Afro-Dominican History

In 1503, with the conquest and colonization of the island, the Spanish began to import large numbers of African slaves to replace the native labor, greatly reduced by wars, brutal working conditions and epidemics. About 80 or 90% of the native population died in the first century of the conquest. Meanwhile between 1492 and 1870 some 30,000 Africans were imported to the current Dominican territory to be devoted to sugar.

In 1503, arrived the first African slaves to the Española Island, mostly to the present Dominican Republic, since Spain had largely neglected the west of the island. This first slaves were Black “Ladinos”, i.e. born in Spain and Christianized and arrived as servants for the home of the island´s Spanish elite.

However, the number of slaves imported to the island was already sufficient for developed rebellions and escapes to the mountains by themselves. The rebels Africans lived with the indigenous in shelters away from urban centers. Even so, in 1510, were imported to the island others 250 Ladino slaves and in 1511, arrived others 5.000 African slaves to the shores of the island. In addition, with the establishment of the world’s first sugar mill on the Española island in 1516, the importation of African slaves greatly increased.

The slaves brought to Santo Domingo came from various parts of Africa and therefore belonged to different cultures. Although in the early days the slaves were Ladino, as traffic and intensified trade and colonial authorities demanded more slave labor for plantations and other housekeeping, were allowed introduction of black “bozales”, i.e. slaves imported directly from Africa. In 1522 took place on the island, the first major slave rebellion, rebellion led by 20 Muslims of Wolof origin, originating from Senegal, in an ingenio (sugar factory) of east of Santo Domingo island Many of the insurgents fled to the mountains and established what would become the first autonomous community African Maroon in America.

However, after the success of this revolt, slave revolts continued to emerge. So, emerged some leaders of African slaves, although already baptized by the Spanish, as is the case of Juan Vaquero, Diego de Guzmán and Diego del Campo. His rebellion led many slaves to flee their oppressors and establish many communities in the South West, North and East of the island, causing the first arrival of slaves, but free, in the current Haiti (remember that although this part of the island was also Spanish until 1697, when it was sold to France, had no Spanish people living in it).

This caused some concern among slaveholders and contributed to the Spanish emigration to other places. Thus, although sugarcane increased profitability in the island, the number of imported slaves who fled into it, continued to rise, mixing with Taíno indigenous of these regions. So, in 1530, Maroon bands already were considered dangerous to the Spanish colonists, so they had to carry large armed groups to travel outside the plantations and leaving the large part of the center and north of the island, very mountainous regions, where the Maroons lived (it was so, until 1654 with the conquest of Jamaica by Corsairs of British Admiral William Penn and general Robert Venables).

However, due to the discovery of precious metals in South America, the Spanish abandoned their migration to the island of Santo Domingo to emigrate to South America and Mexico in order to get rich, for they did not find much wealth in Santo Domingo. Thus, also abandoned the slave trade, that is, they stopped exporting slaves to the island. This led to the collapse of the colony in poverty. Anyway, during those years, slaves were forced to build a cathedral that in time became the most oldest in America. They build their monastery, first hospital and the Alcázar de Colón. In the 1540s, the Spanish authorities ordered the African slaves building a wall to defend the city from attacks by pirates who ravaged the islands. They also built the Puerta de las Lamentaciones (in Spanish: Gate of Mercy).

After 1700, with the arrival of new Spanish colonists, African slaves imported was renovated. In both plantations and isolated villages of runaways from east of the island, the population began to focus more on livestock and the importance of racial caste division was reduced, so that began to develop a mix between the Spanish colonists, African slaves and the natives of this part from Santo Domingo. This domain mixing together the social, cultural and economic European element will form the basis of national identity of Dominicans. It is estimated that the population of the colony in 1777 was 400,000, of which 100,000 were Europeans and Criollos, 60,000 African, 100.000 mestizo s, 60,000 Zambos and 100,000 mulatto.

At the end of the eighteenth century, arrived also to Spanish Santo Domingo, fugitive slaves from the French colony of the western part of the island, usually composed of black fugitives, escaped from the rigors of their masters, and that fed the Spanish colony since the time initial establishment of the French on the island. These slaves came directly from Africa, and in some cases they even form communities such as San Lorenzo de Los Mina, who is now district or sector of the city of Santo Domingo. Also, coming slaves from other parts of the West Indies, especially from the Lesser Antilles, dominated by French, English, Dutch, etc.

In 1801 Haitian leader Toussaint Louverture, who had occupied the east of Santo Domingo, abolished slavery in the place, as had happened in the west of the island, freeing about 40,000 slaves, and prompting most people who formed the elite of that part of the island flee to Cuba and Puerto Rico. However, when the Spanish recovered it, Spanish Santo Domingo re-established slavery in 1809.[8] During those years, the French governor Ferrand imported a second group of Haitian slaves, brought by in order to use them in founding the Puerto Napoleon (Samana), French colonial enclave. There was no running for the defeat of the French.

