Celebrating Global Black History During America’s Black History Month

I have always wondered during Black History month where the stories of the Blacks from the continent of Africa and the rest of her  Diaspora were? If we are going to call it Black History Month then shouldn’t we embrace all of Black history or just call it Black American History month if that’s the only focus. Just as Black America did not want their contributions to America unknown, untold nor marginalized hence the need for Black History month, the rest of the Blacks in the world,  particularly those of us first generation Americans and those who embrace our ancestry outside of America also do not want our stories unknown, untold and marginalized in the scope of Blackness anywhere in the world. Black history has always been global by design of God and man. This Black History month may the ancestors guide us to embrace ourselves wholly in love, cooperative economics and honorable freedom from Africa to Latin/South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and all the world over, where they crossed waters with Yemanjá AKA Mami Wata as their guide to new worlds and learning to embrace new lives without ever forgetting the past lives they were forced to leave behind!

Today in Black history Brazilians celebrate Yemanjá known to most Africans as Mami Wata. As the said to be country to have the largest population of Blacks outside of the African continent -without consideration for India (Dravidians) who are far too often left out of the context of Black-it is only appropriate that any Black History month include not only Africa, but Brazil and Yemanjá AKA Mami Wata.#GLOBALBLACKHISTORYMONTH -#RockUrBlue&White

Yemanja is an orisha, originally of the Yoruba religion, who has become prominent in many Afro-American religions. Africans from what is now called Yorubaland brought Yemaya/Yemoja and a host of other deities/energy forces in nature with them when they were brought to the shores of the Americas as captives. She is the ocean, the essence of motherhood, and a protector of children.

Because the Afro-American religions were transmitted as part of a long oral tradition, there are many regional variations on the goddess’s name. She is represented with Our lady of Regla and Stella Maris.

Africa: Yemoja, Ymoja, Yemowo, Mami Wata
Brazil: Yemanjá, Iemanjá, Janaína
Cuba: Yemaya, Yemayah, Iemanya
Haiti: La Sirène, LaSiren (in Vodou)
USA: Yemalla, Yemana, Yemoja
Uruguay: Iemanjá
Suriname: Watra Mama
Dominican Republic: Yemalla or La Diosa del mar (sea goddess)
In some places, Yemaja is syncretized with other deities:

Diosa del Mar
Mami Wata
La Sirene (lit. “The Mermaid”)
Yemaja is said to be the mother of all orisha. She also is the spirit of water, and her favorite number is 7. SOURCE

The Afro-Turks, whose ancestors came to the Ottoman Empire as slaves in the nineteenth century, are still struggling for recognition. Now, though, their desire to assimilate into the wider society has become greater than their desire to maintain their own identity… in Cirpi, it’s something special. The Sixth Spring Festival is really the Sixth Festival of the Calf, the traditional celebration of the Afro-Turks, which they’ve been celebrating since the nineteenth century in and around Izmir, formerly known as Smyrna…In 1924, the Turkish republic banned the celebration, and it was not until 2007 that the event could be re-established by the Association of Afro-Turks….The Association of Afro-Turks was founded in 2006 by Mustafa Olpak in Ayvalik, in the North Aegean region. His family came to Turkey from Crete in 1924 as part of an exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey. Because they were Muslims, they were categorised as Turks. Olpak himself suffered bullying at school and dropped out for a year as a result, but he finished his education in the end. He had been married to a “white” Turk for 25 years when her family suddenly announced, “The Arab isn’t going to get any of the inheritance.” Black people are often called Arabs in Turkish. “By entering into mixed marriages, Afro-Turks try to have lighter-skinned children, so that eventually their colour will disappear altogether…Our ancestors didn’t come voluntarily to Anatolia, They were sold as slaves, exploited, abused and excluded.” But it’s not just the families themselves who remain silent. Olpak points out. “Nobody speaks about us, otherwise, if they were to tell our story, they would find themselves in conflict with the official version of history. One would have to speak about slavery.”…Slavery in the Ottoman Empire has been little researched although slavery extended over a long period – from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century – and affected hundreds of thousands of people. READ MORE