Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

African History, Caribbean, Slavery, USA

Billie Holi-DAY

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A group of us including Marian of Marian’s Blog have re-named the March 17th Irish holiday “Billie Holi-DAY” to celebrate the forgotten Black people with Irish ancestry wherever they may be.

Most people do not know but jazz vocalist Billie Holiday, writer Alex Haley, Muhammed Ali and many other Black people in the Diaspora have Irish ancestry. As well as immigrants to the USA, a large number of Irish settled in the Caribbean, some as indentured servants used by the British to settle islands such as Montserrat which had the largest Irish population. Others went as merchants, plantation owners and missionaries to Guadeloupe, Martinique and Haiti. The islands were also used by the British as penal colonies similar to Australia.

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4 Comments

  1. It is sort of a given that if you are a black southerner, with exception of Louisiana and Texas, your white ancestry would be Scott-Irish. Not as much so in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Many of Irish prisoners wound up in the early southern colonies.

  2. I should have spelled it Scots-Irish.

  3. That’s cool. Billie Holi-Day. I would definitely celebrate.

  4. I never would have known that Muhammad and Billy had roots in the UK. The cultural diversity of individuals in the States never ceases to amaze me.