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The most famous black Russian

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    Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 16:34
The greatest Russian poet and the father of the Russian literature, Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin originated from a number of a very prominent Russian and European aristocratic families. However, one of his ancestor was one of his kind...
 
Abram Gannibal, the Moor of St. Petersburg, was perhaps the most famous African in the Russian history. Brought to St. Petersburg from Istanbul by a Peter the Great's agent he made a brilliant military and civil career in the Russian empire. He was educated in Europe where some say he befriended a several famous French thinkers inlcuding Diderot. He had amazing gifts for sciences and was particularly talented in mathematics.
 
It's still unclear where exactly he originates from in Africa. Several African countries try to claim the right to be his birth place.
 
 
Major-General Abram Petrovich Gannibal, also Hannibal or Ganibal or Ibrahim Hannibal or Abram Petrov, (1696 – 14 May[1] 1781) was an African prince who was brought to Russia by Peter the Great and became major-general, military engineer and governor of Reval. He is perhaps best known today as the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, who wrote an unfinished novel about him, Peter the Great's Negro.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 17:06
 
Thanks for the interesting post.
 
It is also interesting to note that Gannibal in his second marriage married a woman of Swedish ancestry, Christina Regina Sioberg, daughter of Matthias Johan Sioberg who came from the province of Scania, Sweden.


Edited by Carcharodon - 20 Aug 2009 at 17:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 18:40
Hehe, for me the most famous Black Russian is J.R Holden. An American born basketball player who has Russian nationality Tongue

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Robert_Holden

Did I mention that he is a damn good player?



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 19:32
If I remember an article in "Historia", a French history magazine, they credited Pushkin's grandfather with being from Chad. Supposedly, he was a slave presented to a Russian nobleman by the Sultan of Turkey. The actual article was on Alexandre Dumas, whose Grandmother was a Haitian Black, so Pushkin was mentioned only in passing. Still, it demonstrates that the facts of Pushkin's origins are hardly unknown.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 19:40
Well. Of course, origins of Pushkin are rather "known" in terms that they are from Africa. It's still unclear though which part of the continent Abram was from...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 20:45
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

... 
Abram Gannibal, the Moor of St. Petersburg,
 
I wonder where the name "Gannibal" comes from. It doesn't seem just a coincidence... Confused
Now, the term "Moor" here is not correct because (I am not wrong) he was from Ghana, and in Ghana there aren't Moors but Bantues, Mandingas and other Subsaharans (Blacks) and not Maghrebians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 20:45
. (double post)


Edited by pinguin - 20 Aug 2009 at 20:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 20:58
Perhaps an engraving of Ibrahim Petrov is in order:
 
However, I do believe that modern consensus set Eritrea or Abyssinia (through Turkey) and certainly it sounds plausible:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 21:01
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

 
I wonder where the name "Gannibal" comes from. It doesn't seem just a coincidence... Confused
Now, the term "Moor" here is not correct because (I am not wrong) he was from Ghana, and in Ghana there aren't Moors but Bantues, Mandingas and other Subsaharans (Blacks) and not Maghrebians.
"Moor" is just a fancy word that was sometimes used in Europe in the meaning of "black person" it doesn't imply in this context any direct relation to "real Moors." "Gannibal" was the name that Abram took for himself while his studies in France. Obviously, he was influenced by the story of Hannibal Barka.


Edited by Sarmat - 20 Aug 2009 at 21:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 21:06
Originally posted by drgonzaga drgonzaga wrote:

However, I do believe that modern consensus set Eritrea or Abyssinia (through Turkey) and certainly it sounds plausible:
 
 
It's actually not a modern but an old view. Which was BTW used my some to argue that Gannibal couldn't be real black African, since Abbysinians aren't really black Africans.
 
Modern view, holds that he was in a region of modern Cameroon adjustent to Chad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 21:44
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

"Moor" is just a fancy word that was sometimes used in Europe in the meaning of "black person" it doesn't imply in this context any direct relation to "real Moors."
 
