After four hundred years of slave trade and kidnapping, the descendants of the enslaved Africans are no longer the same at all. Often, when speaking about the first groups brought to the Americas, modern historians refer to them as the Atlantic Creoles, hence a term which highlights the racial, social fabrication of these enslaved Africans through the trade. American historians, whether black or white, such as Ira Berlin, have underlined the specific automatic transformation endured by the Africans who had just arrived in the plantations. Upon their arrival, the enslaved Africans were shaved, thus a traumatizing particularity which not only took away their essence and soul, but also contributed to the standardization of blackness, hence a bottom where all undesirable individuals were to be placed without their distinctions were recognised. However, despite the brutality of the standardization of blackness, the enslaved Africans made a distinction from one another depending on their arrival in the New World. A difference was noted between the enslaved Africans brought to the Americas and the second or third generation born and raised in the New World. Though all despised, they did not display the same attitude sociologically.
Despite the toxicity of US black politics today which forces blackness even upon the whitest individuals, these particularities and differences still exist within the black group, in both the Western and African worlds, but those are hidden in the West due to the pressure of irrational pro-black activists and racist white institutions whose members fear that their Mulattoes and mixed white offsprings could access their privileges if recognised as white.
The black Western group is not a monolith but it is rather influenced, shaped and submitted to the brutality of history. Depending on the families, branches and places, whether in the US, Western Europe or the Caribbean islands, the black groups are racially diverse and follow this pattern:
–The non-mixed Blacks who either grew up in a monoculture or in a multicultural environment (a specific article will be dedicated to this group in the days to come)
–The MGM Blacks, or the descendants of mixed-race, multiracial and black people over a generation, so much so that their supposed “black family members” are mixed-race people. The MGM Blacks, depending on their original place, are either monocultural or multicultural (this present article is about them)
–The Reversed “-Oons”: This group sits between the MGMs and the biracials. They are reversed quadroons, octoroons, hence black people who have a direct non-black ancestor in their lineages. This clan also includes the Griffes or the black people who are the product of an unambiguous black person with a mixed-race individual depending on the degree of admixture of the latter. They are not similar to the MGM Blacks for they can directly trace their other ancestry. Often, the “Reversed Oons” are despised, and shut down by the non-mixed black clan, due to their black blood and features which are often more visible, when they are still mixed-race. Most of them are the products of post-colonial and post-slavery societies. (examples, Rihanna, the Obama daughters)
–The Biracials: hence the most common vision when speaking about the mixed-race experience. They are individuals who descend from one black and one non-black parent.
POLITICAL CONDITION OF THE MGM BLACK COMMUNITY
The MGM Black community is specific to post-colonial and post-slavery societies. They are the direct descendants of the first Creole creations on the African side. They were racial and social creations at the hands of the slave masters and colonizers who created new spaces as they conquered new lands overtime. When it comes to their physical aspects, the MGM Blacks can range from the darkest to the lightest skin tone, as illustrated by the Cape Colored community in South Africa.
The MGM group takes root in political violence, brutality, suffering as they carry both the blood of the oppressors and oppressed. They can also be the descendants of non-black groups who were forced to live in oppression such as the Chinese, Indian, Irish workers sent to the Caribbean or to the United States.
In the United States, due to the one drop rule, the MGM Blacks consider themselves black and remain good supporters of the toxic black policies, even when they come from multiracial and multicultural spaces such as Louisiana. Though they claim that “everybody is black“, issues related to colorism highlights the fact that these individuals are not the same on a racial and physical point of view. In Africa, especially in East Africa, if the black Africans recognise the mixed-race community as being different, many MGM Blacks suffer from rejection from the black African part, especially when their racial admixture contains Arab roots, hence a heritage which dates back to the Arab slave trade. The MGM East African Blacks want to belong to a whole, to the nation they were born into in the specificity of their heritage.
SOCIAL ASPECTS OF THE MGM BLACK COMMUNITY
If MGM Black communities exist worldwide, from the West to Africa and the Indian Ocean, their experience greatly differs depending on the place they evolved in.
