Talk:Sub-Saharan Africa/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

"Black Africa?"

"The Sub-Saharan region is also known as Black Africa,[4] in reference to its many black populations. Notably, commentators in Arabic in the medieval period used a similar term, bilâd as-sûdân, which literally translates to "land of the blacks" in contrast with populations of the classic Islamic world.[5]"

This introductory text defines sub-Saharan Africa in relation to the Middle East only, which strikes me as racist. This paragraph seems about differentiating sub-Saharan Africa from the Middle East and North Africa, which is not what this section should be about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Miss Archie (talkcontribs) 08:01, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

RACIST?!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

East Africa as "Arab"?

"The Horn of Africa and large parts of Sudan are geographically part of sub-Saharan Africa, but nevertheless show strong Middle Eastern influence and are also part of the Arab world.[3]"

The source for this quote is an Arabic-language website from the League of Arab states. Of the four nations of the Horn, two, Djibouti and Somalia, are members of the Arab League. Eritrea is an observer, and Ethiopia is not. Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia have Arabic as an official language, but not as the only language. Most people in Eritrea are Triginya. Most people in Djibouti are Somali and Afar. I just don't see how the Horn can accurately be called "part of the Arab world," especially give that the vast majority of residents of the Horn (75 million out of 90 million total) are Ethiopian. This is also inconsistent with the Wikipedia entry on the Horn of Africa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Miss Archie (talkcontribs) 11:26, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Well it is true which brings us to the BS that is "sub-Saharan" Africa. Many people in the North Africa are not arabs nor true native Africans and people in "sub-Saharan" Africa are Arabian in origin not to mention European. To me, if you leave out the whites in the south knowing they are invaders, you should do the same for the north and call it Africa. It is political and racial. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:19, 3 August 2009 (UTC)

There were originally as many as seven different sources for that statement asserting that the Horn of Africa is a part of the Arab World, and more could easily be produced. However, an administrator insisted that only one would suffice, so he retained that Arab League source. The other points have also already been discussed. Soupforone (talk) 11:08, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
This still doesn't make sense given the numbers I've given above: the vast majority of the Horn is Ethiopian, and Ethiopia is certainly not Arab. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Miss Archie (talkcontribs) 09:43, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
"Arab world" is vague. More concrete statements would be that countries are members of the Arab League, or have Arabic as an official language or lingua franca, and we should stick to those.
The closest to an official definition of "Arab" people today is native speakers of Arabic. By this, Northern Sudan and parts of Chad qualify but none of the Horn of Africa countries do. --JWB (talk) 18:40, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, much of the Horn of Africa is part of the Arab world, has Arab as an official language, and is acknowledged as such by other Arab territories, as already explained. It makes no difference whether this does or does not sit well with Wikipedians. Soupforone (talk) 19:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, looking at Arab world, none of the Horn countries fit the definition in that article. --JWB (talk) 20:39, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
That is a definition written up by a Wikipedian, not a reliable source. Several of the countries in the Horn are also cited in that article as part of the Arab world; that is why they are even mentioned there. Soupforone (talk) 20:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Great, can you please supply a reliable-source definition of what "part of the Arab world" actually means. Then we can actually explain what it means in the article. --JWB (talk) 22:26, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Part of the Arab world means just that: part of the Arab world. And it is already sourced many times over. Soupforone (talk) 22:40, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, so there's no concrete meaning to it and it can't be explained? In that case it's certainly not notable enough for mention in the introduction. --JWB (talk) 23:12, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that's not how WP:NOTABILITY works. WP:VER, on the other hand, makes it clear that "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." So it doesn't really matter whether one agrees or disagrees with what it says. Soupforone (talk) 23:19, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this is how notability works. 27 sub-Saharan countries are members of the Francophonie and that's not in the lead paragraph either. --JWB (talk) 00:53, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
That's irrelevant. The Francophonie is an international organization with members from all over the world. The Arab League, by contrast, is an Arab organization that aims to link Arab states on an economic, political and cultural basis, with sub-organizations covering each of these areas. The Arab League is also but one of the aspects (and the sources) which make large parts of the Horn part of the Arab world. And no, that is not how Wikipedia's notability rule works, nor does that rule even concern sentences but "whether a topic merits its own article." For the rest, refer again to that WP:VER quote above. Soupforone (talk) 01:33, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
They are almost exactly analogous - Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea are countries with some usage of Arabic as a second language for education for (part of) the population, or listed as one of a number of official languages, very much like the usage of European languages in most African countries. None of those countries have significant numbers of native Arabic or Arabic-creole speakers, as Sudan and Chad do. And Ethiopia has nearly 6 times the population of the other three countries combined. --JWB (talk) 01:55, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
They are not analogous at all. The Sub-Saharan countries that are part of the Francophonie organization are only a part of it because they were colonized and within the past century by either France or Belgium; that is how they came to be French-speaking. Many of the peoples of the Horn of Africa, however, not only speak Arabic and count it as an official language in their respective countries, they also have long-established traditions of descent from Arab patriarchs. And the Arab nations of the Peninsula recognize this descent as well. As I've pointed out, the Arab League is but one of the aspects that makes large parts of the Horn (including many of Ethiopia's ethnic groups) part of the Arab world; there are many, many others too. Again, this has all already been discussed. And none of this of course changes what the cited sources or WP:VER assert. Soupforone (talk) 02:34, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Traditions of Arab descent are commonplace as far away as the Yoruba of Nigeria and farther. Much of West Africa and the East African coast have as much or more Arab/Muslim cultural roots as the three Horn countries you're citing (which are only a small minority of the Horn population anyway). Official designation of Arabic as an official language by a modern government, on the other hand, is a modern phenomenon, often a conscious counterpoint to and modeled on post-colonial usage of European languages. --JWB (talk) 02:52, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
The odd West African or East African tribe may have traditions of descent from Arabs, but unfortunately those are not acknowledged by the Arab tribes they claim nor has their putative Arab descent been written about as far back as centuries ago by the Arabs themselves. See for example, the book Aquiloon by the Arab writer Al-Masudi for the Arab extraction of many of the Horn tribes. In fact, many of the Arab patriarchs' tombs are still found throughout the region. Incidentally, this is also why none of those Islamic areas in West Africa and East Africa are a part of the Arab League or considered an Arab state by UNEP, among others, the way the Horn nations are. Also, a majority of the Horn's population is Muslim, not a minority. Ethiopia's largest ethnic group (and the Horn's for that matter) are Oromos, and about 50% of them if not more are Muslim. That's in addition to a healthy percentage of Amhara themselves. The Cushitic-speaking groups for their part are almost entirely Muslim, and they make up the majority of Ethiopia's population. The rest of Ethiopia is made up of animists, chiefly concentrated in the Southern Nilotic areas. That leaves Eritrea, 50% of whose population is Muslim. Somalia also hosts the Horn's second most populous ethnic group, the Somali, and they of course are almost 100% Muslim. Similarly, Djibouti is about 96% Muslim, which altogether makes the Horn largely Muslim as the source you removed indicated. Again, a very poor analogy. Soupforone (talk) 03:17, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
If you have references for such "acknowledgement" that would be very interesting and could be added to the history articles. Ditto for "tombs of patriarchs". Mauretania is in fact a member of the Arab League, the Yoruba are one of the largest peoples in Africa and not the "odd tribe". Ethiopia is 33.9% Muslim according to the article and the national census, making the four Horn countries about 40% Muslim, far less than, for example, French-speaking West Africa. Islam is ancient in Harar but mass conversion of the historically pagan Oromo was only in recent centuries. Membership in the Arab League mostly shows that a country applied for membership, and the (nonexclusive) UN designations are purely based on Arab League membership. --JWB (talk) 03:42, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Now now; there's no need to whip out the scare quotes. We're all friends here, aren't we? I obviously was not referring to Mauritania (which is in North Africa) in my post above but to the Yoruba and other West African & East African tribes that you in passing mentioned and their self-proclaimed, unacknowledged Arab ancestry. The Muslim population in Ethiopia is also not 33.9%. That is what the questionable Ethiopian census indicates. But that figure is completely contradicted by independent sources such as the much more reliable US government, which indicates that "approximately 45 percent of the population is Sunni Muslim, although many Muslims claim that the actual percentage is higher." Also, you seem to be under the impression that it is only the Horn's Muslims that have traditions of descent from Arab patriarchs. It isn't. The Ethiopian & Eritrean Christians have their well-known Solomonic & Sabaean traditions of descent too, which likewise are also acknowledged on the other side of the Red Sea. The Arab League is also not just based on application, but on acceptance. It is literally the League of Arab States, and by definition thus only accepts Arab states, unlike the Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which accepts Islamic states in general. With that said, here's just one example of the acknowledgement of Arab descent I'm talking about from a book titled An account of the British settlement of Aden in Arabia from the late 19th century: "Some of the Mahra tribe who occupy the opposite Arabian coast have a tradition that the Somal are descended from them, and call them ' Beni am,' or cousins". And here is a video of the tomb of the 'Darod' Arab patriarch of many Somalis. The Ethiopian & Eritrean traditions of Semitic descent for their part need no introduction. As always, none of this of course changes what the many cited sources or WP:VER assert. Soupforone (talk) 04:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
You seem to be under the impression the Yoruba are Muslim. They are mostly Christian and still have the tradition of Meccan descent. Again, this is only one African people and such traditions are widespread. Also not sure how you can equate "Solomonic & Sabaean" with Arab. If Jewish and Muslim were that interchangeable, the world would have a lot fewer problems. For that matter, the Lemba of southern Africa have a tradition of Jewish descent that has gotten some support from genetic studies.
You have some assertions that are interesting at least as one POV on a number of issues, but not synthesizable into a blanket statement that Horn of Africa is Arab and no other parts of sub-Saharan Africa are, much less force this statement into an introductory paragraph. You seem to have much less knowledge about other parts of Africa and should catch up on that before pontificating. --JWB (talk) 05:01, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
The early Jews were Arabs and vice versa (a Semite is a Semite; Judaism is a religion, not an ethnic group), and Sabaeans were Yemeni. But yes, I am indeed quite informed on the Horn & even more so on North Africa & the Middle East in general, but admittedly not so much on West Africa, which is clearly your area of expertise. The fact remains, though, that the passage in question specifically concerns the Horn, and the sources already cited like it or not already cover what it states; namely, that the Horn & Sudan are "for the most part also part of the Arab world." That's one of the nice things about Wikipedia's rulebook; when someone makes a claim that such and such is not allowed according to its rules, all one has to do is refer to it as the ultimate arbiter: "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." Soupforone (talk) 05:39, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
There is no good reason to have removed my edit "with the exception of Ethiopia," an edit which agrees completely with the source cited for the sentence! The source names all the other countries as being part of the Arab world, but not Ethiopia. Why did you remove this sentence? It doesn't matter if YOU think Ethiopia is part of the Arab world because it is not. And percentage of Muslims in a country certainly does not relate to a country's being part of the Arab world. You are misusing this source when you delete my comment.Miss Archie (talk) 08:41, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Well as can be seen above, the situation is a bit more complex than that, even with Ethiopia and its Solomonic dynasty, Sabaean ancestry, etc. The sources do amply cover my edit, as I indicated that much of the Horn is part of the Arab world (which is true), not every last bit of it. Even if one complains that Ethiopia is still not covered, a few refs citing the Semitic ancestry of the Habesha people can easily change that. At any rate, if you'll notice, I never actually changed your edit when you first added it until other parties started complaining; that's when I added more sources. But since your edit did resemble an attempt at a compromise, I've reinstated it. Also, just so it's clear, it's not actually Ethiopia that has no connection with the Arab world, but southern Ethiopia and southern Sudan. Soupforone (talk) 13:38, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Semitic and Arabic are not equal; one is a subset of the other. You cannot equate them against established usage to push your POV.
Statements from your sources are welcome in Wikipedia if not exaggerated, in appropriate places, and with appropriate clarification, for example that "Arab world" as used in the source does not mean "native speakers of Arabic" or even "using predominantly Arabic", as readers would interpret, and along with coverage of neighboring parts of Africa if in an all-Africa article. They are not however notable enough for the short lead paragraph of this article. They might be appropriate for the lead paragraph of a much more specific article.
What "Arab world" seems to mean in your source is "member of the Arab League". Simply saying Somalia and Djibouti are members of the Arab league would be a less misleading interpretation of that and similar sources about contemporary countries. You are welcome to find sources for your sweeping statements about ancient history and summarize them in appropriate places in Wikipedia. --JWB (talk) 16:03, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I did not say Semitic and Arab are interchangeable, but quite clearly that the early Jews were Arabs and vice versa (which is true). And I only brought this up because you insisted on taking this conversation in some tangential direction (i.e. the Yoruba et al.) that has precious little if anything to do with the actual edits in the article. Moving on, I did not add one source but five sources indicating that much of the Horn is part of the Arab world. Though I appreciate your permission, I don't need to fish for other sources either because the ones I've already cited cover this, especially with regard to Somalia and Djibouti. It's also not just the Arab League which establishes these territories as part of the Arab world. Arabs themselves have already done so and repeatedly starting centuries back, such as the 10th century geographer Ibn Hawqal's map of Diyar al-Arab ("The Arab Homeland") which outlines the Arab world & includes the Somali-inhabited territories of the Horn.

Also, the Arab League is not just an ordinary intergovernmental organization and nothing more like the African Union, for example. It is a political, cultural and social organization created by Arabs specifically and exclusively for Arab states to further Arab interests. Here is the Arab League's mission statement...

Serve the common good of all Arab countries, ensure better conditions for all Arab countries, guarantee the future of all Arab countries and fulfill the hopes and expectations of all Arab countries.

Here is a concise summary of what the Arab League is, from Financial Markets and Institutions in the Arab Economy...

The Arab nation was started to unify it selves under one Arab state since the end of the Second World War. Thus they established what is known as the Arab states League. It is an association that is supposed to harmonize the political, cultural, and economic segments of the Arab nation. The Arab League was established under the notion that of being the first step to the Arab economic and political ultimate unity as well as to settle disputes among its members.

In other words, membership in the Arab League presupposes that a nation is already a part of the Arab world; it doesn't create it from scratch.

As for Eritrea, besides the fact that it is an observer in the Arab League and is reportedly scheduled to become the League's next full-fledged member, its affiliation with the Arab world is well known. Examples...

