Portuguese and America relationship with the Yoruba

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Portuguese and America relationship with the Yoruba


Don’t Africanized me. I am a Yoruba first and foremost.


The African Americans have black skin.
The Portuguese have white skin.

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I have two recollections of the postures of the Portuguese (white people) and the African Americans (black people) to the Yoruba nation.


The Portuguese relationship with the Yoruba:

In 1851, whilst the black in Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Hausa and Fulani enlisted in the English army to contend against the Yoruba, the Portuguese sold weapons to the Yoruba nation to defend themselves and confronted the English armed forces.

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Once more in 1855 when the English colonial government dumped free black slaves from England to Yorubaland, the Yoruba went to war over this because these free slaves were not Yoruba. Again, whilst the black people from Ghana, Sierra Leone, the Hausa and Fulani fought with the English against the Yoruba, the Portuguese supported the Yoruba with weapons to defend themselves.

Portuguese and America relationship with the Yoruba
Portuguese and America relationship with the Yoruba

The African Americans relationship with the Yoruba:

In 1993, Nigeria fell into political crisis when the Babangida military regime annulled the results of the election that Abiola, a Yoruba citizen had won. Abiola was then confined in detention by the Abacha military regime. In 1996, during his six-day visit to Nigeria, Louis Farrakhan, an African American Muslim leader, visited Abiola and Abacha. He told journalists in Lagos that Nigerians should give General Sani Abacha the three years he has sought for a handover to civilians. He also criticized the United States and other Western powers for pressuring Abacha to release Abiola. Louis Farrakhan was allegedly paid the sum of $5 million by Abacha to influence the United States of America to forget about Abiola.

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In 1996, Abiola, a Yoruba, died, apparently of poison amid the America envoys’ visit, including Secretary Susan Rice, an African American. It was alleged that Susan Rice, an African American, poisoned Abiola’s tea, shortly after he had declined to renounce his mandate as the president-elect of Nigeria.



If I were to choose between the African Americans and the Portuguese as a Yoruba citizen and individual with a black skin, I will gladly accept the fact that the Portuguese has been useful for the Yoruba nation than the African Americans. I would instead form a special relationship with the Portuguese than with the African Americans. Self-preservation has nothing to do with the skin colour, but everything to do with self-interest.

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In addition to the above, about 5,000 Yoruba people were taken as slaves and moved to the United States of America. On the contrary, over a million Yoruba people were brought as slaves to Brazil, Cuba, and Trinidad respectively. They would pass on one of the most visible and lasting cultural imprints on the growing Yoruba community of Brazil, Cuba, and Trinidad. Yoruba culture became synonymous with African culture as a whole in these countries.

There is no such successful Yoruba cultural assimilation in the United States of America among the African Americans because only a minutest number of Yoruba were taken as slaves to the United States. The Yoruba ancestry of the African Americans is less than 1% of the entire population of the African Americans. They are definitely Africans, but not predominantly Yoruba.


The Yoruba as a nation must establish its working relationship with other countries on self-preservation and not necessarily on skin colour.


I am not black first and foremost. I am a Yoruba first and foremost. And the Yoruba Lives Matter most to us.



Adeyinka Grandson
President of the YYF

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