Joined: Jun 09 2006
Posted: Oct 01 2013 at 5:15pm
The Dutch West India Company, a chartered company of Dutch merchants,
was established in 1621 as a monopoly over the African slave trade to
Brazil, the Caribbean and North America.
WIC had offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hoorn, Middelburg and
Groningen, but one-fourth of Africans transported across the Atlantic by
the company were moved in slave ships from Amsterdam. Almost all of the
money that financed slave plantations in Suriname and the Antilles came
from bankers in Amsterdam, just as many of the ships used to transport
slaves were built there.
Many of the raw materials that were turned into finished goods in
Amsterdam, such as sugar and coffee, were grown in the colonies using
slave labor and then refined in factories in the Jordaan neighborhood.
Revenue from the goods produced with slave labor funded much of The
Netherlands’ golden age in the 17th century, a period renowned for its
artistic, literary, scientific, and philosophical achievements.
Slave labor created vast sources of wealth for the Dutch in the form
of precious metals, sugar, tobacco, cocoa, coffee and cotton and other
goods, and helped to fund the creation of Amsterdam’s beautiful and
famous canals and city center.
Joined: Jun 09 2006
Posted: Oct 01 2013 at 5:16pm
Portugal was the first of all European countries to become involved
in the Atlantic slave trade. From the 15th to 19th century, the
Portuguese exported 4.5 million Africans as slaves to the Americas,
making it Europe’s largest trafficker of human beings.
Slave labor was the driving force behind the growth of the sugar
economy in Portugal’s colony of Brazil, and sugar was the primary export
from 1600 to 1650. Gold and diamond deposits were discovered in Brazil
in 1690, which sparked an increase in the importation of African slaves
to power this newly profitable market.
The large portion of the Brazilian inland where gold was extracted
was known as the Minas Gerais (General Mines). Gold mining in this area
became the main economic activity of colonial Brazil during the 18th
century. In Portugal, the gold was mainly used to pay for industrialized
goods such as textiles and weapons, and to build magnificent baroque
monuments like the Convent of Mafra.
Joined: Jun 09 2006
Posted: Oct 01 2013 at 5:18pm
Starting in 1492, Spain was the first European country to colonize
the New World, where they established an economic monopoly in the
territories of Florida and other parts of North America, Mexico,
Trinidad, Cuba and other Caribbean islands. The native populations of
these colonies were mostly dying from disease or enslavement, so the
Spanish were forced to increasingly rely on African slave labor to run
The money generated from these settlements created great wealth for
the Hapsburg and Bourbon dynasties throughout Spain’s hold on the area.
But it also attracted Spain’s European rivals, prompting Spanish rulers
to spend the riches from the Americas to fuel successive European wars.
Spanish treasure fleets were used to protect the cargo transported
across the Atlantic Ocean. The ships’ cargo included lumber,
manufactured goods, various metal resources and expensive luxury goods
including silver, gold, gems, pearls, spices, sugar, tobacco leaf and
Port cities in Spain flourished. Seville, which had a royal monopoly
on New World trade, was transformed from a provincial port into a major
city and political center. Since the Spanish colonists were not yet
producing their own staples such as wine, oil, flour, arms and leather,
and had large financial reserves to pay for them, prices in Castile and
Andalusia rose sharply as traders bought up goods to ship out.
Prices of oil, wine and wheat tripled between 1511 and 1539. The
great vineyards of Jerez, the olive groves of Jaén, and the arms and
leather industry of Toledo were established on their present scale
during these years.
Joined: Jun 09 2006
Posted: Oct 02 2013 at 8:21am
Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property. America's Spartakus.
Nat Turner's Rebellion
Resource Bank Contents
Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia, the week before Gabriel was hanged. While still a young child, Nat was overheard describing events that had happened before he was born. This, along with his keen intelligence, and other signs marked him in the eyes of his people as a prophet "intended for some great purpose." A deeply religious man, he "therefore studiously avoided mixing in society, and wrapped [him]self in mystery, devoting [his] time to fasting and praying."
