It was pointed out to me today on Facebook that people say the dumbest things. Today it was that Kamala Harris isn’t really African-American because her black father was from Jamaica.
Here’s a news flash. Blacks in Jamaica are descendents of slaves, just as blacks from Venezuela, Brazil, Barbados, anywhere in the Americas are, as well.
Jeopardy the other night had an answer that said: 40% of all African slaves were brought to this country. The question was, “What is Brazil?” I missed it, but Alex set me straight.
When I lived in Venezuela for those three months while student teaching, I was amazed at all the different shades of skin – black as night, caramel, chocolate, coffee, latte, and me and my roommate, whitey white girls. It didn’t occur to me until much later that these people were descendents of slaves or slaves and their captors. Over the generations, lots of blending and skin tones emerged.
Think about it. Spain and Portugal sent ships across the sea to conquer new lands. Columbus sailed for Spain, even though he was Italian. He was funded by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. He thought he was finding a short cut to the Indies but ended up in what is now called the West Indies. That’s why we have Indians from India and Indians from the Americas. It is politically correct now to call Indians in the Americas indigenous or Native American. My girlfriend in Mexico prefers Azteca.
Why does most of Latin America speak Spanish? Here is a clue. What country claimed those lands for its own?
Ding, ding, ding! If you answered Spain, you are correct. What is Latin America? That would be most of South America and most of Central America.
What country in South America was claimed by Portugal? Ding, ding, ding!
If you answered Brazil, you would be correct. How do you know this? They speak Portuguese in Brazil.
There are three tiny countries in South America near Venezuela that were not conquered by Spain. They are Suriname (Dutch), French Guiana (French), and Guayana (English). The last one is where Jim Jones and his California cult drank Kool-aid laced with poison and died.
What country in Central America was settled by the English? Ding, ding, ding! If you said Belize, you would be correct. Its old name was British Honduras. They speak English there. The other countries speak Spanish. What country claimed them as its own?
Spain. The answer is Spain.
As a Spanish teacher, that was the first thing I taught the kids (between 6th and 12th grades). They had to name 7 countries where Spanish is spoken. If they were bad spellers, I told them to forget Nicaragua and Guatemala and learn how to spell Cuba, along with Panama, Mexico, Spain, Bolivia, Chile, and Costa Rica.
On the second day, we’d go over Spanish words that they already knew – burrito, taco, tortilla, quesadilla, bueno, caliente, etc. It seems a little corny, but they loved it. They loved that they already knew a bunch of words. Don’t forget Bart Simpson and his “Ay, caramba!”
So where did those black Jamaicans come from? Say it with me – Africa — originally as slaves. It wasn’t just the U.S. that had slave labor going on.
Anyone living in North, Central or South America are Americans. Black Jamaicans = African Americans.
What country did a huge business in the slave trade? Think Dutch. That would be the Netherlands. Portugal, Spain and England did, too. Why? Because they had ships and it was a way to make money.
Wrong? Of course it was. But we have to admit that it happened and stop the ignorance that pervades our world.
Rewrite the textbooks. Teach the masses. This was done. White people did it.
Put it in the textbooks.
Let’s educate those peeps on Facebook and everyone else.