As the state with the nation’s longest history of documented African presence, the Project is interested in highlighting Florida’s Middle Passage sites. We intend to honor ancestors and highlight the influence of Africans and their descendants in developing Florida. This is not an easy task since those in power in a region long considered an outpost or frontier, traditionally supported a pattern of smuggling and unregulated business. Those who invested Read More

The Diggers

Over centuries throughout the Diaspora, the contributions of Africans and their descendants have not been acknowledged or documented. One of the technological wonders of this hemisphere and the world was created by the physical labor of young black men during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In this post they are honored and remembered for how they changed our world.   THE DIGGERS About a quarter century ago, Roman Read More

Strong People: The Evolution of Anti-Slavery and Emancipation

Enslavement has been called the “peculiar institution.” As a practice that is as old as mankind, its very longevity was an argument supporting continued acceptance. We realize that enslavement is based upon the exercise of power, and everything else is secondary. On the other hand, during the 17th and 18th Centuries, a body of thought called “The Enlightenment” emerged and advocated for equality, liberty, justice and freedom. Initially applied selectively Read More

Diet and Obesity in the Caribbean: Living Large with Culinary Amnesia

Progress and modernization are measured in many forms. The dietary habits of Caribbean peoples have over the past forty-five years changed drastically with the influx of international fast food chains. What was fondly termed Phat or Thick when describing the physiques of black women can now in many instances, and quite rightly, be called obese. The condition does not exist exclusively among black  women; it is rampant among young, aged, and black Read More

Haiti: The First Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere

This small and beautiful nation is a text book case of the victim being blamed for the crimes/injustices perpetuated against it. The historic role of the United States in the deliberate destruction of this country is not completely known. Since the presidency of Thomas Jefferson until the 21st century the United States of America has repeatedly done everything in its power to destroy Haiti. Why? According to historian James Sidbury: Read More

Source Documents for Blog Posts (February – April, 2012)

Audio/Visual: “First Time I Saw Big Water” Composed and produced by Bernice Johnson Reagon, performed by Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon for the PBS-WGBH film series Africans in America, Executive Producer, Orlando Bagwell “Betye Saar, National Visionary”: National Visionary Leadership Project: African American History. The video consists of ten interviews in which Ms. Saar personally relates her artistry, family background, professional experiences and influences during a life time dedicated Read More

On the State of the Nation

Aime Cesaire, the great Martiniquan poet and statesman, said of the French Surrealist Movement after he discontinued his membership with the organization, “I cannot serve a system that cannot and will not serve me.” Inspired by Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and others of the Harlem Influence, he, Cesaire, along with Leopold Senghor of Senegal and another Martiniquan, Leon Gontron Damas, spearheaded the Negritude Movement while they were students in Paris. Read More


How low can you go? We are talking “limbo.” Is this a dance? A competition? A workout? An historical artifact? Any and all of the above? An essay written by the late French scholar Genevieve Fabre about the limbo recently crossed our radar. We were well aware through research that during the Middle Passage voyage a routine of daily exercise was established by slave traders for captive Africans. Movement, primarily Read More

A History Ignored

On St. Croix in the U.S Virgin Islands, both residents and visitors daily enjoy a visual paradise and few are aware of the history and people who created this beauty. From the Cay in the Christiansted Harbor, the view of Fort Christiansvaern, with its manicured lawns, lush green hills in the background and the crystal blue waters of the bay in the foreground produces a striking image in the perfect Read More

Central America: Variations on a Theme, Part Two

In Honduras mining was the most important industry, occurring originally near the Guatemalan border and in the interior. However by the 1540s, mining had shifted eastward toward the Rio Guayape Valley. Between 1540 and 1640 there were more Africans than Europeans, and in 1545 alone there were 2,000 Africans working the gold and silver mines. With continual slave rebellions from 1548 to the 1570s and near depletion of known sources Read More