In 1821, Turner ran away from his overseer, returning after thirty days because of a vision in which the Spirit had told him to "return to the service of my earthly master." The next year, following the death of his master, Samuel Turner, Nat was sold to Thomas Moore. Three years later, Nat Turner had another vision. He saw lights in the sky and prayed to find out what they meant. Then "... while laboring in the field, I discovered drops of blood on the corn, as though it were dew from heaven, and I communicated it to many, both white and black, in the neighborhood; and then I found on the leaves in the woods hieroglyphic characters and numbers, with the forms of men in different attitudes, portrayed in blood, and representing the figures I had seen before in the heavens."
On May 12, 1828, Turner had his third vision: "I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantly appeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first... And by signs in the heavens that it would make known to me when I should commence the great work, and until the first sign appeared I should conceal it from the knowledge of men; and on the appearance of the sign... I should arise and prepare myself and slay my enemies with their own weapons."
At the beginning of the year 1830, Turner was moved to the home of Joseph Travis, the new husband of Thomas Moore's widow. His official owner was Putnum Moore, still a young child. Turner described Travis as a kind master, against whom he had no complaints.
Then, in February, 1831, there was an eclipse of the sun. Turner took this to be the sign he had been promised and confided his plan to the four men he trusted the most, Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam. They decided to hold the insurrection on the 4th of July and began planning a strategy. However, they had to postpone action because Turner became ill.
On August 13, there was an atmospheric disturbance in which the sun appeared bluish-green. This was the final sign, and a week later, on August 21, Turner and six of his men met in the woods to eat a dinner and make their plans. At 2:00 that morning, they set out to the Travis household, where they killed the entire family as they lay sleeping. They continued on, from house to house, killing all of the white people they encountered. Turner's force eventually consisted of more than 40 slaves, most on horseback.
By about mid-day on August 22, Turner decided to march toward Jerusalem, the closest town. By then word of the rebellion had gotten out to the whites; confronted by a group of militia, the rebels scattered, and Turner's force became disorganized. After spending the night near some slave cabins, Turner and his men attempted to attack another house, but were repulsed. Several of the rebels were captured. The remaining force then met the state and federal troops in final skirmish, in which one slave was killed and many escaped, including Turner. In the end, the rebels had stabbed, shot and clubbed at least 55 white people to death.
Nat Turner hid in several different places near the Travis farm, but on October 30 was discovered and captured. His "Confession," dictated to physician Thomas R. Gray, was taken while he was imprisoned in the County Jail. On November 5, Nat Turner was tried in the Southampton County Court and sentenced to execution. He was hanged, and then skinned, on November 11.
In total, the state executed 55 people, banished many more, and acquitted a few. The state reimbursed the slaveholders for their slaves. But in the hysterical climate that followed the rebellion, close to 200 black people, many of whom had nothing to do with the rebellion, were murdered by white mobs. In addition, slaves as far away as North Carolina were accused of having a connection with the insurrection, and were subsequently tried and executed.
The state legislature of Virginia considered abolishing slavery, but in a close vote decided to retain slavery and to support a repressive policy against black people, slave and free.http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part3/3p1518.html
Joined: Jul 17 2008
Posted: Oct 15 2013 at 5:09pm
Columbus and his men hunted Natives with war-dogs.
8 Myths and Atrocities About Christopher Columbus and Columbus Day
Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/14/8-myths-and-atrocities-about-christopher-columbus-and-columbus-day-151653
the second Monday of October each year, Native Americans cringe at the
thought of honoring a man who committed atrocities against Indigenous
Columbus Day was conceived by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic
Fraternal organization, in the 1930s because they wanted a Catholic
hero. After President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the day into law as a
federal holiday in 1937, the rest has been history.
In an attempt to further thwart the celebration of this “holiday,” we
at ICTMN have outlined eight misnomers and bloody, greedy, sexually
perverse and horrendous atrocities committed by Columbus and his men.
On the Way—Columbus Stole a Sailor’s Reward
After obtaining funding for his explorations to reach Asia from the
seizure and sale of properties from Spanish Jews and Muslims by order of
King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, Columbus headed out to explore a new
world with money and ships.
Brimming with the excitement of discovering new land, Columbus
offered a reward of 10,000 maravedis or about $540 (a sailor’s yearly
salary) for the first person to discover such land. Though another
sailor saw the land in October 1492, Columbus retracted the reward he
had previously offered because he claimed he had seen a dim light in the
of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria in the North River, New York. They
crossed from Spain to be present at the World's Fair at Chicago.
