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Kola
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Username: Kola

Post Number: 2182
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 10:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.blackamericaweb.com/site.aspx/sayitloud/kane1020

Commentary: The Origin of Some
European-sounding Black American Names
....turn out to be African

by Greg Kane


Wednesday, October 19, 2005


How many black Americans really have African surnames
that they think are European surnames?

I was sitting next to Adam Ouologuem and feeling darn
lucky. Ouologuem is a woman, and women are my favorite
gender. And Ouologuem is a beautiful woman. It’s not
often a good-looking woman bothers to talk to a guy
with a kisser like mine.

Her first name is pronounced a-DAHM, with the accent
on the second syllable. She's is a journalist from
Mali who lives in the United States. We both attended
a symposium recently at North Carolina Agricultural
and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C.
During a break, Ouologuem took time to school me about
my last name.

“It’s common in my country,” she said of the name
Kane, which is pronounced KAHN in Mali. “There’s also
the name Ly in Mali. It’s spelled L-e-e here.” Both
Kane and Ly/Lee are, Ouloguem said, Fulani names.

It was the revelation about the name “Lee” I found
fascinating. A dear friend of mine with that last name
visited Senegal and Gambia several years ago. People
in both countries said she looked Fulani.

This Fulani goddess’ ancestors may not only have been
Fulani, but they may have had the Fulani name of Ly,
which they passed down and may have become the
Anglicized name Lee.

With what we now know about African history, American
history and the history of Africans in the Americas,
this may not have been an uncommon thing. William S.
McFeely, the author of a biography of Frederick
Douglass that was published in 1991, said the great
orator and abolitionist might have also been Fulani.

Douglass was born Frederick Bailey around 1818 in
Talbot County, Md. The name “Bailey,” McFeely wrote,
“may have had an African source. In the 19th century,
on Sapelo Island, Georgia (where Baileys still
reside), there was a Fulfulde-speaking slave from
Timbo, Futa Jallon, in the Guinea highlands, who could
write Arabic and who was the father of twelve sons.

“His name was Belali Mohomet. ‘Belali,’ spelled in
various ways, is a common Muslim name…Belali slides
easily into the English ‘Bailey,’ a common African
surname along the Atlantic coast. The records of
Talbot County list no white Baileys from which the
slave Baileys might have taken their name, and an
African origin, on the order of ‘Belali,’ is
conceivable.”

Belali/Bailey, Ly/Lee and Kane may not be the only
African names that survived once black folks crossed
the Bitter Passage and landed in America. Benjamin
Banneker’s last name came from his grandfather, whose
African name was Banneky, which was sometimes spelled
Bannaky.

So, what does this teach us about some of what has
passed for history within black America for the last
40 or 50 years? To be blunt: some of it may be
downright wrong.

For decades, many of us have clung to the version of
slavery and black history given to us by Malcolm X,
our Shining Black Prince, in his autobiography. The
nutshell version of that history is that blacks were
kidnapped from Africa by a race of white devils,
thrown in chains and packed together in the dark
nether regions of slave ships and brought to America.

Once here, we were brutalized. Our women were raped.
We had Christianity shoved down our throats, the
better to brainwash us into being submissive and
obedient slaves. We were stripped of culture,
language, religion and name.

Much of that may be true. But not all of it.

Ira Berlin, in “Many Thousands Gone,” wrote that some
Africans resisted attempts to convert them to
Christianity (some slave owners resisted their being
converted; it seems some masters felt becoming
Christians might give slaves funny ideas about being
free and equal.).

And we now know the part about all slaves being
stripped of their names isn’t completely accurate.
Some African names, in one form or another, did
survive. Not all of us were stripped of our names.

The lesson here is that we should take any history
lessons given to us by a guy who cobbled his
unofficial history degree together from reading books
in prison with a grain of salt. The other is that our
slave ancestors struggled to hold on to vestiges of
their African identity more than we’ve previously
given them credit for.

Our history is far more complex and fascinating than
the white devil/black victim nonsense we’ve been
listening to for years.

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Roxie
"Cyniquian" Level Poster
Username: Roxie

Post Number: 275
Registered: 06-2005

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Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2005 - 11:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I've heard Heather Locklear's surname has it's roots in africa too.
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Tonya
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Username: Tonya

Post Number: 703
Registered: 07-2005

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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 12:53 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is ludicrous! Of course not all slave masters were the same and not all slaves were mistreated identically. But we know some things happened often enough for us to have a good sense of our history. He's right about one thing, our history is very complex and we'll be piecing it together for years to come; therefore, pieces of what we know will probably fluctuate and some things may indeed change -- but the crux of what we know, the bottom line, will undoubtedly stay the same.

Another note: Due to my half Jewish step-father, my family and I have a strong, unmistakably Jewish last name. In addition, several of my sisters have white sounding first names like "Susan". Because of this combination, they have reported being called in for job interviews only to be discriminated against by interviewers who were clearly stunned to be encountering someone black. I'm pretty sure this happens all the time so maybe Kane would be a little more productive highlighting occurrences like this; especially since he's obviously into African Americans and last names. In any case, I know one thing, he better try leaving Malcolm alone!

Tonya
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Roxie
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Username: Roxie

Post Number: 281
Registered: 06-2005

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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 09:23 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Both my first and last names are german/dutch in origin, plus my voice is often described by both blacks and whites as "eloquent". I kind of like the looks I see on some people's faces when they expect a tiny white girl to enter the office but get a 6-foot, 250 pound black woman instead. Always challenging people's ideas. :-)
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Moonsigns
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Username: Moonsigns

Post Number: 743
Registered: 07-2004

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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 02:20 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

ROXIE:
"I kind of like the looks I see on some people's faces when they expect a tiny white girl to enter the office but get a 6-foot, 250 pound black woman instead."


MOONSIGNS:
Roxie,

Wow!!!! I thought you were about 5'4 and *maybe* 120-125 pounds! I'm shocked! You and Kola are really tall women!

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Renata
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Username: Renata

Post Number: 154
Registered: 08-2005

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Posted on Thursday, October 27, 2005 - 10:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The 5'2" girl is jealous.


(And believe it or not, I'm the second tallest girl in my family.)
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Roxie
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Username: Roxie

Post Number: 285
Registered: 06-2005

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Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 08:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How tall is kola?
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Kola
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Username: Kola

Post Number: 2194
Registered: 02-2005

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Posted on Friday, October 28, 2005 - 10:11 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm over 6'2

I guess you couldn't tell by the video. LOL

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