Inspirational black historical figures and quotes




Analysing trans-atlantic DNA results



The details have been taken from

High “Ivory Coast/Ghana” 

Judging from the few African results i’ve seen this category is very predictive of both Ghanaian (Ga) and Ivorian (Akan) origins. However in addition also Liberian and (southern) Sierra Leonean ancestry is being described by this region. Making the distinction at this stage cannot be done yet, unless other ancestral clues exist.



High “Cameroon/Congo”

This region is somewhat ambigious as it might suggest either origins from Congo/Central Africa or from Cameroon/southeast Nigeria. The first result is from someone who’s from South Carolina. Given the strongly documented presence of Congolese people in that state it seems tempting to assume that in this case Central African ancestry is being picked up on.




AncestryDNA results for 2 Nigerians (both Igbo)

***(click to enlarge)

Igbo (Anambra)

***(click to enlarge)

Igbo On1

Eventhough this person’s breakdown is quite diverse, the “Ivory Coast/Ghana” score is still very noticeable and in fact it is the highest i’ve observed among my sample group. Aside from signalling origins from Ghana this region might also be suggestive of origins further west from Liberia and even Sierra Leone. All of these 3 ancestral options being quite likely for South Carolina i suppose.




High “Nigeria”

As discussed above this region might represent the relatively least diluted African lineages among my sample group. Because it is the only region for which i have observed original percentages of above 50%. Plus when calculated as a ratio of total African ancestry, it is the only region to show scores of inbetween 60-70% of total African ancestry. Of course because of individual variation it is also very much possible that other people will score much lower amounts of “Nigeria” or even zero percent 😉







Check these links for more background info, references and maps:

Nigerian Results (Ancestry DNA)

Source: Nigerian Results

If you are interested in the DNA of African’s in Dispora check out the link above or if you are interested in the slave trade and like me you are a descendant of one of those africans taken into slavery you must check out this blog  it is Fantastic.

Here is one of the discussions at

Can Nigerian ethnic groups be genetically distinguished?

***Figure 5.1 (click to enlarge)


***Map 5.1 (click to enlarge)


***Map 5.2 (click to enlarge)

For more ethnolinguistic maps scroll down to Nigeria on this page:



Obviously – as illustrated by the above maps – Nigeria is incredibly diverse and home to a great number of ethnic groups. According to a recent listing no less than 371 groups! But still it seems significant that atleast within the AncestryDNA format Nigerians from various backgrounds do share a great degree of genetic origins as described by the socalled “Nigeria” region. There is at least one important lesson we may take away from the Nigerian AncestryDNA results featured on this page. It seems inevitable that most ethnic groups within Nigeria will display close genetic affinity as a testimony of a great degree of shared origins. Sometimes due to relatively recent intermarriage but ultimately mostly to be traced back to ancient prehistory. I suppose knowing about these cross-ethnic connections and also having shared ancestry in common with people across borders could be an antidote for an overly “tribalistic” mindset. Judging from the results i have collected actually also within ethnic groups you are bound to see a great deal of individual variation correlated with geography, distinct subgroups and deep ancestry predating ethnogenesis. By no means it seems will there be any unique genetic “blueprint” for any given ethnic group.

This is a topic i intend to blog about in more detail as soon as i acquire a sufficient number of Nigerian AncestryDNA results with a representative ethnic distribution. For now i will just point out that based on my very preliminary findings and minimal sample size: it seems it is foremost the secondary regions which might give additional clues about Nigerian ethnicity. Especially their relative contributions as none of the AncestryDNA regions will be exclusive to any particular ethnic group. These clues will not per se be conclusive but rather indicative. We can verify these proportional tendencies from the above compliation picture of 4 Nigerian AncestryDNA results as well as chart 3.2:

  • The Yoruba are likely to score more pronounced “Benin/Togo” amounts on averagethan the Igbo
  • The Igbo in their turn are likely to score more pronounced “Cameroon/Congo”  scoreson average than the Yoruba
  • The Hausa/Fulani will in all likelyhood score much higher “Senegal” amounts than both the Yoruba and the Igbo on average
  • Obviously these are generalizing tendencies, there will always be individual variation. Also smaller ethnic groups such as the Edo and the Ijaw are likely to be more intermediate and hence more difficult to distinguish.