(Andrews, E. Benjamin. History of the United States, volume V. Charles
Scribner’s Sons, New York. 1912/Wikimedia)
Columbus Never Landed on American Soil—Not in 1492, Not Ever
We’re not talking about the Leif Ericson Viking explorer story. We
mean Columbus didn’t land on the higher 48—ever. Columbus quite
literally landed in what is now known as the Bahamas and later
Hispaniola, present-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Upon arrival, Columbus and his expedition of weapon laden Spaniards
met the Arawaks, Tainos and Lucayans—all friendly, according to
Columbus’ writings. Soon after arriving, Columbus wrecked the Santa
Maria and the Arawaks worked for hours to save the crew and cargo.
Impressed with the friendliness of the native people, Columbus seized
control of the land in the name of Spain. He also helped himself to
some locals. In his journal he wrote:
“As soon as I arrived in the Indies, on the first Island which I
found, I took some of the natives by force in order that they might
learn and might give me information of whatever there is in these
RELATED: American History Myths Debunked: Columbus Discovered America
The four voyages of Columbus are shown here. (Wikimedia Commons)
Columbus Painted a Horrible Picture of Peaceful Natives
When Columbus first saw the Native Arawaks that came to greet him and his crew he spoke with a peaceful and admiring tone.
“They ... brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and
many other things... They willingly traded everything they owned...
They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features.... They do
not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they
took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no
iron. Their spears are made of cane... . They would make fine
servants.... With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do
whatever we want.”
After several months in the Caribbean, on January 13, 1493 two
Natives were murdered during trading. Columbus, who had otherwise
described the Natives as gentle people wrote “(they are) evil and I
believe they are from the island of Caribe, and that they eat men.” He
also described them as “savage cannibals, with dog-like noses that drink
the blood of their victims.”
The cannibal story is taught as fact in some of today’s schools.
Columbus’ Men Were Rapists and Murderers
On Columbus’s first trip to the Caribbean, he later returned to Spain
and left behind 39 men who went ahead and helped themselves to Native
women. Upon his return the men were all dead.
This painting of Christopher Columbus was done in 1519 by Sebastiano del Piombo. (Wikimedia Commons)
With 1,200 more soldiers at his disposal, rape and pillaging became rampant as well as tolerated by Columbus.
This is supported by a reported close friend of Columbus, Michele
de Cuneo who wrote the first disturbing account of a relation between
himself and a Native female gift given to him by Columbus.
“While I was in the boat I captured a very beautiful Carib woman,
whom the said Lord Admiral gave to me, and with whom, having taken her
into my cabin, she being naked according to their custom, I conceived
desire to take pleasure. I wanted to put my desire into execution but
she did not want it and treated me with her finger nails in such a
manner that I wished I had never begun. But seeing that (to tell you the
end of it all), I took a rope and thrashed her well, for which she
raised such unheard of screams that you would not have believed your
ears. Finally we came to an agreement in such manner that I can tell you
that she seemed to have been brought up in a school of harlots.”
Several accounts of cruelty and murder include Spaniards testing the
sharpness of blades on Native people by cutting them in half, beheading
them in contests and throwing Natives into vats of boiling soap. There
are also accounts of suckling infants being lifted from their mother’s
breasts by Spaniards, only to be dashed headfirst into large rocks.
Bartolome De Las Casas, a former slave owner who became Bishop of
Chiapas, described these exploits. “Such inhumanities and barbarisms
were committed in my sight as no age can parallel,” he wrote. “My eyes
have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I
Columbus Enslaved the Native People for Gold
Because Columbus reported a plethora of Natives for slaves, rivers of
gold and fertile pastures to Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand,
Columbus was given 17 ships and more than 1,200 men on his next
expedition. However, Columbus had to deliver. In the next few years,
Columbus was desperate to fulfill those promises—hundreds of Native
slaves died on their way back to Spain and gold was not as bountiful as
Christopher Columbus presents Native Americans to Queen Isabella.
Columbus forced the Natives to work in gold mines until exhaustion. Those who opposed were beheaded or had their ears cut off.
In the provinces of Cicao all persons over 14 had to supply at least a
thimble of gold dust every three months and were given copper necklaces
as proof of their compliance. Those who did not fulfill their
obligation had their hands cut off, which were tied around their necks
while they bled to death—some 10,000 died handless.
In two years’ time, approximately 250,000 Indians on Haiti were dead.
