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Black Geography

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The African Colonies

Black geography is entangled with the aftermaths of transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and modernity. It is the study of black ancestry and the development of the black diaspora around the world. Geography is a dynamic subject that unravels the earths complexity of nature and human existence. Traditional geography describes the earth space from a more unitary view point that some may argue reduces the black geographical experience, global significance and geographical inclusion on maps.

It is important to understand how the world today was formed in order to really appreciate development. To be able to think critically and make informed decisions, one needs to really understand the complexities of the world we live in and the role of nature and humans, that ultimately shape the planet. Geography reveals how humans have exploited natural resources with amazing results, but it also reveals the dark side of how the planet has been assaulted.

The concept of Black Geography is a rethink of the way that geographies are considered. It reimagines geopolitics with broader geographic context. It controls the narrative for blackness around the world and reduces the whitewashing of geography that has occurred for decades. Whether intentional or not, the teachings of traditional geography have created a ‘black absence’ for the most part, particularly in Western countries. But the importance of Black Geography is becoming ever more apparent in curriculum, across states the memories of black history are being recaptured and noted, the geographical significance of black people around the world recognised.

The term African Diaspora is primarily a term associated with the five centuries of the Atlantic Slave Trade in Africans involving millions of people on all seven continents. The enslavers took a lot of Africans from Africa to enslave them in many parts of the world, until they could no longer.

The Europeans whether as slave traders, investors, plantation owners, or periphery workers engaged in the slave trade and were marked by their experiences of trading in the lives of people, forever. Diasporic communities were formed at every port and consumption habits of Europeans changed as a result of plantations and the new world. Sugar and coffee, among other commodities, flowed back to Europe from the new world system of globalisation that the slave trade created. This explains how Black people (the African Diaspora) live and exist in all seven continents to this day, and that the African Diaspora are so migrated and rooted around the world, it will never change. The trade in African slaves has impacted all continents and all peoples of the Atlantic. The colonial regimes and transnational movements of people, money, commodities and cultural iconographies have cemented the African Diaspora. The formation of diasporic communities became a regenerative process rather than a carrying over of values and behaviours from their African origins. Slavery’s global reach impacted people at the point of origin and the point of relocation. Even within Africa, many communities today have different behaviours and values attributed to impacts of the slave trade.

There is no further requirement for validation or confirmation because it is a global reality, some may argue a good one, some may argue a bad one. But the African Diaspora are here to stay.

The growth of black journals continues, where scholars explore the subject of black family history and genealogy. More studies are looking at the history of particular black families and their history, or a particular group of black people, i.e. the Maroons. More funding is becoming available for this type of research to be able to exhibit and teach more about the contributions of black historical figures and their backgrounds. More research needs to be done across the board on black families in the diaspora and the origins of black families on the continent of Arica.

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This page was last updated on 03, January, 2022

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Estimated African Diaspora Population

  • Brazil 108,200,000
  • United States 46,300,000 including multiracial
  •  Haiti 9,925,365
  •  Colombia 4,944,400 including multiracial
  •  France Approximately 3.3–5.5 million
  •  Yemen 3,500,000
  •  Saudi Arabia 3,370,000
  •  Jamaica 2,510,000
  •  United Kingdom 1,904,684
  •  Mexico 1,386,556
  •  Canada 1,198,540
  •  Spain 1,191,378, 79% being North African
  •  Italy 1,159,290, 59% being North African
  •  Dominican Republic 1,138,471
  •  Venezuela 1,087,427
  •  Ecuador 1,080,864
  •  Cuba 1,034,044
  •  Germany c. 1,000,000
  •  Peru 828,841 
  • Trinidad and Tobago 452,536
  •  Australia 380,000
  •  Barbados 270,853
  •  Pakistan 250,000
  •  Guyana 225,860
  •  Suriname 200,406
  •  Argentina 149,493
  •  Grenada 108,700
  •  Russia 50,000 (est. 2009)

(Information sourced from Wikipedia) 

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