Monday, March 5, 2012

***The Black Irish...NOT what you think***

"Mora na maidine dhuit"...Top of the Morning To You! After Blogging the Black History Month Series on Creoles_I thought why not start the Green Month off with a little color!
I AM NOT _as I once was told_ A Black Irish! However,my other half is an Irish-American!We are both History Buffs_learning early on that the saga of African-Americans and Irish-Americans lives in America was not a pretty picture. In fact,in a cartoon drawing by H.Strickland Constable in "Ireland from One or Two Neglected Points of View"(1899) depicts similar physical features of both.

The fact is the term "Black Irish" is an ambiguous term!Traditionalist maintain the term to be in accordance with a dark-haired phenotype of Irish descent.Dark hair,brown eyes,medium skin tone OR dark hair,blue or green eyes and fair skin tone are physical attributes of the so called "Black Irish". It was interesting to learn that most people of Irish descent have dark hair_not so much darker skin complexion.

I've always admired the brilliant "Red Heads"often associated with the Irish.You will find in my Blog Archives(Oct.6,2011_"ROODHARIGENDAG (RED HEAD DAY)"_what fun that must be surrounded by Red-Heads! I confess my friends and I refer to ourselves as RED-HEADS_we love Red Wines! In Ireland,the hair colour is predominately brown with only 10% having auburn or red hair.Ulster(Northern Ireland) has the highest frequency of redheads.Which does NOT compute with the fact that my husband's family comes from County Cork in Munster(South-West)! My late Mother-in-law had curly red hair!
Irish History tells of the many invasions which included:Celts,Vikings,Normans,English,Scottish
and Spanish.Each of these immigrant groups had their own physical characteristics.Consider the Vikings were often referred to as the "dark invaders or black foreigners",Normans of French origin were black-haired people,the Spanish settlers had dark features .Irish emigrants who settled in the West Indies and those that arrived in America were given this as a derogatory name_"Black Irish". Today genetic studies suggest migrations from Prehistoric Iberia "may" be viewed as the primary source for physical attributes. Which ever direction people from the past came from_when they settled in Ireland_the pot got mixed!

YES, there are Black people in Ireland,especially in Dublin.Many came in the 18th Century as servants of wealthy families.There were other Africans in Ireland that were not slaves..i.e Olaudah Equiano,lived in Belfast and was a Writer.Black slavery was rare in Ireland at this date, although the legal position remained unclear until a judgement in England in 1772, the "SOMERSETT'S CASE".
Lord Mansfield declared slavery as,"it's so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it".

Meet Lori Moore, a student from Belfast,Northern Ireland who was crowned Miss Northern Ireland 2010.She represented the country at Miss World 2010 being placed in the top 25. Lori is the first woman of black heritage to be crowned Miss Northern Ireland.Moore represented the United Kingdom in Miss International in 2011.

Next time a person calls me a  Black Irish..guess I'll just have to Educate them! Let's have some fun this month celebrating "The Beautiful Emerald Isle".

                                  ~A Little Irish Humor~
Saloonkeeper_Here,you haven't paid for that whiskey you ordered.

Irishman_What's that you say?

Saloonkeeper__I said you haven't paid for that whiskey you ordered!!!!!

Irishman_Did you pay for it?

Saloonkeeper_Of course I did!

Irishman_Well,then,what's the good of both of us paying for it?

                          ~Agus cuid eile an lae dhuit fein~.
                                                   And the rest of the day to yourself.


Stipe Nazorin said...

Black Irish phenotype describes more than just a person with dark/black hair, brown eyes & olive complexion but also certain mediterranean facial features must be taken into consideration when describing a black irish type

The Sage Book Whisperer said...

I agree...that is why I "prefaced" that sentence with..."The fact is the term "Black Irish" is an Ambiguous term".And went on to discuss what "Traditionalist maintain" the term to be. I truly believe there is no true Race...everyone has a little of this or that. Thanks for your comment.