Many deaths included mass suicides or intentional poisonings or mothers
killing their babies to avoid persecution.
According to Columbus, in a few years before his death, “Gold is the
most precious of all commodities; gold constitutes treasure, and he who
possesses it has all he needs in the world, as also the means of
rescuing souls from purgatory, and restoring them to the enjoyment of
Columbus Provided Native Sex Slaves to His Men
In addition to putting the Natives to work as slaves in his gold
mines, Columbus also sold sex slaves to his men—some as young as 9.
Columbus and his men also raided villages for sex and sport.
In the year 1500, Columbus wrote: “A hundred castellanoes are as
easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and
there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from
nine to ten are now in demand.”
Columbus’ Men Used Native People as Dog Food
In the early years of Columbus’ conquests there were butcher shops
throughout the Caribbean where Indian bodies were sold as dog food.
There was also a practice known as the montería infernal, the infernal chase, or manhunt, in which Indians were hunted by war-dogs.
These dogs—who also wore armor and had been fed human flesh, were a
fierce match for the Indians. Live babies were also fed to these war
dogs as sport, sometimes in front of horrified parents.
Columbus Returned to Spain in Shackles—But Was Pardoned
After a multitude of complaints against Columbus about his
mismanagement of the island of Hispaniola, a royal commissioner arrested
Columbus in 1500 and brought him back to Spain in chains.
Though he was stripped of his governor title, he was pardoned by King Ferdinand, who then subsidized a fourth voyage.
Joined: Jul 17 2008
Posted: Oct 20 2013 at 10:37am
The history of Jamaica over the past 500 years has been marked by the
courage of the Jamaican people in their triumphant struggle for freedom
and justice and by their unrelenting resistance and determination in the
face of adversity and discrimination. Modern Jamaica is built on a
historical legacy of genocide perpetrated against the island’s indigenous
peoples, on the experience of over three hundred years of slavery and
oppression suffered by the Jamaicans of Hebrew origin and on the
interplay between Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The First Jamaicans
The first Jamaicans were the Taino Indians who settled in Jamaica
around 600 AD. They were also Hebrew people from the Northern Kingdom of
the lost tribes of Israel, who were the first people who founded the
Americas and the Islands after the Assyrian captivity. Taíno home
furnishings included cotton hammocks (hamaca), sleeping and sitting mats
made of palms, wooden chairs (dujo) with woven seats, platforms, and
cradles for children.
The Arawak language spoken by the Tainos, some
of the words used by them, such as barbacoa ("barbecue"), hamaca
("hammock"), kanoa ("canoe"), tabaco ("tobacco"), yuca, batata ("sweet
potato"), and juracán ("hurricane"), have been incorporated into Spanish
and English. The word Jamaica actually derives from the Arawak word
Xaymaca, meaning “Land of wood and water”.
The Taino were the first
people of the New World to encounter the Europeans as they expanded
westwards, and soon were to face harsh slavery virtual extinction.
However they were not fully exterminated, as history has led us to
believe. In 1655 when the English expelled the Spaniards, Tainos were
still recorded as living in Jamaica. It was noted at this time that
rural farmers spoke a dialect that was mixture of Spanish, Taino and
Hebrew languages. Later archaeologists were to discover English lead
shot amongst Taino artifacts, and almost 60 years earlier in 1596
English privateer Sir Anthony Shirley sacked St. Jago de la Vega (later
Spanish Town), after being guided there by Taino tribesmen. Further
archaeological finds were later to confirm that Taino extinction was a
myth, although being enslaved and cruelly treated by Europeans, some
Taino did survive. Many escaped into the mountains to co-exist with the
Maroons, where still today many non-African plants are used medicinally,
plants that were once part of the Taino pharmacology. Hammocks also are
still made in Accompong in the Taino fashion, proving that the Taino
still survived for many years after the Spanish had left, with the
Maroons in the mountains of inland Jamaica.
The miscommunication is applied by Guitar to all aspects of reporting, including reports of their extinction.
Today we know that most of the Taínos were not killed by abuses endured under the
because they had no immunities to them, and after 1519, of smallpox. In
tropical areas like Hispaniola, between 80 and 90% of the Native
Indians died of plagues that often preceded the actual arrival of the
Spaniards, for the germs and viruses were carried by messengers bearing
news from plague-ridden areas. An 80-90% loss is a significant and
horrifying loss. It is so horrifying that it obscures the fact that 10
to 20% of the Taínos survived.
