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The Last NegroA Tribal People of Color in the United States
By Krim M. Ballentine
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Krim M. Ballentine
All right reserved.
Chapter OneIn the Beginning
Who are we to accept or reject the definition of negro sufficient to demand that it be capitalized as a proper noun? Why must we accept the dirty meaning of negro to the point that we would rather call ourselves the English interpretive black, still a skin color and non-African? Is it better to be black than negro? Why as Americans or citizens of the United States, we do not redefine negro, capitalize it and adopt it to mean the ethnicity of a people in America of African descent?
Negro is as important an invention as American is to citizens of the United States. Was it skin color to cause racists? Or, was it the pre-genetic conception that one-sixteenth (1/16th) black defined negro blood (?) made one negro regardless to skin color?
Eight persons in ones ancestry with one of the persons being negro multiplied by two equals sixteen, ergo, the one/sixteenth (1/16th) negro blood speculative. While the Creator made the colors of His creations, man made the colors into ethnicity and race. Ergo, this is the preamble to this writing.
Accomplishments in America were not accomplishments by Africans, Afro-Americans or slaves and ex-slaves but by negro people, later calling themselves colored, later calling themselves Blacks, then Afro-Americans and most recently, African Americans. The people were "free men" as defined in the Constitution of the United States made slaves and negroes by the mouths of White people. No writing in The Constitution of the United States mandates slavery in any form.
Dictionaries do not define terms, but explains usage of words that people define by their usage. The negro of the United States like others, searched only for respect; respect pursued by all living creatures, the respect of their exercised and exhibited humanity. They sought respect in a name, Negro.
Today, Negroes seem in pursuit of admiration, acceptance and being politically correct and not human ignored. They pursue and invent a lost history and justification of a historic existence to the detriment of a present and future direction, later to become history.
Surely, making history is a better pursuit of a people than dwelling on history already made. Negroes, like all people must use the history of their yesterdays as plans and pursuits of their future.
Do you know that watermelon is originally an African fruit brought to the United States in the 1600's? Do you know what a guinea fowl is and that they too are African origins imported to the United States? Do you know that Spain occupied by the Moors three periods: the Arab emirate (759-1031), the Almoravids and Almohads (1086-1212) and the Nasrid Dynasty in the South (1230-1492)?
Do you know that the Moors, in Spain, built the Cathedral of Cordoba (786-999), one of the world's greatest mosques, the Cordoba mosque in the Moorish court of Seville and the Giralda, now the cathedral bell tower? Do you know that the Alhambra palace, in Granada, was also an effort completed by Moors between the years 1238-1391? (1997 Grolier's Electronic Encyclopedia)
Also from that source is an explanation of the Moors:
"Moor (from Latin, Maurus) is sometimes used to denote a member of the Muslim populations of North Africa and, by extension, the Arab and Arabicized Berber conquerors of Spain, who established Muslim rule in the Iberian peninsula from the 8th to the 17th century. The term has also been applied specifically to the populations of Morocco and Mauritania and occasionally to refer to Muslims in general, as in the Moors of the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Today the term is rarely used except in reference to the Moorish art and architecture that reached its pinnacle in the medieval Spain."
In accordance with anthropological attributes of the three race designation, Caucasian, Mongolian and Negroid, the Moors were Negroid.
United States President Harding is to have said paraphrased: the colored people need to pursue being better colored people as opposed to the pursuit of being colored white people.
Many people of color called in the world "nigger." Only in America people of color "Negro" was a skin color with a specific intent to be derogatory. Othello an exception in Spain as a Moor was called negro, using the Spanish term for black as opposed to the class caste separations of Don, Donna or peon.
Today's people "of color" have been falsely holding a so-called "white" people responsible for their perceived social and economic plight. The people "of color" then dwell on that, holding creating a quagmire for any future social and economic overcoming of any perceived plight. True, "whites" surely contributed and embellished that perceived plight: but in actuality are not responsible totally.
However, mistakenly, the people "of color" globally are discovering that "whites" were not foresighted sufficiently or academically astute as presumed to have imagined a world futuristically denying a pigment-different human-beings equal opportunities. Our forefathers did not invent skin color as a class- hierarchy, nor was there a pursuit of white or "of color" superiority, but free labor was the motive.
