Diaspora Family History

A world history perspective is essential in understanding the complexity of family history from an African, Caribbean and Black British context. Exploring and defining the African diaspora can be useful using the following historical dimensions and timelines:

  • Primordial: An early phase that genetically connects all humans. It is not, however, a direct link.
  • Prehistoric: Applying to groups of people who possess physical evidence of African heritage in places such as Melanesia and the Andaman Islands. Despite this physical connection, there is no cultural or historical evidence of their African heritage remaining;
  • African Empires: From 3100 BC to modern day there has a long history of kingdoms and civilisations ranging from Kushite, Nok, Aksumite, Nri, Wolof, Monomutapa, Kongo, Asante, Songhai, Fulani, Bamana, Benin, and Buganda. See When we Ruled website
  • Arabian /Indian Ocean Diaspora: Applying to people of African descent taken to countries on the Arabian Peninsula via the Indian Ocean trade in enslaved peoples and those that travelled independently. There is evidence of the link although few cultural links still exist.  BBC website  -  Islamica Magazine
  • Atlantic Diaspora: For people of African descent who were taken to the Americas and Caribbean where there is a physical as well as an ancestral memory of their African heritage Case Studies
  • Inter-Continental Diaspora: Migration within Africa, Caribbean, South America and North America - Caribbean Through a Lens
  • Windrush Generation: Post World War II migration from the Caribbean and other Commonwealth countries to Britain to help with rebuilding after the war  The Windrush Generation Legacy - Charmed Life Campaign
  • New Diaspora: Applying to the post-Cold War period and the migration of Africans from post-independence African states to and within mainly Europe and North America. Many whom maintain strong cultural ties with Africa


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