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AfriGeneas Western Frontier Forum

Re: Negro Geography in the West
In Response To: Negro Geography in the West ()

Mr Lee;

Your research regarding the application of the word nigger was most absorbing and educational.

Cartographic material in Europe of the early 19th C. used the word Negroland to describe Africa. In London there is a Blackboy Lane in the London Borough of Haringey in the United Kingdom.

The word nigger was used as a slur not only for people from Africa and of African ancestry but anyone who was not included in the status quo. In England for years the Irish were frequently termed niggers. Many even blacked their faces and sang in the streets in the west end of London imitating the style of Negro song and dress. The Jew Al Jolson made the Black face of the so-called nigger his trademark. He sang "Negro" songs like Mammie kneeling with his arms wide open. The white public loved it and payed to see it. He became very wealthy.
During WWII the US gov asked Jolson to sing to the troops.

However the Garvey Movement and Dr Marcus Garvey fought bitterly against such representations of the Negro characterizing aspects of Al Jolson's entertainment.

During WWII and after it was common to see signs in the United Kingdom that said "no dogss, no Irish, no Niggers..." In England Irish were not considered "white" until about the 70's. With the support of the then GLC (Greater London Council) the Irish community worked politically to change their racial status to what was considered acceptable to the status quo.

Throughout all of western and eastern europe today the word "nigger"
is used as a slur with reference to people from Africa and of African
ancestry.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

Dr IM Spence-Lewis Consultant Researcher
Community Health and Planning, Plant Science

You are invited to visit url www.marcusgarveylibrary.org.uk
welcome marcus garvey library


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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