This month we are celebrating ourselves, our history, exploring the Malagasy identity in depth, and reminding y'all that we're Blackity Black everyday!
As we celebrate Black History Month, we wanted to explore the intersection of the Black Malagasy and American histories. While I believed that Malagasy people only arrived in the US after our independence in 1961, after going into a deep rabbit's hole through Google, I discovered a history that I never expected to encounter.
I stumbled upon a researcher named Dr. Wendy Wilson-Fall, and from there learned so much untold history. Considering how much the American education system teaches so little about African-American and Black history apart from "Slavery happened and then it stopped", I was learning a lot from Dr. Wendy.
Dr. Wendy is an African-American scholar and professor who has both studied and lived a history of having ancestors from Madagascar. Her research interests include: Pastoralism in Africa, African diaspora communities in North America; Slaves from Madagascar and their descendants in America, slavery and unfree systems of labor in Africa, identity, memory and ethnicity.
While the vast majority of captives came from West/Central Africa, she examined how a small percentage of Malagasy slaves accounting for about 1.8% were captured and shipped through the long and treacherous journey in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. This amazing find can help African-Americans who would like to examine their ancestry and claim themselves as Afro-Malagasy-American because we definitely claim them as Malagasy! Salama and welcome!
Click the play button below and tune into the following podcast to catch up on a podcast between Dr. Wendy and the folks at Afropop Worldwide discuss "Malagasy Roots in America"!