  • "In 1964, Syrian newspapers published a map showing Eritrea as part of the Arab world." -- The struggle over Eritrea, 1962-1978: war and revolution in the Horn of Africa‎ (p. 23)
  • "several Arab states provided assistance to the Eritrean nationalist movement, and Arab publications often referred to Eritrea as part of the Arab world."" -- Resource conflict in the Horn of Africa (p.39)
  • "Syria and Iraq, who regarded Eritrea as an integral part of the Arab homeland, became the ELF's mainstay" -- A history of modern Ethiopia, 1855-1974 (p.219)
  • "An Italian colony since the 1880's, Eritrea became part of Ethiopia following World War II. The Eritrean claim rests partly on this colonial status as being separate from Ethiopia but even more importantly on the fact that much of the population in Eritrea is Arab and Muslim." -- The Soviet Union and the Middle East in the 1980s (p.220)

Like I said, sources for these statements are not difficult to find. I also noticed you again altered the statement that the Horn of Africa is predominantly Muslim despite what the sources state. Unfortunately, this too is already covered in the references: "Men and women mix freely inside the EPLF - an astonishing phenomenon in the predominantly Muslim Horn of Africa" (The Middle East, nos. 135-145, (IC Publications ltd.: 1985), p.13). In future, please try and adhere to that WP:VER directive cited above, even if what the reliable sources state are difficult to accept. Soupforone (talk) 20:28, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Of the five sources you gave for your statement, the three I was able to find so far online show Somalia and Djibouti and not Eritrea or Ethiopia. Please stop deleting Eritrea unless you can show actual evidence.
  • You just added one more source, Markakis]. Searching on Eritrea or Arab world or Horn of Africa does not produce anything the p. 39 you are citing. Please provide the quote you are citing from.
  • You have cited quotes saying that Syria, Iraq or other Arab states considered Eritrea part of the "Arab world". This is one viewpoint and does not exclude Eritrean or non-Arab viewpoints. You are welcome to cite it as one POV alongside others, in an appropriate place.
  • Eritrea is about evenly split between Christians and Muslims, much like many countries in the border zone all the way across Africa. None of its peoples are native Arabic speakers, unlike say Chad.
  • You keep talking about other material you could cite, but have not actually added. The only link you gave is Ibn Hawqal and that article says nothing about definition of "the Arab world", a term which is anyway anachronistic for a thousand years ago. You're welcome to find material and cite it in appropriate places in appropriate articles, but simply saying you could find it does not overrule consensus about sensitive article leads.
  • You keep deleting comparable statements about Muslims in West and East Africa. Please look at Islam in Africa or even at the map in this article you are inaccurately captioning. West Africa as a whole is half Muslim, comparable to or greater than the "Horn", and has twice as many Muslims as East Africa which includes the Horn. The Sahel and Sudan regions of West Africa are nearly 100% Muslim, much more than the Horn. --JWB (talk) 21:40, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Besides the quotes above, there are two sources that I've cited in the article itself which indicate that Eritrea is part of the Arab world. One indicates its affiliation with the Arab League, and the other is quoted below.
  • Certainly.

Several Arab states provided assistance to the Eritrean nationalist movement, and Arab publications often referred to Eritrea as part of the Arab world. On the other hand, the two non-Arab states on the Red Sea coast -- Ethiopia and Israel -- became allies out of necessity and encouragement from their common patron, the United States.

As can clearly be seen above by any honest person familiar with basic geography and not editing from a certain POV, the quote clearly indicates that Eritrea is an Arab state, as it is considered to be a part of the Arab world & sits on the Red Sea coast while being neither Ethiopia nor Israel.
  • Irrelevant. Please adhere to the topic, which is the actual edits, not Chad (or the Yoruba, for that matter).
  • While I thank you again for your permission, I still don't particularly require it since, among other obvious reasons, the sources I've already referenced cover Eritrea as it is. Further, I didn't cite that "Syria, Iraq or other Arab states" source in the article but on this talk page and for your edification, so your argument above is beside the point.
  • This is just silly. I did not link you to Wikipedia's article on Ibn Hawqal as a source to refer to, but so that you would get an idea who the gentleman was. It's called common courtesy. The source I did actually direct you to was quite clearly his map of Diyar al-Arab ("The Arab Homeland"), which delineates the Arab world & includes the Somali-inhabited territories of the Horn and purely to show you that it's not just the Arab League which establishes these territories as part of the Arab world but that Arabs themselves have already done so and repeatedly starting centuries back. Your complaint that the phrase "Arab world" is "a term which is anyway anachronistic for a thousand years ago" is also better directed at the author of the paper Arabic Sources on Somalia since that's where I got that info from (a paper which, incidentally, contains 31 pages of the Somali people's historical connections with Arabia). Example...

The Somaliland forming a part of the Arab world is very clear in Ibn Hawqal's map of Diyar al-Arab (the Arab Homeland).

As they say, don't shoot the messenger.
  • I deleted no such statements regarding your area of expertise, West Africa. I simply sourced a passage you were complaining about, thereby demonstrating that Islam is indeed the predominant religion in the Horn of Africa (Menelik the II once referred to Ethiopia as "an island of Christians in a sea of Muslims" for good reason, you know). You don't have to like it, but those are the facts. The percentage of Muslims in West Africa also has no bearing on whether Islam is the predominant religion in the Horn, and neither does that other Wikipedia article you alluded to or that user-made, unsourced map you griped about me somehow miscaptioning. With that said, I think now is as good a time as any to quote again that important passage from WP:VER: "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." Soupforone (talk) 02:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Again, nobody is questioning whether this kind of material on the nuances of the meaning of "Arab World" is allowed in Wikipedia. It would fit well in Arab World or subarticles. It does not fit well at the top of Sub-Saharan Africa, which would be 50 times its length if we had every detail like this.
You did in fact delete material about West Africa - see the last part of that edit. By the way, I do not consider myself to be more specialized in West Africa but to have roughly balanced knowledge of various regions of Africa. I am just pointing out that you are ignoring or deleting material about the region, throwing off balance an article that is not primarily about Horn of Africa but needs to cover most of the continent as a unit.
Ethiopia has had no Red Sea coast at all since Eritrean independence. Your quote above "the two non-Arab states on the Red Sea coast -- Ethiopia and Israel" dates from when Eritrea was not a separate state, so does not have the implication you are giving it. --JWB (talk) 04:16, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the nuances of the meaning "Arab world" and never did. That is yet another irrelevant tangent. The actual situation at hand is simple: There's a very uncomplicated phrase in the article which asserts that the Horn of Africa and large areas of Sudan "with the exception of Ethiopia, are also part of the Arab world", and sources for this have been provided. You're now complaining that the source I've just quoted above which clearly indicates that Eritrea is part of the Arab world is somehow invalid because Ethiopia is not literally on the Red Sea coast & therefore the source must date "from when Eritrea was not a separate state". Wrong. The source is from 1998, a good five years after Eritrea's independence from Ethiopia. And the quote does not literally mean that Ethiopia is on the Red Sea coast; Ethiopia, like Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, etc., is often termed a "Red Sea state" because of its proximity to that body of water & its affiliation with the nations that border it. An example from the same book (p.5)...

The Horn is not merely a geographical designation. It is a region with a multitude of physical, social, cultural, economic and other integrating features that distinguish it from adjacent regions. Its sea boundaries are the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Its inland boundaries are two prominent landmarks -- the East African highlands and the Nile basin -- which also represent social and cultural watersheds separating the people of the Horn from those of adjacent regions.

As can be seen above & in the previous quote, Ethiopia, as part of the Horn region, is by definition a Red Sea state since the Horn region itself is bordered by that body of water. And none of this of course changes the fact that that source clearly indicates that Eritrea is a part of the Arab world. Soupforone (talk) 04:41, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
The source may be published in 1998, but it says right in your quote that it is discussing the Eritrean nationalist movement! This is while struggling for independence from Ethiopia. After independence, there was not merely a nationalist movement, there was a state. The quote plainly does not make an absolute statement that Eritrea is part of the Arab world, just that some Arabs viewed it that way. --JWB (talk) 20:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You're missing the point, and that is that the Arab countries themselves recognized Eritrea itself as part of the Arab world, not its nationalist movement ("Arab publications often referred to Eritrea as part of the Arab world"). Although Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia at the time, it already had ties with the Arab world long before Ethiopia ever annexed it just after World War II & it was already referred to as a distinct territory in the literature.
  • Syrian maps of the Arab world have always included Eritrea. -- The struggle over Eritrea, 1962-1978: war and revolution in the Horn of Africa‎ (p. 59)

  • Failing to conquer Ethiopia, the Italians carved out a colony along the Red Sea, called it Eritrea, and governed it as a separate political entity from 1890 until World War II. Even before the Italians gained control over Eritrea it was set apart politically and culturally from Ethiopia. Unlike Ethiopia, which remained primarily a Christian country surrounded by Islamic states, Eritrea retained strong ties with the Arab world, was part of the Ottoman Empire from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, and was occupied by the Egyptians in the 1860s, shortly before Italy arrived. -- Opportunities and dangers of Soviet-Cuban expansion: toward a pragmatic U.S. policy (p. 28)

Also, a great deal more than some Arab states viewed Eritrea as part of the Arab world.

The Arab states, seeing Eritrea and its Muslim population as an extension of the Arab world, then sought the establishment of an independent state. -- Eritrea by Randall Fegley (p. xxxviii)

And Eritrea is of course a member of the Arab League/League of Arab States. Soupforone (talk) 03:33, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Eritrea is an observer in the Arab League. So is Venezuela. Eritrea was part of the Ottoman Empire. So was Bosnia. So was Turkey for that matter, and it's not Arab. Eritrea had some support for its independence movement from Arab states because of its partly Muslim population. So did Mindanao.

You tried to argue that Eritrea was an Arab state because it was *not* mentioned in a passage that listed Ethiopia and Israel as the non-Arab Red Sea states. After that fell apart, you're conveniently forgetting about it and saying your point was something else - that (at least some sources in) Arab states considered Eritrea to be part of the Arab world, something that nobody is trying to dispute, but that is irrelevant to this article. Please take your stuff to articles where it is relevant. --JWB (talk) 05:24, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I didn't "try to argue" anything. I boldly asserted that Eritrea is part of the Arab world & quoted passages from the Arabs themselves plainly asserting this. It's not just a case of Eritrea receiving "support for its independence movement from Arab states because of its partly Muslim population", unfortunately:
  • Syrian maps of the Arab world have always included Eritrea. -- The struggle over Eritrea, 1962-1978: war and revolution in the Horn of Africa‎ (p. 59)

  • The Arab states, seeing Eritrea and its Muslim population as an extension of the Arab world, then sought the establishment of an independent state. -- Eritrea by Randall Fegley (p. xxxviii)

This is in addition to other passages demonstrating that Eritrea's ties with the Arab world are of long-standing. Don't try to make this about the Ottoman Empire when the source clearly cites -- as just one of the many aspects which set Eritrea politically and culturally apart from Ethiopia even before the Italians gained control over the former -- Eritrea's strong ties with the Arab world independent of its occupation by that great Turkish Empire.

Failing to conquer Ethiopia, the Italians carved out a colony along the Red Sea, called it Eritrea, and governed it as a separate political entity from 1890 until World War II. Even before the Italians gained control over Eritrea it was set apart politically and culturally from Ethiopia. Unlike Ethiopia, which remained primarily a Christian country surrounded by Islamic states, Eritrea retained strong ties with the Arab world, was part of the Ottoman Empire from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, and was occupied by the Egyptians in the 1860s, shortly before Italy arrived. -- Opportunities and dangers of Soviet-Cuban expansion: toward a pragmatic U.S. policy (p. 28)

You can keep denying it all you want, but Eritrea's association with the Arab League is also just one more aspect affirming its affinities with the Arab world. It hasn't yet become a full-fledged member of the League of Arab States not because it can't, but because Eritrea's leadership has elected not to since the latter does not believe the League is doing all it can potentially be doing at the present time for its member states.

In reply to a question why Eritrea does not become full member of the Arab League, President Isaias emphasized that the issue of membership in the League is not one of ensuring identity. In view of the ineffectiveness of the League, Eritrea has so far opted to maintain its observer status, he elaborated. The President went on to say that in the event the organization shows dynamism in its work, it is possible that Eritrea could reconsider its membership status.

The South American country of Venezuela, on the other hand, would never be able to join as a full member, as its written into the League's constitution that it is only open to Arab states.
Much as I'm sure you'd like me to, I unfortunately won't be taking the aforecited reliable sources to other articles as they are precisely germane to this very discussion. Such repeated "commands" of course also have no bearing whatsoever on actual Wikipedia policies, which are all that matter: "the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true." Soupforone (talk) 13:48, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Nobody is questioning whether the material can be in Wikipedia - the question is whether it is in appropriate or inappropriate places in Wikipedia. This is a short survey article focusing on contemporary and ecological topics.

Google "strong ties with the Arab world" and the first page of hits has Guyana, Latin America, Yugoslavia, South Asia, Spain, Russia, India. Clearly that phrase does not imply a country is "part of the Arab world". If anything, "having strong ties with" sounds like it is referring to an external entity, not an internal part.

"Don't try to make this about the Ottoman Empire" - you brought it up, not me.

Comoros is also a full member of the Arab League. Are you claiming Comoros, Somalia, Djibouti are "Arab states"? Arabic is widely known as a second language but is not a first language. Comoros is culturally like the mainland Swahili coast of East Africa. --JWB (talk) 15:32, 3 September 2009 (UTC)


First of all, FayssalF has blocked Mariam83 (talk · contribs) indefinitely, and with good cause. See the discussion here. Second, because she's gone, I have unprotected the article. And third, her racist comments are really quite useless, so I think all her comments on this talk page should be removed and not archived. How does this sound? Picaroon (Talk) 04:00, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

While the indefinite block was richly deserved (having been involved in her edits to the Maghreb and other North African articles), why remove the evidence? I should think it likely the person will come back, and a record of this strikes me as useful. collounsbury 15:50, 10 July 2007 (UTC).
Agreed. Just archive it. --Richard 16:42, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Archive but for different reasons. Just because an editor is an ass 10% or 90% or 99.99% of the time doesn't mean they never have anything useful to say. I'm here because of one of the CFDs, and I'll need to wade through all the statements, even statements by obvious trolls, before I can offer an informed opinion. Speaking of CFD, how far back in the history do I need to go to get a good feel for what's going on, and how far back to get a complete picture of the current controversy? Also, is there any other major contributor who is blocked from editing this talk page? If you are, and want me to realize you will no longer be contributing, feel free send me an email. Do not use this as an opportunity to get me to ghostwrite for you, it "ain't gonna happen." davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:18, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that the main source is an original source, in that it is a "novel" and peripheral interpretation of history. The author attempts to establish an Africa that never existed as it does in his mind. North Africa, as separate from Sub-saharan Africa, played a very prominent role in world civilization, but this cannot be attributed to Black or sub-saharan Africa. It is, furthermore, inaccurate to state, as the article does, that dark skinned people are indigenous to North Africa, as the original Berbers of Mediterranean North Africa (and not wikipedia's definition of Berbers, which enmeshes various unrelated groups from regions outside of north africa with the original Berbers) are of Eurasian stock, as is evidenced by Berber populations that have remained insular, and as dark skinned Arabs or Mediterranean populations do not resemble sub-saharan Africans, a given that further ridicules the content of this article. The point is, wikipedia's founder objects to the use of original research, esp. in matters of culture or history etc. This novel interpretation is not accepted by academia and the people of the region, because it is eccentric and unfounded and akin to the claim that Greek culture and thus European civilization stems from Black Africa (black Athena). In matters of history, culture etc. writing should model that of Britannica or other scholarly work, which would very clearly discuss sub-saharan africa's identity without deviating or muddling definitions, as this does. This matter is 4 weeks old, and surprised that everything has been archived. Admins that were involved in this dispute attempted several times to remove the CDF addition.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:13, 16 July 2007.