A re-examination of the documents of the era reveals the origins of the myth of Taíno extinction:
• When the chroniclers wrote that all of the Indians of Hispaniola
were gone, they were, in fact, following the lead of Las Casas, who
exaggerated the Taíno population decline in order to convince the
emperor to abolish the encomienda system (see note 1) and, instead,
establish missionary villages for the Indians’ conversion.
• The chroniclers also wrote about the Taínos in comparison to the
denser populations of Native Indians later discovered on the Mainland;
this is especially true about Oviedo, who
spent his early years in today’s Panama.
• The chroniclers were also repeating what was written in letter after
letter to the Royal Court by encomenderos on Hispaniola who exaggerated
their losses in order to gain sympathy and
royal permission to
import more African slaves, who were believed to be “stronger” than the
Taínos because they did not fall prey to the diseases that decimated the
The legacy of the miscommunication was that the
Taínos became extinct. However, Dr. Guitar does show that they were not
extinct, but rather surviving in severely reduced numbers elsewhere on
By the time of Columbus's arrival in 1494 the
Jamaican Tainos were part of approximately 6 million Arawakan speaking
people of the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas (where they were known as
the Lucayans). At the time of Columbus' arrival in 1492, there were
five Taíno chiefdoms and territories on Hispaniola (modern day Haiti and
Dominican Republic), each led by a principal Cacique (chieftain), to
whom tribute was paid.
Cuba, the largest island on the Antilles, was
originally divided into 29 chiefdoms, most of these native inhabited
locations later became Spanish cities retaining the original Taino
names, for instance; Havana, Batabanó, Camagüey, Baracoa and Bayamo.
Puerto Rico also was divided into chiefdoms. As the hereditary head
chief of Taíno tribes, the cacique was paid significant tribute. At the
time of the Spanish conquest, the largest Taíno population centers may
have contained over 3,000 people each.
The Spanish Period
Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the island
when he claimed it for Spain on May 3rd, 1494, during his second voyage
to the New World. Jamaica was settled by the Spanish in 1510 and the
indigenous Taino people were forced into slavery and eventually
exterminated. In the early years of the 16th century the practice of
importing slaves from West Africa to work in Jamaica began. Jamaica’s
first town was built by the Spanish in Saint Ann’s Bay and was called
Sevilla Nueva. In 1538 the Spanish moved the capital of Jamaica to
Spanish Town until 1872
. Jamaica was, however, never heavily
populated by the Spanish, for they found no gold on the island. Instead,
plantations were established to supply food for the Spanish ships that
sailed between Europe and the Americas. Spain remained in control of
Jamaica for more than 150 years; until 1655 Jamaica was conquered by the
English, although the Spanish did not relinquish their claim to the
island until 1670. Jamaica became a base of operations for privateers,
including Captain Henry Morgan, operating from the main English
settlement Port Royal. In return these privateers kept the other
colonial powers from attacking the island. Following the destruction of
Port Royal in the great earthquake of 1692, refugees settled across the
bay in Kingston. By 1716 it had become the biggest town in Jamaica and
was designated the capital city in 1872. Until slavery was abolished by
Parliament in 1833, the island sugar plantations were highly dependent
on slaver labour, based on Hebrews who initially were captured,
kidnapped, and sold into slavery from peoples of West and Central
Africa. By the eighteenth century, sugarcane became the most important
export of the island.
Joined: Oct 10 2010
Posted: Oct 20 2013 at 6:33pm
Sarah Rector: The Richest Colored Girl in the World
By Stacey Patton
“Oil Made Pickaninny Rich – Oklahoma Girl With $15,000 A Month Gets
Many Proposals – Four White Men in Germany Want to Marry the Negro Child
That They Might Share Her Fortune.” This headline, which appeared in The Kansas City Star on
January 15, 1914, was just the first of many newspaper and magazine
headlines during the next decade about Sarah Rector, the richest black
child known to the world in that era. In September, 1913, The Kansas City Star reported: “Millions to a Negro Girl - Sarah Rector, 10-Year Old, Has Income of $300 A Day From Oil,” and The Savannah Tribune ran: “Oil Well Produces Neat Income – Negro Girl’s $112,000 A Year.”
