Photo by Ray Rui Sa

arapi (ah-rah-pee)

Arapi, also commonly referred to as Arab, Harapi, Harapёt or the archaic spelling, Arabes, means Black, as in African. It was coined by invading Persian enslavers. A person who self-describes as Arap means they were free Africans; whereas a person who self-identified as Arapi means their families and perhaps they themselves were enslaved.


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Years Dislocated
million victims
identities reclaimed
stories told
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chapter excerpts

chapter 1

Of all the words to leave on a headstone, whoever decided to choose that word to describe his essence was complicit in a plan that would involve me some eighty-six years later. They had no idea that I would be in search of something of his to keep as my own: the legacy of HOPE.

chapter 2

Slavery did not end until 1945. More than 200 million Africans were trapped in this enterprising system of enslavement, thus depleting East Africa of its human capacity, history, language, culture and wealth.

chapter 3

The principle motivation for racializing slavery, is not a concept invented post the so-called Enlightenment era. Indeed, there is historical precedence for whites subjugating Africans into bondage dating back to the seventh century.

chapter 4

The inference that Albania was synonymous with Ethiopia implies a distinct African presence that cannot credibly be confused with any other cultural group identity anywhere in the world.

chapter 5

His wife, Nada, reflected on the brevity of the moment saying, “They are not real [B]lacks, but they are real people and I am happy mother and grandmother. Defining her children as “real people” softens the blow of not being “real Blacks.”

chapter 6

Stepping forward, with one arm in her coat and the other dangling, she raised her open arms towards me as she pointed to her open mouth as if she were gasping for air, or so I thought. No, she did not need air, she had rehearsed her next words for this moment: "I...I...I...I...Am. Arapi! I. Am. Arapi!”

chapter 7

The Kundum was transferred to Jamaica via Gyane Kɔne as the Jonkunnu (John+Canoe), but suffers negative subtexts particularly throughout Jamaica, where the tradition is still a time-honored event. The reason for the misunderstanding has to do with the headdress of the main character, Gyane Kɔne.

chapter 8

The cartographer for the sixth map moved Mt. Sinai from its established site in Barka, Libya, situated west of Egypt to the Suez Canal, placing it east of Egypt (Figure 37). Of course he didn’t literally move the mountain, he removed the annotation from its fixed place to a new location in the Suez Canal.

Chapter excerpt photos by: Joshua Oluwagbemiga, Les Ansdersen, Marcus Lee, Shalom Mwenesi, Yamon Figurs, Nate Greno, Oladimeji Odunsi and Chris Benson.


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Dr. Royster

paula d. royster, PhD

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