Request for comment 15 July 2007

Sub-saharan Africa The entire article is written from a "novel narrative or historical interpretation" perspective, with the following source, which is original research and unused and unaccepted by the scholarly community, world and not used in academia [1]. The source is being used to write novel interpretations of labels etc. pertaining to the region and relevant articles, which is unencylopedic and incorrect. The administrators and editors involved have thus far ignored content and focused on disputes. Furthermore, the administrators involved have betrayed an ingrained preference, as most were involved in dispute over content in the first place. They have not commented nor seem interested in the main problem: source and POV/novel interpretation. The article needs to be reviewed by uninvolved parties, and the source looked into. 01:55, 15 July 2007

I am removing this RFC from the list of RFCs. If it is still active then please resubmit. --Philip Baird Shearer 10:51, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Minor formatting edits should help review, intial comments on references

I did some minor formatting edits to the references and made the countries multicolumn. This should make the article easier on outside reviewers and general readers alike. The links aren't all in the same format, my main concern was getting "http://" off of the visible part of the link. I also changed one dead link to its old copy on The Internet Archive. There's still a lot of work left on the reference formatting but at least now it will be easier to make comments on the quality and appropriateness of the references themselves.

Some initial comments on the references: I am not ready to comment on the quality of the references. When all references supporting a fact come from the same web site, it invites questions of independence. It could be that this web site is a repository of people who coincidently share the same world view, in which case that's okay. On the other hand, they could be colleagues, in which case it's best to pick a single reference. For most things, one reference is all that is needed. The History section needs references. The Economic section needs additional references. Items in the intro usually don't have references because the intro summarizes what comes later. Any items in the intro that are not spelled out and referenced later need references. davidwr (talk)/(track) 21:29, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Article request: Kimani Nehusi

To anyone who has an interest: The previous article for Kimani Nehusi was speedy deleted for copyright violations. About 8 articles link to it. If someone would write an article about him that meets all of the Wikipedia article criteria, including no copyright violations and WP:BLP that would help the project. Expect challenges based on notability, so be sure to include several independent citations to his notability. If you find you cannot write a quality article that meets Wikipedia standards, please de-link him in the main article. Thanks. davidwr (talk)/(track) 21:50, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Leftover cleanup of old Black Africa article

Black Africa is now a soccer team. The article was created on top of the old redirect, and it took over the old talk page. I cleaned up Talk:Black Africa and fixed up the handful of incoming main-article links so they point to Sub-Saharan Africa instead. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:58, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

Relevant comment left on my user talk page

Henriettaz, an account with only 6 or 7 edits, all today, left me a couple of messages on my talk page. The gist is he's a Wiki newbie and has been editing for only a few weeks. It's his opinion that these articles are "owned" by people who pushing an point of view that is contrary to his. He also believes some of the sources currently used in the article are not high quality. Here's a snippet:

I'm too new to this discussion to comment on the merits of his statements. Any others from outside this discussion should read these comments, and post links to relevant comments that show up on their user pages if they think it would help the overall discussion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 12:36, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

OK, I've done some looking and have a proposal

I've looked over some of the comments for the past few months. It looks like the dispute is over what exactly Sub-Sahara Africa really means and which of the competing definitions should be used in Wikipedia. In other words, which POV world view will dominate an article which as a whole must be WP:NPOV. In an article like this, NPOV means in part reflecting the points of view who have a point of view, in accordance with their numbers.

I have a proposal:

  • Go look at what others have done for Sub-Sahara Africa, Black Africa, and similar terms. What does the Encyclopedia Britannica do? What does World Book do? What does Encarta do? Do they even have an article or do they just say "see: Africa" or "see: list of articles about various parts of Africa or various countries and cultures in Africa"? Do they take a geographic approach, an ethnic approach, a genetic approach, a linguistic approach, a religious approach, an economic approach, a political approach, or some combination to define Black Africa or Sub-Sahara Africa?
  • Go look at what recent academic and scientific literature has to say on the topic. Do 99% of academics and scientists subscribe to one opinion, or is there a significant minority opinion? Is the dominant opinion a supermajority, a majority, or a plurality?
  • Do you, as editors, want to have an article that is mainly for the layman or one that shoots for a more scholarly readership? If the former, I recommend focusing on what other encyclopedias think is important. If the latter, I recommend focusing on what scholars think is important.
  • Do you, as editors, want a history-of-the-term section, and if so, whose history? Perhaps more than one? The history of the term "Black Africa" in English culture may be far different than in Egyptian culture. Consider WP:UNDUE when making this decision.

Once you've done the research and collectively decided if you want to be more general-interest or more scholarly, then decide what to put into the encyclopedia. This being an encyclopedia, I would personally recommend going the general-audience route, at least to start with. This will probably come down to a vote, but if it is close perhaps a general purpose article with more than the usual amount of scientific discussion would be a good compromise.

No matter which way you go, I recommend acknowledging minority views and giving them due weight without giving them undue weight. Due weight for a fringe opinion shared by half a dozen close-knit academics may be a sentence and a reference. If it's shared by 10% of the academics out there, it may be a couple of paragraphs and several references. If it's 45% of the academic community then it should take almost as much room as the dominant point of view. This is in my opinion one aspect of wiki-neutrality.

There is at least one point of view that some here have called novel and others have all but labeled fringe. I encourage everyone here to set aside their own prejudices and go research secondary sources like book reviews, journal articles that are not primary sources, newspaper articles that are not original research, and the like as well as tertiary sources like encyclopedia articles, and report back here with with what they find. Online sources and sources found at almost every public library are preferred only because everyone here can go read the whole article in context.

As you make your decisions, don't forget the voices of the silenced. It is unfortunate that one user representing a particular POV has been blocked from editing. However, that person's POV is just as valid as everyone else's POV. As you gather your sources, it will be tempting to only report back sources that represent YOUR POV. Please don't do this. You are building an encyclopedia of general knowledge, not an encyclopedia of your world-view. Please bring back all relevant information so it can be digested and discussed.

Once you, as a group, have all the material together, you can decide where to go from there.

Finally, and probably most important swallow your pride, shake hands with your intellectual opponent, and be WP:CIVIL.

If you do this right, it should take at least a few days to gather the data and decide how to proceed, and a few more days or weeks to come up with a revised article. Until then, I recommend that everyone make a gentlemen's agreement to only make grammar and other minor edits. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:28, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

I've watched edit wars on this article for a couple of years. and have seen other encyclopedias cited at times. General interest and mainstream academic views are going to largely concur. There are actually interesting things that could be said about how linguistic, genetic, etc. data concur or not, but I've only seen a limited amount of it in the article so far, and that content would probably be safer in articles with more specific and less controversial names.
The Afrocentric view, of course, hates the term. Personally I think the only hope at stability is to state the Afrocentric view prominently in the article as a well-known minority POV, while keeping it not too long and acknowledging what the mainstream view thinks of this. Even then, I think there are likely to be periodic edit wars as new Afrocentric editors appear, are outraged, and post in a way that outrages the mainstream camp. The article will probably have to be protected or monitored even over the long term.
I would also support keeping the article as short as possible and putting detailed information in other articles or subarticles, to limit damage from edit wars and discourage lengthy additions. But I also don't think this is likely to be stable with open editing. --JWB 02:04, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

List of editors since 16 June

The list of recent editors is quite small. It will be that much harder for the remaining editors to make an article that is free of their own personal bias. To aid contacting recent editors, I've put together this list of editors since June 16.

Please make corrections as needed. Each line is in order by most recent edit of that type, give or take human error.

  • Other than minor or revert:,, Lonewolf BC, Mariam83, RastaRule, Halaqah, Collounsbury
  • minor or revert only: Ezeu, Antandrus,, Koavf, Zerida, Deeceevoice, CambridgeBayWeather, Chan Yin Keen
  • Also Protecting/Unprotecting: Ezeu, Richardsusr
  • Official socks list. Don't add your own suspects here please, get them added to the official lists instead. DO add new puppetmasters once someone makes a page for them.
Some cautions regarding sockpuppets:
  • Two people sharing similar ideas acting independently and who share the same IP address range can be falsely labeled sockpuppets. If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is usually but not always a duck.
  • Just because someone edits under multiple nicks doesn't mean their contributions are worthless. It only means their contributions are one person's point of view, not that of a group. In the case of block-evading puppets it also means that the person does not respect blocks. It also means their contributions can be reverted on sight, and anyone restoring the text takes moral responsibility for it as if they were the author.

davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:13, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

just to say that User:Mariam83 has evidently returned: same edits on same pages (under a different user name on each one), also from Texas... Drmaik 05:16, 24 September 2007 (UTC)


It would be nice to see the Nile on the maps of Africa, especially as it is mentioned in the second paragraph of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Request: Hebrew Link

I created a Hebrew article, please insert link: he:אפריקה שמדרום לסהרה. --Amnon s 00:10, 29 September 2007 (UTC)


I personally think this article needs a complete rewrite. The sections are slurred, such as the mention of Eve in the economies with no link to the economy of anywhere, and there's no section on Religion, Culture, etc. I can't do this because I don't know much about SS Africa, I was researching it. -- 18:14, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Please stop using the term "Sub Saharan Africa"

Other regions' names are qualified by their geographical location or their people(s) -- for example, Eastern Europe, North America, Central America, South East Asia, Latin America, and even North Africa. Why should the region to the south of the Sahara be different? As a minimum, use the term "Africa South of the Sahara". Better still, use Southern Africa, Central Africa, North Africa. You wouldn't use "Super Saharan Africa", so why is Sub Saharan Africa acceptable?

I am sure this argument has been made here many times, but I feel compelled to speak up lest the "vocal majority" think theirs is the predominant viewpoint. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:19, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Quite simply because Sub Saharan Africa means Africa South of the Sahara, and is more concise, and North Africa is clear. "Southern" or "South Africa" refers respectively to the region around the state of South Africa and the Republic of South Africa itself, generally speaking. Ergo an alternative developed, Sub Saharan (below Sahara) Africa. Neutral, relatively concise, and also not subject to confusion as other terms are. The objection to the term is simply idiotic and without basis. I should add that adding in criticism of the term should certainly be qualified by noting the illogic of the criticism and its marginality. Bloody offenderati. (collounsbury (talk) 13:28, 26 January 2008 (UTC))

well sub saharan africa is used instead of the older term used in the past black africa ,i mean it is undeniable that north africans particular the countries of egypt,tunisia,morrocco,algeria,and libya are a different people from sub sarhran africans and or tropical africans,i mean there is no slight on nobody using the term i mean using the term is really no different than somebody calling east asia the far east or west asia the near east.i mean they are both still asian peoples but are a different people, but living on the same continent or landmass does not mean that people are the same phenotype and / or genotype it is sad that afrocentrism plagues this world wiht its non sence--Mikmik2953 (talk) 01:11, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

How is "Africa South of the Sahara" any better than this term? Seems more awkward and (much) less widely-used to me. Furthermore, "Latin America" is not geographical; it, like this, is based more on the population than the area the population happens to inhabit. And of course we wouldn't use "Super-Saharan Africa", as North Africa is a much better term. Political correctness doesn't factor into Wikipedia's decision about inclusion of articles; we just report on what others have said. However, if you'd like to add some sourced, academic criticism of the term, you are more than welcome. Picaroon (t) 01:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Quite, sub-Saharan Africa is the normal term used to refer to this region, sub just means "under", like Submarine means "under the sea". We do not use neologisms on Wikipedia. I don't see what the objection is to using perfectly well known words and phrases, there's nothing pejorative about the phrase. After all we also use the term Indian subcontinent. Alun (talk) 16:33, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Source wanted for Sub-Saharan Africa

Hello. The corresponding Japanese Wikipedia article is still named Black Africa, and the move proposal to Sub-Saharan Africa is now pending because there is no source provided for the reason why the latter is better, though we agreed the latter term is getting more and more popular. Do you have any source for the reason of the change in terminology? - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 03:33, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

"Sub-Saharan Africa" is a technical term used a lot by international organizations. Searching it, you get a lot of articles about economic development, health programs, etc. "Black Africa" has more articles about art, culture, history. Both terms offend some people - in this talk page, you can see people repeatedly complaining about "Sub-Saharan Africa". I don't think there is any term that is widely recognized and does not offend anybody. --JWB (talk) 20:05, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I know the term Sub-Saharan Africa is used a lot recently. I want to have a source to show it is preferred to Black Africa. It's totally okay if it is because of anti-racism, geological correctness, or whatever. - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 08:59, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
The Japanese article should follow common and accepted Japanese usage. It does not have to be the same as English usage, any more than that the Japanese article on Japan should be called "Japan". Paul B (talk) 10:20, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
That is true, although if you look at the actual situation, 27 languages currently do use a translation of Sub-Saharan Africa, and Polish, Hungarian and Japanese currently use a translation of the earlier English title Black Africa. So apparently English Wikipedia is in fact used as a usage guide, or other Wikipedias try to define terms from English usage. (I haven't checked if any of those languages have an independent article titled Black Africa or similar.) --JWB (talk) 12:34, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Eh? While Sub Saharan Africa is probably a better term, the fact other wikis use it says nothing per se about following English usage as such. It may be the usage has become polite or dominant in that language. (collounsbury (talk) 12:55, 4 March 2008 (UTC))

Googling "subsaharan africa" vs "black africa" seems to just give a lot of pages that use both terms alternately. The only ones that discuss preferring one over the other are Wikipedia and mirrors.

My guess so far is that there is not an overwhelming preference for one term over the other. I think the article should mention both terms, but that doesn't solve the question of the title. Subsaharan Africa is a bit more formal or technical, and that seems like a legitimate reason for preferring it as the official title. --JWB (talk) 19:30, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you guys for the discussion. I'm afraid there is no academic source to convince pro-Black Africa people to rename the article.
Speaking of the Wikipedia standard, the English version is more internationally accepted than other language versions because there are many people who understand both English and their own language, just like me. - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 23:50, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
I notice the Japanese article refers to "White Africa" which is a redirect to North Africa though! This is definitely nonstandard. All references to "White Africa" seem to be about South Africa or other European settler communities in Southern Africa. --JWB (talk) 07:41, 10 March 2008 (UTC)


"The peoples south of the Sahara developed in relative isolation from the rest of the world."


