On his father’ side Peter Ustinov is a member of the old Russian nobility. But on his mother’s side, he is a member of the Ethiopian Royal Family. The origin of this interracial line was the marriage of his great grandfather, a Swiss military engineer, with the daughter of the Emperor Theodore II. Forbidden to leave Ethiopia, as were the most valued of the Europeans who joined the Imperial service, the engineer had been wedded to the princess, apparently not only in compensation, but to insure his loyalty to the Emperor.
The former Ethiopian legation to Canada, who were then working with the Department of MultiCultural Affairs in Quebec related how, on a number of occasions, they had requested Ustinov to represent Ethiopia to the media in the same way that he had Russia during the years of the cold war when he appeared to be the only cultural liaison between the Soviet Union and the West. Apparently because of the racial climate at the time, Ustinov had not been able to rise to the occasion. Indeed, in his first two autobiographies, he described his great grandmother as a Portuguese woman at the Ethiopian court. It was not until sometime later that he acknowledged his royal genealogy during a CBC Radio interview.
Researched and Written by Mario de Valdes y Cocom
Some early critics wrongly suspected that Pushkin attempted to aggrandize the African lineage of this black forebear by playing up the family tradition that he was an Ethiopian princeling. However, Pushkin certainly did not need to embellish his ancestor’s own personal history. For the accomplishments of Ibrahim Petrovitch Gannibal are proof of what any man – despite his colour – could rise to, given the opportunity. Ibrahim was treated as no less than a member of the royal family at court and, in the biographical notes on him written either by his wife or by someone in her family shortly after his death, the following statement is made:
“….he (Peter) wished to make examples of them and put (Russians) to shame by convincing them that out of every people and even from among wild men – such as Negores, whom our civilized nations assign exclusively to the class of slave, there can be formed men who by dint of application can obtain knowledge and learning and thus become helpful to their monarch.” Read more about this Black Russian noble man.
Following the classical Greek analysis of light and colour, black and white were considered the two primaries since the interplay between light and dark is what was held to produce the spectrum. Furthermore, white, or more accurately, light, was not defined as a colour or ‘tincture’ but as the gold or the silver which, to this day, are still the only options for the term ‘metal’ in the language of heraldry. Black, therefore, was considered the most important of colours, ranking above the red, blue and green standardly referred to as ‘tinctures’.
Thirteenth century texts explaining the imperial insignia go even further. Because of medieval conceptions of the absorption of light by darkness, the writers theorized that within the color black was contained all the light or the white it had displaced.
This is obviously the reason why when the ruby is substituted for red or ‘gules’ and the emerald for green or ‘vert’ according to the traditions of gemnological blazonry, it is nothing other than the diamond that stands for ‘sable’. In all probability, it is also this line of reasoning that contributed to the cult of the Black Madonna. For, having borne the Light of Creation within her very womb, the devotion to the Mother of God as the (coal) black Queen of Heaven is a superb example of how this law of physics was at one time interpreted.
On Christmas Day James Brown died in an Atlanta hospital. But James Brown and his music will live on forever.
A Message From Mike Kendrick – Founder of The Mineseeker Foundation.
LANDMINES kill, maim, terrify and starve the population. There are over 70 million landmines buried beneath the surface of this planet. Every twenty minutes a land mine kills or maims someone??? usually women and children. They render over 800 thousand square kilometers of land useless and terrify millions of people who live in constant fear.The cost to human life is horrific and the economic effect is devastating. This is not an act of God, or a natural disaster – It is a man made disaster that is bigger, in terms of lives lost, than civil disruption and economic deprivation, including the Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina or the Pakistan earthquake.
Read all about The Mineseeker Foundation at The Sole of Africa.
Dear ONE Member,
This Saturday at 1:27 AM, your elected leaders heard your voice and helped make possible a crucial victory against poverty by passing important trade legislation.
The final votes for the bill were: Yea / Nay
House of Representatives 212 / 184
Senate 79 / 9
When ONE Members first took action to protect the ???third-country fabric??? provision of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) in September, it was little more than an obscure clause in a massive trade bill. Thanks in part to the hundreds of thousands of letters ONE Members sent to Congress, we were able to help get this important provision on the radar.
Your response to our final call to action last week was so incredible that rather than simply sending your letters, we called on ONE Members to hand deliver over a quarter of a million letters to Members of Congress.
Please take a moment to thank your elected leaders for helping make a difference against global poverty.
The last moments of the final Congressional session are generally reserved for the most vital legislation, and the fact that Congress took time after midnight on Saturday to pass this bill is, in part, due to your efforts to inform Congress that you care about this issue.
By renewing the “third country fabric” provision, America is helping to preserve as many as 150,000 jobs by allowing African apparel factories to import fabric and then export clothes to the United States. Quite simply, this trade benefit gives people a chance to work their way out of extreme poverty.
But thinking of this bill as 150,000 jobs doesn???t begin to reflect its impact. Each one of these jobs provides hope to a community, a chance for mothers and fathers to support their families, and helps send children to schools so that the next generation has a real chance for a future free from extreme poverty.
Take a moment to thank your elected leaders for helping make a difference against global poverty.
Sometimes extreme global poverty can feel overwhelming, but with this victory we can see measurable progress and are reminded that our actions make a real difference. More still needs to be done but it is important that we let Congress know how much we care about this issue so that you can count on their votes in the future.
Thank you for your voice,
Josh Peck, ONE.org
P.S. If you want to find out more about this provision check out the ONE Blog, including a play-by-play of our efforts and the passage of the bill.