Ran across this article in the Washington Post. It deals with the Black African communities in Iraq. Reminded me of a similar article from the BBC on the Sidi community, Black Africans in Gujarat, India. It amazes me how far the contacts amongst civilizations extends, both geographically and temporally.
It amazes that we, as people, have always expressed the desire to travel and learn. It is also unfortunate that the idea of forced migration and dominance of the other. The continent of Africa has historically possesses a privileged geographic space in world history, as it was on major trade routes. While this fortunate happenstance allowed major civilizations to flourish, and permitted cross-cultural fertilization, it also gave rise to various sorts of slave trades, including that of the Americas. Historically, we can frown upon such practices, but continue to denigrate African contributions to world history. One of my favorite examples is the way we use Timbuktu; now it means somewhere desolate or forgotten, but it used to be a major center of learning, even as late as during the Muslim period.
Just some immediate thoughts about a couple of articles.