The abolition of the slavery was made in 1822, during the Haitian occupation of the Dominican territory, started in February, 1822. Between 1824, began to arrived African American freed people to Santo Domingo, benefiting from the favorable pro-African immigration policy of Haitian president Jean Pierre Boyer since 1822. This settlers were established in Puerto Plata Province and the Samaná Peninsula —then under Haitian administration. They were called Samaná Americans. Later, in 1844, two Afro Dominicans, Francisco del Rosario Sánchez and Matías Ramón Mella, freed the country alongside with Juan Pablo Duarte, of Haitian domain.

More late, between the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, was developed a traffic black workers from the British West Indies in the first third of this century to work in the sugar plantations of the east of the island, and whose descendants are known today with the name of Cocolos.

After, many Haitian people began to settle in the Dominican Republic, a migration that has continued until today.


The Atlantic slave trade involved nearly all of Africa’s west coast inhabitants to be forcibly taken to the new world. Most Dominican slaves tended to come from mostly the Kongo people of West-Central Africa (present-day Angola, Republic of Congo, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of the Congo), along with the Igbo (originating from west from Nigeria), Yoruba, Akan and Mandinka tribes.

Others African ethnic groups arrived to Spanish Santo Domingo during the slavery´s period were: Wolof (imported from Senegal), Aja (also called Ararás in Santo Domingo and imported from Dahomey, current Benin), Ambundu (from the Kingdom of Ndongo, in north Angola), Bran (originating from Brong-Ahafo Region, west from Ghana), Fulbe, Kalabari (originating from slave port from Calabar, in Nigeria), Terranova (slaves bought probably in Porto-Novo, Benin), Zape (originating from Sierra Leone), Bambara and Biafada (this latter was originating from Guinea-Bissau) people.

The Wolof were imported to Spanish Santo Domingo from Senegal in the first half of the sixteenth century, until the import of this ethnic group was prohibited after his rebellion in 1522. Many of the slaves were also Ajas, usually taken in Whydah, Benin. The Ajas arrived in Santo Domingo, were well known for having made religious brotherhoods, integrated exclusively for them, as the call San Cosme and San Damian.

NYC Censored History: NYPD Officers infamously fired 41 shots at an unarmed Amadou Diallo on this day in 1999, killing him and bringing race relations and police brutality to the national stage once again.

One of four children of Saikou and Kadiatou Diallo, Amadou’s family is part of an old Fulbe trading family in Guinea. He was born in Sinoe County, Liberia, while his father was working there, and grew up following his family to Togo, Bangkok, and Singapore, attending schools in Thailand, and later in Guinea and London, including Microsoft’s Asian Institute.

In the early morning of February 4, 1999, Diallo was standing near his building after returning from a meal. At about 12:40 a.m., police officers Edward McMellon, Sean Carroll, Kenneth Boss and Richard Murphy, who were all in street clothes, passed by in a Ford Taurus. Observing that Diallo matched the description of a since-captured well-armed serial rapist involved in the rape or attempted rape of 29 victims, they approached him.

The officers claimed they loudly identified themselves as NYPD officers and that Diallo ran up the outside steps toward his apartment house doorway at their approach, ignoring their orders to stop and “show his hands”. The porch lightbulb was out and Diallo was backlit by the inside vestibule light, showing only a silhouette. Diallo then reached into his jacket and withdrew his wallet. Seeing the suspect holding a small square object, Carroll yelled “Gun!” to alert his colleagues. Mistakenly believing Diallo had aimed a gun at them at close range, the officers opened fire on Diallo. During the shooting, lead officer McMellon tripped backward off the front stairs, causing the other officers to believe he had been shot. The four officers fired 41 shots, more than half of which went astray as Diallo was hit 19 times.

The post-shooting investigation found no weapons on Diallo’s body; the item he had pulled out of his jacket was not a gun, but a rectangular black wallet. The internal NYPD investigation ruled the officers had acted within policy, based on what a reasonable police officer would have done in the same circumstances with the information they had. The Diallo shooting led to a review of police training policy and the use of full metal jacket (FMJ) bullets. On March 25, 1999, a Bronx grand jury indicted the four officers on charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment. All four officers’ bail were set at $100,000. On December 16, an appellate court ordered a change of venue to Albany, New York, stating that pretrial publicity had made a fair trial in New York City impossible. On February 25, 2000, after two days of deliberation, a jury in Albany acquitted the officers of all charges.

