There was a time when the entire continent of Africa was known as Ethiopia. It was during this time when Ethiopians/Africans were highly advanced and actually migrated out of Africa and went to colonize Europe and other parts of the world. For many years, Africans were highly advanced compared to other races/cultures but they never saw themselves as superior to anyone.
“Moor” is an anglicized word for ‘Omoros (omo oro) meaning ‘children of light’ and can be further translated as ’sons of civilization’. The Moors colonized Europe for 400 years and helped to bring modern civilization to them.
The Moors were originally Africans, and they first arrived in Europe, in Andalusia Spain in 711 AD. This army led by Tariq ibn-Ziyad crossed the Strait of Gibraltar from northern Africa and invaded the Iberian Peninsula. They conquered the whole of Spain and subsequently forced part of Italy into subjugation.
These Black Moors ruled Spain for an initial period of almost 300 years and then expanded into Europe, subjecting much of the continent for altogether 700 years.
Basil Davidson, a British historian, records that there were no lands in the 8th century that were more admired by its neighbors, or a more comfortable place to live in, than a rich African civilization built up in Spain.
The writer Shakespeare wrote about these people in his plays; Othello, Corielanus, As you like it, etc. The best-known books of the moors are found mainly in German. It is believed that the English either altered their version or simply destroyed the books. But the Moors who ruled Europe from Spain ruled England as well and offered Jews their protection until the civil war between Moors of Arab descendency and the African Moors.
One of the major Moorish tribes called Beni M-eri was greatly weakened by the devastating nature of the war to the point that they fell prey to the resurgent Christian forces led by Queen Isabel, Ferdinand, and Pope Benedict the Sixth.
The terms of surrender in 1485 were not favorable to the moors and when they surrendered Alhambra they began to depart from Spain. Their impact and size of their history in Europe are so staggering that it is understandable why Europe chose to ignore it completely. Europe didn’t achieve much outside the impact of the Moors. The civilization called Europe, its stock market and culture of precision is merely a leftover of these Moors.
The civilization controlled the Red sea and the surrounding Mediterranean, including West Africa where their monopoly of gold possibly came from. It is now known that the Gold Coast which is mostly Ghana, is a country existing in Moorish maps at least before 1300. The Spaniards who eventually went to West Africa were solely looking for the Gold Coast.
Moorish-Spain had universal education, available to all, while ninety-nine percent of the population in Christian Europe were illiterate, and even kings could neither read nor write. At that time, there were only two universities in Europe whereas the Moors had seventeen great universities located in Almeria, Granada, Cordova, Juen, Seville, Malaga, and Toledo.
Paper was introduced by the Moors to Europe. Also, Arabic numerals were introduced replacing the clumsy Roman system. The Moorish rulers lived in splendid palaces, a sharp contrast to the monarchs of Germany, France, and England who dwelt in big barns, without windows and chimneys, and with only a hole in the roof serving as a smoke exit.
Alhambra in Granada is one of such Moorish palaces. The palace is today a UNESCO World Heritage site and is considered as one of Spain’s architectural masterpieces. Alhambra used to be the seat of Muslim rulers from the 13th century to the end of the 15th century.
The new knowledge of China, India, and Arabia reached Europe through Africa. It was the Moors who brought the Compass from China into Europe. Córdova, the heart of Moorish territory in Spain, at its height was the most modern city in all of Europe.
It had well-paved streets with raised sidewalks for pedestrians. At night time, ten miles of streets were well illuminated by lamps. This was hundreds of years before Paris had a paved street or London had a street lamp! Cordova had 900 public baths – a poor Moor would go without bread rather than soap!
Despite the fact that Spanish rulers across different generations have tried to expunge this era from historical records, recent archeology and scholarship have now shed new light on the Moors who flourished in Al-Andalus for over 700 years, from 711 AD until 1492. It has been established that the Moorish advances in mathematics, astronomy, art, and agriculture helped propel Europe out of the Dark Ages and into the Renaissance.
The gold dealers of Spain were the real moguls, while gold was in seriously short supply in Europe, the moors draped themselves with gold. After their defeat in great numbers, they returned to West and North Africa where they collapsed as a people and were never heard off again.
It is recorded in Spanish history that over 500 thousand of these people left Spain by boat within a space of half a century beginning from about 1450. 400 thousand then left after 1492. Today, that record is mistaken as a record of the slave trade given the number of records available for carracks traveling from Spain to West Africa.
The intriguing question is why would Spain permit the landing of 500 thousand Africans at the same time that Spanish Christians and their royalty were asking 150 thousand Jews to leave Spain? As of then, the black Muslim population of Spain was up to a million and the Caribbean Island was not taken by Spain until the late 17 century. The best books about the Moors are also available in French and other languages of Europe saving English.
In the rest of Europe, Moorish influences could be seen in Ireland where an African king named Gormund ruled during the Anglo-Saxon period. In Norway, Halfdan the Black was the first Africoid king to unite the country. The black huns were described as a fierce barbaric race of Asiatic nomads who led by Attila, ravaged Europe in the 4th and 5th centuries A.D.
Southwestern Europe was dominated by African Moors during the Middle Ages for 700 years: 711-1492 A.D. The darkened whites in this area, especially Portugal was the first example of a Negrito (African) republic in Europe. In Scotland, the Moors ruled the country in the 10th century and mixed with whites until the black skin color disappeared.