It doesn't say isolation in absolute terms. "Relative" means compared to other cases, namely contact between parts of Eurasia.
If "isolation" sounds inflammatory, perhaps a better statement would be that the Sahara was often a more difficult barrier than most of those between regions of Eurasia, especially in the period after desiccation but before the introduction of horses and then camels. Evidence for the Indian Ocean trade so far also does not go back farther than the classical and medieval periods. The Nile and Bab al-Mandeb were less difficult routes, and of course this is also where we find the most cultural overlap between Africa and Eurasia. --JWB (talk) 05:26, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Sub-saharan is absolute. The fact that the Mali and the Songhay empires(sub saharan) were major learning center of the Islamic world and her scholars were sought after throughout the islamic world, how is that "relative isolation" because of the sahara? Mali and Songhay seem to be part of that world. Europe was in her middle age, she was more isolated from the "rest of the world." Nubia(sub saharan)had all the features of nile valley civilization and conquered Egypt and part of the Levant, how is that "relative isolation"? She was a player, thereby intimately connected. The "rest of the world" for example Europe was backwards and primitive. Greece was Europe's first light of civilization. Nubia's(sub saharan) antiquity is that of Egypt, thousands of years before Greece. The Swahili States(sub saharan)was trading with Persia, India, and China. How is that "relative isolation." The "rest of the world" for example Europe was in her dark and middle age, she was more isolated than the Swahilli states(sub saharan). One uses this Eurasian terminology both in a cultural context and as a continent. One must compare apples with apples, continent with continent. You can't compare a continent with a subregion(especially artificially constructed), Eurasia vs sub-saharan Africa. About 2000 years of civilization (writing, domesticated animals, agriculture) there is no Europe in the equation of Eurasia only in Africa(including Nubia sub-saharan Africa) and Asia(Eurasia).Omniposcent (talk) 04:39, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

While I am all for recognizing Mali and the attendant Sahelian states, your claims supra are bad hyperbole. Mediteranean Europe was rather more connected with the Islamic world than sub-Saharan Mali, nor were its scholars sought after, the contrary, Mali imported Maghrebine and other scholars. The cultural achievements of the old Ghana, Malian and subsequent empires were significant, but pseudo-science claims do your argument injustice. (collounsbury (talk) 18:42, 3 April 2008 (UTC))

Sir this is "supra bad hyperbole" and pseudo science.
"The peoples south of the Sahara developed in relative isolation from the rest of the world."
The person who inspired it has been given scientific awards by your Eurocentric mainstream. Unless you are talking about Spain, Mediterranean Europe, being more connected to Islamic civilization than Mali, I don't know what you are talking about. Was not religion/culture the ultimate barrier? Last I checked one of Timbuctu's pre-eminent scholars died in Spain, Andalusia. First Sir you have made an assumption about me, in so doing you attributed a "supra bad hyperbole" claim to me that I have not stated and I don't hold. I never said nor do I hold that Timbuctu never imported scholars from the Maghrebine quite the opposite they came from all over the muslim world Fez, Cairo and even Mecca, largely due to Timbuktu's rigorous curriculum and book manufacturing and copying activities, of trade in salt and gold. This quote best captures my position:
"The scholars of Timbuktu yielded nothing to the sojourns [and academics] in the foreign universities of Fez, Tunis and Cairo. The Blacks astounded the learned men of Islam in their erudition. That these Negroes [Blacks] were on a level with the Arabian savants [scholars] is proved by the fact that they were installed as professors in Morocco and Egypt, in contrast to this we find that Arabs were not always equal to the requirements of Sankore [in Timbuktu]."
Sir you have also made a "supra bad hyperbole" yourself in the comment "nor were its scholars sought after, the contrary, Mali imported Maghrebine and other scholars." This is reflective of the Eurocentric mindset. Africa imports , it never produce. Africa is an imitator. Lastly, Mali and Songhai not being in "relative isolation" is just one of the claims. Is all my claims pseudo science?Omniposcent (talk) 06:53, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree 100%,the baltic tribes of europe had no written language until the 16th century,and many germanic,scandinavian,slavic and celtic tribes[britons or celtic iberians especially who constitute most of the 'new world'] were not literate until the advent of roman/aegean influence.SSA were isolates but much of europe was equally tribal living in wooden,wicker,arched timber thatched huts - Roman and Aegean peoples being the only "europeans" to have "created" civilization. (talk) 02:30, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


Someone removed Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia from the Sub saharan country section. Please don't change the definition because it doesn't fit ones sacred belief. Omniposcent (talk) 21:12, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

The lone exception to this rule has traditionally been and still is to a large extent the Horn of Africa, home to the racially, linguistically and culturally distinct people of Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti and eastern-most terminus of the Sahara desert.[1]

I have removed this line. This is original research. Second, the reference does not support the claim. If one scan the Western mainstream and African periodicals Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia are part of East Africa, thereby sub-saharan. There are 41 countries in sub saharan Africa, not 38. Racially if we are talking about phenotypes Ethiopians/Eritrea are quite distinct from Somalis and are culturally distinct too. Why not say West Africans are distinct? Blacks in the sahel say Wolof, Fulani, Mandinke can be physically distinct too blacks in the forest areas like Yoruba, Igbo, Ashanti. Both regions are quite culturally distinct. Linguistically the Afro-asiatic is also spoken in West Africa, Hausa for example. The Horn of Africa is not distinct in that manner. If you are a Eurocentrist, the term was defined by you. Please don't change the definition because your own definition has proven you wrong. Your notion of primitive sub saharan Africa does not hold. An inferior Black race is the motive, it also does not hold.Omniposcent (talk) 01:47, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Sudan sat.jpg
  North Sudan
   Boundary of Abyei at 10°22'30"N as decided by the Abyei Boundary Commission
Abyei, is to hold a referendum in 2011 on whether to join South Sudan or not.

"Nubia(sub saharan)had all the features of nile valley civilization and conquered Egypt and part of the Levant, how is that "relative isolation"? She was a player, thereby intimately connected. The "rest of the world" for example Europe was backwards and primitive. Greece was Europe's first light of civilization. Nubia's(sub saharan) antiquity is that of Egypt, thousands of years before Greece."

It seems this little comment has offended the Eurocentric mind and sensibilities. We are changing the definitions because our beliefs are threatened. The article now has conflicting information. The first map of sub-saharan Africa shows Sudan as part of sub-saharan Africa. Another map shows her as being part of North Africa and in the country list Sudan is under East Africa with a North Africa designation. The map that puts Sudan in North Africa has a UN reference. Is Sudan North African or Sub-saharan? In the UN website Sudan appears in both the Sub-saharan and North African country list. On the UN website there is conflicting information.

Sudan is a sub-saharan country. The World Bank class Sudan as a sub-saharan country Scanning all Western mainstream periodicals New York Times, Washington Post, The Guardian, etc., Sudan is classed a sub-saharan nation. African periodicals( class her as East African, thereby sub-saharan. All general histories of Sudan classes her as Sub-saharan. References within this very article classes her as sub-saharan Omniposcent (talk) 20:43, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

In the East African section I am putting Sudan back under general East Africa. To put Sudan under North Africa contradicts the meaning of Sub-saharan. We are dealing with broad geographic regions not economic unions or regions. Second, Sub-saharan civilizations were Nubia, Axum, Swahili States, Wagadu (Ghana Empire), Mali Empire, Nok, Songhai Empire, Kanem, Bornu, Benin, Great Zimbabwe, and The Zulu Empire. Wikipedia's policy states one must edit and discuss any changes.Omniposcent (talk) 02:34, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

The u.n only has sudan part of north africa is because of politcal reasons because of the large arab presence in sudan,but sudan geographicaly is a part of sub saharan africa/black africa--Wikiscribe (talk) 21:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

"Sub-Saharan" actually is used mostly in political and economic contexts, where the units are countries, in spite of the term itself referring to an environmental feature, so it is not irrelevant to list regional organizations. Also, whether Sudan is considered part of North Africa, East Africa, both, or neither does not determine whether it is considered part of Sub-Saharan Africa, or vice versa.

In any case Southern Sudan is planning independence in 2011, and will be sub-Saharan by any definition, and probably no longer included in North Africa by anyone. The rest of Sudan will likely continue to be an intermediate case like Mauritania. --JWB (talk) 22:39, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Sub-Saharan is not just used mostly in an economic or political context. It is widely used in the racial context mainly "Black Africa." This is why the article is much argued. The distance sub regions of sub-saharan Africa have very little economic or political context. What is the political and economic context between west Africa and southern Africs? None. The only context is in a geographic sense, south of the sahara and the racial context "black Africa". The latter being why some countries are not exactly south of the sahara. I was illustrating based on the preponderance of the data, the Western mainstream press, the African press, and the traditional historical writing on Sudan places her as "Sub-saharan", "black Africa." Very few sources cite Sudan as North African(only conflicting UN and IMF sources). Here is a quote from the president of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, an Arab, in rejecting troops to the Darfur region.

"They want to colonize Africa, starting with the first sub-Saharan country to gain its independence(Sudan). If they want to start colonization in Africa, let them choose a different place."

He never said it was North African. Eurocentrist play semantic games with the word Arab and obscure African history. In the Western mind an Arab is a white guy from the Middle East or from Saudi Arabia. Arab is not a race. For centuries Black Africans have been taking on Arab identities. In African history an Arab could be a Black African or a Black African Arab. A large percentage of Muhammed's earliest converts to Islam were Black Africans, Ethiopians.

A perfect illustration of all of these points. The Westerm press portrays the conflict in Sudan as Arabs engaging in ethnic cleansing of native Black Africans to the South and West. Those Arabs are native Black Africans. In fact, I have quite a few friends from northern Sudan, who are Arabs. I usually tease them by saying "I thought you were white." They usually burst out laughing or usually crack a grin. They typically explain to me they are Arabs but they are also black Africans. That is why I like to use the word Islamic instead of Arab. Omniposcent (talk) 01:44, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Sub-Saharan Africa is synonymous with Black Africa, although the region does in fact share a good deal of economic and political context.

"Arab" has multiple meanings, but the most relevant modern one is simply people whose native language is Arabic.

Personally I would not say "North African" is Sudan's most prominent identity, yet some sources like the UN Geoscheme classify it as both North African and sub-Saharan without any contradiction between the two, and the article should cover the various major viewpoints. --JWB (talk) 04:30, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

West Africa, especially the Sahelian region, historically has had more economic and political context with North Africa than say Southern Africa. The tran-saharan trade in gold and salt made Berber cities on the Meditteranean and Sahelian societies interdependent. Berber cities became more prosperous and strong by connecting West African goods to the Meditteranean/ European world during Phoenician, Roman, and Arab periods. Sahelian societies became prosperous and strong by exporting gold and importing salt. Most of the gold in the Meditteranean/European world came from the trans-saharan trade. Morocco invaded Songhay to control that gold trade. With Europeans bypassing the trans-saharan routes via the Atlantic, the signifigance of those coastal Berber cities diminished. We see a similiar setup with Egypt(North Africa) and Nubia(Sudan, black Africa, sub-saharan). Nubia (Sudan, black Africa, sub-saharan) provided gold and other sub-saharan goods to Egypt. It was one of the reason Egypt(North Africa) invaded Nubia(Sudan, black Africa, sub-saharan). Some will say that Nubia is a carbon copy of Egypt. Yes later on in its history Nubia(Sudan, black Africa, sub-saharan) copied Egypt(North Africa) but when Egypt(North Africa)was first being settled she was copying Nubia(Sudan, black Africa, sub-saharan). If Nubia is not black thereby not sub-saharan and not in Sudan one must provide proof of the "various major veiwpoints" that backs this up, besides one U.N. map that does not explain itself. Southern Africa had more political and economic context with East Africa, especially Great Zimbabwe with the Swahili States than say West Africa. All of Africa not just Sub-saharan had great political and economic context with each other, especially the region that was close to each other. Omniposcent (talk) 18:11, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm mostly talking about the modern period, which is where the term "sub-Saharan" is most used.

There was also a period before the Saharan trade - the camel arrived only about 2000 years ago, the horse a few thousand more. And even farther back than that, there was a wet Sahara period, though relatively short. See Saharan pump theory.

Who is arguing that Nubia is not black or sub-Saharan? Again, this is separate from the UN regional divisions, which are not based on race or ancient history.

I have no problem with a return of the term "Black Africa" to this article. It is synonymous and still often seen in discussions of culture, art, etc. as opposed to modern politics and economy. However some people seem to feel it is derogatory and have removed it. --JWB (talk) 20:17, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

The term sub-saharan is used from the beginning of the Sahara to the present, with the same racial overtones. There seems to be an over-emphasis on sub-saharan importation. The horse was not domesticated in Europe. It was domesticated in Central Asia, this knowledge was then imported to Europe. Most of the significant domesticated plants and animals in the Eurasian model were domesticated in Asia and North Africa. Like sub-saharan Africa, Europe imported most of the knowledge. We see the importation emphasis with writing. We can conclude that modern day writing is a very African enterprise. After all the Latin script, the Cyrillic script, Greek script, Hebrew script, Arabic script(largely exported to sub-saharan Africa) and other Asian scripts are derived from the Phoenician script. The Phoenician script was derived from proto-Canaanite script. Proto-Canaanite from Egyptian Hieroglyphs. The Egyptians were the first to develop an alphabet based written language. Egyptian culture is African, in the sub-saharan sense (no debate here). You asked, "Who is arguing that Nubia is not black or sub-Saharan?" I will let you answer your own question:

"Personally I would not say "North African" is Sudan's most prominent identity, yet some sources like the UN Geoscheme classify it as both North African and sub-Saharan without any contradiction between the two, and the article should cover the various major viewpoints."

I don't know what criteria the UN used to classify Sudan as North African. All I know North Africa and close surrounding Sub-saharan regions are economically and politically connected "in modern times." For example water can be big issue politically and economically between Egypt(North Africa) and Sudan(Sub-saharan) in "modern times." Water issues can determine if Egypt will support troops to Darfur or not. I accept Black Africa as Sub-saharan. This does not mean that I accept North Africa as white Africa. North Africans are phenotypically to varied for that category and genetics does not support this. I thought that the one drop rule was only an American phonomena. It seems to be the view of Europe too, in scanning mainstream European periodicals. If that is the case, using the one drop rule, all of North Africa is Black. Omniposcent (talk) 16:23, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't see anything on "importation" in the article, or how your digression on Europe is relevant to this article. Europe imported the things you mentioned, nobody disputes this or even considers it an issue.

Most likely the UN put Sudan in a region with North Africa because of common language and because of current transport and economic links. There is little commerce between Sudan and its neighbors to the west, south and east. Most trade is via Egypt or the Red Sea. --JWB (talk) 09:37, 19 May 2008 (UTC)


I have removed the first Africa map from the List of Countries. It does not give info on sub-saharan Africa. I have also removed the second map from the list of countries because Sudan is not normally considered part of North Africa, it is considered sub-saharan. Plus, this is about Sub-saharan Africa not North Africa. She can be excluded. I have also place the second top map in the List of Countries section. It completely defines sub-saharan Africa. Omniposcent (talk) 02:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)


"Generally, sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest region in the world, suffering from the effects of colonialism, economic mismanagement, local corruption. and inter-ethnic conflict."

I have added colonialism to the list because inter-ethnic conflict and artificial political structures introduced during colonial times are behind a lot of Africa's political and economic problems. Some would argue corruption is not bad. Many Asian countries were corrupt but were able to develop economically. Transfering development funds to Swiss bank accounts or to foreign banks is the culprit. Taking developmental funds outside a country is the culprit. Omniposcent (talk) 02:27, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

Stop the Pathology

It contrasts with North Africa, which is Egyptian and Berber. The Sahel is the transitional zone between the Sahara proper and Sub-Saharan Africa.

North Africa contrast within itself. Your statement on the Sahel is original research that it is not part of Sub-saharan Africa. Sub-saharan africa has already been define. If you are going to change the definition, Wikipedia's rule says you must discuss your changes and explain.Omniposcent (talk) 20:22, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

The Horn of Africa and Southern Sudan are technically part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but nevertheless show strong Middle Eastern (Islamic) influence.[citation needed]

The Horn of Africa and Southern Sudan are not "technically" part of Sub-saharan Africa. The Horn of Africa and Southern Sudan are part of Sub-saharan Africa, and what you mean is Northern Sudan not Southern Sudan. The Sahel, the Swahili states show strong Middle East and Islamic influence too. You are trying to say it really is not Sub-saharan. That is poving. Europe technically was civilize by the Middle East. The spread of Christianity is what brought her civilization via the Roman Empire, outside her boundaries. Stop the pathology in trying to restrict the Black African. It is an ingrain Western tradition. Omniposcent (talk) 20:22, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

Also Nubia is part of sub-saharan Africa. Again, if one makes changes please announce why and support your argument. The sahara was an effective barrier not and insurmountable barrier. Before camels, the donkey and the oxen were used. The camel made the length of crossing shorter. Most of the gold used in the Meditteranean to mint coins came from the trans-saharan trade.Omniposcent (talk) 21:40, 26 May 2008 (UTC)


I am removing this map.