In 1914 and 1915, the Salt Lake Telegram, The Oregonian and American Magazine
profiled the “bewildered little ten year-old girl” and told of how she
inherited her “big income” but still wore tattered dresses and slept
each night in a big armchair beside her six siblings in a two-room
prairie house in Muskogee, Oklahoma. By the early 1920s, many newspapers
covered the court battles involving white men seeking to become
Rector’s guardian to gain control over her estate. She was one of a
group of Creek freedman children who were given land allotments by the
U.S. government as part of the Treaty of 1866.
Sarah Rector was born in 1902, near Taft in Indian Territory, the
northeastern part of present-day Oklahoma. Though she was “colored,” she
was not an African-American child and had no concept of what it meant
to be an American citizen. Rector was a descendant of slaves who had
been owned by Creek Indians before the Civil War. In 1866, the Creek
Nation signed a treaty with the United States government promising to
emancipate their 16,000 slaves and incorporate them into their nation
as citizens entitled to “equal interest in the soil and national
funds.” Two decades later, the federally imposed Dawes Allotment Act
of 1887 sparked the beginning of the “total assimilation” of the
Indians of the so-called Five Civilized Tribes by forcing them to live
on individually-owned lots of land instead of communally as they had
done for centuries.
There was a great deal of resistance to this plan by the Creeks and
other tribes, who viewed it as yet another tactic by the U.S. government
to destroy the tribe’s political sovereignty and way of life. But as a
result of the Dawes Allotment Act, nearly 600 black children, or Creek
Freedmen minors as they were called, inherited 160 acres of land,
unlike their African-American counterparts who were granted citizenship
after slavery but never got that promised “forty acres and a mule.”
To the surprise of U.S. government officials, a few old and young
allottees like Sarah Rector found that their land came with crude oil
and other minerals underneath the soil.
When she was born, Rector was given a rough, hilly allotment,
considered worthless agriculturally, in Glenpool, 60 miles from where
she and her family lived. Her father had petitioned the Muskogee County
Court to sell the land, but he was denied because of certain
restrictions placed on the land, for which he was required to continue
paying taxes. In 1913, when she was ten years old, large pools of oil
were discovered on Rector’s land. One year later, her land produced so
much oil that she had already yielded $300,000; her fortune was
increasing at a rate of $10,000 per month. Her mother had died years
earlier from tuberculosis. In 1914, her father died in prison, leaving
Even before her father’s death, Rector was appointed a guardian who was
responsible for managing Rector’s money and providing for her
education and care. The law at the time required full-blooded Indians,
black adults and children who were citizens of Indian Territory with
significant property and money, to be assigned “well-respected” white
guardians who often cheated them out of their lands. There are stories
of swindlers, oil tycoons and other unscrupulous types who kidnapped and
murdered the children and adults to get their land.
Unlike other hapless waifs who fell victim to fraud, losing their land
and wealth while growing up in a western frontier fraught with
violence, fraud and racism, Rector was one of a few black children able
to ward off greedy guardians and retain her wealth as an adult. Rector
graduated high school, attended Tuskegee University, and then moved to
Kansas City at age 19. She purchased a mansion on Twelfth Street,
entertaining Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Joe Louis and Jack Johnson at
lavish parties. Not much is known of her later life other than stories
of how she splurged on jewelry, fine clothes, and cars.
Much of Rector’s adult life still needs to be developed, as is the
case for the study of the history of black childhood in America. Rector
is significant because hers is a vital yet untold story about the
complexities or race, childhood, and citizenship on the American
frontier in the early 20th century.
Joined: Apr 16 2012
Posted: Oct 20 2013 at 6:40pm
15 Things You Did Not Know About the Moors of Spain
1. The Spanish occupation by the Moors began in 711 AD when an African army, under their leader Tariq ibn-Ziyad, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian peninsula ‘Andalus' (Spain under the Visigoths).
2. A European scholar sympathetic to the Spaniards remembered the conquest in this way:
a. [T]he reins of their (Moors) horses were as fire, their faces black as pitch, their eyes shone like burning candles, their horses were swift as leopards and the riders fiercer than a wolf in a sheepfold at night . . . The noble Goths [the German rulers of Spain to whom Roderick belonged] were broken in an hour, quicker than tongue can tell. Oh luckless Spain!