In April 2002, as a result of the killing of Diallo and other controversial actions, the Street Crime Unit was disbanded.

via Wikipedia

Italians and Genetics

The overwhelming majority of Italian males belong to Y-DNA haplogroup R1b which is standard amongst most West European populations. Haplogroup R1b is the dominant paternal lineage of Western Europe and parts of sub-Saharan Central Africa (e.g. around Chad and Cameroon). R1b is also present at lower frequencies throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, North Africa, South Asia, and Siberia. While Western Europe is dominated by the R1b1a2 (R-M269) branch of R1b, the Chadic-speaking area in Africa is dominated by a branch known as R1b1c (R-V88).According to data found through different sources, samples, and studies by Eurpedia, the percentages of Y-DNA haplogroups observed in Italy were:

R1 (51.5%: 49% R1b and 2.5% R1a)

Haplogroup R1: Possible time of origin: 12,500–25,700 years BP (before present). Possible place of origin: Central Asia or South Asia. Ancestor: R-M207. Descendants: R-M420, R-M343. Defining mutations: M173. 

J (20%: 18% J2 and 2% J1)

Haplogroup J: Possible time of origin: 31,700±12,800 Years BP. Possible place of origin: Arabian Peninsula. Ancestor: IJ. Descendants : J-M267, J-M172. Defining mutations: 12f2.1, L134, M304, P209, S6/L60, S34, S35.

E1b1b (11%)

Haplogroup E-M215: Possible time of origin: approx. 22,400 years BP.Possible place of origin: Eastern Africa. Ancestor: E-P2. Descendants: Haplogroup E-M35 and E-M281. Defining mutations: M215, most often found in conjunction with M35.

G (7%)

Haplogroup G: Possible time of origin: 14,000-30,000 years BP. Possible place of origin: Caucasus. Ancestor: F. Descendants: G1, G2 and their subgroups. Defining mutations: L116, L154, L204, L240, L269, L402, L520, L521, L522, L523, L605, L769, L770, L836, L837, M201, P257/U6, Page94/U17, U2, U3, U7, U12, U20, U21, U23, U33.

I (6.5%: 2.5% I1, 3% I2 + I2a and 1% I2b)

Haplogroup I-M170: Possible time of origin: 25,000-30,000 years BP. Possible place of origin: Europe or Southwest Asia. Ancestor: IJ. Descendants: I*, I1, I2. Defining mutations: L41, M170, M258, P19_1, P19_2, P19_3, P19_4, P19_5, P38, P212, U179. Highest frequencies Bosnia and Herzegovina 65%.

T (4%)

Haplogroup T-M184: Possible time of origin: 19,000-34,000 years BP. Possible place of origin: West Asia. Ancestor: LT. Descendants: T-M193. Defining mutations: M184/PAGES34/USP9Y+3178, M272, PAGES129, L810, L455, L452, L445. Highest frequencies Somalis from Ethiopia’s Northern Dir tribes, Kurru, Bauris, Ogaden, Armenian Sasuntzis, Chians, Arabs from Somalia, Saccensi Sicilians, Fulbe, Eivissencs, Northeastern Portuguese Jews, Rajus, Mahli, Zoroastrians in Kerman, Bakhtiaris/Lurs, Southern Egyptians. 

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo was a Fulbe Muslim, born in Senegal in 1701, who was ironically captured and sold as a slave when he was trying to do the same thing for his father in 1730. Diallo crossed the Atlantic on the ship Arabella and found himself working on a tobacco plantation in Maryland where he would work as a slave for the next two years. Escaping the plantation, Diallo was imprisoned since he could not identify who he was. While in prison, he met attorney Thomas Bluett, who saw him for what he really was: a literate man, who could both speak and write Arabic well.

Thomas Bluett himself wrote about his first impressions:

“He was brought into the Tavern to us, but could not speak one Word of English. Upon our Talking and making Signs to him, he wrote a Line or two before us, and when he read it, pronounced the Words Allah and Mahommed; by which, and his refusing a Glass of Wine we offered him, we perceived he was a Mahometan [Muslim], but could not imagine of what Country he was or how he got thither; for by his affable Carriage and the easy Composure of his Countenance, we could perceive he was no common Slave.”

While Diallo had to return to his life of slavery, Bluett helped him to regain his freedom together with other individuals who felt compassionate about his situation. His master, eager to get rid of him since he saw no place for Diallo at the plantation after what had been known about him, sold his freedom willingly and Diallo was finally emancipated in England which he had traveled to together with Bluett in 1733. While in England, Diallo even got the opportunity to meet the Queen of England who according to Bluett presented him with a “rich Gold Watch”. Diallo would return home to Senegal through Gambia a year later in 1734. Bluett published Diallo’s story (and his own) in Some Memories of the Life of Job, the Son of the Solomon High Priest of Boonda in Africa; Who was enslaved about two Years in Maryland; and afterwards being brought to England, was set free, and sent to his native Land in the Year 1734 which is considered one of the earliest slave narratives of the Atlantic slave trade.

The above portrait was painted by William Hoare of Bath in 1733 during Diallo’s stay in England. He is depicted wearing the Qu'ran strung from his neck. The portrait can now be seen in the National Portrait Gallery in London.