1492, Europe is freed. Boabdil, the Black Muslim General of Granada city, is defeated after a besiegement of eight months by the Christian armies. Thus, the last Moorish bastion fall and some 3.5 million Blacks living in Spain and Portugal fall back to Africa or disperse throughout Europe. After they made the Iberian Peninsula shine a thousand lights, and have allowed the European Renaissance by reintroducing sciences and arts, Islamized Blacks and Arabs are defeated. Columbus meanwhile, used the navigation techniques they had introduced, to arrive in America by chance, looking for India.
“Blacker than the blackest ink”
Here is the Song of Roland, a French epic tale of the battle between Franks and Africans in northern Spain in the 8th century, which tells us about the invaders’ appearance: “At their head rides the Saracen Abisme [Abyssinian ?] : no worse criminal rides in that company, stained with the marks of his crimes and great treasons, lacking the faith in God, Saint Mary’s son, And he is black, as black as melted pitch…
Ethiope (Burnt faces/Africa in ancient Greek), a curse land indeed; The blackamoors from there are in his keep, Broad in the nose they are flat in ear, Fifty thousand and more in company… When Roland sees that unbelieving race, those hordes and hordes blacker than the blackest ink – no shred of white on them except their teeth…” .
In 639, Arabs came into Africa as part of Jihad which sought to Islamize through war and control politically the world. The majority of the indigenous Blacks of Egypt, the Pharaohs’ descendants, had migrated already to other parts of Africa. Those who remained were intensively crossbred with successive white invaders who put an end to the African power thousand years earlier. The Arabs took over Egypt and completed the racial whitening of the country that civilized humanity. They appropriated African Science (Egyptian) translated into Greek. They swooped down on Libya and Maghreb which are predominantly Black at that time and inhabited by indigenous peoples that the Romans called Moors, derived from Mauros / Maures which means Black in Greek and Roman .
The Moors were partially Christianized by the Romans, another part of them is still Vitalist (animist), knowing Amun (Amon) as its only God, the only African God. Deemed invincible warriors, the Moors resisted tremendously to the Arabs for 30 years, often led by women, before being defeated. Mauretania – that is to say Black people’s land – (old name of Maghreb under the Roman rule)  became Muslim by force.
We are in 711, Europe has fallen into a semi-barbarous state since the end of the Roman empire, when was noticed the surge from sea – under the command of the African General Tarik Ibn Ziad – of a first wave of 7000 men including 6700 Blacks  who submitted her, cheered by the people who had enough of the Visigoth kings.
Spanish King Alfonso X called “the wise” gave an account on the invasion “All the Moorish soldiers were dressed with silk and black wool that had been forcibly acquired… their black faces were like pitch and the most handsome of them was like (black as) a cooking pan” . The Moors under African or Arab command took over till southern France before being repelled at Poitiers by Charlemagne’s grandfather. They fell back in Spain, Portugal and Sicily; that they literally re-civilized for more than seven centuries.
The so-called Saracen occupation of Europe was predominantly African. The Arab feature was minority in that Islamized population although it is basically the Arab culture which was going to be introduced by Africans. Racial prejudice of Arabs against Blacks often poisoned the ambiance in the region. It should also be said that Blacks obviously resorted to the African psychology of occupation. After submitting European peoples to their political authority, they did not destroy them, they let Christianity thrive, they did not change names, they did not impose their language, and they did not bully the local culture. They however had their say about the appointment of bishops. In contrast with Europe or the misogynist Arab world, black and white women in Moorish Europe enjoyed a freedom typical of ancient African women, practicing all jobs, unveiled. Europeans did not suffer under black occupation the way Africans have suffered under Arab and European occupations.
The great prosperity of Moorish Spain
The Moors introduced African sciences – translated into Greek – Arabic-Persian and Indian. They greatly reduced the tax on citizens. As knowledge lovers, they created 17 Universities in Europe where, before, there were only two, taught the Jewish who went to found the famous University of Oxford in England. They democratized education, founded medical schools at the forefront of knowledge in those times. They urbanized Spain through roads paving, pedestrian walk constructions, street lighting in the evening with street lights, building hundreds of public showers and mosques.
They created floral gardens, set air conditioning, heating and water flow through pipes in homes. They set up a formidable silk industry. The famous African scholar Ziryab – worthy of his ancestor the Egyptian Imhotep – botanist, geographer, musician, astronomer praised in Europe, replaced the golden dishes with crystal ones, taught to serve meals in several phases with dessert at the end, revolutionizing fashion by changing the types of clothes four times a year for four seasons.
Europeans translated the entire science from Arabic and exported it beyond Spain. Cities such as Granada, Seville and especially Cordoba with its one million inhabitants, its 200,000 middle class houses, its 60,000 noble houses, its 80,000 shops including 20,000 bookshops, experienced an architectural development, a scientific progress and a phenomenal luxury.
The Moorish dynasties
In Africa, a black king of a Saharan Kingdom, Yahya Ibn Ibrahim, tried to Islamize its vitalist subjects. He brought back from Mecca a religious leader named Ibn Yacine who failed to convert them. Yacine was driven away by the people, and fled to Senegal where he succeeded more, leading an apparent pious life. Finally having enough followers, he led a jihad with Yahya as commander in chief. He conquered Morocco, raising the famous movement of Almoravid. Abu Bakar, brother and successor of Yahya, completed the formation of an empire extending from Tangier to the Senegal River. He destroyed the powerful vitalist Empire of Ghana in 1075, opening 160 years of chaos in a West Africa given up to Muslim slave traders.
Abu Bakar’s successor, his cousin Yusuf Ibn Tachfin, the city of Marrakech’s founder, is described in those times’ documents as a man with brown skin and curly hair . Tachfin consolidated the empire and responded to the emergency call of Moors and Arabs threatened by the Christians of Europe after the collapse of the first Arab and Moorish dynasty of Umayyad, which knew only the Abbasid dynasty interval. The regent of Northwestern Africa conquered Spain. Thus, he made a gigantic empire which included Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Western Sahara, Mauritania with Marrakech as a capital city.
The Almoravids, then the last and fourth Moorish Almohad dynasty strengthened science and art in Spain, before beginning to suffer defeats in the early 13th century until the taking of Granada in 1492. Like in Egypt, scientific archives were burnt. Christian extremists prohibited public baths and promoted dirt. Europe collapsed but the already translated sciences generated an intellectual competition at the origin of the European Renaissance. Europe has never recognized that fabulous contribution of Blacks to its awakening.
PS : We have written a second article on the exact role of the Blacks in the Moorish civilization.
By : Lisapo ya Kama ©
Source : The Golden Age of the Moor; The book is a collective work of 14 historians, edited by Ivan Van Sertima.
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