When Black Men Ruled the World: 8 Things The Moors Brought to Europe – Atlanta Black Star

The reflecting pool in the Patio de los Arraya...

The reflecting pool in the Patio de los Arrayanes , at the Moorish Alhambra of Granada, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


When the topic of the Moorish influence in Europe is being discussed, one of the first questions that arises is, what race were they?As early as the Middle Ages, “Moors were commonly viewed as being mostly black or very swarthy, and hence the word is often used for negro,” according to the Oxford English Dictionary.Author and historian Chancellor Williams said “the original Moors, like the original Egyptians, were black Africans.”The 16th century English playwright William Shakespeare used the word Moor as a synonym for African. His contemporary Christopher Marlowe also used African and Moor interchangeably.Arab writers further buttress the black identity of the Moors.  The powerful Moorish Emperor Yusuf ben-Tachfin is described by an Arab chronicler as “a brown man with wooly hair.”Black soldiers, specifically identified as Moors, were actively recruited by Rome, and served in Britain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.  St. Maurice, patron saint of medieval Europe, was only one of many black soldiers and officers under the employ of the Roman Empire.Although generations of Spanish rulers have tried to expunge this era from the historical record, recent archeology and scholarship now shed fresh light on the Moors who flourished in Al-Andalus for more than 700 years – from 711 AD until 1492.

The Moorish advances in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture helped propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.Source:  Stewartsynopsis.com/moors_in_europe.htmUniversal EducationThe Moors brought enormous learning to Spain that over centuries would percolate through the rest of Europe.The intellectual achievements of the Moors in Spain had a lasting effect; education was universal in Moorish Spain, while in Christian Europe, 99 percent of the population was illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At a time when Europe had only two universities, the Moors had seventeen, located in Almeria, Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and Toledo.In the 10th and 11th centuries, public libraries in Europe were non-existent, while Moorish Spain could boast of more than 70, including one in Cordova that housed hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. Universities in Paris and Oxford were established after visits by scholars to Moorish Spain.It was this system of education, taken to Europe by the Moors, that seeded the European Renaissance and brought the continent out of the 1,000 years of intellectual and physical gloom of the Middle Ages.Source: Blackhistorystudies.com/resources/resources/15-facts-on-the-moors-in-spain/Culturespain.com/2012/03/02/what-did-the-moors-do-for-us/


via When Black Men Ruled the World: 8 Things The Moors Brought to Europe – Atlanta Black Star.



Am I Black? by Greg Robinson – 60 sec

ethnic identity…..toxic or healthy?

Am I Black? by Greg Robinson

Am I Black? by Greg Robinson – 60 sec Trailer

Story of a young, white, male kid who struggles to fit into a black world.

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Oppressed Hair

kreative Young millionaire

A talk given on Founders’ Day, April 11, 1987, at Spelman College in Atlanta.
From Living By The Word: Selected Writings 1973-1987 by Alice Walker.


Alice-Walker-05As some of you no doubt know, I myself was a student here once, many moons ago. I used to sit in these very seats (sometimes still in pajamas, underneath my coat) and gaze up at the light streaming through these very windows. I listened to dozens of encouraging speakers and sang, and listened to, wonderful music. I believe I sensed I would one day return, to be on this side of the podium. I think that, all those years ago, when I was a student here and still in my teens, I was thinking about what I would say to you now.

It may surprise you that I do not intend (until the question-and-answer period perhaps) to speak of war and peace, the economy, racism…

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Welcome, New Subscribers!


Fireworks (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


During the past week, we have had a number of new registrations for this blog.  Welcome!  I am so glad to have you here!  If you are new to the blog, would you mind taking a few lines to say hello, a little something about you, and what attracted you to the blog?

It would be helpful in its further development.

The blog is a place I have designed so that we could take the time to chronicle our feelings about the topics listed ……and more.

If you would like to share your experience, you response to the articles, feel free to do so in the comments section.

If you have an item you feel you would like to see posted, please  email me at vmm918@aol.com and I will review and post it.

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ISSUU – For Tiana: A Care Package FULL of Locs of LOVE by Yaba Blay

via ISSUU – For Tiana: A Care Package FULL of Locs of LOVE by Yaba Blay.

