In the early 1800s, both Spain and Portugal disseminated the smallpox vaccine throughout the Americas via the ‘arm to arm of the blacks,’ that is, enslaved Africans and African-Americans, often children, who were being moved along slave routes as cargo from one city to another to be sold.
Epidemics historically have tended to kill the very young and the very old, but AIDS is different: Those ages 20 to 40 are most affected, which means that so far over 12 million African children have been orphaned because of AIDS.
My dear brother Barack Obama has a certain fear of free black men. As a young brother who grows up in a white context, brilliant African father, he’s always had to fear being a white man with black skin. All he has known culturally is white. He has a certain rootlessness, a deracination.
The African Americans’ story is one that seems to be a repeated commitment to a scenario for success and failure. With each failure, the blow is that much more traumatizing until finally one reaches a point where there is to some degree an internalization, skepticism, fatalism, and expectation that it isn’t going to work.
I have a very personal interest. I am a Miami-Dade voter. One of the issues is that my vote and so many other votes of women and African Americans in Florida are being discounted or discarded. I want my vote to count.
Europe became rich because it exploited Africa; and the Africans know that.
I changed my name when we became aware of the African revolution and the whole question of our African roots.
Hardest of all for Europeans to negotiate are traditional African religions, whose transactions with unseen powers are central to the running of life in many areas, the main weapon in the struggle against the forces of evil.
The commitment to literacy was constant on the part of African Americans. And the percentages of literacy by the end of the century, by 1900, basic literacy has galloped ahead. People believed that education, of course, was the turnstile for advancement.
For people of color – especially African Americans – the idea that racist cops might frame members of their community is no abstract notion, let alone an exercise in irrational conspiracy theorizing. Rather, it speaks to a social reality about which blacks are acutely aware.