Actually in several scientific DNA papers it has already been established that ethnic groups within Africa can reliably be distinguished from each other as long as they are not neighbouring groups but rather geographically apart and preferably also belonging to different language families. It is important to stress that the basis for this distinction is not in some uniquely ethnic DNA markers which can only be found among one particular ethnicity but rather because of a distinctive proportional mix of ancestral components which results in separate clustering patterns. In fact this is also the foundation for the socalled Ethnicity Estimates on When limited to only 2 possible options it enables AncestryDNA to reliably predict – within a reasonable margin of error – if someone is Akan rather than Bakongo or make an accurate distinction between a person of Wolof descent versus a person of Igbo descent.


Ethnic groups

While modern-day Nigeria is home to more than 250 ethnic groups, the four largest account for almost 70% of the population.

Hausa and Fulani

The Hausa and Fulani

The Hausa people form one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. They are located primarily in northern Nigeria and southern Niger. The Hausa language is spoken as a first language by around 40 million people, more than any other language in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, the Hausa have integrated with the Fulani to the extent that the group is often referred to as Hausa-Fulani.

The Fulani are spread over many West African countries, including Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso. Historically, the Fulani were nomads who kept cattle. They are also strongly linked to Islam; the Fulani led the jihads that helped establish the Sokoto Caliphate in Hausa lands during the 19th century. They are a minority population in each country they inhabit, with the exception of Guinea, where they represent 40% of the population. In Nigeria, the Hausa-Fulani account for about 30% of Nigeria’s population.

The Yoruba

The Yoruba live in southwestern Nigeria and the southern portion of neighboring Benin. They make up about 20% of Nigeria’s population. The Yoruba were greatly affected by the transatlantic slave trade; their territory was one of the most significant slave-exporting regions in Africa during the 1800s. The largest concentrations of Yoruba ended up in Cuba, Brazil and Trinidad. The Igbo and Yoruba peoples from the Bights of Benin and Biafra constituted roughly one-third of all enslaved Africans transported to the Americas.

The Igbo

The Igbo people are another large and influential ethnic group in Nigeria. With a population of about 30 million, they are found primarily in southeastern Nigeria, as well as Cameroon, Sierra Leone and Equatorial Guinea.

The transatlantic slave trade also had a massive impact on the Igbo. Many of those sold into slavery were kidnapped or captured as prisoners of war. Others were debtors or had been convicted of crimes. Several scholars assert that Igbo slaves were reputed to be especially rebellious; some would even commit suicide rather than endure enslavement. Elements of Igbo culture can still be seen in former New World colonies. For instance, Jamaican Creole uses the Igbo word for “you,” and a section of Belize City is named Eboe Town after its Igbo inhabitants. In the United States, a high concentration of slaves in Maryland and Virginia were Igbo, and they still constitute a large proportion of the African American population in the area.

Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.


See this documentary on the Edo people of Nigeria below


What was the scale of African slavery in the Middle East? A Quora discussion

I read recently that there were actually more Africans enslaved in the Middle East than in America, but the modern Middle East isn’t filled with blacks
 because the African men were castrated. Does this have any basis in truth? I find it hard to believe. 
Before I add the discussion below I would just like to add that I also stumbled across the figures whilst tracing my ancestry. More black Africans were enslaved by Arabs in the East during the whole slavery period than any other region. To add substance to this discussion my findings are below. Now slavery has been enforced by almost all races so I don’t believe in a blame game however it is documented history. Further more my findings explain the differences I find in ethnic makeup of East and West Africa. Stats show that whilst slaves taken across the Atlantic were allowed to have families in Arab dominated countries the slaves were kept as bounty. They were not allowed to leave and worked until death or were slaughtered and castrated.Of course this is just one aspect of the slave trade.
Certain people chose to convert to Islam of their own free will and in the past laws did not permit a Muslim to be a slave.
That law later changed however the Quora discussion raises a point. If Africans ventured to the middle east and outwards into the caucus mountains why are their so few descendants there? It appears that many didn’t reproduce without mixing with Europeans who came into the area.



