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Black History Facts Before the Transatlantic Slave Trade



Happy Black History Month! Many of us are very familiar with prominent individuals and changes agents within the civil rights movement and during the 200+ years of slavery in the United States. But in speaking of black history, ALL parts are important (hence the word “history”!) With a few internet searches, I found three texts that go into great depth of the important contributions of black people around the globe.

Africans in the Western Hemisphere… Before Slavery

There have been accounts of people of African descent in the Americas roughly 100,000 years ago — long before the transatlantic slave trade. Pre-Christian era Shamanistic Africans or “magicians” (those who observed and chartered the Venus planetary complex) are reported to have entered Mexico from West Africa between 800 and 600 B.C. Trading between the West and Africa has strong evidence as well, especially considering that the style of pyramid building in Africa was closely related to the ones built by the Olmecs in Mexico when the first Omlec pyramids were built. Paul Burton’s article further explores the economics, use of African ships, and trade routes of the people of African descent during the Olmec civilization.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Africans Before the Middle Ages

As described in a book review by Joel Elowsky entitled “The Roots of Nubian Christianity Run Deep and Early,” there were African Christian Kingdoms in Nubia (the southern part of present-day Egypt and northern Sudan) around the same time of the European Middle Ages and before the conquest of the Arab Muslims in the 15th century. This came before the Great Pyramids in Egypt and continued after Columbus’ voyage to the Americas. He asserts that the ancient Nubia provides just as much insight as that of ancient Egypt, though not to discount the important contributions of the latter. His book further implicates the distinction between African Christianity and Western or Eastern (whitewashed) Christianity, especially revealing the spread of the religion past the Sub-Saharan region where many historical contexts usually stop.

(Image via Wikimedia Commons)

Africans in the European Renaissance

This particular book explores the roles of Africans during the Transatlantic slave trade outside of the Americas. “Black Africans in Renaissance Europe” takes a deeper look in the well-known period of the European Renaissance. As many people believed the Renaissance to have had a very monolithic ethnic group, contributors of this book describe not only slaves and servants but poets, writers, freedman, and inspirations of art. The book covers places in mostly southern Europe such as Portugal, Spain, and Europe.

So there you have it, some introductions of black people around the world before their fate in 1619 in the Americas. What do you think was the most interesting topic of this article? Feel free to share your thoughts with me by reaching out on my social media handles!

MeaResea is an alumna of Agnes Scott College where she majored in Economics and minored in Spanish. She recharted the HCASC chapter in the fall semester of 2016. She served as the Editor-in-Chief and President of Her Campus at Agnes Scott. Her favorite quote and words that she lives by are, "She believed she could, so she did." -Unknown http://meareseahomer.agnesscott.org/
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