“The claim of origins of the East goes beyond the Yoruba and Hausa. Law mentions the kings of Ghana, who claimed descent from the Caliph ‘Ali, the son in law and fourth successor of Muhammad; the founder of the first royal dynasty in Songhay believed to be of Yemeni origin; the royal dynasty in Mali, which claimed descent from two companions of Muhammad; and the royal dynasty of Borno, which claimed descent from Sayf ibn dhi Yhazan, who “although living before the time of Muhammad, can be thought of as proto-Islamic hero, as a defender of Mecca against Christian imperialism.” See Black and Slave: The Origins and History of the Curse of Ham By David M. Goldenberg
“The Saharan Kunta people trace their descent to Uqba ibn Nafi’, the commander of the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb in North Africa. So too the Berbers, who claim a Canaanite or Yemenite ancestry. The genealogical claims made by virtually every significant Arabic and Berber speaking ‘noble’ group in the Sahel invoke an Arab Muslim origin. And more. Murry Last writes to me “In the 1960s my professor and I did a survey and a count of all the peoples in West Africa (for whom there were traditions)-of all the peoples that claimed Middle Eastern origin-and when we reached 43 we called it a day…More such stories coming up almost every year.” See Black and Slave: The Origins and History of the Curse of Ham By David M. Goldenberg
“The explanation was given for these genealogies, that they reflect the inhabitants “desire to relate themselves to what was seen as a prestigious world civilization,” makes sense for the genealogies that are traced to Muslim or proto Muslim heroes. But how can they explain the traditions that consider the ancient ancestor to have been Canaan, who is not considered to be the forefather of the Muslim/Arabs? The Arabs trace their genealogy to Shem, not to Canaan. The answer seems to lie in the common Muslim tradition, examined above, which goes back to the 7th century, that Canaan was the ancestor of the Kushites and other dark-skinned African peoples.” See Black and Slave: The Origins and History of the Curse of Ham By David M. Goldenberg
Wilson Moses identified several from the 19th and first half of the 20th century. We can add Joseph Theophile Foisset as early as 1831, and William Van Amringe (1848). As part of his division of mankind into four distinct species (Shemitic, Japhethic, Canaanitic, Ishmaelitic), Van Amringe considered “the Negroes of Central Africa, Hottentots, Cafirs, Australasian Negroes etc., and probably the Malays etc.” to be descended from the Canaanite branch. See Black and Slave: The Origins and History of the Curse of Ham By David M. Goldenberg
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