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REV. JAMES MARMADUKE BODDY
AND THE AFRICAN PRESENCE IN ANCIENT JAPAN AND CHINA

by RUNOKO RASHIDI

DEDICATED TO DR. GABRIEL KOFI OSEI (ANCESTOR)

"For a Samurai to be brave, he must have a bit of Black blood."
--Japanese Proverb

Presbyterian minister Reverend James Marmaduke Boddy (1886-?), of Troy, New York, was a graduate of Lincoln and Princeton Universities, and the first known African-American writer to address the issue of the African presence in early Japan and China.

Rev. Boddy contributed several articles to the Colored American Magazine, including "The Ethnic Unity of the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon Race" in March 1905, and "Brain Weight and Intellectual Development: Physical Variations of the Negro and the Anglo-Saxon Races" in July 1905. Founded in May 1900, by May 1901 the readership of the Colored American Magazine had grown to one hundred thousand people.

Called "the first significant Afro-American journal to emerge in the twentieth century," in October 1905 the Colored American Magazine published Boddy's essay entitled "The Ethnology of the Japanese Race."

In "The Ethnology of the Japanese Race" Boddy attempted to document what he considered a prominent and indelible African strain running through early Japanese history, and that the Japanese people are, at least in part, "Asian Negroes." Reference the work of pioneer ethnologist and anthropologist James Cowles Prichard, M.D. (1786-1848), Rev. Boddy wrote that:

"They are also described as having `peculiar features, `Crisp hair' and `dark complexion.' Besides their Negro features, which are very observable, the early Japanese historians themselves have described for us the `Black Barbarians of the South,' who, in an age which antedates authentic history, came from the south in ships and settled in Japan."

Rev. Boddy concluded by saying that:

"These immigrants mingled and amalgamated one with another and with the natives, and in time became a homogeneous race, whose predominating physical characteristics bespeak the unmistakable presence of a large Negro element."

As for the African presence in early China, there is evidence of substantial populations of an African substratum in the earliest periods of Chinese history, and reports of major kingdoms ruled by Africans are frequent in Chinese documents. The Shang dynasts of ancient China are described as "having black and oily skin." The Chinese sage Lao-tze (ca. 600 B.C.E.) was "black in complexion." He was described as "marvelous and beautiful as jasper." Magnificent temples were erected for him, inside of which he was worshipped like a god."

SOURCES
African Presence In Early Asia, Edited by Runoko Rashidi & Ivan Van Sertima
The Ethnology Of The Japanese Race, by James Marmaduke Boddy

article courtesy of the Global African Presence
Original Post

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Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:
Thanks for a very interesting and informative piece.

It ties in well with the information on sea-going, square-sail vessels moving between China and the east coast of Africa.

PEACE

Jim Chester

--------------------

You're welcomed, Mr. Jim Chester. Smile

I thought the article was pretty interesting & informative myself. I'm amazed by our history & just how far it extends (geographically).
I thought the article was pretty interesting & informative myself. I'm amazed by our history & just how far it extends (geographically).---Fabulous

Me too.

This kind of revelation also reminds my that history belongs to the persons who 'tell' it.

Isn't it interesting for instance that the period in Europe that preceeded their control is call 'The Dark Ages'...a period spanning about the first millenium after the death of Christ?

This was the period when Africans were dominant in Europe.

The general leading the Roman Armies all the way to the conquering of what is now the British Isles was an African, Septimius Sevaras.

The Pope of the Roman Catholic church was an African, the name escapes but is readily available in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

It was a time when Eatern European Countries reveresd 'The Black Madonna', and the statues were actually,and literally, black.

That tradition is still maintained around the world. There is a large facility in Warminster, Pennsylvania with annual celebrations there, and other locations around the Commonwealth.

Our history will better told when we tell it.


PEACE

Jim Chester
Originally posted by James Wesley Chester:

I thought the article was pretty interesting & informative myself. I'm amazed by our history & just how far it extends (geographically).---Fabulous

Me too.

This kind of revelation also reminds my that history belongs to the persons who 'tell' it.

Isn't it interesting for instance that the period in Europe that preceeded their control is call 'The Dark Ages'...a period spanning about the first millenium after the death of Christ?

This was the period when Africans were dominant in Europe.

The general leading the Roman Armies all the way to the conquering of what is now the British Isles was an African, Septimius Sevaras.

The Pope of the Roman Catholic church was an African, the name escapes but is readily available in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

It was a time when Eatern European Countries reveresd 'The Black Madonna', and the statues were actually,and literally, black.

That tradition is still maintained around the world. There is a large facility in Warminster, Pennsylvania with annual celebrations there, and other locations around the Commonwealth.

Our history will better told when we tell it.


PEACE

Jim Chester

-----------------

I enjoyed reading your post, Mr. Chester. Smile You have enlightened me on more than a few things. Thank you. Smile

I love history, but the fashion by which Europeans have gone about distorting historical truths, is criminal. I think they go beyond telling "their" history, especially, when "their" history is a pack of lies used to justify barbarous actions necessary to enslave & oppress human beings.

Yeah, warped historical truths. . .so they could embrace the notion of black inferiority, and use this as a rationale for enslavement & oppression.

To this day, it's like they don't want black folk to feel PROUD of their heritage, or have any type of positive self image--or to know that our people have contributed greatly to this WORLD.

So they keep our story out of American history. Humph!

Cause who knows, black children who aren't privy to this information (black history) might somehow feel like SOMEBODY, if they only knew the truth.

{cough} Don't mind me, I sometimes get irked when I think about it. Smile

I agree with you though, & wholeheartedly. . .our history will be better told when WE tell it.

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