Sub-Saharan Africa (green), located south of the Sahel zone (orange).

Before one makes a change please announce the change and explain why.


Southern Sudan (autonomous region of Sudan with independence referendum in 2011)

Last time. We have had this discussion. The majority of the data supports ALL of Sudan as sub-saharan. This notation implies that only the Southern part of Sudan is Sub-saharan. This perspective is not documented. Second, you are engaging in original research. I have read all forms of African Historiography, from liberal to clinical cambridge press history, all Western mainstream African historiography. None have divided up Sudan to the South as just Sub-saharan. This is the pathology that exist. The perverse need to restrict "black" African achievements. Some find African achievements in civilizaton threatening. Are we going to have a debate as to whether Nubians were black? For the records all pre-roman, pre-christian, pre-islamic Berber and Egyptian culture shared the same cultural themes as those of sub-saharan Africa. They were Africans. Omniposcent (talk) 06:43, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, no, the intention was not to exclude northern Sudan from sub-Saharan Africa. It was just to list Southern Sudan, which is now completely autonomous and will be formally independent in a couple of years. I did not add a separate entry for Northern Sudan under the Sudan heading because the Sudanese government does not define Northern Sudan as a separate single subnational region. I am going to add Southern Sudan back, but if you feel a note clarifying that both North and South are considered part of sub-Saharan Africa is needed, go ahead and add it.--JWB (talk) 06:51, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

My edits was to emphasized that it was part of East Africa thereby sub-saharan.Omniposcent (talk) 09:39, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

More Maps

I am removing this map. The article is about sub-saharan Africa. It should reflect the language of only Sub-saharan Africa. The article is not about language families of Africa. That is the appropriate context of this map.

Linguistically, Sub-Saharan Africa is dominated by the Niger-Congo phylum (distribution shown in yellow), with pockets of Khoi-San in Southern Africa, Nilo-Saharan in Central and East Africa, and Afro-Asiatic in the Horn of Africa

Omniposcent (talk) 06:43, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what you mean by "It should reflect the language of only Sub-saharan Africa" - how would we do that? --JWB (talk) 06:53, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Don't use it. I guess I will have to construct my own map of sub-saharan africa. Omniposcent (talk) 07:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I thought your position was that there has been lots of contact across the Sahara, and the trans-Saharan extent of the Afro-Asiatic language family is actually one of the better pieces of evidence for this, though mostly at an earlier era than the medieval civilizations you discuss. --JWB (talk) 07:15, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

What happen to the previous map that was available? I could not locate it in wiki commons.Omniposcent (talk) 07:12, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Not sure which map you're referring to, when was it in the article? --JWB (talk) 07:15, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Omniposcent, your statements come across completely confused. Please try to make clear what you mean. The map illustrates that Niger-Congo and Khoi-San are purely Sub-Saharan phyla, but that "northeastern Sub-Saharan Africa" (i.e. Horn of Africa plus Southern Sudan) have Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic populations. This goes to show that the Horn of Africa culturally is closer to Saharan Africa than the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. dab (𒁳) 09:06, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Mr. Dbachmann I think sir the confusion is on your side. You have made an entirely confused statement. You have introduced an entirely new concept Saharan Africa in relation to Sub-saharan Africa. Let me bring clarity to your unclear mind. The article is about sub-saharan Africa. Would it not be nice to list all sub-saharan countries and then illustrate all the language families in Sub-saharan Africa by putting in those pretty colors.

I see. Reviewing your user page and your contributions ([2]), let me rephrase that to {{Uw-test1}},
Information.svg Welcome, and thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test worked, and it has been reverted or removed. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox. Thank you.
dab (𒁳) 09:10, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I thank you for the reference sir. I will refer you to it too but I hope you might not need it. Please sir next time place that message on my personal page. This is the discussion page about Sub-saharan Africa. I hope you know that. We can get confuse sometimes. Omniposcent (talk) 10:28, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

In terms of religion, North Africa is strongly dominated by Islam (shown in green), while Sub-Saharan Africa, with the exception of the Horn of Africa, is mostly Christian (shown in red; besides traditional or tribal religions)

The article is about sub-saharan Africa, this map would be more appropriate under the article Africa or world distribution of Islam and Christianity. The information in the caption is also wrong. The horn of Africa is predominately Christian and predominantly Othodox, very rare in Africa and a testament to her early adoption of Christianity. Plus the Sahel region in West Africa is predominantly muslim. The Sahel is the exception to the Christian rule in sub-saharan Africa, not the Horn of Africa. Omniposcent (talk) 18:41, 29 May 2008 (UTC)


This article has a problem with vandalism. One is deleting and making fundamental changes and not stating their reasons. Nubia is part of sub-saharan Africa. Please don't remove it again without discussion. Removing it would constitute vandalism. Omniposcent (talk) 18:59, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

I'm not the one removing Nubia from the list of kingdoms, but having History of Africa represented by a one-sentence list of medieval kingdoms does not seem representative for an article about a term that is defined by physical geography and mostly used in modern politics and economics. I would vote for dropping the list of kingdoms entirely and just leaving the link to History of Africa; or crafting a history summary that is not so biased towards medieval empires. --JWB (talk) 01:03, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Nubia was not just medieval sir. Ghana was not just Medieval. Aksum was not just medieveal. In Europe there was just 2 ancient civilizations, Rome and Greece. I hope listing the number of medieval states in Europe is not bias towards her history. There is the racial component to sub-saharan Africa. Omniposcent (talk) 10:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Nubia is a historical territory in what is now southern Egypt and Northern Sudan. It is ostensibly not part of Sub-Saharan Africa. If you want to insist, the burden is on you to present a reliable source stating "Nubia is in Sub-Saharan Africa". dab (𒁳) 07:15, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Well sir we have had this discussion. If you read all the other discussions sir, the burden has been met. You have not read it, that is why you are engaging in vandalism. I suspect one of your compatriots have not read it too. Machinations are a two way street. It corrupts the process. Omniposcent (talk) 10:37, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

sorry, this is gibberish. What "compatriots"? What "vandalism"? What "machinations"? Incoherent rants do not count as talkpage contributions. Your ejaculations of the sort of "Nubia was not just medieval sir" are completely beside the point. Who has claimed "Nubia" was "medieval"? Feel free to drop the honorific when addressing me and try to make some sense instead. Your "evidence" that "Nubia is sub-Saharan" consist of the hilarious assertion that "Nubia was in Sudan. Southern Sudan is part of Sudan. Southern Sudan is Sub-Saharan. Hence Nubia must be Sub-Saharan". I am sorry, but no semblance of rational dialogue is possible on such a surreal level. Humans are vertebrates. Chickens are vertebrates. Chickens are birds. Hence humans are birds, qed. dab (𒁳) 11:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Northern-centric terminology

I have always found the term "Sub-Saharan Africa" to somewhat Northern-centric and offensive. In what sense is Africa "beneath" Europe ? No-one calls Europe "Sub-Mediterrean Europe" but North at the top of all maps, atlases and globes is entirely arbitrary. I don't regard the people of Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Angola, Malawi etc as 'sub' anything or anywhere. The older terminology was "Black Africa" as opposed to "Arabian Africa", which I think was better. I would like a note to this affect somewhere. What do other people think?  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 16:33, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

maybe. If you can find a source making this point, you can mention the term as an example of Eurocentrism at the Eurocentrism article. Then English lexicons has many Eurocentrisms, mostly because English is a European language. You are probably right in assuming that the term is derived from north-oriented maps. Putting north on top is arguably an Eurocentric convention, and a consequence of the historical fact that Early Modern global exploration was a European phenomenon. Of course, there needs to be some orientation of maps, and each choice will be equally arbitrary. The place to discuss this is at Eurocentrism#Cartography. You will also note that the Subarctic is so called not because the Arctic is somehow "better" than the temperate zones, but simply because the Subarctic is to the south of the Arctic. dab (𒁳) 11:56, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

To Sir Paul

I was wondering when Sir Paul would show his head. Sir for the records it's a lot of information but not relevant to sub-saharan Africa. Omniposcent (talk) 19:24, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

can you please stop disrupting this article, or else present your concerns in a coherent manner here on this talkpage. dab (𒁳) 11:55, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

To Dbachman

Mr. Dbachman this has been done. All the edit I have done has been explained. You have not read the discussion. You are editing without explaining. You are introducing concept like the sahel is a transition point to subsaharan Africa. The sahel is part of sub-saharan Africa. Your reference is not clear. It does not prove your case. I have removed it.

The Sahel is the transitional zone between the Sahara proper and sub-Saharan Africa.[2]

You have not explained your edits where you should have, and that's in the rationale box on the history page. Furthermore, the phrase in the article to the effect that "the Sahel is the transitional zone between the Sahara proper and sub-Saharan Africa" is not only supported by the source, it outright paraphrases it: "Sahil: semiarid region of western and north-central Africa extending from Senegal eastward to The Sudan. It forms a transitional zone between the arid Sahara (desert) to the north and the belt of humid savannas to the south."

Big pigeon hides behind small pigeon, sacrifices small pigeon's name. Debachmann I am impress. Your mastery of the English language is impeccable, like an Englishman. You make feel like I am talking to a "PHD." It does not define "the belt of humid savannas to the south" as Sub-saharan. It does not define sub-saharan. It only defines ecological zones. You are wasting my time. The reference does not support the claim. Omniposcent (talk) 22:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Kindly refrain from indulging in personal attacks; they are a violation of W:PA and show bad faith. Again, the Sahel is not a part of sub-Saharan Africa. It is the transitional zone between the Sahara proper and sub-Saharan Africa, just like my source states. Many other sources repeat the same thing:
  • Sahel - name applied to the semiarid region of Africa between the Sahara to the north and the savannas to the south, extending from Senegal and Mauritania on the west, through Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, N Nigeria, Chad, and Sudan, to Ethiopia and Eritrea on the east. -- The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition
  • The Sahel is thus situated between the fuller aridity of the Sahara, which lies to the north, and the greater humidity of the grassland savanna, which lies to the south. In a broad ecological sense, the entire Sahel is a transitional zone that by dint of oscillations in historical climate has been endowed with floral and faunal elements from both the Saharan and savanna ecological zones. -- Encyclopedia of World Environmental History (2003), p.1087

Secondly the Horn of Africa is predominantly Orthodox Christian but because of strong muslim presence, I will go with your exception rule of Sub-saharan Africa.

Wrong. The Horn of Africa is predominantly Muslim, and there are countless sources that mention this well-known fact. From p.462 of Essentials Of World Regional Geography by Joseph J. Hobbs, Christopher L. Salter: "The Ethiopian Orthodox Church, closely related to the Coptic faith of Egypt, makes Ethiopia an exception to the otherwise Islamic Horn of Africa region."

Your source is wrong. I literally calculated the population of the Horn of Africa and exaggerated the muslim population. I assumed all of Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia as muslim. I did not have data for the muslim percentage for Eritrea, which is very unlikely that she is entirely muslim. There was a 50/50 breakdown. If you read my edits , I specifically kept the section where the horn of africa has strong muslim influence. Eritrea is not entirely muslim. Remember she share a common past with Ethiopia and like Ethiopia speaks one of the few semitic languages in Africa. For the records data is from the CIA Factbook. Again you waste my time. Little pigeon sacrifices for big pigeon. I would never let anyone exploit my name. Omniposcent (talk) 22:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

It makes no difference whether you personally have looked into or calculated the figures as you claim to have done. That unfortunately does not count for much on Wikipedia. What does matter is verifiabilty:

The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations and for any material that is challenged or is likely to be challenged, or the material may be removed.

That said, I've just included another source that re-asserts this well-known fact that the Horn of Africa is predominantly Muslim.

But I will add the Sahel, Swahili coast, instead southern Sudan change that to Sudan.

You just tweaked a properly sourced phrase to include unsourced material. The Sahel, Swahili coast, etc. aren't a part of the Arab world, aren't a part of the Arab League, aren't considered an Arab state by UNESCO or by any Arab countries and associations. They are in nowhere near the same boat as North Africa, Sudan and the Horn of Africa, and not one of the seven sources I included support this tweak.

Sir you stated:

The Horn of Africa and Southern Sudan are geographically part of sub-Saharan Africa, but nevertheless show strong Middle Eastern (Islamic) influence

all I did was add more information, the Sahel, Swahili coast. They "nevertheless show strong Middle Eastern (Islamic) influence." You mentioned nothing about Arab League here. I don't mind including all sub-saharan countries that are part of the Arab League. I am repeating myself. You are wasting my time. More information the merrier. Omniposcent (talk) 22:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

You again tweaked a properly sourced phrase to include unsourced material. Look, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Ivoire, Mombasa, etc., while they may indeed show some Islamic influence, do not show anywhere nearly a comparable Middle Eastern influence as Sudan and the Horn of Africa. In this, their situation is more akin to that of Indonesia or Malayasia i.e. Muslim areas, but not Arab ones. Like Indonesia et al., Burkina Faso et al. aren't a part of the Arab world, aren't a part of the Arab League, aren't considered an Arab state by UNESCO or by any Arab countries and associations. They are just Muslim areas, nothing more. And they are still not supported by any of the seven sources I cited.

Nubia is a sub-saharan civilization.

No it isn't. Nubia was located in southern Egypt and northern Sudan i.e. precisely in the region north of the Sahara, thereby making it a North African civilization, not a sub-Saharan one.

There is racial component to definition of sub-saharan Africa, not that I accept it. It is part of your traditional mainstream notion of "Black Africa." You are going against tradition. This has been stated before. I am repeating myself. It is sickening to me that some peoples diapers have been paid by these thieving African Dictators and now these people seem to hold a pathological contempt for the African and relish in the downtrodden state of sub-saharan Africa. That is what happens when one steals from ones own people for antoher. Omniposcent (talk) 00:08, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I have asked you to cite your sources that "Nubia is sub-Saharan". If you can do that, fine. If you cannot, no amount of arguing here on talk is going to change anything. If there is a "racial component to definition of sub-saharan Africa", you are perfectly free to discuss it, citing your sources. I will thank you if you stop reverting all the other work I've done on the article. I am afraid I cannot take seriously anything you say unless you decide to drop your puerile "culture wars" rhetorics. For your edification, here is a study looking into sub-Saharan genetic influence on Nubian populations. If Nubia itself was sub-Saharan, it could hardly be influenced by sub-Saharan populations. That Nubia has an intermediate position between Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa is of course undisputed. dab (𒁳) 06:23, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I can do better than that. You should have done a search on Kush. Kush is Nubia at her greatest. The Nubia that was South of Egypt and North of Sudan. Kush was sub-saharan.

go ahead and google kush + subsaharan--lots and lots of references.

