AFRICAN PRESENCE IN EARLY EUROPE
DR. EDWARD VIVIAN SCOBIE
By RUNOKO RASHIDI email@example.com
"There is substantial evidence in the pages of European history (ironically
enough) of Africans in that area of the globe...who gained positions of
respect and a kind of glory on their merits." --Edward Scobie
Dr. Edward Vivian Scobie was born in 1918 in the Commonwealth of Dominica, a
former British colony. As a working journalist in London, Scobie became a
correspondent for the Chicago Defender and for Ebony and Jet magazines. He
contributed to many London newspapers, magazines and the wire services, and
became a frequent broadcaster and scriptwriter for radio and television.
From 1961 to 1963 he edited Flamingo, a monthly magazine published in London
for African people in Britain, Africa and the Caribbean. Scobie was twice
the Mayor of Rouseau, capital of Dominica, and vice-president of the
Dominica Freedom Party.
Dr. Scobie was a major authority on the African presence in early Western
Europe. He was the author of numerous scholarly articles and historical
essays on the subject, including a series of five articles for the Journal
of African Civilizations. One of these articles, "African Popes," discussed
the lives of the three African pontiffs: St. Victor I (189-199), St.
Miltiades (311-314) and St. Gelasius I (492-496). A second contribution was
called "The Black in Western Europe." In "The Chevalier de Saint-Georges,"
Dr. Scobie documented the life of the remarkable composer, conductor,
violinist, swordsman, equestrian and soldier of eighteenth century France.
In "The Moors and Portugal's Global Expansion," Dr. Scobie noted that:
"Not only did the Moors in their European conquests leave their learning,
their culture and their arts. Their blood, the blood of Africa, was to
remain and flow in the veins of many a European, be he aristocrat or
commoner. Finally, it is left now to investigate, in some detail, that
culture which these Islamic sons of Africa left for the benefit of Europe,
particularly Spain, and even more so, Portugal. It is this African cultural
heritage which set in motion the expansion of Europe.
In "African Women in Early Europe" Dr. Scobie reflected on African women and
the ethnic composition of Europe's royal families, pointing out that: "One
of the well-known examples of a member of royalty with the blood of Africa
coursing in her veins was Queen Charlotte Sophia, German-born consort of the
English King George III (1769-1820)... These facts of history have never
been given exposure in the writings of Europeans for obvious racist
Queen Charlotte Sophia was not only the wife of George III. She was the
grandmother of Queen Victoria.
Edward Vivian Scobie was the author of Black Britannia: A History of Blacks
in Britain published by Johnson Publishing House in Chicago in 1972. At the
time of his death of acute myocardial infarction, on November 14, 1996,
Edward Scobie was Professor Emeritus of History, Black Studies Department,
City College of New York. Previously, Dr. Scobie taught at Princeton and
Rutgers Universities. The comprehensive work, the African Presence in Early
Europe, an anthology first published in New Brunswick, New Jersey by the
Journal of African Civilizations in 1985, revised in 1993 and edited by Dr.
Ivan Van Sertima, wad dedicated to Dr. Scobie "in recognition of his
pioneering work, over many years, in this long neglected field." The
Honorary Pallbearers at Dr. Scobie's mass were Dr. Jan Carew, Dr. Ivan Van
Sertima, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Bill Jones, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, Marcus
Garvey Jr., Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan and James Smalls.
Black Britannia, by Edward Scobie
The Global African Presence, by Edward Scobie
Back to Historical Views
^^ Back to top