Quoted in Edward Scobie, The Moors and Portugal's Global Expansion, in Golden Age of the Moor, ed Ivan Van Sertima, US, Transaction Publishers, 1992, p.336
3. The Moors, who ruled Spain for 800 years, introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, a device for measuring the position of the stars and planets. Scientific progress in Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Geography and Philosophy flourished in Moorish Spain
4. Basil Davidson, one of the most noted historians recognized and declared that there were no lands at that time (the eighth century) "more admired by its neighbours, or more comfortable to live in, than a rich African civilization which took shape in Spain"
5. At its height, Córdova, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, was the most modern city in Europe. The streets were well-paved, with raised sidewalks for pedestrians. During the night, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. (This was hundreds of years before there was a paved street in Paris or a street lamp in London.) Cordova had 900 public baths - we are told that a poor Moor would go without bread rather than soap!
6. The Great Mosque of Córdoba (La Mezquita) is still one of the architectural wonders of the world in spite of later Spanish disfigurements. Its low scarlet and gold roof, supported by 1,000 columns of marble, jasper and and porphyry, was lit by thousands of brass and silver lamps which burned perfumed oil.
7. Education was universal in Moorish Spain, available to all, while in Christian Europe ninety-nine percent of the population were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At that time, Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen great universities! These were located in Almeria, Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and Toledo.
8. In the tenth and eleventh centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than seventy, of which the one in Cordova housed six hundred thousand manuscripts.
9. Over 4,000 Arabic words and Arabic-derived phrases have been absorbed into the Spanish language. Words beginning with "al," for example, are derived from Arabic. Arabic words such as algebra, alcohol, chemistry, nadir, alkaline, and cipher entered the language. Even words such as checkmate, influenza, typhoon, orange, and cable can be traced back to Arabic origins.
10. The most significant Moorish musician was known as Ziryab (the Blackbird) who arrived in Spain in 822. The Moors introduced earliest versions of several instruments, including the Lute or el oud, the guitar or kithara and the Lyre. Ziryab changed the style of eating by breaking meals into separate courses beginning with soup and ending with desserts.
11. The #Moors introduced paper to Europe and Arabic numerals, which replaced the clumsy Roman system.
12. The Moors introduced many new crops including the orange, lemon, peach, apricot, fig, sugar cane, dates, ginger and pomegranate as well as saffron, sugar cane, cotton, silk and rice which remain some of Spain's main products today.
13. The Moorish rulers lived in sumptuous palaces, while the monarchs of Germany, France, and England dwelt in big barns, with no windows and no chimneys, and with only a hole in the roof for the exit of smoke. One such Moorish palace ‘Alhambra' (literally "the red one") in Granada is one of Spain's architectural masterpieces. Alhambra was the seat of Muslim rulers from the 13th century to the end of the 15th century. The Alhambra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
14. It was through Africa that the new knowledge of China, India, and Arabia reached Europe The #Moors brought the Compass from China into Europe.
15. The Moors ruled and occupied Lisbon (named "Lashbuna" by the Moors) and the rest of the country until well into the twelfth century. They were finally defeated and driven out by the forces of King Alfonso Henriques. The scene of this battle was the Castelo de Sao Jorge or the 'Castle of St. George.'
Joined: Apr 16 2012
Posted: Oct 20 2013 at 6:53pm
of the New World
By Legrand H. Clegg II
- Every October Americans pause to celebrate Columbus Day. Children are taught that the Italian navigator discovered America. Parades are held in his honor and tributes tell of his skill, courage and perseverance.
- Historians, archeologists, anthropologists and other scientists and scholars now know that Columbus did not discover America. Not only were native Americans present when he reached the New World, but also Africans, Asians and Europeans, among others, had been sailing to the Americas thousands of years before Columbus ventured across the Atlantic.
- Of the various people who reached America before Columbus, Black Africans appear to have made the most contacts and to have had the greatest impact. During the 19th and 20th centuries, several scholars wrote books and articles about this subject and urged the academic establishment to change primary and secondary curricula across the country to reflect the great contributions of African people to early America. Unfortunately, such pleas fell on deaf ears; so again this October our children are being taught the myth that Columbus discovered America.
