The Afro-Iranian Community: Beyond Haji Firuz Blackface, the Slave Trade, & Bandari Music


The Afro-Iranian Community: Beyond Haji Firuz Blackface, the Slave Trade, & Bandari Music
by ajammc

A friend recently shared two anecdotes from his trip to Iran with me that deal with race and skin color in the Iranian context. In Persepolis, which is located in southern Iran, darker features are more prevalent than in northern Iran. During a trip to the city, he and his Tehrani friends were surrounded by local schoolchildren yelling “hello!” and other basic English phrases. Even the teacher leading the group spoke to my friend in stilted English, asking where the group was from. The children were bewildered to learn that the light-skinned tourists (including one with red hair) were, in fact, Iranians and not Europeans. Conversely, the children had a darker skin tone that in Tehran might be seen as foreign or “Afghan.”

The second anecdote took place in Tehran. While walking down a busy street, my friend and his cousin noticed a man with darker skin. My friend’s cousin insisted that the man was a foreigner of African descent, but finally assented once she overheard him speaking fluent Persian. In both of these anecdotes, Iranians traveling within Iran encountered racial and ethnic others and were forced forced to confront the reality that nationalist myths of ethnic homogeneity are completely artificial.

When talking about the diversity of Iran, most people will recall the various ethno-linguistic groups that are equally native to the Iranian plateau, like Persians, Azeris, Gilakis, Baluchis, and others who have migrated to the region through the centuries. In these discussions, however, Afro-Iranians and those of African descent are often ignored. Perhaps this stems from their limited exposure in mainstream Iranian culture. Or maybe it is because the legacy of African slavery in Iran contradicts the ever-so-pervasive Aryan myth of perfection and civilization. Regardless, most Iranians forget the Afro-Iranians and their rich traditions, despite their prominent cultural influence that persists today.

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I Love My People

by Azarbanoo on

Regardless of their colors, races, religions & their ethenic back grounds.  Hopefully, After more than 33 years of bastard Islamists in IRAN we must love & care about each other and realize that what IRR has done to us to divide us.


ایرانیان آفریقایی‌تبار


ایرانیان آفریقایی‌تبار

ایرانیان آفریقایی‌تبار گروهی از مردم ایران هستند که اصالت آفریقایی داشته و در طی قرن‌های مختلف به ایران وارد

شده‌اند. این گروه از مردمان بیشتر در استان‌های جنوبی ایران به سر می‌برند

پیشینه// در متون فارسی دوره اسلامی مانند قابوس‌نامه از بندگان حبشی سخن به میان آمده که در بازارهای ایران فروخته می‌شدند. شمار زیادی از این مردم بازماندگان بردگانی هستند که توسط تاجران بردار عرب به خلیج فارس آورده می‌شدند. همچنین در دوره‌های بعدی پرتغالی‌ها در سواحل ایران دست به تجارت برده می‌زدند.[۱] این سیاهپوستان عمدتاً بانتو زبان و متعلق به شرق آفریقا و از کشورهای تانزانیا به ویژه زنگبار، مالاوی و موزامبیک بوده‌اند. در نهایت در سال 1848 محمدشاه قاجار تحت فشار بریتانیا فرمان لغو برده‌داری را صادر نمود. //


Yes Maziar, I remember Mehrab Shahrokhi

by Souri on

I was a fan!

His nikname was "bomb-afkan e siah" !

Khoda rahmatesh koneh.

maziar 58


by maziar 58 on

Let's not forget whomever Borned and raised in Iran will remain Iranian regardless of their color,dialect,or faith.

Any body Remebers Mehrab Shahrokhi ?

The legendary football player?



I relate on seeing Iranians of African decent

by amirparvizforsecularmonarchy on

As Iranian as the rest of us.


Thank you!

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

This lack of understanding the ethnic diversity & composition of Iranian nation is quite widespread. In fact myself,  first met a "black Iranian" , while studying in Europe! My friend , from a coastal region of south eastern Balouchistan, later explained to me that that area is polulated by migrants from Africa. They are of course as Iranian as the rest of us.

Long live Iran and all it's people.

"Personal business must yield to collective interest."