Saturday, November 14, 2015

MANA Author Places Cabo Verde Islands In The Global Spotlight

In most history textbooks, particularly those used in schools in the United States, little is written – if anything at all – about the Cabo Verde Islands. 

The Cape Verdeans who hailed from this democratic country have made significant contributions to world history, yet the feats of Cape Verdeans, who are of European and African heritage, have seldom been told. Author Marcel Gomes Balla is rectifying this oversight in his new book, The Importance of Cabo Verde in a Global Context.  

Mr. Balla is a Cape Verdean who has spent much of his adult life researching and spreading the word about the people of Cabo Verde. The Importance of Cabo Verde in a Global Context provides information that has long been ignored by traditional historians. The author said he wrote the book especially for people who want to learn more about the important role of Cabo Verde in world history but have no idea where to find it. 

To start, Cabo Verde is a group of 10 volcanic islands in the central Atlantic Ocean located off the coast of West Africa. The archipelago (group of islands), discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, was heavily involved in the Atlantic slave trade. The country gained independence from Portugal on July 5, 1975.

In his book, Mr. Balla reveals many facts about the Cape Verdeans and their impact on North America, including:

•Mateus de Sousa, a seaman, who was believed to have been recruited in Cabo Verde in 1633, served in the Legislative Assembly in the state of Maryland and became the first person of African origins to vote in the history of America. He also participated in the construction of the first Catholic Church in America.

• Marcus Lopes, a seaman who was recruited in Cabo Verde in 1787, became the first person of African descent to set foot in the state of Oregon in 1788. His activities resulted in the discovery of the Columbia River between the states of Oregon and Washington, that later it is believed to have been the basis for the United States to take possession of the Oregon Territory in the Treaty of Oregon with the British in 1846.

Mr. Balla also notes famous persons of African descent who helped shape the American continents such as Mexico's second president, Vincent Guerrero, who abolished slavery in Mexico in 1829 and emancipated all slaves, nearly four decades before slavery was abolished in the United States. 

Mr. Balla has been investigating Cape Verdean History for more than 40 years and is the only Cape Verdean American to be invited by the descendants of the first Cape Verdean family to speak at an International Conference in Genoa, Italy to commemorate the 550 year history of the Discovery of Cabo Verde (1460-2010).

For more information about The Importance of Cabo Verde in a Global Context, click HERE.

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