What do you mean "North African" civilization? Last I checked Ancient Egypt had more in common with the societies to the south not the Northwest or the rest of North Africa. You waste my time. Omniposcent (talk) 22:59, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I can return that compliment. Again, I am happy to include the Sahel in the term, why do you make such a fuss about it? Your approach is still WP:SYN, and any detailed discussion of the Sahel of course belongs on Sahel (just like any detailed discussion of the sub-Saharan Kalahari belongs on Kalahari). --dab (𒁳) 09:58, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I make a fuss about it because your definition defies the definition of Sub-saharan, both in the strict geographical sense and in the notion of "Black Africa." Omniposcent (talk) 10:17, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

I have said about five times now that I am happy to include the Sahel. What is it now? Do you want to include the Sahel or not? Or are you really just here to kill time? Do you understand "transition"? It means that a clear line cannot be drawn. Please make clear what it is you want. --dab (𒁳) 10:22, 13 June 2008 (UTC)


btw, I have no objection to mentioning the Sahel here. A detailed account of the region will of course belong on Sahel. I do think it is possible to present the Sahel as the northernmost part of Sub-Saharan Africa, no problem. In fact, if we're going to look at subdivisions beyond the West/East/Central/Southern scheme, SSA might be described as consisting of:

dab (𒁳) 10:07, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

What makes you think i have a problem with that. More information the better, as long as it is accurate no poving, no original research. Omniposcent (talk) 22:12, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

I am still unsure why you even take the trouble to comment. I am trying to work on this article. All you seem to be doing is creating background noise making the task more difficult than necessary. Don't you have anything constructive you might want to do instead? --dab (𒁳) 09:59, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I am trying to work on the article too. I want it to have a lot of accurate, non pov, information. Sub-saharan Africa is special to me. It represents roots. I am sure you would have a fit if someone put inaccurate data about western Europe and your country. I have added quite a bit of information. Omniposcent (talk) 10:11, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I had suspected as much. You should try contributing to a topic to which you aren't ideologically attached, per WP:NPOV, WP:TIGERS, WP:SOAP. If there are "inaccuracies", feel free to request citations (but not to the point of WP:POINT). Thanks, --dab (𒁳) 10:35, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

You and your compatriots started editing this page without discussion. You included original research, wrong data, poving. You seem to have a history of doing that when it comes to African topics, which indicates to me ideological attachement. Just as you have referred to me wikipedian policy let me refer you to the same, WP:NPOV, WP:TIGERS, WP:SOAP. Omniposcent (talk) 19:02, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

hey, thanks. Incidentially, let me refer to some wikipedian policy,WP:NPOV, WP:TIGERS, WP:SOAP. Also, WP:POINT and WP:OMGWTFBBQ. dab (𒁳) 15:28, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Stop Rehashing False Racist Historical Traditions

The Swahili culture was not colonization of Persians and Arabs of Africa. The Swahili culture came about due to indigenous African societies trading with Arabs and Persians. Omniposcent (talk) 10:21, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

please stop your puerile ravings. What are you, a caricature of a 1970s US "Black Power" Afrocentrist? I refuse to "discuss" on such an abysmal level. Please try WP:3O if you are unable to raise your own concerns coherently. --dab (𒁳) 10:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Sound to me the "puerile ravings" are from you. What are you some neo nazi, white supremacist Eurocentrist bent on wikipedian domination. I have met a character like you before. He thought he was so literate. Frankly all that came out of him was hot air. If literate meant being him certainly that did not amount to being much, personally nothing. I take that back he might have made a good poet or writer of imaginative fiction. The guy was a bit of a "nutter",all the different personalities he took on. This guy needed counseling. Personally, I think the guy needed a girlfriend. I doubt he was getting his groove on. PhoneyRat (talk) 18:26, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

That's most interesting, PhoneyRat. Welcome to Wikipedia. You may want to review WP:TALK, WP:NOT and WP:ENC. I have serious doubts "some neo nazi, white supremacist Eurocentrist" would think it worth his time to compile encyclopedic articles about the demographics, linguistics, mythology and geography of Sub-Saharan Africa. Just as, of course, a USian "Pan-Afrocentrist" wouldn't want to do that because, hey, "Africa" is a blurry, warm, indivisible whole, isn't it. It's "roots", after all, never mind that some people actually live there. No, I guess these tasks are left by both Neo-nazis and Afrocentrists to the good old encyclopedists. --dab (𒁳) 15:27, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Comparing Afrocentrist to Neo-nazis, mass murderers on that scale. Last I checked no afrocentrist has ever advocated killing any human on the basis of race, creed, sexual orientation. No Afrocentrist has advocated killing flies. Admin Dbachmann let me refer you to Wikipedian policy:


PhoneyRat (talk) 18:59, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I am sorry, your English doesn't quite parse, but were you trying to say that I had "compared Afrocentrists to Neo-nazis"? I have done no such thing. It is you who has brought up "neo nazi, white supremacist Eurocentrist bent on wikipedian domination", and I have been chiding you for it. PhoneyRat, this is surreal. There can be no discussion until you at least manage to form grammatical English sentences. In a second step, you may want to arrange such sentences into coherent statements. In a next step, such statements may be extended into meaningful debate. I don't think we can help you acquire such skills on Wikipedia though, you'll need to look elsewhere. --dab (𒁳) 07:58, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

"Critic of the term"

Now I see the revert term deleting info, see old discussion and respect teh rules of this site. sourced content cannot be deleted just because someone doesnt like it. There must be a discussion and i dont think an entire critic of a problematic term can be removed. It is well written well sourced from places which hold to an African authentic perspective which is also the position of the AU (see how Sub-Africa is treated--they dont even use the term in their published material). --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 14:41, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

The quote that you insist on including in the article (...This barrier of sand hence confined Africans to the bottom of this make-believe location, which exists neither linguistically, ethnically, politically or physically... Somalia and Djibouti are part of the same political Islamic alignment just like many so-called Arab countries) comes from another article titled Language: Tools Of Self-determination For A New Afrikan Reality, which was written by one Owen 'Alik Shahadah. This other article was hosted on and originally taken from an Afrocentric website, Tellingly, the author of the article no longer hosts this apparently 'neutral' article there. Perhaps his credibility as a legitimate scholar was compromised through its inclusion, who knows? Whatever the case, this Afrocentric article, which, despite Mr. Shahadah's best efforts at disassociating his 'neutral' website from its blatantly bigoted and unqualified remarks (viz. their ignorant primitive regressive deductions to describe the work of unnamed European authors; please explain to me how that is scholarly or even permissible? I'm genuinely interested), unsurprisingly survives on other Afrocentric websites such as What's more, this allegedly 'well sourced' article doesn't even cite any references to back up any of its claims. In other words, it is literally the product of the one guy who wrote it's tendentious, fevered, and ahistorical imagination. And on Wikipedia, again, we do not publish material from questionable sources. We publish them from reliable, verifiable sources. Owen Alik Shahadah's imagination, I'm afraid, cannot be verified. Lastly, you've also included a map of the Greater Middle East, which has precious little if anything to do with sub-Saharan Africa. All in all, a lousy edit. Soupforone (talk) 23:03, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
{{tone}}, {{essay-entry}},
the Sahara is one of the major physical barriers worldwide, only topped by major oceans. Seas like the Mediterranean are actually pathways for cultural exchange. There is a reason Phoenician, Greek, Roman and Arabic influence is circum-Mediterranean, not circum-Saharan. dab (𒁳) 14:47, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Writing an article that quotes predominantly negative data about Sub-saharan Africa is not NPOV, that is propaganda. You forgot the Egyptians and the Nubians Admin Dbachman(aka dabs). They were more ancient players in the Mediterranean than the Greeks and the Romans(hatchlings). They were certainly "circum-Saharan." North African societies Phoenician/Berber grew and prospered because trans-saharan trade. You do understand the golden rule , the man with the gold makes the rules. Sub-saharan societes certainly had a lot of gold. North Afican cities had the ports and connection to ship it. During the Arabic and Islamic phase with the exception of Andalusia one could say the major "pathways" was more "circum-saharan" than "circum-Mediterranean." Admin Dbachman let me refer you to Wikipedian policy:


I'm sorry, you are not making any sense. You want to include "criticism" of the term? Then cite notable critics. Criticism of the term used to refer to SSA doesn't change the topic, or the thing referred to by the term. Just like the islands remain the unchanged if you call them "British Isles" or "These Isles". If you can cite some government rejecting the term "Sub-Saharan Africa" just like the Irish government refuses to use "British Isles", by all means let us know. dab (𒁳) 07:42, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Let's review the "criticism" then:

"The idea of "Sub-Saharan Africa," is, therefore, 'a myth or misleading. It cannot be accepted as it tantamount to the balkanization of Africa, thereby denying Africa its rightful role in contributing to world civilization"

lol, "balkanization"? This chap is implying that Africa is less diverse, or more unified, than the Balkans? The Journal of Third World Studies is "A scholarly and provocative periodical on Third World Problems and Issues". In this instance, they clearly opted for erring on the side of "provocation". If you like, we can add a brief note that there has been some political noise about the term in Afrocentrist literature, but that's hardly the topic of this article, which is addressing the region, not the terminology. --dab (𒁳) 07:49, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

Edited "White population in North Africa"

I have edited this from white to light skinned, its a tiny fraction of North Africans that would consider themselves as white often with the help of "skin beautifying products and blemishes,dark spot removal products", nor would they be considered "white" elsewhere in the world except in the US census.The skin colour of North Africans ranges from olive to dark brown to black. Please don't use Wikipedia for racialism.Claiming Egyptians to be "white" is often used in order for Europeans to claim their great cultural achievements as theirs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:53, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

Not to mention that there are plenty of black Africans even in north Africa and the lighter-skinned Caucasoid ones are mostly not white. There are plenty of non-white Caucasoids around the world, including in Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. "Caucasoid" has more to do with facial features than skin color. Full Shunyata (talk) 08:03, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
All this strike me as American identity politics, I have no idea where the assertion about what North Africans "would" consider themselves as, but living in the region for 10 bloody years and speaking the language, certainly (a) lots of North Africans refer to themselves as Beidan (white) when they wish to make a quasi-racial contrast with say sub Saharan Africans (which is not infrequently of late given economic migrant problems and tensions), (b) even those North Africans that might be considered "black" in your American usage frequently do no so identify. Your obsessions with "Europeans" and American race politics aside, there is nothing particularly "racialist" about calling North Africans as White (except in American obsessions perhaps). (collounsbury (talk) 16:45, 27 September 2008 (UTC))
1) I also know for a fact that the north African definition of "white" is different from the Western one. They call themselves "white" but call Europeans "pink". The classification of North African peoples as "white" strikes me as one of those White Nationalist political attempts to expand the definition of "the white race" (something which doesn't even scientifically exist).
2) What is your evidence that north Africans themselves wish to contrast themselves from "sub-Saharan" Africans? And 3) What's your evidence that this is an American identity issue? Oh, and 4) I looked at the white people page and the 'evidence' was conjecture not based on a source. Full Shunyata (talk) 07:52, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, I feel the Caucasoid link is more appropriate because the page actually deals with the issues of Caucasoid vs. white. Full Shunyata (talk) 07:53, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Here are some pictures of some North Africans: (the guy closest to the camera) (north African Tuaregs) (Algerian Berbers) (some Libyan soldiers)
I don't think anyone except the most desperate Eurocentrist trying to drive a wedge between Africans would claim that these people are "white". Caucasian, yes. White, no. "White" meaning looking like anyone else in Europe. Heck, there are even Caucasoid black people and black people with blond hair and blue eyes:
My only point is that trying to squirrel "Caucasoid" into meaning "white" is a futile effort because 'racial classifications', which are pretty subjective and non-scientific to begin with, are extremely fluid and have countless overlaps. Unless people want to claim that black people with narrower noses and straight hair or blond, blue eyed black people are "white". North Africans genetically (Y-DNA) belong to the haplogroup E so do west Africans. North African belong to E3b while west African belong to E3a. E is found among west Africans. Full Shunyata (talk) 08:30, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

the entire point of mentioning "black" and "white" in the lead is in order to explain the common name "Black Africa". This isn't an article about race. Citing Coon as a reference must be about as surreal as it gets. Please. "Caucasoid" is an obsolete racialist classification. "White" is just a description of an individual's skin type. There is a huge difference. "Caucasoid" carries all sorts of ideological baggage. It is very simple. "Black Africa" (Sudan) is so called because its population is "black", compared to the population of North Africa, which is not part of "Black Africa". If you want to discuss concepts of scientific racism, please find another venue. If you want to debate the inclusion of Mediterranean populations under "white", please go to Talk:White people. --dab (𒁳) 12:45, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