I would say, in Northern Europe, instead of Europe; or in English instead. In Spanish "Moro" (Moor) doesn't mean Black, but Moroccian or Maghrebian.
 
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

"Gannibal" was the name that Abram took for himself while his studies in France. Obviously, he was influenced by the story of Hannibal Barka.
 
I though his name came from "Cannibal" ConfusedConfused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 21:48

The Lake Chad region sounds plausible, yet the trade routes from there across the Sahara in the 17th century would have set a port of destination in Lybia and Tunisia as far as the slave routes were concerned. Yes, the route to Khartoum is also plausible, yet, what I find strange is the relative silence from the individual himself...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AksumVanguard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 22:27
I pretty sure he was "Eritrean". I've really don't have a too in depth look about him,but he somehow made into  Russia as a slave,he was of Royal Blood.


Edited by AksumVanguard - 21 Aug 2009 at 02:06
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 22:40
Originally posted by AksumVanguard AksumVanguard wrote:

I pretty sure he was "Eritrean". I've really got too in depth look about him,but he somehow made into  Russia as a slave,he was of Royal Blood.
 
Unfortunately, there are no definite proofs of that. One thing that could definitely explain problem of the origins of Gannibal is his memoirs. But, unfortunately, he destroyed them.
 
Also, AFAIK, Abissynians were viewed separately by the Russians of the 18th century from the other Africans. Perhaps, we would have more reports now indicating his Abissyinian origins if he really was from that region.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Aug 2009 at 22:42
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

I though his name came from "Cannibal" ConfusedConfused
 
LOL
 
Hannibal is transliterated in Russian as "Gannibal."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prince of Zeila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 00:16
I think the guy was a local prince from Eritrea, there is even a Russian-Eritrean project that will see a statue of one of his descendents(Pushkin) erected somewhere in Asmara. Him being a prisoner of war during the Ottoman raids into the Ethiopia/Eritrea regions makes more sense than the Cameroon theory imo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AksumVanguard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 02:25
Look at the name Abram what can be more reconizable as an East African name along with Gannibal. I can recall hearing about him from proud Eiteans way back,they said he was a composer,writer and artist.Its not likely he was from Ghana or Cameroon most West African slaves were transported in the Trans Atlantic Slave trade. Only some made it to London and some on the Coast of Portugal but a small percentage to most West Africans
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 02:43
If he is Gannibal, he doesn't look West African at all, so I agree he could be Eritrean. Perhaps he could be mulatto or East African.
 
File:Gannibal I A.jpg
 
Perhaps he wasn't much different from Eritrea's president:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 03:20
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

If he is Gannibal, he doesn't look West African at all, so I agree he could be Eritrean. Perhaps he could be mulatto or East African.
 
File:Gannibal I A.jpg
 
Perhaps he wasn't much different from Eritrea's president:
 
That guy is not Gannibal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 03:24
Here is Gannibal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 03:26
Originally posted by AksumVanguard AksumVanguard wrote:

Look at the name Abram what can be more reconizable as an East African name along with Gannibal. I can recall hearing about him from proud Eiteans way back,they said he was a composer,writer and artist.Its not likely he was from Ghana or Cameroon most West African slaves were transported in the Trans Atlantic Slave trade. Only some made it to London and some on the Coast of Portugal but a small percentage to most West Africans
His name was Ibrahim. Abram was just a Russian equivalent of that Muslim name. Yes, Eritreans and Ethiopians like to to say that Gannibal was of their own. But there is no enough evidence for that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 03:31
This the book that argues for his West African origin.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Aug 2009 at 04:12
Like the absence of a personal narrative, an image of Ibrahim Petrovich Gannibal is hard to ascertain, the portrait above is considered a "false attribution" by the experts of the British Library.
 
