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Notes on Being Black and 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro

An Ongoing Series to Locate Self
Published onApr 11, 2022
Notes on Being Black and 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro
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100 Amazing Facts about the Negro with Complete Proof: A Short Cut to the World History of the Negro

There are multiple states of experience in the communities of Americana. Most probably due to extractive, globally expansive policies of the colonial enterprise. Now, this isn’t to say that ethnic/cultural diversity isn’t a thing and always will be a thing, but I’m just saying, it’s not why I’m here in America. As I read through How Nations Fail the focus on institutional practices and the will of the state to exist, how the state validates its undertakings, promotes innovation, and how those institutions change culturally have become more prescient for me in a time where ‘antiracism‘ is meaningful in the practice of institution, uhh being and doing.

The search for meaning in my specifically black identity is a question I grapple with. My identity is partially a tale of my temporal essence, or, to be less vague, how I am perceived socially in whatever context and how I experience my social caste maybe, status, maybe identity through the historical impact of ideas and institutions. Afropessimissm is a bit too uhh pessimistic in forwarding a theory of the end of racialized identities but I like the vibe. We should probably stop racializing each other.

When racial tensions arise to become a distraction from or scapegoat for more intrinsic issues in Americana J.A. Rogers reminds us that black people have always been great, or at least treated as great threats.

This leads me to my favorite facts currently:

8. Was Beethoven black? I am not convinced, but Rogers cites relevant sources on the topic. We also get this ML-generated rendition of Beethoven that provides African polyrhythms for his piano sonatas. I am here for it.

41. Poor white people in Maryland would be forced into slavery after marriage to enslaved Africans because of a law(1664) that stated marriage to a slave meant you served that slave’s master. Meant to de-incentivize early race-mixing, the law also removed the ambiguity of slave status for mixed-race children, as well as baptized slaves. A follow-up to this law is one preventing slave owners from forcing poor white women to marry male slaves(1681), exposing deep roots of gendered miscegenation. 

50. The psalms of the bible may be in the lineage of those in writings from the Egyptian philosopher, Akhenaten, who promoted monotheism and what it meant to be moral. Nice to have this partially reinforced by a podcast I listen to on the history of philosophy. From the series on Africana Philosophy.

Not all of his facts can be supported, or should be considered tasteful; boasting about black male fitness over white counterparts for war is questionable, and while I love black washing history, plenty of his examples are of dubious sources. Yet, 100 AFATN reminds me that the history of my people is a long history that has been influential far before Atlantic routes of bondage had been established. We should hold the history close.


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