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AFRICAN LATINO CONNECTION
African Latino Connection is a very important element in the fraternity of MALIK.
It is the component that connects us historically, socially and culturally to our members, associates and our interest. As our organization gives praise and recognition to its roots in the ancient Egyptian mystery systems, we also embrace the historical influence of the African Diaspora on many of our Spanish speaking countries.
CARRIBEAN SLAVE TRADE
During the late 1490’s when Christopher Columbus was commissioned by the Spanish empire, he became a crucial part in a domino effect that would later lead to slavery in the Caribbean. At this juncture in time the slave trade was already taking place on the west coast of Africa, as Spain was just recovering from their overruling of the African Muslim Moore conquest for over 300 years. It was until now that Spain can be considered a Spanish or European country again. Until this time it was an African province governed and ruled by the Moore’s of northern Africa, a force of highly educated, religiously dedicated merchants. While the Spanish empire was seeking to reclaim its status of a world power, it anticipated Columbus’s many voyages to the Caribbean in hopes to consume its gold, herbs, spices and land. With the approval of Pope Alexander in 1494 a treaty was issued empowering the conquest of the Caribbean. The Treaty of Tordesillas allowed the islands to be divided amongst the great empires of Portugal and Spain. As these documents purely solidified ownership and jurisdiction, it also became a vehicle for the slave trade to enter the Caribbean; a transaction Portugal had great participation in. As the two European nations brought with them disease and mayhem, the use of West African slaves served as the perfect reinforcements for the indigenous men and woman who were dying from diseases or murder.
The Caribbean islands were utilized and brutalized by European powers for the sake of fortune and glory. The indigenous tribes of the Caribbean tribes such as the Taino, Ciboney, and Caribs were the first to engage in labor along side the tribesman of Africa. Working side by side under the will of a governing power who recklessly destroyed their homes, culture, religion and natural well being. As other European powers began to purchase their involvement due to the treaty which only granted jurisdiction to Spain and Portugal, the islands slowly began to lose their identity. Till this day islands such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica lack the ability to speak their parent Taino language. Islands began assuming Catholic mandated identities that were proposes under the leadership and voyaging of Columbus who named islands such as Trinidad-translates to: trinity, San Salvador –translates to; of or belonging to the savior (present day Bahamas), San Juan- translates to: St. John (present day capitol of Puerto Rico). The island of present day Dominican Rep. and Haiti was earlier named Espanola- which translates to: of or belonging to Spain.
This infiltration of the Caribbean would eventually escalate and migrate to the western continent of today’s South America. Under the leadership of conquistador Hernan Cortes South America and its indigenous tribes of the Aztecs and the Incas were executed and conquered. It is due to this conquest and century long ambush that some of our sister South American countries lost their culture and language and now result to speaking the language of their oppressor.
AFRICAN CONTACT IN MEXICO
Through anthropologic studies and confirmation, it is believed and proven that African indigenous tribes have influenced mezzo-America long before even the birth of Christopher Columbus. MALIK is knowledgeable of the African Diaspora as well as these great continents smaller counterparts which have influenced the world from religion, education, music and food as well as overall social structuring.
In 1311, Mandingo Mali sailors landed in present day Mexico to be worshipped praised and treated as gods. This is due to the predecessors of Mexico who were influenced and most of all visited by Africans who would impose their understanding of sculpture, religion, weapons and pottery on to this land. This civilization was called the Olmec Empire which existed from 1200bc-400bc and was the grandfather nation to the Mayan and Aztec civilization. This great ancient nation is most notarized in anthropology for its large stone heads of great African facial features and military headdresses that stood firm at heights ranging from 6-10 feet made of stone.
During the voyage of the Mali sailors, they seemed familiar to the natives of the islands and were praised as divine beings due to their facial features and head dresses that were similar to the colossal heads that were resurrected by the ancient people of this land. To further explore the idea of past African contact, anthropologist Ivan Van Sertimar’s 1976 book They Came Before Columbus documented and illustrated numerous forms of African influence in Mesoamerica. His examples include but are not limited to mummification, weapons, pottery, cave drawings of animals that only exist in Africa, langue similarities and of course the stone facial structures that resemble African warriors of west Africa. The latter is the purpose and reasoning for the extraordinary response and welcoming the tribesman of 1311 received.
LATINO vs. HISPANIC
MALIK urges, and respectfully educates its members and friends with the proper terminology needed to illustrate a member of a Spanish speaking country. MALIK deters the usage of the term Hispanic as it is a terminology that is incorrect and simply gives credit to only one third of the influence that has made our great people of the Caribbean, central and south America. These nations are clearly derived of Indigenous blood before anything. Hence the following acknowledgement of the African Diasporas must be taken into account whether on the basis of slavery or an ancient contact that has obviously taken place. Regardless of your interpretation of history or preference, the terminology of Latino is more acceptable as it leaves out the direct lineage to Spain. Intellectually speaking, as all ethnicities are composed of numerous cultures and influence; Latino is the terminology which offers acceptance to the African, Spaniard, and Indigenous culture of these Spanish speaking lands. To add clarity to the topic, not all South American nations have been influenced by the culture of West African voyages, and past African slave interaction. However, all nations and native peoples of these lands are derived of indigenous roots before Spaniard settlements.