The Hebrew Diaspora & The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.”
If you are of African-American or Afro-Caribbean decent this message is to encourage you to know who you are in Messiah Yeshua (Jesus).
The Atlantic Slave Trade was more than just an atrocity it erased the identity, history, culture, and heritage of a multitude of people. In the 1970s Alex Haley’s book and film “Roots” inspired people of color to ask questions about their identity.
Afro Americans and Afro Caribbeans were the only people in the world without an authentic cultural identity. Prior to the era of genetic research the best we could say about ourselves was that we were descendants of African slaves. Despite our lack of true identity, African Americans and Afro Caribbeans birthed communities and a culture forged from our will to survive.
In recent years God has brought redemption through research and technological advancement that uncovered the past to tell a story of a strong, beautiful, and gifted people.
Knowing my origin has given me peace. Knowing where I came from helps me understand why I reach for the things in which I reach. For instance, my DNA analysis indicates that I am of Bantu origin. For several years I went on a quest to learn everything I could about the Bantu people.
One of the outstanding qualities of the Bantu is we are courteous. The Bantu are courteous in our contact with others and in our expressions of communication. A sense of humor and a pleasant smile is another outstanding characteristic.
The Bantu also has a deep sense of gratitude for kindness and generosity. The Bantu have a gift for languages. We are great communicators. The Bantu are friendly and sociable. We are peace loving people. However, if you are a fighter it would be wise to have a Bantu in your corner because whatever we do, we do victoriously.
The Bantu has a soul for music and the arts. Nature has given the Bantu remarkable patience. The Bantu are loyal to friends. The Bantu are very independent and industrious. We rarely have to be told to do anything. We do what needs to be done. This independence is due to the fact that tribal custom did not permit dependence on others. Also, the Bantu has a very spiritual and sensitive nature. That’s me in a nutshell.
It is interesting to note that the Bantus of the Congo/Cameroon and the Bantu speaking Lemba of South Africa claim to be of Semitic origin. There are many Semitic customs practiced by the Bantu that are still practiced today. See Module 8
The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade
The Trans Atlantic slave trade involved the transportation of enslaved African people, mainly to the Americas. The slave trade regularly used the triangular trade route and its Middle Passage. The slave trade existed from the 16th to the 19th centuries.
The slaves were either purchased from rival tribes or kidnapped by slave catchers. The enslaved were then transported to the Americas. The Middle Passage was the most dangerous part of the forced journey to the new world. Many died along the way due to disease.
Note: To review slave ship manifests and records – CLICK HERE
According to historical accounts and records many African tribes fell victim to the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. The tribes below claim to be of Semetic origin. Need more proof? Keep reading.
- Ashanti – Ghana
- Bantu – The Congo/Cameroon
- Ewe – Ghana
- Ibo – Nigeria
- Katsena – Nigeria
- Maroons – sent to Jamaica
- Sefwi Wiawso – Ghana
- Yoruba – Nigeria
The Igbo Slave Connection
Although there was certainly a Semitic presense in west Africa, not all Africans that were captured during the Atlantic Slave Trade were from Semitic tribes. However, DNA testing has made it possible to identify what tribe one originates.
According to historical records a third of the enslaved population in the Americas were of Igbo ancestry. Which means that at least a third of African American’s today could have Semitic ancestry. See Module 8
This would explain the recent phenomenon of African Americans embracing their Hebrew roots.
Located near indigenous Igbo territory, the Bight of Biafra (also known as the Bight of Bonny), became the principal area in obtaining Igbo slaves. The Bight’s major slave trading ports were located in Bonny and Calabar.
It is estimated that a total of 1.4 million Igbo people were enslaved and transported across the Atlantic in the era of the Atlantic slave trade.
An African Man Who Could Read & Write Hebrew in 1897
The below Newspaper clipping from Houston, Texas (circa 1897) describes an African man who claimed to be Hebrew from a large Semitic community in Africa and could read and write the Hebrew language.
“A young African negro has been in this city for the last few days who claims to be a Hebrew. He is deaf and dumb. He carries a pad of paper with him and answers all questions by writing them in Hebrew and Loschen Khodish. What excites the most wonder is that he writes Loschen Khodish very rapidly. It is the language of the books of Moses, and is made a special study of, spoken and written with ease only by the rabbis and highly educated Hebrews.
“The negro was sent to one of the rabbis of Hartford, who is perfectly satisfied that he is a Hebrew. He says that he came from a large town in Africa, where there is a tribe of about 20,000 black Hebrews who speak Loschen Khodish and are quite prosperous. He also says that his father is a rabbi in that town, and that is why his father took the trouble to teach him to write these languages, which needed an extra amount of labor on account of his being deaf and dumb.
“He says his people not only write Loschen Khodish, but it is their speaking language as well. He left home a few years ago and has seen a good deal of the world. In each town he hunts up the Jewish section, and there they give him clothes, food and money.
“What surprises him, he writes, is that no Hebrew knows of his countrymen in Africa.”
Ethnic groups were fairly saturated in certain parts of the Americas because of planters preferences for certain African peoples. The Igbo were dispersed to colonies such as Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, Barbados, the colonies in the future United States, Belize, Trinidad and Tobago among others. Elements of Igbo culture can still be found in these places. In the United States the Igbo were commonly found in the states of Maryland and Virginia.
The Next Step
Imagine a global Judaism that transcends differences in geography and ethnicity and celebrates the rich, multi-dimensional character of Semetic people around the world!
The awakening of the African American role in the Israelite legacy extends within a diverse cultural group. Many well known celebrities of African descent identify as being connected to the House of Israel. Artists like Bob Marley and Kendrick Lamar used their platform to promote our Hebrew connections to Zion.
People of color, you are precious in the sight of God. You are brilliant, talented, blessed, and exquisite. There is no way that we could have survived years of oppression had it not been for God.
Let me say this, as an African American, I am appalled at the horrible derogatory entertainment that is promoted in African American communities. Do not fill your minds with this garbage! It’s TRASH! This is a satanic agenda to CORRUPT and DEFILE beautiful, gifted, and strong people of color.
Although I encourage you to find out about your history. What’s even more important than the past is TODAY! If you do not have a personal relationship with God and His son Yeshua, You can know Him today! Ask Yeshua into your life and make Him your Lord and Savior.