There were great kingdoms that controlled the commerce trade laws and people.





See this video on The Kingdom of Kush

Cush (Bible) Cush, also spelled as Kush, (/kʊʃ, kʌʃ/; Biblical: כּוּשׁ Kûš) was, according to the Bible, the eldest son of Ham, who was a son of Noah. … As such, “Cush” is alternately identified in Scripture with the Kingdom of Kush, ancient Sudan, and/or the Arabian Peninsula.
Afro Asiatic lineage is formed. Ethiopians trace their ancestry to Menelik I. Sudanese are a mix of Cushitic Arabs and Nubians and every variation in between. Slavery goes back 1000s of years across the world all the way to biblical times and the Pharoah’s.
What was the scale of African slavery in the Middle East? Quora discussion

The answers given in the discussion:

The Arab slave trade was active from the 8th century through to the 19th which is a much longer period than the Atlantic version. Estimates of total numbers are obviously unreliable given the timeframe and the fact that overland transport does not generate shipping logs in the same way as naval transport, interpretations therefore range from 8M to 17M captives in total (some references: Human Cargo).

While castration was certainly a widespread practice, short lifespan was equally important, as was acceptance of miscegenation. Males were frequently miners or soldiers or galley slaves and had no opportunity to reproduce and unlike the Atlantic trade, the supply never faltered so there was little incentive for owners to breed new slaves.

The majority of slave women would be domestic servants who would reproduce with a Arab man, if at all. There was no analog of the the “plantation” system in the Americas which allowed slaves to form their own self sustaining communites.

Couple the factors (castration, death and miscegenation) together and a minority “black” population component rapidly becomes assimilated to the point that it isn’t physically obvious (though still traceable via mitochondrial DNA). This event gives additional insight:Zanj Rebellion – Wikipedia

TL;DR: Importing vast numbers of people does not create a sustainable population if you don’t let them live long enough and marry each other.


Most slaves who were shipped to the Muslim world were women. They were meant to be used as domestic servants and as sex toys. When they got old, sick or ugly they were likely to be manumission-ed. That was a good deal for the slave owner. Manumission is considered a good deed in Islam and if it also save expenses for the slave owners. Former slaves were kicked out of their home and left to survive the best they could. Mostly it meant begging outside a Mosque while slowly starving to death.

But what happened to the mixed race babies? Young fertile women produce babies. The most likely answer is infanticide. Muslims will protest because it is not allowed in Islam, but no slave owner was never punished for infanticide.

And yes, male slave were castrated. This is not allowed in Islam so slaves were mostly castrated before being sold to the Muslims. (Once there were castration houses in Venice were slaves were castrated before being shipped to the Muslims)

If you read the history of slavery you will see that it seems difficult to create a slave society were slaves reproduce themselves. The American slave owners were actually proud of their success in slave breeding.Look! Our slaves reproduce! Aren’t we really good people!


Yes, it’s true. It still did have an effect on local population genetics, though, inasmuch as there is now significant sub-Saharan admixture in many Middle Eastern and North African populations.











Yes, it is very true actually. The number of African slaves taken by Arabs was around 20 million and the Arab slave trade in Africa lasted hundreds of years longer than the trans Atlantic one which by comparison was responsible for the enslavement of 12.5 million Africans to the Americas.

Keep in mind that African slaves in the Arab slave trade weren’t just shipped to the Middle East but also to Arab North Africa. I myself visited a place while on holidays in East Africa that was a slave port for the Middle East and a former colony of Oman. In fact, there was a huge African slave revolt in Iraq known as the Zanj rebellion.


