Mario Valdes

Researcher, black history & imagery

Independent researcher specializing in still relatively unexplored areas of black history and the black image.

Subjects range from St. Maurice, the African military commander of the 3rd century, who, as St. George is to England, had, for more than a millennium, been the personification of the military might and the religious ambitions of the Holy Roman Empire - to the horrific story of cannibalism perpetrated on the black crew members or a Nantucket whaler which, until I pointed it out in '99, had been the previously unknown source for Melville's Moby Dick.

My PBS Frontline web site on Alessandro de' Medici, the first Duke of Florence and the first black head of state in modern Western history is the most comprehensive on the internet. Not particularly surprising, it is the panoply of crowned heads, including those of Hapsburg Arch Dukes and Duchesses, European royals and nobles, as well as a rather formidable roster of titled aristocrats and captains of industry descended from him today that is the reason for the obscurity to which he has been relegated for so long by both the media and the academy. Whether just the residual racism from a previous generation on the right or the victimization paradigm so sacrosanct to the left, the question provokes more than enough of a determinant for me to follow up not only with regards this case but with a steadily lengthening list of others in the same category, as well. Derived, instead, from interracial relationships during the height of the West Indian slaveocracy, by the 19th century a very politically powerful and influential tier of English society had emerged which would contribute considerably to the rise of British Imperialism. A whole new perceptual twist to colonial history.

Considering its possibility as a compromise between the American North and the South there is another story from my Frontline web site on which I hope to elaborate more extensively. Both the Boston Tea Party and the Boston Massacre have been stamped indelibly in the national memory of the Revolution, To South Carolinians, however, their equivalents are Marrs Bluff and Alamance. In exchange for the North's surrender of the narrative romanticized by Emerson's Concord Hymn, the South ceases and desists from any further defense of the Confederate Flag. What could be more ideal than this one of a mixed race fully integrated Southern community, unlike any we are aware of in the North, let me hasten to point out, and who in their demand for equal justice and protection under the law from the British, are the ones who, in 1767 at Marrs Bluff, fire "the first shot heard round the world."

Contingent to my work on St. Maurice and the significance of his place in the chivalric tradition is the neo Plationc theology that developed to support his ethnic identity. Undoubtedly the most profound example is that of the Black Wise Man of the Christmas narrative. As one of three astrologers, not only is his celestial insignium the sun / Son, it is his gift of Myrrh, symbolizing both death AND resurrection, which proclaimed the divinity of the Child in the manger.

I could go on and on with an almost interminable number of equally exciting etceteras

Still "terra incognita" because of the racism that resulted from the Trans Atlantic slave trade, I cannot help feeling like the proverbial kid going wild alone in a candy store. Jis' dyin' to share the goodies.