 
Likewise, the rather chubby color portrait presented above is Ivan Abramovich Gannibal (1735-1810), the son. Nevertheless, one can presuppose the resemblance between the earlier engraving posted and the other example.


Edited by drgonzaga - 21 Aug 2009 at 04:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lirelou Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 05:40
Two points. First, persons of marked intelligence and drive tend to succeed in all cultures, regardless of their origins. Examples can be found throughout the world. So the acceptance of a single individual is hardly a measure of societal attitudes, as many posters have noted. Second, what does it really matter what part of Africa Gannibal came from? It is his descendant who is known to the world, not himself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 14:46
This thread remembers me the argument that the Phylosopher Spinoza is Spanish... Or the other that says the famous Physicist Luis Alvarez (American nobel prize winner) is Latiino LOL

Edited by pinguin - 22 Aug 2009 at 14:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 17:25
Here for the delectation of all is certainly the most famous "Black Russian" without a doubt:
 
 
OK, OK...done in levity but as Lirelou acutely underscored the presentation of this subject is an anomaly given the notoriety the old Soviet Union achieved with regard to the reception West African students experienced in Moscow when they undertook their studies there as well as current racism clearly expressed in the politics of the RFR.


Edited by drgonzaga - 22 Aug 2009 at 17:26
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prince of Zeila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 18:38
Sarmat never claimed all was Honky dory in Russian society with regards to foreigners(of any shade) so all of this is just red herring. He made a topic about an interesting figure in Russian history who was of African descent. The equivalance would be Sarmat making a similar topic about Viktor Tsoi in the East Asian forum under the title ''the most famous Asian in Russian History'' and then people replying with comments about racism against Asians in Russia or stating so and so is more famous than Viktor himself, how is all of that relevant to the subject in question?. 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 19:29
Well, Prince, if even Pushkin had a problem in coming to grips with one of his progenitors, then this substrata does have relevance. It would be rather difficult to obscure the nickname assigned to Nadezhda Osipovna (1775-1836)--La Belle Creole--by the Russian aristocracy and its intimations on another contemporary figure, the Empress Josephine. Certainly, I was not assigning any conspiratorial character to Sarmat's proferring of an interesting individual from the time of Peter I, but simply inquiring as to why under the label "Black". It is such a contemporary American peculiarism...he was an individual who achieved extraordinay personal success and it would be of great interest in grasping how it was done against all odds in terms of his own times.
 
Need I make reference to the fate of Toussaint Breda at the hands of Napoleon I?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Prince of Zeila Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Aug 2009 at 20:32
Drgonzaga, Black today seems to be synonymous with African(which is incorrect considering the North Africans or the darkskinned non-Africans in Asia), i guess we have Pax Americana to thank for that misconception. I doubt the man in question referred to himself as such. It's interesting though that his name was Ibrahim, which might explain why he was nicknamed 'moor' ( by the 17th century this word had evolved into meaning a person of Muslim heritage) and gives a small clue about his origin in Africa. The muslim heritage in Cameroon situated in West Africa is neglegible compared to say Senegal or Mali, therefore how did a person with the name Ibrahim find himself on a trip to Istanbul? was he caught by rival co-religionists? The gold rich muslim states had by that time already collapsed and the conquering Fulanis didn't enter the scene(Cameroon) until around the late 18th century so i'm personally leaning towards a Eritrean/Ethiopian origin of Abram. It was very common for muslim mercenaries to enter the militaries of the Solomonids and Gondarines, he might have been one of those who got caught during fighting with the Ottomans.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Aug 2009 at 00:15
There is nothing with which I disagree in your explanation Prince, but as you can see from any perusal of the Internet some rather fantastic imagery is employed when discussing this Petrine official, including the cover of Hugh Barnes' biography, Gannibal the Moor of Petersburg (2005). That his name was "Ibrahim", one does have to seriously question his enslavement within a Sub-saharan West African context.
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