The Benefit of Erasing Black People from European History

Over the past two years I have heard more than ever that “immigration to Europe is new.” What people are actually saying is that immigration of non-White Christian Europeans is new. However, neither of those statements are true. Europe, as a continent, as always been multicultural and has always had visitors (or “immigrants”) from non-European countries. Europeans went to Asia, Africa, and the Americas, why should we believe that the reverse did not happen? What is the benefit for Europe ignoring the history of Blacks, and other non-Whites more generally, coming to Europe before the 20th century?

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Gaslighting Blackness: Recollecting our identity through cultural geographies

When you’re told what’s Black is White, and that your experiences don’t exist–it’s easy to feel crazy in our society.

Reading these articles, in addition to my own research on Black geographies, made me think about the experiences of Black people in Europe and North America–but also Black people everywhere. It made me think about how often Black people have to wait for articles that are shared on Facebook to learn about the historical geographies of our culture, and cultural production more generally. It made me think about how in Europe and Brazil (and many other places), anti-Black racism is often brushed off as an American construction and non-existent.

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Dismantling European City Walls and the Abolition of Slavery in the Colonies

I believe there are correlations, chronologically as well as socio-historically, between the abolition of slavery in the Americas (as decided by individual European countries) and the dismantling of city walls/city fortifications in European capital cities during the 1830’s-1860’s. While these two very different processes have not been correlated before, I believe this time period and these historical manifestations are an example of the transformation of morality and ethics domestically and internationally (abroad in the colonies) during the 19th century.

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Geography Informs Solidarity: I Have Seen Africans Become Black (Politically)

Tsedal thinks of the identification with Blackness as more of an internal realization, rather than acceptance of something imposed from the outside. Although, identifying as Black is influenced by both internal and external factors. This identification with Blackness in the United States by Americans, Africans, and Caribbean people alike as well as in Europe by Afropeans, Black Europeans, and Africans in Europe is a political act of solidarity with the Black Diaspora and global Black experience. There is no one way of being Black and there is no universal Black experience. However, there are similarities and patterns of the treatment of Black people in Western nations. Additionally, there are cultural patterns within music, food, fashion, parenting, and art that can be seen in many Black communities.

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