The Obas of Benin: A Brief History of the Rulers of A West African State for Nine Centuries

In the following article, Collins Edigin, a historian at the University of Benin, describes the rule of the Obas of Benin, a continuous dynasty that began in the 13th Century and is one of the oldest in the world. The kingdom of Benin was one … Read MoreThe Obas of Benin: A Brief History of the Rulers of A West African State for Nine Centuries

Who are the Siddis? A Brief Introduction to the 800-Year African Experience in India

In the following article, University of Louisville historian John McLeod surveys illustrative episodes in the long history of the Siddis, or African-Indians (Indians of African Ancestry), dating back to the thirteenth century. There have been people of African descent in the Indian subcontinent for centuries. … Read MoreWho are the Siddis? A Brief Introduction to the 800-Year African Experience in India

On the Origins of Non-Violence in the Civil Rights Movement: Howard Thurman in South Asia, 1935-1936

In the article below, historian Amy Sommers describes the February 1936 meeting of Howard Thurman in India with Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of that nation’s non-violence campaign for political independence from Great Britain. She argues that the meeting influenced Thurman’s views on the subject and … Read MoreOn the Origins of Non-Violence in the Civil Rights Movement: Howard Thurman in South Asia, 1935-1936

Januário Garcia Jr (1943-2021)

Januário Garcia Jr. hailed from Minas Gerais, a Brazilian state renowned for its significant population of Afrodescendentes, or Black Brazilians. Born on November 16, 1943, into a modest family residing on the outskirts of Belo Horizonte, the state capital, Garcia embarked on a journey to … Read MoreJanuário Garcia Jr (1943-2021)

Ready, Willing and Able: James Weldon Johnson at the Institute of Pacific Relations’ 1929 Conference in Kyoto, Japan

In the account below historian Amy Sommers describes the diplomatic work of James Weldon Johnson at the Institute of Pacific Relations Conference in Kyoto, Japan in 1929. If one were to imagine a modern renaissance man of such imposing and broad talents as to be … Read MoreReady, Willing and Able: James Weldon Johnson at the Institute of Pacific Relations’ 1929 Conference in Kyoto, Japan

The Black Pacific, 1919-1941: African Americans and Asia in the Interwar Period

In the following article novelist and independent historian Amy Sommers briefly outlines the experience of African Americans in Asia between World Wars I and II. She argues that African American influence in Asia was situated in four broad categories: the performing arts, international relations, faith, … Read MoreThe Black Pacific, 1919-1941: African Americans and Asia in the Interwar Period

Ladinos and Bozales: A Brief Early History of Africans in Colombia: 1500-1800

Few people realize that the percentage of people of African ancestry in the South American nation of Colombia (7%) is slightly more than half the percentage of people of African ancestry in the United States (13%). Yet we know even less about the origins of … Read MoreLadinos and Bozales: A Brief Early History of Africans in Colombia: 1500-1800

Alberta Hunter and the Rhythm Rascals in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II

In the following article independent historian Charles Kastner describes the 1944-1945 tour of Alberta Hunter and the Rhythm Rascals who became the first black USO performing unit to Visit the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II. The China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater of World War Two, was … Read MoreAlberta Hunter and the Rhythm Rascals in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II

The Afro-Beat in Russia: The Influence of Black Music on Russian Popular Culture, 1890-2002

In the following article, Russian DJ Ivan Tchijevsky describes exclusively for BlackPast.org the long history of black music and black musical performers in Russia. Writing from a musical festival in Odessa, Ukraine in June 2019, he outlines his views below. As I visit festivals of … Read MoreThe Afro-Beat in Russia: The Influence of Black Music on Russian Popular Culture, 1890-2002

TransAtlantic Food Migration: The African Culinary Influence on the Cuisine of the Americas

In the article below, culinary historian Diane M. Spivey describes the centuries-old diaspora of African foods and cooking traditions in North and South America. Africa has been a major contributor to the cuisine of North and South America although this contribution has long been overlooked, … Read MoreTransAtlantic Food Migration: The African Culinary Influence on the Cuisine of the Americas