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Old 07-07-2013, 12:30 PM
 
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When you hear that phrase what does it mean to you?

This phrase has been popular in U.S Afrocentric circles for years. It was even popular among Afrocentric rappers back in the late 80's and early 90's. It's basically this idea that black-Americans are descendant from a grand,majestic African past. But how realistic is it? Weren't most of our west and central African ancestors just farmers and fishermen?

To those of you who are African what is the actual relationship between kings/chiefs and the rest of the tribe? Are all tribal members considered to be related to the kings and queens of the tribe?

Last edited by Motion; 07-07-2013 at 12:39 PM..
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Old 07-07-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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Checkout this interview with Reggae artist Linton Kwesi Johnson. He touches on this topic near the end of the interview.


Linton Kwesi Johnson interview
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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In Africa I met several people who were regarded by their friends and neighbors as kings or queens or princes or princesses. I know a couple of Nigerian cousins here in the US who make the same claim about themselves.

The concept seems quite widespread.
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Old 07-07-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
When you hear that phrase what does it mean to you?

This phrase has been popular in U.S Afrocentric circles for years. It was even popular among Afrocentric rappers back in the late 80's and early 90's. It's basically this idea that black-Americans are descendant from a grand,majestic African past. But how realistic is it? Weren't most of our west and central African ancestors just farmers and fishermen?

To those of you who are African what is the actual relationship between kings/chiefs and the rest of the tribe? Are all tribal members considered to be related to the kings and queens of the tribe?
I think it's another one of those romanticized ideas that flies in the face of logic. Think about it; we were sold as slaves by other Africans to Europeans. What society sells their royalty? Wouldn't it have been the other way around? We are about as descendant from kings and queens as white Americans are.
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Old 07-07-2013, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
In Africa I met several people who were regarded by their friends and neighbors as kings or queens or princes or princesses. I know a couple of Nigerian cousins here in the US who make the same claim about themselves.

The concept seems quite widespread.
Maybe those particular people were actual members of their tribes royal family.
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Old 07-08-2013, 07:18 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by Motion View Post
Maybe those particular people were actual members of their tribes royal family.
I never implied that they are not. I said that there are a very large number of tribes and families in Africa that are entitled to carry the titles of royalty, and such people are often encountered. It is not like Europe, where an entire country has only one family entitled to be called Royal. Therefore, there is a fairly large number of African Americans who in fact are descended from royalty. However, it is unlikely that any know who they are, thus the blanket statement that "We are descended from Kings and Queens -- many of us, that is, but we can no longer determine who is and who isn't."

Due to genealogical arithmetic, though, it is quite possible that nearly all African Americans had at least one royal ancestor, in the same sense that the Italians say they all have at least one Pope in their family tree. DNA testing among African Americans has the potential to tell us a great deal, but only when there is a large enough base of DNA-tested Africans of known royalty today, with whom to compare the DNA samples. Not many Africans, even royal ones, can pop for the $250 to have their DNA tested.

I have no way of validating the legitimacy of any person's claim to royalty, but human nature teaches me that if a claim is sufficiently credible and widespread, there will be plenty of pretenders. If a white American tells you that his ancestors came over on the Mayflower, how much credence do you give that? Do you assume it to be a well-researched and verifiable fact?

Last edited by jtur88; 07-08-2013 at 07:30 AM..
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:03 AM
 
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I mentioned how this descendant from kings & queens view of Africa was popular with many Afrocentric rappers in the late 80's to early 90's. Another related phrase that was popular in Afrocentric rap was:

"From Pyramids To Projects" (housing projects)

The view here was that black-Americans were actually descendant from the Nile Valley Africans(Egyptians mainly,Nubians)who built the pyramids. So when the phrase 'descendant from kings and queens' is used I think many are suggesting that black-Americans are descendant from the kings and queens of ancient Egypt. But that's not where our actual African ancestors came from. Some of these views on Africa that have been developed by many Afrocentric black-Americans may be the results of us not being familiar with the specifics of the different regions of Africa,their history and the different tribes of the area. So many black-Americans kinda have a generalized idea of us being descendant from all Africans in a way.
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Old 07-08-2013, 10:57 AM
 
Location: California
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Originally Posted by Gentoo View Post
I think it's another one of those romanticized ideas that flies in the face of logic. Think about it; we were sold as slaves by other Africans to Europeans. What society sells their royalty? Wouldn't it have been the other way around? We are about as descendant from kings and queens as white Americans are.
Can't forget about tribalism. The other Africans doing the selling wouldn't care about the tribal status of their captives. In fact, when speaking of rival tribes, it may be even better to sell their kings. It would deal a bigger political blow. It would also strengthen the position of the tribe doing the selling.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:09 AM
 
Location: West Coast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
I mentioned how this descendant from kings & queens view of Africa was popular with many Afrocentric rappers in the late 80's to early 90's. Another related phrase that was popular in Afrocentric rap was:

"From Pyramids To Projects" (housing projects)

The view here was that black-Americans were actually descendant from the Nile Valley Africans(Egyptians mainly,Nubians)who built the pyramids. So when the phrase 'descendant from kings and queens' is used I think many are suggesting that black-Americans are descendant from the kings and queens of ancient Egypt. But that's not where our actual African ancestors came from. Some of these views on Africa that have been developed by many Afrocentric black-Americans may be the results of us not being familiar with the specifics of the different regions of Africa,their history and the different tribes of the area. So many black-Americans kinda have a generalized idea of us being descendant from all Africans in a way.
American Rappers have become a joke, literally. They have allowed an art form that they created to be hijacked and used against their own people. Personally, I don't know how they can look at themselves in the mirror. If I want to learn about my ancestors, I would ask West and Central Africans themselves. They have the knowledge. There are millions upon millions upon millions upon millions of them living today.
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Old 07-08-2013, 11:20 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Originally Posted by CaliDude1 View Post
Can't forget about tribalism. The other Africans doing the selling wouldn't care about the tribal status of their captives. In fact, when speaking of rival tribes, it may be even better to sell their kings. It would deal a bigger political blow. It would also strengthen the position of the tribe doing the selling.
Understood but how many people would actually be royalty? With the number of slaves imported from Africa, I think it's safe to assume that the vast majority had nothing to do with royalty.
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