When most people hear the term “Moors” they think of men of an Arab ethnicity, when in fact the truth is the original Moors, like the original Egyptians, were Black Africans. And I say “Black Africans” to speak on the original peoples, not those from the neighboring regions who came into the land and began to couple with Africans and produce people of mixed race backgrounds who now are technically “African”.
Now I realize that for many people, hearing evidence that speaks contrary to what they have always believed can be a bit hard to believe, especially when it comes from a Black American. So let me mention that author and historian Chancellor Williams publicly acknowledged that “the original Moors, like the original Egyptians, were black Africans.” Let’s not leave out Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe who both used African and Moor interchangeably.
If you do a little investigating, you will find that Arab writers also acknowledge the African identity of the Moors. The powerful Moorish Emperor Yusuf ben-Tachfin is described by an Arab chronicler as “a brown man with wooly hair.” Along with Black soldiers who identified as Moors and were actively recruited by Rome and served in Britain, France Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Poland, and Romania.
So why the secrecy you may ask? Why is this not widely known and acknowledged? Well let’s thinks about this for a second. The Moors brought with them a wealth of knowledge and amazing contributions that provided the foundation for Western science and modern thought. They brought mathematics, astronomy, art, agriculture, chemistry, physics, geography, philosophy and agriculture. They introduced new scientific techniques to Europe, such as an astrolabe, which is a device for measuring the position of the stars and the truth is the Moors helped propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance. The Moors ruled Spain for 800 years. So you can probably imagine this is not the history that this country or Europe would like the average person to be aware of.
Although generation after generation of Spanish rulers have attempted to ensure that the truly remarkable narrative of the Moors be erased from their historical records, there have been recent archeological finds that now shed fresh light on the the Moors who flourished in Al-Andalus for more than 700 years – from 711 AD until 1492. And the truth is, History can never be kept a secret! And those of us who discover the rich traditions and legacies have a responsibility to not remain silent. We have to enlighten one another and make sure Our history is never forgotten.