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African Diaspora

By jsilver4 Apr 17, 2014 383 Words
Department of History & Geography
Morgan State University
Baltimore, Maryland 21251-0001

Assignment #1
Understanding the African Diaspora

By
Janelle Silver

Instructor:Dr. Aubrey A. Thompson
Course:An Introduction to the African Diaspora. History 350.001 Date:February 12, 2014

What is the African Diaspora? Discuss the relevance and importance of studying the African Diaspora? “Mother Africa!” Is a term used often when referring to Africa. Why? It is because many groups of people originate from Africa. Five percent of the African population left Africa voluntarily and ninety-five percent were forced out by slave traders. Whether they had a choice or not their new host country was now home. This migration process is referred to as the African Diaspora. The African diaspora has five major sections or streams. The first African diasporic stream starts with the dispersal and settlement of African people. This section of the African diaspora is difficult to elaborate on because there isn’t much evidence to back it up. It is said that the character of this African exodus is extremely different from later settlements. The second section of the African diaspora was when Bantu speaking people moved from Nigeria and Cameroon to other parts of Africa. This took place around 3000 B.C. The third stream of the African diaspora is categorized as the trading diaspora. Humans, goods, livestock, etc. were taken to Europe, the middle east, and Asia around fifth century. Because the trading diaspora resulted in the creation of communities made by Africans it was the longest diasporic stream. The first three diasporic streams are called the premodern African diaspora. The fourth major African diasporic stream is known as the Atlantic slave trade. This was a time where Africans were captured and taken to Europe and America. The voyage from Africa to the new continent is known as the middle passage. Over twelve million people were taken from their homeland during this period. The fifth and final African diasporic started in the nineteenth century when slavery was dying down. During this time Africans and people of African descent resettled in various locations. It is important to study African diaspora because knowing the roots of your ancestors is an important part of knowing yourself. The old saying goes “you don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.”

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