• The Center for African American Genealogical Research, Inc.

Mapping the diaspora

There's hardly an African American alive who does not want to know from whence she/he came. The answers can be hard to find without broad knowledge of Western systems of knowledge. One of these areas that we give little thought to is geography, and not just in the sense of creating imaginary boundaries but the concept of inventing maps to begin with. Westerners, Europeans in particular, cannot be given credit for knowledge they did not discover including the maps we use today that give us direction and placement in the world. The most important takeaways are: 1. the current view of the world is upside down and 2: the reason Westerners invented their own maps was to find some way, any way to connect themselves to Jerusalem, otherwise known as the center of the earth. Mapping the Diaspora means more than just identifying the patterns of forced dispersal and voluntary migrations of our African ancestors. It has the potential of answering unanswered questions hidden in plain view. Stanford University holds a huge catalog of maps that are free to the public. The graphic below is a depiction of the earth as it was recorded in 1150 BC and again in 1450 AD. Now compare it to how we understand the world today and note that Eurasia now above Africa and note that the visual imagery of power that flows from the top down.


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