If by “Middle East” you mean the Muslim world there is plenty of research; precise numbers are always going to be estimates, but Muhammed himself owned slaves and enslaved free people so the practice was not noteworthy in the Muslim world and indeed praiseworthy for anyone who thought they should emulate Muhammed. History of slavery in the Muslim world – Wikipedia

As in other areas of the world to be a slave meant different things at different times and places; the Mamluks e.g. were a slave army that took over. It had an extremely long and complicated history in Muslim lands.

Arab slave trade – Wikipedia

Zanzibar in particular was an Arab-controlled center for exporting African slaves. Marching them across the Sahara was also common (and the death rates were horrible as you might expect).










Who did black people pray to before slavery? A discussion on Quora


Click here to watch African culture  A 40 MINUTE DOCUMENTARY.

The great spiritual up lifter of the indigo people’s was a great enlightener called Orvonon, who lead the black man in the onetime service of “The God of Gods”. His influence for the worship of God lasted in Africa until a few thousand years ago.

You may be interested to know that shortly after taking leave of this world Jesus established a council of Four and Twenty Elders to help in the spiritual government of this world and Orvonon presently holds one of the seats of this council.

Paul Kemp’s answer to Who could possibly be the 24 elders mentioned in Revelation 5:8, New Testament?

The religions of the world have a double origin — natural and revelatory — at any one time and among any one people there are to be found three distinct forms of religious devotion. And these three manifestations of the religious urge are:

1. Primitive religion. The seminatural and instinctive urge to fear mysterious energies and worship superior forces, chiefly a religion of the physical nature, the religion of fear.

2. The religion of civilization. The advancing religious concepts and practices of the civilizing races — the religion of the mind — the intellectual theology of the authority of established religious tradition.

3. True religion — the religion of revelation. The revelation of supernatural values, a partial insight into eternal realities, a glimpse of the goodness and beauty of the infinite character of the Father in heaven — the religion of the spirit as demonstrated in human experience.

Read more here

The Urantia Papers – an enlarged revelation of TRUTH


The only thing we can be reasonably sure of is that it was not blond, blue eyed Jesus. Alex Haley portrayed his ancestors as Muslim. Most slaves were taken from the same region.

Further research on my part shows not blond, blue eyed Jesus but Portuguese Jesus got there half a century before Columbus got here. Feel better now?

I added this picture I found which isn’t from the duscussion


You may first want to determine which black people you are referring to. There are numerous communities of black people around the world who different cultural practices. The simple answer to this though, is God. Not as you know Him from the Bible but as he was perceived and referred to in the different communities. Divinities were revered as intermediaries between human beings and the Supreme Being.


By black people did you mean Africans? And by slavery did you mean slavery in the United States? I am assuming that you meant both these things, and hoping that you soon understand the difference between them.

Before 1619,when African Slaves were brought to Jamestown, the enslaved people were previously living mainly in Senegambia, where religions such as Obeah and  Myalism  were prominent.



Africans always believed in God ( the rain maker, the creator of humans) in my language the called him Musikavanhu. So people relied on spirit mediums to communicate with the higher being to find out about troublres in the village or why they was no rain at that particular time. To this day people still believe in this. So selling the gospel of God to africans was easy. The challenge was selling that God had a son (Jesus) this made the supernatural being they believed in human.


The part of Africa most of the slaves came from were populated mostly by animists,  worshiping spirits, nature, ancestors,  stuff like that.  A lot of variation to animist beliefs.  
Some were probably muslim,  or part muslim/part animist.  There were also jews and christians but probably not in large numbers.

Hernanday Oleary



Mainly God or Jesus.  African peoples fell mainly into 4 categories.

1. Christians.  Mainly the copts in Ethiopia and east africa and the catholics in angola and the congo.

2. Muslims. Mainly the western africans and northern africans.

3.  Jews. Mainly the western africans in kingdoms around Juda which stretched across Nigeria and Cameroon.  Then you had Uganda, Zimbabwean and other african jews like ethiopian jews.

