[PW] Ethiopians (was: New York Times Article About Earliest Use of Term "African-American")

Marian Drabkin mmdrabkin at att.net
Mon Apr 27 11:02:17 PDT 2015


Jeremiah 13:23.  "can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?"
Unlikely that the translators of the King James Version were thinking of a specific country here. More likely they intended "Ethiopian" to refer to
Black Africans in general.

Marian 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 23, 2015, at 11:40 PM, "T.F. Mills" <phasco at earthlink.net> wrote:
> 
> A footnote to Fred's discovery of the earliest known use of the term "African-American" going 
> back to 1782.
> 
> Another term then synonymous with Negro was "Ethiopian."  The etymology goes back to the 
> ancient Greeks who used it this way.  The OED offers several examples of this usage.  
> Although the ancient world's contact with subsaharan Africa was largely through the Nile valley 
> into the country we now call Ethiopia, that country was predominantly known through the 19th 
> century as Abyssinia.
> 
> The Bible refers to Philip evangelizing an "Ethiopian" (Acts 8), but the context is also clear that 
> this man was a treasury official "of the Kandake (which means 'queen of the Ethiopians')."  
> That means Kingdom of Kush, which is the modern Sudan/Ethiopia region.  At least one 
> ancient dynasty of Egypt came from this region.  We now call them the "black pharaohs."
> 
> In 1775 the Earl of Dunmore as last royal Governor of Virginia issued a proclamation promising 
> freedom to slaves of American rebels if they would fight with the British.  Tens of thousands of 
> slaves fled their masters throughout the colonies, seriously disrupting the economy of the 
> south.  Dunmore was able to instantly form a battalion known as the "Ethiopian Regiment" (in 
> which there was doubtless not a single Abyssinian.)  At the end of the war, the British 
> evacuated some 5000 African-American loyalists to Nova Scotia.  (For context, it is worth 
> noting that Britain had abolished slavery at home but not in its colonies before the American 
> Revolution - 1772.)
> 
> T.F. Mills 
> (Colorado, USA)
> 
> 
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