Black history is entirely too immense to relegate to 28 days of the year. The immensity of Black history far exceeds the time period of the trans-Atlantic slave trade to present day, and extends far beyond the United States.
Black history, in essence, is universal and timeless.
Irrefutably, white supremacist and Eurocentric ideologies have prevailed in the U.S. as the educational norm, the intellectual norm and the societal norm. For instance, most American children will most likely describe Jesus as a docile White man with blonde, silky hair and blue eyes. Or they may say the smartest man who ever lived was Albert Einstein, just like the typical high school may be inclined to say that the most influential man in American history is Ben Franklin.
Despite the accuracy or inaccuracy of the aforesaid examples, there lies a more interesting one: The Vikings. If a fourth grade teacher asks her students to sketch a picture of a Viking, that teacher would presumably come away with a stack of drawings of tall, muscular, bearded white men with blonde hair armed with steel plates. This widely recognized image of a Viking, according to a number of Black scholars, is an utter misrepresentation of how the Vikings truly looked.
The study and examination of Black Vikings has been the subject of slight scholarly attention over the last several years and has offered yet another interesting aspect of universal Black History.
Nashid Al-Amin, a shameless Black scholar and educator, is the author of “True Myth: Black Vikings of the Middle Ages,” published in 2013. All 22 chapters of this novel offered thought-provoking insight on the significance and prominence of Black Vikings in the Middle Ages (800-1100 AD), and the abundant presence and influence of Blacks in Europe, which goes unnoticed, unmentioned and unrecognized, and has been relegated to the periphery.
Al-Amin opened his book with a bang: “Europe, we are told, has always been the domain of white-skinned people, classified variously as Caucasians, Whites, Nordics, Aryans, Indo-Europeans—white people. So, when we read or hear of any particular people inhabiting Europe, we assume—because of what practically all historians and scholars have impressed upon us for roughly three centuries—that the people under discussion were white or Caucasian. The Vikings, or Norsemen, are one such group of people and, perhaps, 98% of books written about them make the claim that they were white, blond, blue-eyed “Nordics”—often without offering a shred of proof. We—all people—assume this must be true. Eurocentric scholars (those who extol the ingenuity, civilization, uniqueness and purity of all things European over all other races) have repeatedly asserted this.”
He outlined the purpose of his novel, writing, “This book will demonstrate to the reader that the Vikings, Norsemen or Scandinavians—particularly those of the so-called “Viking Age” (i.e., c. 800-1100 AD)—were a predominantly black- and dark-skinned, non-Caucasian people, and that Blacks, whether of African or Asian descent, were not strangers to any part of Europe in ancient or historical times. Although the word race has been fairly debunked over the last two decades or more, the world has endured three or four centuries of racial conditioning, the effects of which still remain imbedded in our psyches and still affect the quality of life for millions of people around the earth.”
Furthermore, Al-Amin identified his hard-hitting, 300-page book as a historical work that is fully documented and offers a more realistic picture of European history that has ever been told. He went on to say in a Facebook post that this book is “a must-read for readers seeking a true history of Europe and the Vikings.”
The former adjunct professor at Essex County College in Newark, N.J., began his first chapter by nullifying the myth of the historically accepted Viking, as he wrote, “When we hear the term ‘Viking,’ the image that comes to mind most readily is that of a tall, blond, broad-shouldered, bearded white man dressed in animal skins, wearing a rounded helmet with horns protruding from either side of it. Many books written by Western scholars’ present illustrations of Norsemen thusly attired, and the few Viking films that have been made reinforce this image, although Vikings rarely, if ever, wore such helmets, or never actually wore them.”
Al-Amin repeatedly challenges widely accepted scholarly work by “Eurocentric” historians, scientists and academics, who he stated are guilty of presenting an untruthful rendering of history in attempting to establish an overwhelming White presence in prehistoric Europe. Interestingly, Al-Amin noted the significant role the Moors played in the development of some of the European continent.
“The reader may recall that the Moors— predominantly African, but including numbers of Arabs and Sephardic Jews—were singularly responsible for the civilizing of Spain (and, by extension, Europe) and elevating it to preeminence on the continent,” he wrote in Chapter 22.
Al-Amin isn’t anti-White, nor is he a Black supremacist as some scholars have supposed him to be based of his scholarly work. He does, however, unashamedly enlighten his readers on how racism, the white superiority/dark-skinned inferiority complex, and unrestrained Eurocentric arrogance and ignorance has critically poisoned the world.
“It is hoped that the reader can now fathom the extent that Eurocentric Western historians, scholars and scientists have gone to—will go to—to diminish or ignore the achievements of black-skinned peoples in the history of the world, if not erase them from history altogether. In this regard, they have been most successful in expunging their presence in Europe. Their motivation is simple: a collective and consuming racism toward black- and dark-skinned people and the need to uphold the myth of white superiority and dominance in the world—with little regard for truthfulness,” Al-Amin wrote uncompromisingly.
Respectably, Al-Amin cited reputable historians throughout his research while using archaeological evidence to substantiate his seemingly debatable suppositions.
The author, in addition, took a few chapters to list and describe a number of influential figures (all of whom had Negroid, African or Afrotypic-Asiatic features), comprised of Norsemen, kings, Vikings, warriors, settlers, poets, landowners and likewise, who contributed to the development and civilization of various European regions.
This, as aforementioned, was meant to invalidate any credence of White men being totally responsible for the advancement and preeminence of Europe. According to Al-Amin, a wide range of Black groups, such as the Scythic peoples, the Danes, the Celts and the Skjoldungs inhabited and ruled much of Northern and Western Europe, and built megalithic structures which are reportedly still standing more than 1,000 years later. Al-Amin highlighted that these abovementioned groups emerged, were well-respected and had lasting prominence in ancient Europe.
The way Al-Amin ends his work is quite profound, and is a thoughtful reminder of the relevance and importance of Black History.
“Hopefully, this work will inspire others, regardless of race, toward this noble goal—a journey that one might begin by stating: The only reason the Vikings or Norsemen are not credited with discovering America is because they were black-skinned peoples.”