4. Ancient African religions which are often called spirtualities by Western academics due to bias (the same reason why greek mythology is called well mythology but christian mythology is called religion).

The african religions had multiple gods, the largest being ancient egyptian religion.  You had gods of different things, sky, sea, earth, underworld, water, rivers, fertility, etc.  Spiritualities are not inconsistent with religions.  They are like Voodoo, you can be a christian and believe in voodoo too.



It is very hard to say definitively but some slaves were muslims, some work pagan or had beliefs considered pagan to White Americans and some actually could have been Christians


Depends on what part of the world they were from. It varies from one extreme to the other. When the Zulu warriors dominated Africa; at least some parts of it, they enslaved whole populations and sold them from tribe to tribe, when the dutch came along and others they saw a commodity that could be taken to other parts of the world, the need was big; immoral or not, it was the economics of the day, blacks selling blacks into slavery and once their slaves became a world wide commodity in human trafficking….economics took over and drove it to what it became, one of the greatest, shameful times in world history. America gets blamed for a lot of it, yet it would have never happened without the help from every aspect of the rest of the world of the day.

So the the point; “Yes” they prayed; but the mix and matching of faiths beyond anyone really being able to lock it down in anything more than general trends.


All answers are suspect. Even today there are over 300 distinct variations on five types of religious based beliefs.

Sigh. So there isn’t a simple answer.



They prayed to GOD. The name of GOD is almost the same in most dialects of Africa. The people just ddon’t have a single set way of praying or appeasement. Ancestral worship wasn’t as paganistic as many traders would have historians believe



In my studies in preparation for teaching Comparative Religion,I looked at the many early concepts of what is a religion.Within the peoples of Africa,and even Native Americans, much superstition,and myth entered into what they believed.The god often was some aspect of their lives, i.e needs for food, for safety, for healing,etc.Prayer today is most often associated with some known religion and is thus addressed to the deity of the specific belief http://system.To a group of peoples in what we would refer to as an un-civilized society.The immediate concerns for life would bring about their approach to what might be determined to be deity.A native throwing her child into the river to appease the crocodile god is a way to seek protection.This may have arisen from someone being eaten by a crocodile and thus the fear came about.Throughout history myth has been incorporated with religious practices,and in many cases trying to separate one from the other can be difficult.One must research the most ancient civilizations in order to perhaps see where primitive beliefs were carried from one society to another.Remember that ancient Egypt was closely involved with African peoples.Prayer,as we define it today is specific requests,desires,needs,etc. to the deity one follows.Therefore in conclusion,in order to make this as short as possible, I would say that prayer in the black peoples would be directed,not so much to a known deity, but that which they perceived as an immediate need.



They had not been introduced to Christianity before slavery. They probably believed in the folk religions of Africa.


Wikipedia links listed below

African Traditions by regionEdit

This list is limited to a few well-known traditions.

Central AfricaEdit

East AfricanEdit

Southern AfricaEdit

West AfricaEdit

African DiasporaEdit

North AfricaEdit

Horn of AfricaEdit

The Story in My DNA

How our stories and family character traits can be so similar yet we remain unknown but share a surname

Morning Joy

Like many African Americans, I grew up not knowing where I came from. There was no “old country” for us. Obviously, I knew that most slaves were brought from Central and West Africa. I heard family stories about being part Native American – that the Seminole Indians had helped slaves escape from their masters by sheltering them within their tribe. That my grandfather’s mother was half Cherokee, part Scotch-Irish, as well as African. Her long black hair and high cheekbones in the one photo I saw of her bore this out.

For a while, these stories were enough. I believed that I would only really find out, if ever, in the afterlife.

When I was 29, I moved from New York City to Argyle, N.Y., a small upstate farming town that had been settled by Scots. Since Fergusons were on the original patent, I was often asked, while interviewing people…

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Transatlantic journey from West Africa to beyond