Worldwide, especially the areas where "whites" maintain a majority, people "of color" blamed continuously for socioeconomic failures.
In Haiti, rumor abound that "light-skin" persons force others to act as pawns in their effort to retain control and power and to emulate whites. In Cuba, where Castro is, and acts, "of color", as opposed to the stripped Batista who clearly was a light-skin Cuban is operable relative to skin-color control. Russia, where Bosnians and Serbs, in recent reporting's, along with others, prevented in their obtaining full-citizenship and opportunities under the united Russia because they were not "white" Russians.
North Africa, where the people call themselves Egyptian, Libyan or other someone's of the continent Africa, to clearly separate themselves from the dark skin people in the south of Africa. India, who allowed Pakistan to occur because of India's approach to light skin people, was tragic. Japan, who deny the orphans of wartime left by the American "of color" and proudly accept marriage and interaction with the "white" Americans.
But for skin color, a person born in a country is of that country and of that country's people. But for skin color, class differentiation would be harder to immediately identify. And, because of skin color one can be held in a fixed social class while others of non-skin color black move homogeneously into the existing mainstream and thereby hide their former social status; ergo, harking back and redefining the word negro, capitalizing and exploiting it makes it somewhat right.
The two most noteworthy writings of the day are the spiritual texts of the various religions and the United States Constitution. Neither, of the two documents mention "white" and only one reference ebony, Nubian, brown or the word slave, stereotypically projected as the "negroid" anthropological grouping.
Prior to the Spanish, English, and especially the new English derivative language: American language, English did not contain the word "negro." There was neither a root word of sorts nor a traditional application based on etymology.
The Spanish and Portuguese are the culprits. The slander was intentional for the Spanish and Portuguese crew members who are now an included minority American. Today's public touts Hispanics, as being the coming largest minority in the United States and in competition for resources with Negro Americans. Their classification is politically correct in their acceptance of the title of Hispanic.
The Spanish and Portuguese used word "Africana" is the true and respected reference for the slave-cargo of the Spanish ships. Only the "of color" pigment-different Spaniard and Portuguese can be included in the minority stereotypes of today's America as they too have suffered because of their color of skin. They have opportunities afforded, others denied.
Ricardo Montalban, Desi Arnez and, Fernando Llamas, Rita Moreno and Anthony Quinn, the dancers on table tops in cowboy movies, the Cubans and many other "white" Spanish, Mexicans and Portuguese persons were examples of non-racial policies towards the Spanish en banc. Spanish history achievers "of color black" are not included in American history or socially. And, Pushkin, a person of color, of Russia's history, is of little historic attention.
In accordance with the standard for deciding who is or was "of color," the Spaniards above would have been classified "negro." After all the Moors were people "of color" who occupied Spain for some three to eight hundred years, beginning the 7th or 8th century, north exempted.
The Colonists, later Americans, who gave birth to the 1/16th southern blood concept combined with the persons and the writers of the 3/5ths Constitution's taxing consideration had in mind one thing but could not prove or write that thing in their Constitution. So, because of skin color only, they concluded whoever was the 1/16th or the 3/5th allowed by America and Americans, historically and present day not to intermingle totally. By white man's mouth alone citizens' rights were collective decisions of racism.
The Spanish and Portuguese, white skin color persons, were historically allowed to intermarry and to live in any neighborhood and the total sharing of American and America's opportunities and other resources because of their outside skin-color congruency with other so called whites. Rolling distant hills, green grass, birds and other fowl in abundance, deer and other edible game, the new colony was thriving in natural assets.
The year, 1619; it is the puritanical colony of Great Britain not yet known as America. Although, the colonies are new in origin, labor, free economical labor, was a problem. Coinage had not occurred.
Someone, somebody, had to be found to do the work free. The work, as visualized, was hard, enduring, sun-up to sun- down expectations. The work was the hope of creating a life and living style: eking it from a raw country with little apparent civil amenities.
Fearful of survival and the future, the colonists, forced into a sort of adventurous exile now must set rules for survival; rules the colonists had given little regard in their motherland, England. Rules of civility, rules of religion, rules respecting a King were influences now abandoned in a new world. Colonists now forced to perform labors with the major benefits returned to the homeland England is no longer a consideration.