In Africa, communities and countries created after MGM Blacks were born out of the slave trade. The Portuguese colonizers in West Africa, Mozambique, Angola and later in Asia reproduced the same system of mestiçagem they established in Latinized America. Cape-Verde is a nation which was specifically created during the slave trade where the Cape Verdeans as a people were used as a colonial experimentation by the Portuguese powers to promote the myth of mestiçagem and the ideology of Lusotropicalismo. In Mozambique, Angola and Sao Tomé and Principe, the Portuguese let a mixed-race minority which still holds a great portion of power due to the colorist policies promoted within these nations following the slave trade and colonialism. In East Africa, where Arab, Indian, European creole societies were founded during the slave trade, the condition is rather different. The MGM black communities there are the products of three main waves.
If the Atlantic and Arab slave trades greatly increased racial admixture as illustrated by the Swahili coast or the Réunion island and the Maurice among many other nations, the Eastern African space was always, and so before the Arab slave trade, a zone of trading, global exchange of goods, before Africans were sold. Arabians often found refuge in East Africa in times of climate problems in their peninsula. The founders of the Arabian peninsula were Kushites and the region was always tied to black Africa since the beginning. Chinese traders had contact with East Africa centuries before the beginning of the Arab slave trade. So, the East African MGM Blacks are the products of three waves which are illustrated by trading exchanges which predate the beginning of the Arab slave trade, the Arab and Indian slave trade and colonization. Their heritage is both rooted in globalism and criminal globalism through slavery.
However, due to the global characteristic of the region, the MGM East Africans do not feel any less African and rather evolve in a region which was always multicultural and turned to international exchange. The same way Indian, Iranian and Arab immigrants settled in East Africa a few generations back where they assimilated into East African culture, a great part of Kenyan, Ugandan, Tanzanian, Mozambican culture and food are multiracial since they incorporated Indian, Arab and Iranian elements within. The multiracial identity of one’s identity does not prevent them from being an East African and so even if the black groups revolted against the colonial Arab powers during the Zanzibar massacre in 1964.
In the United States, due to their special history, the Louisianais possess this multiracial aspect they embrace. There, the Creoles, whether white, black or mixed-race are proud of their culture, but they consider their culture to be apart of black American heritage too. Louisiana is the door to the Caribbean and the other Creole worlds, even those found in the Indian ocean. One notices that culture, in this case the multicultural and multiracial one, is a protection to any attempt of imposing a toxic black identity policy.
Though they can be heavily mixed-race, the Louisianais are some of the rare groups in the US, along with the Gullahs who are often purely black, to have contributed to the preservation of African culture in the United States through spirituality, whether hoodoo, voodoo or others.
It is also important to notify the fact that the social aspects of the MGM black community depending on where they live are a reflection of their creators, hence the colonial authorities. The Louisiana Creoles, though living in the US, have an approach to race which is similar to that of the other Caribbeans for having been under both the French and Spanish influence. The Latin colonizers were always more fluid as they used race-mixing to further their colonial policies. However, the Northern European colonizers promoted a policy of apartheid instead, hence the monocultural heritage of the MGM Black Americans. However, other islands dominated by the Anglo colonizers such as Jamaica can also display a better fluidity regarding race-mixing sometimes.
CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE MGM BLACK COMMUNITY
Most US MGM Blacks, outside of the Louisianais, are monocultural and are attached to black American culture. This is due to the rigid and brutal racial system which shaped the United States. In East Africa, West Africa and the Caribbean, despite the colonial brutality, a cultural fluidity is much more appreciated. There, a white Cuban with African ancestry can practice West African spirituality. Whites who descend from poor Europeans sent to live in the Caribbean can also identify culturally as African, as they practice West African and Kongo rituals.
If the Indian community can be racist towards the Black Caribbeans, fusions in culture, music and cuisine also took place. In the spiritual world, it is not rare to see Afro-Cubans practice Roma culture as many of them can descend from Roma people too.
This multicultural heritage is present in la Réunion island, Malagsy, East Africa as well.
The strength and particularity of the MGM Black groups come from their ability to overcome the violence of the past through a new shared heritage, rooted in multiculturalism and multiracialism, when most of them face problems caused by social isolation, racism, abuse, exploitation, but also a loss of self.
In politics, culture and music, MGM Black communities over the world contributed greatly to the evolution of the diaspora, yet due to the standardization of blackness, their efforts are not really recognised at all. Worst, the toxic black identity politics and the rigid racist white elite block them from understanding their true selves and continue expanding in the future.
The MGM Black communities all over the world endure issues related to psychological trauma regarding the violence of their conception. Yet, these issues remain dissimulated and not talked about at all. They were colonial experimentations.
By Victoria “V.K.Y” Kabeya, All Rights Reserved 2023
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