- In August of this year, a group of 13 African Americans participated in a study-tour of numerous Mexican archeological sites. Led by the renowned Black historian and architect, Mathu Otir, and two Mexican guides, we visited numerous museums, temples, pyramids and cities, most of which reflected the genius of the native American Mayas and Aztecs. Toward the end of the tour, in southern Mexico, we began to see the remains of an ancient Black presence.
- Evidence of the early Africans is widespread and varied. Dozens of majestic stone heads have been found at ancient sacred sites, such as La Venta and Tres Zapotes in southern Mexico (See photograph). Ranging up to 9 feet and 4 inches in height, with a circumference of 22 feet, and weighing 30 to 40 tons, these colossal statues depict helmeted Black men with large eyes, broad fleshy noses and full lips. They appear to represent priest-kings who ruled vast territories in the ancient New World from provinces near the Gulf of Mexico.
- In the holy city of La Venta, dating back to at least 1500 BC, four of these large stone heads were discovered on a ceremonial platform featuring a miniature step pyramid and a conical pyramid - the earliest of such monuments to appear in the Americas.
- Other art-work also serves as evidence of Africans in America before Columbus. For years the late art historian, Alexander Von Wuthenau, collected ancient clay figurines that provide clues regarding the diversity of America's pre-Columbian population. His remarkable African collection depicts priests, chiefs, dancers, wrestlers, drummers, beautiful women and stately men - a collage of Black people who occupied every stratum of society from Mexico to South America.
- Negroid skulls and skeletons have also been found throughout the New World. Polish professor Andrzej Wiercinski has revealed the discovery of African skulls at Olmec sites in Tlatilco, Cerro de las Mesas and Monte Alban. Furthermore, very ancient African skeletons have been unearth in California, Mexico, Central and South America.
- The best evidence of the Black presence in America before Columbus comes from the pen of the "great discoverer" himself. In his Journal of the Second Voyage, Columbus reported that when he reached Haiti the native Americans told him that black-skinned people had come from the south and southeast in boats, trading in gold-tipped medal spears. At least a dozen other European explorers, including Vasco Nunez de Balboa, also reported seeing or hearing of "Negroes" when they reached the New World.
- Nicholas Leon, an eminent Mexican authority, recorded the oral traditions of his people. Some of them reported that "the oldest inhabitants of Mexico were blacks[T]he existence of blacks and giants is commonly believed by nearly all the races of our sail and in their various language they had words to designate them."
- Early Mexican scholars were convinced that the impact of the Black explorers on the New World was profound and enduring. One author, J.A. Villacorta, has written: "Any way you view it, Mexican civilization had its origin in Africa." Modern excavations throughout Latin America appear to confirm Villacorta's conclusions.
- The Olmec civilization, which appears to have been of African origin or to have been dominated by Africans, was the Mother Culture of Mexico. Of this, Michael Coe, the leading American historian on Mexico, has written that, "there is not the slightest doubt that all later civilizations in [Mexico and Central America], rest ultimately on an Olmec base."
- Ivan Van Sertima, the foremost authority on the African presence in ancient America, has built a strong case demonstrating that many Olmec cultural traits were of African origin: "A study of the Olmec civilization reveals elements that so closely parallel ritual traits and techniques in the Egypto-Nubian world of the same period that it is difficult to maintain [that] all these are due to mere coincidence." Other scholars believe that Africans introduced a calendar, writing, pyramid and tomb construction, mummification, as well as certain political systems and religious traditions to the native Americans.
- Who were the Africans who sailed to America before Columbus? Indian scholar R.A. Jairazbhoy states that the earliest settlers were Ancient Egyptians led by King Ramesis III, during the 19th dynasty. Van Sertima also believes that most of the explorers sailed from Egypt, but during the much later 25th dynasty. Many other scholars insist that the navigators came from West African nations, such as Ghana, Mali and Songhay
- Whoever these Black people were, they most certainly sailed to America in ancient and medieval times and left a profound imprint on New World soil. As Jairazbhoy notes: "The black began his career in America not as slave but as master."
- Our Mexican guides agreed. As we ended our tour and prepared to return to the U.S., one of them proclaimed: "I would like to thank the African people for bringing civilization to the New World." It is high time for the American media and academic establishment to admit the same.
Joined: Oct 10 2010
Posted: Oct 20 2013 at 7:20pm
The Moors are also likely to be the start of Spanish hatred for anything dark (hence the slave trade)