Africa in India
July 30, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

The African Presence in India: A Photo Essay : The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental answers. This series of articles, "The African Presence in India: An Historical Overview," is designed to provide some of those answers.
posted by infini (14 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Hate draped in science is still hate.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

That's interesting. I wrote a paper in undergrad about the role of missionaries in creating enclaves of Africans in India - a lot of slaves freed from the Swahili coast of Africa during the mid 1800s until the early 1900s were resettled in missionary communities in India. I didn't know anything about a past African-Indian connection, although that there would be one makes sense!
posted by ChuraChura at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's not even science, shoesfullofdust. The author is flat-out wrong.
posted by lemuring at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]

Yikes, thank you lemuring...didn't get that far...

Apart from sections like .. MOST OPPRESSED PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, there are somewhat interesting historical facts about India and its diversity.

But -- There are black people in Shanghai also that have been established for sometime. A fact I thought was interesting when I was getting my undergrad in 1999.

The reality is that parts of India, The Silk Road, The Middle East, The Meditteranean have actually been 'melting pots' or 'multicultural' longer than dirt itself.

Being surpised about 'origin theories' that fail to live up to expectations, or being shocked at how diversity existed pre WWII are things that no longer interest me.

I am even less interested in "Africa" or "India" being used to make historical generalizations.

BTW My family is from Kerala and this brilliant German Jewish activist wrote a book -- parts of which changed my life -- NATIONALISM AND CULTURE
posted by lslelel at 12:58 PM on July 30, 2011 [3 favorites]

I didn't actually read through it, is this one of those psuedoscientific racialist "studies"?
posted by Apocryphon at 3:43 PM on July 30, 2011

There are interesting and important stories to be told regarding African peoples and their influence on world culture. But this is not one of them.

As lemuring has pointed out, the author of this article has been roundly discredited. It is the pseudo-scientific presentation that irks me so. It bothers me that this should get further accreditation by being posted to MeFi. It ain't just weak sauce, it's bad sauce.

My first response was overcharged. No offense to infini, but I feel this does not belong on the front page.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 3:44 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Precisely what have they done and what are they doing now?

Unless Hollywood has been lying to me all these years, they're either finding grace, rising up and overcoming; using mystical powers or physical and mental impairments to help white people feel better; or reforming widely accepted law enforcement dress standards and community policing procedures through personal example.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2011 [9 favorites]

This guy showed up at the Olmec symposium in Los Angeles last fall, too. Bogus.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:26 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

This guy showed up at the Olmec symposium in Los Angeles last fall, too. Bogus.

What, Temple Guard got him?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:37 PM on July 30, 2011

brilliant German Jewish activist

Although known for his role in the Jewish anarchist movement, Rudolf Rocker wasn't Jewish himself.
posted by Abiezer at 8:17 PM on July 30, 2011

I also have the Osip Brik postcard.
posted by clavdivs at 8:43 PM on July 30, 2011

I thought the so called "Lost Tribe" were the Siddis ?/Sheedis nearly all of whom of whom originated as slaves.
The Siddhi peoples are scattered throughout the sub continent in communities in Pakistan, Gujurat, Goa, Karnataka, Sri Lanka.
posted by adamvasco at 11:56 PM on July 30, 2011

Hate draped in science is still hate.

posted by John Cohen at 4:42 AM on August 1, 2011

I'd gotten the link from a reputable source so never looked closely at the author. The basic concepts still apply - there's a history of Africans in India, as adamvasco has pointed out and that was something I'd not even known so when I saw this I thought oh, how cool!

Granted, this topic can be redone with better links but its a shame that the concept itself, of there being lost tribes of Africans in India, should lose credibility all together due to one specific concern.

And as an Indian, born into privilege and looking at the challenges faced by the lower income demographics in both Africa and the subcontinent, I will add this though: Skin colour is still an issue as is the treatment of the poor and the lower castes (not the same thing, caste and class are two different things) in India. The same barriers to upward mobility do not exist among many Sub Saharan African communities as they do in India.

I'm with John Cohen on this, example?
posted by infini at 7:14 AM on August 1, 2011

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