon of migration, as the importance of the ties between members of the Diasporas and their country of origin is prevalent.

The nature of these ties is diverse: they can be political, economic, cultural as well as social and academic. Often, Diasporas are also linked to a founding myth related to their place of origin and to the conditions under which they were forced or urged to leave their motherland. As a matter of fact, according to Dominique Schnapper[iv], many Diasporas are built on a major event, often dramatic, which ties a community together, despite its geographical dispersion. This is, for example, the case for the Jewish Diaspora, which appeared after the destruction of the Temple and the annexation of Judea by Romans.

As of today, the African Diaspora is one of the most important in the world in terms of numbers. According to the African Union, the African Diaspora is composed of people of African origin living outside of the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality, and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union[v].

Three main periods can be identified, when it comes to giving an overview of the history of African Diasporas. Historically, the first wave of forced African migrations began during the Transatlantic Slave Trade (16th-19th century). Europeans captured or bought African slaves, mostly from West Africa, and brought them to Europe, and later on to South and North America. The number of Africans who were shipped across the Atlantic is estimated to be around 12 million[vi].

This population movement can be considered as the migration that paved the way for the constitution of the first African community outside of Africa. In point of fact, slave trade can be considered as the founding myth of the African Diaspora in Europe and in America. Many Africans were deported out of Africa during this period, but the feeling of belonging to a community, the African community, did not disappear. In a way, this feeling became even stronger.

The transatlantic slave trade contributed mostly to creating a large community of African origins in the American continent, especially in the US and in Brazil. This diaspora belongs to the first wave of migration, and is often referred to as the historical diaspora. It is to be differentiated, from later movements of population of the 1960s, in the sense that these migrants blended more into local populations, partly losing the connection with their land of origin. The members of this diaspora tend to be more attached to Africa as a continent of origin, rather than linked to a specific country in Africa. They are still considered as part of the diaspora. In fact, if the concrete connection to their land of origin was often lost throughout generations, symbolic ties were kept, which will be assessed later on in this paper.

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The African Diaspora – experienceafrica

Irie, mon! Ganja is now decriminalized in Jamaica after the Caribbean islands Parliament voted to lessen the penalty for those caught with two ounces or less of marijuana. The Jamaica government will also establish a cannabis licensing authority for medicinal marijuana on the island, where its music and even Rastafarian religion has been influenced by []

Opposition members in Jamaicas Senate warn that a bill to decriminalize the use of marijuana for medicinal or religious purposes could lead to discrimination. Sen. Tom Tavares-Finson said he is against Section 7 of the bill because it gives power to the Minister of Justice to authorize persons, groups or organizations, he recognizes as Rastafarian, []

Courtesy of police have often been viewed with suspicion and fear, routinely accused of indiscriminately using their weapons and intentionally killing suspects as the island struggled with soaring violent crime. Now, with overall violence ebbing, the Caribbean country is on track to have the fewest deaths at the hands of law enforcement in years, []

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Home of the Jamaican Diaspora Out of many one people

Diaspora,( Greek: Dispersion)Hebrew Galut (Exile), the dispersion of Jews among the Gentiles after the Babylonian Exile; or the aggregate of Jews or Jewish communities scattered in exile outside Palestine or present-day Israel. Although the term refers to the physical dispersal of Jews throughout the world, it also carries religious, philosophical, political, and eschatological connotations, inasmuch as the Jews perceive a special relationship between the land of Israel and themselves. Interpretations of this relationship range from the messianic hope of traditional Judaism for the eventual ingathering of the exiles to the view of Reform Judaism that the dispersal of the Jews was providentially arranged by God to foster pure monotheism throughout the world.

The first significant Jewish Diaspora was the result of the Babylonian Exile of 586 bc. After the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah, part of the Jewish population was deported into slavery. Although Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror of Babylonia, permitted the Jews to return to their homeland in 538 bc, part of the Jewish community voluntarily remained behind.

The largest, most significant, and culturally most creative Jewish Diaspora in early Jewish history flourished in Alexandria, where, in the 1st century bc, 40 percent of the population was Jewish. Around the 1st century ad, an estimated 5,000,000 Jews lived outside Palestine, about four-fifths of them within the Roman Empire, but they looked to Palestine as the centre of their religious and cultural life. Diaspora Jews thus far outnumbered the Jews in Palestine even before the destruction of Jerusalem in ad 70. Thereafter, the chief centres of Judaism shifted from country to country (e.g., Babylonia, Persia, Spain, France, Germany, Poland, Russia, and the United States), and Jewish communities gradually adopted distinctive languages, rituals, and cultures, some submerging themselves in non-Jewish environments more completely than others. While some lived in peace, others became victims of violent anti-Semitism.

Jews hold widely divergent views about the role of Diaspora Jewry and the desirability and significance of maintaining a national identity. While the vast majority of Orthodox Jews support the Zionist movement (the return of Jews to Israel), some Orthodox Jews go so far as to oppose the modern nation of Israel as a godless and secular state, defying Gods will to send his Messiah at the time he has preordained.

According to the theory of shelilat ha-galut (denial of the exile), espoused by many Israelis, Jewish life and culture are doomed in the Diaspora because of assimilation and acculturation, and only those Jews who migrate to Israel have hope for continued existence as Jews. It should be noted that neither this position nor any other favourable to Israel holds that Israel is the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy regarding the coming of the messianic era.

Although Reform Jews still commonly maintain that the Diaspora in the United States and elsewhere is a valid expression of Gods will, the Central Conference of American Rabbis in 1937 officially abrogated the Pittsburgh Platform of 1885, which declared that Jews should no longer look forward to a return to Israel. This new policy actively encouraged Jews to support the establishment of a Jewish homeland. On the other hand, the American Council for Judaism, founded in 1943 but now moribund, declared that Jews are Jews in a religious sense only and any support given to a Jewish homeland in Palestine would be an act of disloyalty to their countries of residence.

Support for a national Jewish state was notably greater after the wholesale annihilation of Jews during World War II. Of the estimated 14 million Jews in the world today, about 4 million reside in Israel, about 4.5 million in the United States, and about 2.2 million in Russia, Ukraine, and other republics formerly of the Soviet Union.

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Diaspora | Judaism | Encyclopedia Britannica

Written on May 12th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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The Jewish Diaspora – My Jewish Learning

Written on March 28th, 2015 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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Written on November 15th, 2013 & filed under Diasphora Tags: , ,