Human bondage was not new. The original settlers therefore indentured certain members of the original community as contract servants. There is evidence that the negroes brought to Jamestown in 1619 also placed among families in this way, and one of those very negroes became the master of a servant himself.
Slavery later became the rule among the colonies by making exceptions in the case of negro indentured servants. "Unlike the white indentured servants the Negroes were required to serve for life." (This information taken from the book entitled "Negro Makers of History", Woodson, date and publisher's page gone and lost).
Woodson, also as a part of the book, stated that "Slavery was a condition for nonbelievers only, usually for those captured in wars. In the case of the Negroes, however, the colonists passed laws that, although Negroes might be converted to Christianity, they would not thereby become free."
The tangible reasons for colonization were still profit and greed. Nothing humanitarian was among the ingredients for the start of colonies and the expectations were high as the investments for the venture were as speculative as investments in today's stocks and bonds.
Contract servants, regardless of skin color, that would have the opportunity to work off their time of indenture and then melt into normal society, were perception and expectations.
People's skin color commingled with the indentured affair was advantageous to some; whites easily melted into society. The original indentured blacks not far removed stigmatized as either in slavery or indentured servants. The black skin hue never allowed certain people to overcome socially or intellectually their former status of servitude.
Alone the ships came from afar. Kidnapped from their continent, the people of color from African, tribes now chained and crammed in the holds of ships, were on their way to nowhere. A formerly proud and free people of color were now captives, slaves, potential free labor workers for the colonies, potential profits for the slavers.
The ships' holds had not been prepared for human cargo or animals, people of color housed in darkness, splashing sloshing sounds of the sea on the hulls. The different tribal languages being understood by only a few, the fear of not knowing and overwhelmed with negative expectations; and, the wonderment as to when and how it will all end were overwhelming.
Why should I be chained, starved and forced to sleep and eat among my own feces and urine, they asked? Of what use could I be to someone so great as to treat me this way? Are these people of "white" skin human?
The fierce animals of our homeland have not done what these of "white" skins have accomplished. I understand the hunger of an animal that attacks, my hunger when I kill them and my need to survive in conjunction with that animals' need to survive. I can explain a neighbor's tribe seeking what I have or what he perceives I have of value commencing wars.
Major questions are: what does this man of "white" skin have in store? He steals me from my homeland, chain me and, lowers me into the cold, dark, hold of a ship with others and makes no way for human normal exercises, to pass feces and urine; humans dying from lack of food, health, fresh air and exercise? What does he have in store? What is expected and will someone please explain what is happening?
Questions for sure were questions in the minds of the captured people. While they could not speak Spanish or Portuguese, the language of the crews, or English, the language of the colonists they could speak and read quite well the language of their various tribes. And, sometimes, they could read and speak the language of many tribes surrounding their area. The people of the continent of Africa were not people illiterate of their environmental resources.
The people of color from the continent of Africa, captives, were mostly literate people, except as it applied to the languages of Spanish, Portuguese and English or their behavior and attitudes and understandings. And, surely, they were illiterate as it related to the new world wherein more than ninety percent of its inhabitants were illiterate in their own mother-language. While there were insufficiently educated persons to understand or learn the language of the newly arrived slave they, the alleged inferior slaves, learned easily.
The splashing, sloshing and motion of the sea stopped. The rowdiness of the crew over nearing land was traumatizing. The sound of the anchor splashing in the water was overwhelming. The captive persons' expectations soon to be answered. Their captors may soon explain to these people their value after the burdening travel and being in the ship's hold. The people of Africa will began to find some explanation of what was happening to them.
The ships' crews, Spaniards or Portuguese, bearing human cargo - slaves sought money or gold. The Spaniard or Portuguese, with an ancestral history of Dons, Donnas and peons and their caste system, used their crew mentality for an obvious aloofness. They opposed referring to their black human cargo as Africana, a legitimate Spanish word that reflects ethnic respect.
The Spaniards or Portuguese instead decided, from their perceived proud and pompous positions and from their Spanish origins, to refer to their human cargo as negro, the skin color of their human cargo; the skin color of their former occupier, the Moors, a social putdown.
Excerpted from The Last Negro by Krim M. Ballentine Copyright © 2011 by Krim M. Ballentine. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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