Please take time to view the link above for the wonderful  healing  tribute sent to Tiana……

Oklahoma school changes policy on dreadlocks
Published: September 10, 2013

Dreadlocks-School Policy
This Sept. 8, 2013 photo shows Tiana Parker, 7, who was removed from the Deborah Brown Community School due to the school’s policy against her natural hairstyle, poses for a photo outside the Tulsa, Okla. school. On Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 the school board voted to change its policy that had banned dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles. (AP Photo/Tulsa World, Cory Young) ONLINE OUT; TV OUT; TULSA OUT

The Associated Press

TULSA, OKLA. — An Oklahoma charter school has changed its dress code after inciting criticism for telling a 7-year-old girl that her dreadlocks violated the school’s policy.

Tiana Parker and her parents said she was summoned last month to the administrator’s office at the Deborah Brown Community School in Tulsa and told her that her hairstyle was against school policy. Her parents later decided to move Tiana to another school.

But Monday night, the school board voted to change its policy that had banned dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles. Dreadlocks are formed by matting or braiding hair.

The new policy says only that students and parents are responsible for personal hygiene and that administrators have the right to contact parents or guardians regarding such issues. There are no specifications on hair styles.

School board president Kenneth James said in a statement that it was not the school administration‘s intent to harm Tiana or her family and he apologized if any harm did occur.

James said the ban on dreadlocks, afros and other hairstyles was due to health and safety concerns.

A spokeswoman for the Parker family said family members were not available for an interview Tuesday. In a statement, Tiana’s parents, Terrance and Miranda Parker, said no board decision could “change the fact that our 7-year-old daughter Tiana was made to feel that there was something wrong with her appearance, in turn coming home in tears.”

They said they’ve been contacted by community leaders, civil rights advocates, women empowerment groups and attorneys, and are “exploring all of their options.”

The Parkers did not attend Monday night’s school board vote.

The school says nearly 100 percent of its students are African-American.

Related articles

Much ado about hair… (gretchenkelly73.wordpress.com)


Students called n word, chased through woods on field trip – WFSB 3 Connecticut

Students called n word, chased through woods on field tripPosted: Sep 19, 2013 12:42 PM CESTUpdated: Sep 19, 2013 11:06 PM CESTBy Steven Yablonski, Managing Editor – emailBy Karen Lee – email HARTFORD, CT WFSB -Imagine sending your child on a class trip, then finding out she and her classmates were called the “n” word and chased through the woods. It was part of a slavery re-enactment that some parents said crossed the line.Additional LinksParents explain controversial field tripOne couple said their 12-year-old daughter came home from the field trip with horror stories, and now theyve filed a complaint against the school district.”I ask that you imagine these phrases being yelled at our 12-year-old child and their friends,” parent Sandra Baker said at a Hartford School Board meeting. “Bring those n-word to the house over there. N-word if you can read, theres a problem. Dumb, dark-skinned n-word. How dare you look at me?”Baker said screaming that at children on a field trip is abuse.”They intentionally terrorized them and abused them on this field trip,” she said.Sandra Baker and her husband James Baker have been on a 10-month fight with the Hartford School District that theyve now taken to the school board.It started during the past school year when their daughter was a seventh-grader at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy. She and her classmates went on a four-day trip to the Natures Classroom in Charlton, MA.On the third night, there was a slavery re-enactment that Sandra Baker said none of the parents knew about.James Baker shared his daughters experiences with the Hartford School Board.”The instructor told me if I were to run, they would whip me until I bled on the floor and then either cut my Achilles so I couldnt run again, or hang me,” he told the school board.They pretended to be on a slave ship.They pretended to pick cotton.They pretended their instructors were their masters.The Bakers said the program told kids they didnt have to participate in the Underground Railroad skit, but were only told about the re-enactment 30 minutes before it began.”The fact that they used the n word. I mean, how dare you say that to my child and call it an educational experience. How dare you say that to any child.” Sandra Baker said.She said she cant believe the school has been taking part in the trip for years and never saw a problem with it. Shes filed complaints with the state Department of Education, Human Rights Commission and offices of civil rights.”Its a town of people of color,” she said. “Really. I mean, Hartford. You could not see something was wrong with this?”The Bakers said they pulled their daughter out of the Hartford School District.Channel 3 Eyewitness News reached out to the Natures Classroom and hasnt heard back.Copyright 2013 WFSB Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved. by Taboola

via Students called n word, chased through woods on field trip – WFSB 3 Connecticut.

