In my adult life I have become an avid reader of world history with a special affinity for the African presence in the grand scheme of things. You may wonder what that has to do with sports since this is a sports blog. I find that I’m starting to relate every situation I encounter with its historical origins, even sports takes. A few days ago when USA played against Portugal in the Fifa World Cup I was on the highway so I had to keep up with the score via twitter updates. That’s when I read the homie Lamont @sportsmediaLM on twitter type “that blak ass dude aint from Portugal,,,,,,,, HES BLACK not SPANISH” after a Portuguese player of African decent scored a goal. Initially I laughed cuz it was funny as hell and I could imagine actually hearing him say that in person with the accompanying facial expression that is generated on a black man’s face when experiencing that WTF disgusted moment. After I finished laughing my nerd gene kicked in and I immediately went to the thought that the “Fake Ass Black Portuguese Cat”, like Lamont called him, was a Portuguese citizen for the same reason that he, myself, and every other classified “African American” was an American.
We are all descendants of Africans that were taken captive off of the west coast of the African continent and Portugal was the first European country involved in the trans-Atlantic “slave trade.” They started the whole thing. In 1492, the same year that Columbus set out on his maiden voyage westward, Portuguese representatives landed on the west coast of Africa with the supposed intentions of trading with the indigenous people of the land and extending the “benefits” of Christianity to the traditional African Spiritualism practitioners. What they ended up doing was trading some African chiefs guns for African prisoners of war and taking their new “cargo” to their new colony on the other side of the Atlantic, which we now know as Brazil. This just so happens to be where the Fifa World cup is held in 2014. Yes, Brazil was the first slave port in the Americas. Portugal , of course, took some of their captives back to their home land as well to live a life of servitude. Their descendants are still there and some of them are playing futbol for the national team just like Brazil, Columbia, and the USA.
That same day my nerd gene even kicked in when I was talking to my co-worker about how different Spanish countries all speak different versions of Spanish based on the slang that they use. I assumed that it was because the Spanish colonized these different lands like Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Dominican Republic, etc which already had existing populations that had their own distinct languages. Each Amerind, or Native American “tribe” spoke a dialect peculiar to their nation so when the Spanish instituted their native tongue as the national language of the conquered people they spoke a combination of the native language and Spanish. Since each land spoke their own language it stands to reason that their version of Spanish would be different from the version that other Amerinds under Spanish control spoke and the Spanish of Spain.
That’s right, sometimes it’s hard for me to enjoy a good joke without over analyzing it but I am who I am man.
I can only be 12