What about avoiding using either term ("Caucasoid" which as pointed out is obsolete/unaccepted; or "white people") by saying "non-Black"? White as a description of "skin type" is inaccurate when describing many non-Black North Africans. A is putting the smack down (talk) 08:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
"White" is inaccurate describing many Europeans living on the other side of the Med. In fact no human population really has "white" skin at all. But it is the English language convention - actually the dominant convention in Indo-European as well as several Semitic languages to refer to lighter coloured people..... Non Black is simply fucking idiotic. White and black, black and Non Black? Well, then one can start whinging on about the accuracy of Black and the differentiation of many "black" North African populations from "black" sub Saharan, in the same trivial senses. White and Black are reasonable, and not inherently horrible, short hand. The entire racialist discussion is idiotic as such. (collounsbury (talk) 09:21, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
Whatever. It's fucking idiotic to call a Berber "white" when you will hear him be called a sandnigger in plain English in America, on the streets, on the radio, in film, etc. In actual culture there is no agreement on the usage of the term white, nor is there a scientific basis. A is putting the smack down (talk) 09:25, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
America is not the world. As for a "Berber" being called a "sandnigger", well that might happen or it might not, but the basis would not be his skin colour but his culture (depending on which set of Berbers we are speaking to). The Kabyles, the Rifi and the northern Amazigh are largely as "white" as any Spaniard, southern Frenchman. American cultural complexes are not the only ones in the world, and "scientific" has fuck all to do with it, as neither Black nor White are "scientific" terms, but cultural terms. The average Kabyle, except for his Muslim cultural identity is "white" by cultural usage, in general. Your propo for "Non Black" is if anything rather dumber taking your argument regarding "no agreement on the usage of the term white" as one can say the same for Black. What's Black in the UK isn't perhaps in Los Angeles, and what's black in North African usage may not be in Paris, nor Aussieland, nor etc. etc. As a rough referential, it has the advantage of conciseness and relative clarity (as compared to idiotic non-terms by politically correct types). Clear, not really, but clear enough. (collounsbury (talk) 11:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
As the article White people states, the "non-Blacks" of North Africa may be considered white. Wikipedia is noting a usage. However in this article, Wikipedia is dictating a usage. I have my anthropology textbook right hea. I don't give a shit about conventional usage. Wikipedia should here report (conventianally divided as "whites" and "blacks") not dictate ("they are whites and blacks"). The American Anthropological Association does not say that they are "whites" and "blacks". Why does this Wikipedia article say so? A is putting the smack down (talk) 11:18, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Eh, Non-Black is hardly a bloody text book usage, nor is black really - at least no more than bloody white. Your argument in this regard sounds nonsensicial, however the proposed phrasing makes senseL Conventionally divided as "whites" and "blacks" sounds fine to me, its logical and clear, and not bizarre like "Non Black." Also one could phrase it, Popularly divided... or Frequently in popular usage, divided... ; that in fact would highlight even better the usage is popular and not technical as such. I myself don't give a shite about the "White People" page, it's one of those cesspools of warring racialists. I would hope, however, items like this can avoid such. (collounsbury (talk) 12:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
I see no need to be so abusive. Non-black is a workable compromise, especially since there is really no precise definition of 'white'. However it is important to note that the names of regions beyond a certain point - roughly the Sahara - are derived from the words for black in various languages. Whether or not the sopeakers considered themselves to be white, thety certainly seem to have defined themselves as non-black. That Caucasoid/Negroid distinction is of little help here, since this is about colour, not head shape. Paul B (talk) 13:15, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I've never edited the article White people or Black people. You stated that "the entire racialist discussion is idiotic as such". So your opinion is that viewing North African people as White people is "idiotic", while viewing them as "Non-Black" is "fucking idiot", "fucking" apparently connoting a further level. The term "Non-Black" is apparently not commonly used. However when one says "the populations of North Africa may also be considered white", one is referring to those members of the population (the predominant group) who are not black. A black North African is still "black". So I do not agree that "non-Black" is "fucking idiot", it makes a distinction. Group X ("North Africans") may be considered "white". However they may not. And if you don't view them as "white", "non-Black" is just fine---not necessarily in Wikipedia. In this Wikipedia article it would be better to somehow indicate that this generalized division is just that---a division reflecting a common or traditional usage, not something based on true anthropological categories. We could just let the reader figure that out by clicking the articles, but since this issue may be inflammatory I think it should somehow be made clear in this article. A is putting the smack down (talk) 13:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I never said you did edit those articles, I merely opined they're cesspools of infighting by racialists of various stripes and shouldn't be taken as reference for usage. Non Black is idiotic, since its being put up because the objection is "white" is not precise, but then makes reference to another equally imprecise and as silly category. That's idiotic. Now, I completely agree that the article should, in an easily understandable manner, make clear the North African populations are varied.
However, (a) Black North Africans itself is as unclear as saying White North Africans, so it's foolish to say a Black North African is still black, given the phenotypical range found. Black per.... someone in Sweden maybe. Black per someone in Syria or Turkey, possibly not.
(b) there are also unambiguously "white" (as in terribly pale skinned, with phenotype that would fit precisely to a "white" French person from Bordeaux (as I look at my colleague across the room)) populations as well.
(c) Non Black and Black as categories for North Africa is pure idiocy as it assumes Black is unambiguous (its not) and that all "Non Black" are ambiguous, also not the case. That is the core to my objection (besides the fact Non Black is mealy mouthed and clumsy, Orwellian even)
The logical approach is to highlight that North Africa has varied populations, some of which fit conventional historical "white," many more that are ambiguous and some that fit conventional "black," bringing across the variation and further highlighting that while yes, conventional usage of say North America and northern Europe continues, it fits poorly the demographic reality in North Africa.
As for Barlow's comment, I frankly can't parse it. The objection, nevertheless that "white" is ambiguous but not allowing black as ambiguous is addressed supra. I am not - let me repeat NOT - trying to argue that "White" and "Black" are either good categories scientifically nor that North Africans are unambiguously as a population one or another, but rather for clear, understandable language that evenly addresses the ambiguity as well as high level of variation in the region.
(collounsbury (talk) 14:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
I am not "Barlow". Referring to people by their surname alone is generally considered rude. Non-black is quite a common usage (there are many people in the world who may not be labelled 'white' or 'black'). The reason for this discussion is to explain the usage "Black Africa". No-one said you trying to argue that white and black are "good categories". Frankly, it's no longer clear what you are trying to argue. Paul B (talk) 14:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Well Barlow, in fact where I am from, referring to people you don't know by their first name is considered extremely rude, so take the rock out of your shoe. Non-Black is common usage where? Non-white I have seen (although its as infelicitous and awkward as Non Black, although typically used when say one wishes to contrast in the UK "native English" [whites] with all other immigrant non-Eruopean origin minorities, Asians, East Asians, Caribbeans, etc.; there at least there is a logic in saying "White" versus "Other non-White Groups, of which there are a multiplicity"), non-Black? Not once. As for what I am arguing, I should think it is terribly clear, Black versus non-Black population contrast in that paragraph is clumsy, using an unclear phrase, and if one is explaining the "Black Africa" versus North Africa distinction, the clearest method is to contrast White and Black as in conventional language (as both are flawed identifiers in this case), and to put in the appropriate qualifiers, as in the "conventially" language. For North Africa, with virtually no populations of Asians or East Asians, the contrast is indeed between "White" & "Black" (and both equally flow into the other). (collounsbury (talk) 17:09, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
Your arguments have already been more than adequately addressed by another editor. I see nothing unclear about non-black. Referring to people as you do is simply obnoxious. If you use a surname you should also preface it with Mr. Paul B (talk) 08:29, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay to this statement: "The logical approach is to highlight that North Africa has varied populations, some of which fit conventional historical "white," many more that are ambiguous and some that fit conventional "black," bringing across the variation and further highlighting that while yes, conventional usage of say North America and northern Europe continues, it fits poorly the demographic reality in North Africa."
However your points/arguments are very weak, if you want me to address each one.
A) "White North African" in the case of an Arab is much more of a cultural view (what culture?), an opinion, than "Black North African" for an ethnic Bantu let's say, living in North Africa. They are not on the same footing, you will find few people who will consider it "foolish" to call such a person a Black North African, nor would you be called "foolish" for not accepting that an Arab in North Africa is "white".
B) Indeed, some North Africans are unambiguously "white". "Non-Black" can be a synonym for "white" in such cases.
C) using the term "Non-Black" does not a priori imply that "black" is unambiguous. Recheck your logic. In either case you have X (non-Black/White) & Y (Black/non-White). No difference in ambiguity necessarily implied. Point c of yours is unfounded unless you can show how using "Non-Black" makes Y any more or less ambiguous. Quantity Y ("Black") remains as unambiguous/ambiguous as it is regardless of the X ("Non-Black", "White", "Gray").
Despite this, I'm not saying we should use the term "Non-Black", I inquired whether we should use it. A is putting the smack down (talk) 14:37, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
(A) Taking the case of a Kabyle, a white North Africa (as the Kabyles are almost entirely of a European type phenotype), I would indeed call it foolish and idiotic to say they are not White (just as I would say a phenotypically White (meaning W. European phenotype) Jew is White, except to contemptible racialists and anti-Semites. In European usage, one doesn't often come across anyone denying Kabyles, etc, "whiteness" (not that this is particularly a badge to wear...). Of course the typical ident is just that, not skin colour based, but culturally based - as the White versus X distinction has no sense even by conventional "race" standards. The difference is religion, or culture. Or both. Your argument makes no sense to me.
(B) Why on earth one needs a synonym when they are the essential point of comparison utterly escapes me.
(C) I find your argument is nonsensical here, but as I just argued above, in the usage "Non White" as existing outside North America at least, is typically only used when one has Asians, E. Asians and others thrown into the contrast mix. For merely White to Black (with continium) typical usage is White-Black. Non Black implies a rather different ambiguity.
There we are, obviously neither will convince the other. I think Non Black injects a silly ambiguity and it is better to use "white" and "black" with qualifiers. (collounsbury (talk) 17:58, 29 September 2008 (UTC))
C)To understand why I reject your point c as illogical: If you had Tongva (X) and Bantu (Y) on an island: X (Tongva, Native Americans) are Non-Black. Bantu (Y) are Black. Calling the Tongva "Non-Black" does not make the term "Black" for the Bantu any more or less ambiguous.
A)Kabyle? I did not specify Kabyle. Let's say an Egyptian Arab.
B)all North Africans are not unambiguously "white" or considered "white"
A is putting the smack down (talk) 18:11, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate the need for this discussion in general (although it has been seen on Wikipedia before), but may I point out that this isn't the appropriate place for it, this is the talkpage for the Sub-Saharan Africa article. Please take it to user talkspace. --dab (𒁳) 18:20, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay, this is on topic. I don't have references at hand to answer the question myself but this bolded text does not have a reference or citation backing it up: "The Sub-Saharan region is also known as Black Africa,[4] in reference to its "black" populations, in contrast to the predominantly "white" inhabitants of North Africa." I bolded the part I want verified. "Black Africa" was obviously named so in reference to the Black people of Sub-Saharan Africa, but was the concept of North Africans as white people implied in the use of the term "Black Africa"? That is not necessarily so. The contrast was between "Black people" and lighter-skinned people, not necessarily between "Black people" and "White people". Where are the citations to show that they had such a division in mind, in those terms? A is putting the smack down (talk) 15:49, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The term was in use before any such broad division was in mind, it goes back to Arabic usage, etc. It would be better if the paragraph did not make it seem as if the term came out of a paradigm where Africa was divided between "Black" and "white people". It is used like that these days, sometimes. A is putting the smack down (talk) 16:05, 30 September 2008 (UTC)\\
Well this is a very fair question and point. I agree the current opening phrasing leaves much to be desired. Certainly the classical Arabic equiv. of 'Black Africa' - Bilad as-Sudan - was in implicit contrast with the lighter skinned populations of the northern Islamic world (at the time of contact, the Islamic world period, of course that changed). The English 'Black Africa' of course was in contrast with, well European populations. I suppose there is an implicit contrast with North Africa - known since antiquity and with the already discussed pop mix since antiquity. Why not rephrase to "in apparent [or implied] contrast with the predominantly lighter skinned populations of North Africa [maybe add, known since antiquity...]." I think this is very reasonable phrasing, and you did put your finger on something that can easily be improved without recourse to tangled phrasing. And added thought, I think it obvious that the modern concept of Black and White as such was probably not yet in the minds when the phrase emerged.(collounsbury (talk) 16:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC))
Rewriting that section with the historical situation in mind, the origin of the term, would also avoid the racialist feel of the current arrangement in the article. The term did not come out of some racial theory or even out of some skin-type classification. It was simply used at first to refer to the part of Africa where the people were darker. The usage that is common these days---but not universal---"Black people as opposed to "White people"---should be mentioned in its place. A is putting the smack down (talk) 16:31, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
I absolutely agree, and I think we've both suggested some wording that would do so. I am as opposed to the racialist feel (I don't even particularly like the links to those two arts which last time I had the stomach to look were cesspools of racialism). Take it away? (collounsbury (talk) 16:44, 30 September 2008 (UTC))
I would begin rewriting now but I'd rather get some references first & do some reading. If you guys can't wait several days/a week then some of you may want to begin re-writing. A is putting the smack down (talk) 16:48, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

this is for color terminology for race. Obviously (really) neither "black" nor "white" people literally have black or white skin. I do not suppose this needs any pointing out here. The historical term for the "dark whites" of North Africa is Melanochroi, and yes, they are included under white, since otherwise the terminology of "Black Africa" wouldn't make any sense. Please, this is just about conventional terminology. It boils down to "people south of the Sahara tend to have significantly darker skin", ok? Historically, this was labelled in terms of "black" vs. "white". The distinction is still in use colloquially, and even if lots of caveats apply, it is still the origin of the terminology under discussion. Don't create WP:WIKIDRAMA over nothing at all. --dab (𒁳) 18:12, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

The information should be presented in a different manner. I'm going to work out an approach along the lines of what me & collounsbury were discussing above. If you don't like what comes out obviously you are free to revert or edit. There was WP:WIKIDRAMA created inititiated here by coulonsbury. I just came & asked a question. Then there was more drama between coloun & Paul. One thing though in your paragraph above: "Historically, this was labelled in terms of black & white."---Citations please showing how far back that goes. I recall ancient Egyptian texts referring to "Blacks", "red-skinned ones", etc. A is putting the smack down (talk) 18:22, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

once again, if you are interested in this question, go and read color terminology for race, and discuss the details or request references at Talk:color terminology for race. You are literally on the wrong page here. --dab (𒁳) 18:40, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I've seen that article:
"Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752-1840), one of the founders of what some call scientific racism theories, came up with the five color typology for humans: white people (the Caucasian or white race), more or less black people (the Ethiopian or black race), yellow people (the Mongolian or yellow race), cinnamon-brown or flame colored people (the American race or red race), and brown people (the Malay or brown race). Blumenbach listed the "races" in a hierarchic order of physical similarities: Caucasian, followed by American, followed by Mongolian, followed by Malayan, followed by Ethiopian.
The concept of “black” as a metaphor for race was first[dubious – discuss] used at the end of the 17th century when a French doctor named François Bernier (1625-1688), an early proponent of scientific racism, divided up humanity based on facial appearance and body type. He proposed four categories: Europeans, Far Easterners, Lapps, and Blacks.[2]"
The term "Black Africa" did not arise solely from post-Blumenbachian paradigms or from the black/"white" division. A is putting the smack down (talk) 18:49, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
And observe this map Image:Stoddard race map 1920.jpg. It shows Black & brown in Africa, not black & white. This "black, white" shit-paradigm you keep insisting on is parallel to the history of the term "Black Africa". A is putting the smack down (talk) 18:54, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
My goodness! I have changed the sentence. Those arguing for the previous wording have not made their case. I don't think Dbachmann has ulterior motives I just think he thinks the wording he prefers is more correct or encyclopedic. I believe it is not. And he has not demonstrated that his wording is better for our Wiki-encyclopedia. Ulterior motives there may be, such as using this article to imply that ancient Egyptians were white. That is anachronistic. A is putting the smack down (talk) 08:18, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Ooh, so this is really about the race of the Ancient Egyptians. Well I never. It is hardly my fault that you refuse to listen to reason for ideological reasons best known to yourself. So you believe "Black Africa" is called "Black" in contrast to "Lighter Skinned". Wth? This would suggest it should be called "Darker Skinned Africa". Give us a break. --dab (𒁳) 10:39, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Again that is not a priori logic. You are using rhetoric. A is putting the smack down (talk) 10:40, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

You know what is anachronistic? Or cheap rhetorics? To bring the Ancient Egyptians into a discussion on a term (Black Africa, remember) that isn't claimed by anyone to date back more than a couple of centuries. Just out of curiosity, are you perhaps an "African-American" citizen of the United States? Because I don't think anyone not steeped in African-American racialist ideology could bring up the Ancient Egyptians in a context such as this. This article isn't about US demographics, you should read Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. --dab (𒁳) 10:42, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

US demographics classifies them as "white", so I don't know why you are railing against the U.S. Dbachmann. I did remark that in U.S. society they are much more often than not...not as "white" as they are on the census. I was not using that as an argument. It was a response to colounsbury's language. A is putting the smack down (talk) 07:34, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
You still have not demonstrated that "Black Africa" was coined on the basis of a "white-black" division of Africa (that is one of its senses, yes). You did use rhetoric. In regard to ancient Egyptians, I stated that may be an ulterior motive here to sneak ancient Egyptians into whites. Such an ulterior motive would indeed be anachronistic. It may still be an ulterior motive regardless. A is putting the smack down (talk) 10:48, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Another important thing to note, besides the looseness of the term "Caucasoid" which can and has been applied to millions of non-white people, is that "white" in North Africa does not mean the same thing as "white" in European countries. In North Africa, "white" people refers to lighter brown skin. Not "white" the same way Europeans meant and mean the word.