Colorism – Enoch Pratt Free Library

English: African American History

English: African American History (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Colorism – Skin Color and Intra-Racial Issues Among African-Americans


Color consciousness has been a subject that has lingered just beneath the surface of intra-racial issues among African-Americans for years. Color consciousness, or “colorism” as it is often referred to, is a phenomenon in which persons of the same race discriminate against one another based on the lightness or darkness of one’s skin. Issues with race identity have divided African-Americans in several areas including education, social status and perceived beauty. The list below serves as a sampling of several voices that have contributed their opinions on this troubling topic through literature and film.




Who’s Afraid of a Large Black Man. Charles Barkley. 2006. E184 .A1 B2444 2005


Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey through the Color Complex. Marita Golden. 2004. E185.86 .G625 2003


The Future of the Race. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West. 1996. E185.86.G3771996


Our Kind of People: Inside America’s Black Upper Class. Lawrence Graham. 1999. E185.86 .G644 1999


Skin Color Recognition, Preference, and Identification in Interracial Children: A Comparative Study. Wayne West Gunthrope. 1998.


An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Skin Color on African-American Education, Income, and Occupation. Ronald E. Hall. 2005.


Colored Pictures: Race and Visual Representation. Michael D. Harris 2003. N8232 .H37 2003Q


Race, Gender, and the Politics of Skin Tone Margaret L. Hunter. 2005.


Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market. Walter Johnson. 1999. F379 .N59 N4 1999


The Paper Bag Principle: Class, Colorism and Rumor and the case of Black Washington DC. Audrey Elisa Kerr. 2007. E185.93.D6K47 2007


Blue Veins and Kinky Hair: Naming and Color Consciousness in African America, Obiagele Lake. 2003.


The Color Complex: The Politics of Skin Color among African Americans Kathy Russell, Midge Wilson and Ronald Hall. 1992. E185.625 .A78 1992




Skin Deep. Kathleen Cross. 1999


The Bluest Eye. Toni Morrison. 1970


Other People’s Skin. Tracy Price-Thompson. 2007


Passin’. Karen E. Quinones-Miller. 2008


The Human Stain. Philip Roth. 2000


The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life. Wallace Thurman. 1996




A Girl Like Me. Directed by Kiri Davis. 2005. Available for viewing online at Media That Matters


A Question of color. Directed by Kathe Sandler.1992. VIDEOTAPE; Sights and Sounds Department


Imitation of Life.  Directed by John M. Stahl/Doulas Sirk. 2004. DVD; Sights and Sounds Department


One Drop Rule. Directed by James Banks. 2001.


School Daze. directed by Spike Lee. 1988. DVD; Sights and Sounds Department


The African American cinema II: The scar of shame. 1923, Sissle and Blake. 1926. VIDEOTAPE; Sights and Sounds Department


The Human Stain. Directed by Robert Benton. 2004. DVD; Sights and Sounds Department




Color Struck: A Play in Four Scenes. Zora Neale Hurston.1925. Reprinted 1994. PS153.N5.P671994


Additional Resources (Journal Articles)


Link to Word Document: African Americans and Racial Identity


Electronic Databases


To access, visit the Pratt Library Website at Databases. A Pratt Library card number may be required to access databases outside of the library.


African American Experience


The African American Experience, part of the American Mosaic Online Reference Family, provides user friendly electronic access to over 400 reference works covering African American scholarship from earliest times to present day. This database includes slave narratives and primary documents as well as audio clips, music and interviews with notable African Americans.


African American History and Culture


This electronic encyclopedia includes thousands of entries covering the entire breadth of African-American history—from African beginnings through the slave trade and the Civil Rights Movement to the present.


Contact Us


If you would like to know more about this subject, email us through our Ask-A-Librarian service, call the African American Department at 410-361-9287, or mail your questions to:


African American Department


Enoch Pratt Free Library


State Library Resource Center


400 Cathedral Street


Baltimore, MD 21201


via Colorism – Enoch Pratt Free Library.