In those areas Arabs are referred to as "white" while Europeans are referred to as "pink". It has nothing to do with American identity politics and everything to do with the fact that North Africans don't view themselves as "white" in any sense that would be equivalent to the European sense of the word. Ethiopians call themselves "brown" and call central Africans "black". That doesn't mean they view themselves as less African or less "black" (in the Western sense of the word) than other Africans. Full Shunyata (talk) 04:33, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Oh God, not this again.
Primo, North Africans are a diverse bunch and clearly have different identifications, some skin coloured, most not.
Second, in North Africa where the term Beidan is used, e.g. the Maghreb, northern Europeans are not refered to as pink, they are called Nasrani (Christian). Pink (Ouardi) is not used to refer to people, period - you're simply inventing things, complete bollocks. Pale skinned folks are Beid, or Beidan - white (like eggs, amusingly enough). Hand waving assertions like this are ridiculous American identity politics. (collounsbury (talk) 18:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC))
That said, I think "non-black" would be a very good compromise. Not even really a compromise so much as a "fact". Many (though not all) north Africans don't see themselves as "black". But that doesn't mean they see themselves as "white" by default. Not to mention that "white" and "black" are loose terms applied haphazardly by Westerners to these people, not by themselves. It is indeed possible to be neither "black" nor "white". I also think we should say that "most" north Africans are non-black because there are still "black" people in north Africa such as in the pictures I listed above. There are even 'black' people as far northeastward as Yemen and southern Iraq. Full Shunyata (talk) 05:40, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I think that sentence in the article is more than fine the way it is now. The most basic usage, leave it to the reader to study what Black Africa has historically contrasted with. I want to clear some issues that came up because of collounsbury. He said at that time (based on his apparently illogical premises) that the term "non-black" is "fucking idiotic" in this case. I was provoked and responded by saying---what I meant to say was---"Well, your opinion is that the term non-black is fucking idiotic? Another person can just as well say that calling a Berber or North African "white" is fucking idiotic, given social realities in many parts of the world." I do not want a reader to think that I would in anyway want to stand in the way of how a Berber or Arab identifies. That was not my intention. My intention was to improve the article. How a "non-Black" North African identifies is up to them. Not up to the U.S. census practice that classifies them as "white", not up to Blumenbach et al., not up to Stoddard who called them "brown". I wanted the article to be more encyclopedic and now it is, the reader can study the rest. A is putting the smack down (talk) 07:34, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
It came up because it is fucking idiotic usage. You find the premise illogical because of your bloody a priori position. But we agreed to differ on that, so let's leave it there (collounsbury (talk) 18:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC))
Fine. I see on the other hand that Non-Black is getting popular since I mentioned it. My beef isn't even with collounsbury it was with that sentence and the case is closed. Fuck y'all. On to the next article to fix. A is putting the smack down (talk) 19:45, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Non Black is getting support from an Axe Grinder who presumes to know what North Africans think with respect to SSA pops, and makes up pure rubbish as to usage in Arabic. (collounsbury (talk) 00:07, 5 October 2008 (UTC))

Response re North Africa Differentionation and Evidence

First apologies for an entire new category, the edit function being unfriendly for long responses, my thoughts were easier to put in seperately.

I also agree with Dbachmann's notes re colour supra.

But as to Shunyata, I find your response rather sad.

First, you might try checking your assumption that those who disagree with your specific understanding of Sub Saharan Africa and Racial issues (of which it is not a piece), are “Eurocentric” or “White Supremacist” [an implied assumption] or the like.

But to substance:

As to North African ‘colour prejudice’ (I use the phrase colour prejudice advisedly as ‘racial prejudice’ I think is both analytically and factually wrong in framing), well of course I have ‘cites’ – I mean besides my own decade living and working in the region (as well as Sub Saharan Africa), and my own family with its decidedly international and multi-colour nature, but those are not cites, I am merely indicating my distaste for your simplistic and American racialist centric whinging.

As to the real issue, that is the native North African perception of difference from Sub Saharan Africa, rather obviously this is going to be situational and like all human ethnic and ‘racial’ (or perceived ethno-‘racial’ differences) dependent on relatives reference / situation.

However, it is bizarre, bordering on willfully ignorant to request ‘proof’ given extensive on-wiki cites that you can follow on: Haratin: (a complex conversation, but note the issues of colour / race discrimination); Gnaoua: (I would note the two articles together help show the complex colour perceptions in the Maghreb); Nanj for the Machreq & the Egyptian and Sudanese portions of the Abeed articles: (, ); Discussions of colour / racial prejudice in the Maghreb w respect to the following pages: Slavery in [modern] Mauretania: Hassane: - a Beidan group

With respect to validating my own observations of colour prejudice and the presumption (on the part of locals) of difference between Sub Saharan Africa I would cite the following news articles: BBC: Are Sub Saharan Africans welcome, Attacking Europe’s border fences,, also re Algeria; Libyan anti Black African riots:;;

I would add in addition to the Wiki articles and works cited in the Wiki articles (which I repeat for your benefit:

  • Ilahiane, Hsain, The Power of the Dagger, the Seeds of the Koran, and the Sweat of the Ploughman: Ethnic Stratification and Agricultural Intensification in the Ziz Valley, Southeast Morocco, 107, 7, unpublished dissertation, Univ. of Arizona (published 1998)
  • El Hamel, Chouki, ""Race", Slavery and Islam in the Maghribi Mediterranean Thought: The Question of the Haratin in Morocco", Journal of North African Studies 29(38), 2002 Fall
  • Batrán, Aziz Abdalla, "The 'Ulamá of Fas, Mulay Isma'il, and the Issue of the Haratin of Fas", in John Ralph, Willis, Slaves and Slavery in Muslim Africa, 1: Islam and the Ideology of Enslavement, London: Frank Cass, 1985, pp. 125-59
  • Ensel, Remco, Saints and Servants in Southern Morocco, Leiden: Brill (published 1999)
  • Hunwick, J O, "Black Slaves in the Mediterranean World: introduction to a Neglected Aspect of the African Diaspora", Journal of African History
  • EnNaji, Mohammed & Seth, Graebner, Serving The Master: Slavery & Society in Nineteenth-Century Morocco, St. Martin’s Press (published 1998), p. 62

Ennaji has a very fine examination of Slavery in 18th and 19th century Morocco CITE that outlines. Also Hunwick has another work that escapes me presently, but is very good on the emergence of colour prejudice in North Africa (or the Southern Mediterannean Basin, which is a better historical and ecological zone). One can see from these discussions the emergence of colour prejudice driven by factors that had zero to do with “race” but all about changing power dynamics – where the ‘white’ Saqaliba’ (Slavic slaves) or European slaves gained in prominence or social status as their ‘home’ regions integrated into the Indo-Mediterranean economic zone (to exaggerate slightly).

Otherwise, I find your cite to the note regarding Mali importing scholars from Maghreb etc. to be ridiculous. Confident people without complexes recognize cross pollination. One can (and should) write the same thing about the Maghreb. The Maghreb imported scholars from the east (as well as initially importing and then exchanging scholars with Islamic Spain, the flow usually being determined by, surprise, which region was more economically prosperous and stable). The Sahalian empires were an indigenous development that prospered (as did all Europe, Eastern Asia) from neighbouring developments, and built on them. The Malians imported scholars to support their agenda, like Indian Mughal Emperors, Central Asian Emperors, and yes European Kings of various regions (as Europe is a bullshite region) imported scholars. Reaction in this area merely says you do not know your history and lack confidence in your thesis. There is nothing at all ‘Eurocentric’ in noting that Timbouctou borrowed / imported professors from Fez, any more than there is in saying Fez kicked off by borrowing from the East – which it did. It is entirely reasonable to write that “primary archival research needs to be done to deepen our understanding of local scholarship, given very limited primary research to date, but recent discoveries of Arabic and Ajami records promise to expand the written record and deepen our knowledge of indigenous – Islamic synergies as a scholarly culture developed.”

One could add, that this was similar to, if harder due to ecological factors (a big fucking desert) to the way (modern Western) Europe profited from West Asian emergence of civilization.

Finally, I would note that I personally find it distasteful that the apparently American Afrocentristic editors, are so quick to imply or outright accuse editors who push back on their views of being “Eurocentric” or implied racists. As I spent much of 2007 fighting a now banned editor of Tunisian origin with genuinely Euro – or rather Mediterranean centric – views and clearly a racist, I find your implied accusations offensive, above all as you seem to have a low level of information on colour issues in Africa. I would like to note, by the way, that I fully support a balanced and well-informed corrective to genuinely racist commentary that highlights the genuinely impressive achievements of the Sahelian empires, that to my mind need no exaggeration and refute ridiculous theses of biological inferiority.

You might ask if you should not check your American baggage at the door and not ask how can Wikipedia present real issues well. American colour prejudice is a concern, but it is not the only one in the world.(collounsbury (talk) 22:16, 28 September 2008 (UTC))

The whole concept of North Africans as "white" is an externally-imposed classification. North Africans don't see themselves as white people and are not trying to. While they see themselves as culturally distinct from other African cultures (because of Arabic and southern European influences) they don't see themselves as "white" the way a European, white American or white Australian would. This whole argument hinges on the assumption that "beidan" means "white" the way Europeans mean "white". An assumption that so far has not held up. As for "Afrocentrism", why would Afrocentrists try to claim some black Africans as Caucasoid? That doesn't make any sense. And in any case, it isn't Afrocentrists claiming that some east Africans are Caucasoid. These are [white] (maybe you assume all black anthropologists have "an agenda") anthropologists and geneticists stating this with DNA evidence.
Of course there is color prejudice in north Africa as there is in the rest of the world. That doesn't mean they see themselves as white people trying to keep out "the blacks". Brown people have been discriminating against other brown people or black people for ages. Look at brown Indians discriminating against lower-caste darker brown Indians. And indeed, some north Africans are light-skinned and some could almost pass for European. Likewise, many black Africans have "European" physical features. It just goes to show how stupid an idea "race" is. As for Eurocentrists, they aren't necessarily racists. By "Eurocentrist" I mean people who have an agenda on linking all the lighter-skinned people they can find (which always curiously seems to exclude black peoples) with Europeans. Full Shunyata (talk) 04:46, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
This is absurd. The term Beidan is an Arabic term that is native to the North African usage, that is attested to in pre-(European)colonial usage, and isn't imposed by anything but own usage. It's rich that someone who clearly doesn't even speak the local languages presumes to speak for North Africans. Beidan simply is pale, and as such is applied to lighter skinned people, native as well as foreign. When one wishes to make contrast with Northern Europeans, or Europeans generally, it is not on a racial but a religious basis - the term is Nasrani - meaning Christian. Historical literate (Arabic that is) does not make a colour contrast with their European neighbours (such as Iberians), but a cultural one (or religious) - although interestingly a colour contrast was sometimes made with slaves imported from the northern reaches of Europe (the Slavs - Saqaliba). No issue of "almost passing", the populations on both sides of the Med are often indistinguishable.
Going on and on about "agendas" and the like is bloody ridiculous. (collounsbury (talk) 18:55, 4 October 2008 (UTC))
Yes, the term "beidan" is indeed an Arabic term that is pre-European. That said, there is no evidence that "beidan" means pale to mean "white" in any sense equivalent to the European meaning of the term "white" when Europeans say "white people". That's why the sentence that claimed North Africans are "white" was taken out because it was original research. Full Shunyata (talk) 00:17, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh bollocks, the evidence is found in actual Arabic usage - and not your made up rubbish about "Pink" - one can find precisely this usage in poetry and in modern song, such as in Rai, with songs refering via the adjectival Beida to both "white" cities (white washed walls, quite literally white as eggs) and a beautiful girl with the preferred white skin. You haven't a bloody clue. European meaning... as if such a thing exists. (collounsbury (talk) 22:24, 18 October 2008 (UTC))
I see the revisions are coming along fine. Anyway, I never said the word does not mean "white". That is something that is not in debate, and you are attempting to confound what I'm discussing by acting as if the term "white" has only one meaning. By "European sense of the word white" I mean the US and European sense of the word "white": as in referring to Europeans called "white". You know, French, German, Scandinavian, Polish, Russian, etc. People we in the West usually call "white". By that sense of the word "white", "beidan" doesn't mean what we mean when we say "white". If you walked up to a light-skinned Arab-American and said "You're a white person" they would probably give you a perplexed look if not outright disagree. It would be like calling a dark-skinned Indian person "black" simply because their skin is the same color as many Africans though they don't even share the same facial features. Full Shunyata (talk) 09:51, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
You claimed a complete falsehood and now you're back peddling. I have no idea what "Europeans call white" since Europe is an entire continent with a range of skin colours. You in fact mean "What Americans obsessed with racialism think of as white." As for walking up to a light skinned Arab, and making reference to white, well, as I in fact work with such persons, I can tell you directly that you're importing your American race politics. Rather I have frequently heard light Lebanese, Moroccan and Algerians refer to themselves as White (in European languages as well as Arabic) in contrast to black. You have no bloody idea what you're on about, so just bloody stop pretending. As long as we keep out US racialist lies of either side from the article I am indifferent to your ideology.(collounsbury (talk) 14:21, 27 December 2008 (UTC))

Full Shunyata (talk · contribs) is the textbook US American Afrocentrist angry young man: radically ideologized, racialist, aggressive and clueless. I have seen these accounts trying to manipulate articles literally for years, check the huge archives here. It is pointless to debate them. Just point them to policy, and revert them when they violate policy. Wikipedia isn't a debate club or a self-help group. --dab (𒁳) 09:44, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

take it easy. It's just Wikipedia. Calling people "clueless" is not that helpful. I would not say it is pointless to debate "them". Who is "them"? Each person is an individual and in many cases debate can lead to contributors working out issues and learning more. There is too much nastiness in Wikipedia, and a lot of you have issues with WP:Civility. Impoliteness and nastiness rarely helps. A is putting the smack down (talk) 20:55, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it appears this person came here simply to attack me for no reason and sharpen their axe against "US American Afrocentrist angry you men". Whoever those are. Full Shunyata (talk) 09:51, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Afrocentric sources and edit wars

The activities of soph whatever are very against wiki policies, what Afro centric sources? What is Afro-Centric. they are Pan-Africanist.Not one single ref is Afrocentric, and even if it was, where in wikipedia is Afro-centric views banned, are Eurocentric views banned? clearly not. This is a site for all valid points to be expressed. see [3]--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 07:41, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

according to the edits of Islam is only dominant in East Africa. However according to CIA fact book 50% of Nigeria is Muslim, 1 in 5 Africans are Nigerian. So just looking at Nigeria how can you account for Christianity being dominant in East Africa alone. If you pick a flawed map and then start a discussion based upon it you will get wrong results. In any event what is the point of this page? --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 07:58, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Here are the Afrocentric sources you and your IP have replaced the mainstream sources in the article with:
All of those people above are Afrocentrists, which is why at least two of them are listed on this Afrocentric website with regard to an Afrocentric DVD. Also note the Cheikh Anta Diop link above. You ask what is wrong with Afrocentrism, well I'll tell you what is wrong with it: It is an extreme political idealogy, which is against both WP:SOAPBOX and WP:QS. As for West Africa supposedly not being mostly Chrisitian, it definitely is. It's only in the Sahel where Islam is the dominant religion in that part of Sub-Saharan Africa. In the Nigeria you cite, for example, it's the northern Sahelian half that's Muslim. This same dichotomy applies to many of the other West African countries such as the Ivory Coast. Soupforone (talk) 08:19, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

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