Why do Ethiopians call Black People ....

Canton, MI

#282 Aug 5, 2009
Girma wrote:
Ok let me break it down to you again. I wont try to defend the use of the word bariya because I think its offensive and disrespectful. However, I don’t see how this word, even when improperly used, would make us sound as we’re not black.
As previously mentioned,“tiqur” means black and “bariya” means slave. End of story. Now the interesting part is to try to understand why this word, which was initially used towards anyone – Sudanese, arabs or whites- who was actually enslaved, turned out to be used as a slur towards fellow black people.
Ethiopia has always been very proud of being one of Africa’s only countries which really stood up for themselves during colonial times. The battle of Adwa, in 1896, when Italians were defeated, is commonly referred to as a matter of national pride. On the other end, West Africans have always been looked down on since they haven’t been able to contain European invasions and eventually, colonisation. The same pattern is applied regarding slavery and triangular trade, which involved West African slaves. These are historical facts.
It is completely irrelevant to use the word bariya towards African Americans for two reasons:
1 – It is offensive and pointless (see above)
2- The origin of the word has absolutely nothing to do with African Americans since it emerged centuries ago when the United States did not even exist. Plus, I do not think that African Americans should be called that way since they don’t have many ties with Africa anyway, but that is another topic.
Back to history. As I said, Ethiopia is a very proud people and the downfall of West African populations back in the 16th century (slavery) and 18th century (colonisation) led to the use of bariya as a slur. The downfall of West Africa clashed with Ethiopia’s dreams of glory and independence, and West Africa was seen as like they couldn’t keep up. Hence the term.
Now I am fully aware that today, Ethiopia is doing miserably in terms of economic growth and is probably way behind many West African states in terms of level of life. The bells of irony probably ring hard in the ears of Ethiopians using the bariya slur, as many west Africans now look down on Ethiopia.
Anyway, the term bariya, yet horribly demeaning, doesn’t make us white wannabees. Our ancestors have fought Europeans way too much for that. The origin of the word is more linked to Ethiopia’s dream of a powerful, independent Africa, hindered by the West Africa’s downfall, colonisation and slavery.
Actually, West Africa was very powerful until the late 19th century and was never fully colonized by Europeans as Liberia has never been colonized by Europe. Actually, if when WW1 came about Ethiopians had been more willing to risk opposing the European powers they may have become a world power. If one looks at the time period before WW1. Haiti, Liberia ,Ethiopia, and to a certain extent Darfur were all free independent "black" nations. Also, Somalia had not been conquered. If Ethiopia would have entered World War 1 on the side of Germany and the Ottoman Empire they could have done very well. Darfur was thinking of doing so, Somalia already had, and if Ethiopia would have made an alliance with Somalia they could have conquered East Africa. Also, you should know that an educated haitian named Benito Sylvain tried to form an organization to ameliorate the condition of the black race with Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia. Menelik responded that actually, he was a Caucasian.

Canton, MI

#283 Aug 5, 2009
He probably just wanted Europe to leave Ethiopia alone and did not want Italy to be too angry because they were beaten by a black nation. Still, other European powers were hypocritical to look down on Italians because they supposedly lost to a black nation. Almost all of the Western European powers had been defeated by at least one black nation. Portugal was defeated by the kingdom of the kongo. Britain, Spain, and France were defeated by Haiti. Menelik probably let a muslim become the head of the empire because he knew that if Ethiopia became a muslim country it would have allies. To me overthrowing his selection was a very bad idea.

Tracy, CA

#284 Oct 20, 2009
This is all rather senseless and doesn't improve our lives in any way shape or form. It is time to move on to something that will supersede ethnic differences so that all of us, peoples of African descent can prosper. We must learn to overcome these differences, cultural or otherwise and create a new and brighter tomorrow for all. That is an admirable goal that I invite all of my sisters and brothers of life to strive to attain. Yes "ONE UNIFIED BLACK NATION", comprised of unified black people. Inshallah and glory to GOD.

Ahwahnee, CA

#285 Nov 28, 2009
Tyrone wrote:
<quoted text>
No we shouldn't stop here. Infact, we need to go further and see how far you Ethiopains will cover up your racism towards Black Africans!
i had to comment after reading the forum...came upon it randomly and couldn't help getting sucked into the debate. First off, I'm not going to say anyone is wrong or right. I am offering what I know. Tyrone, from my experience of growing up an ethiopian kid in america (i'm 18 now) the word "baria" is commonly used as a racial slur for African americans, I've heard it said countless times by my aunts, uncles, other ethiopians...now sometimes, it really isn't used as a racial slur, it's just used as a refrence for AAs. but it would be ignorant for any ethiopia to claim that it has no racial slur intentions. From my understanding, and it may not be accurate, I think the word comes from the fact that AAs ancestors were slaves and I guess ethiopian's ancestors weren't slaves so there is superiorty thing going on...so in a sense it is very much like the N word. I also like to point that it also gets used as as just saying 'African American'. So depending on how it is said...it sounds different I guess is what I'm trying to say.

Ahwahnee, CA

#286 Nov 28, 2009
just to get it straight in anybody's head, don't make generalizations like all ethiopians are racists, that's makes you sound dumb because I am never racist to any group of people, growing up in California as thought me to embrace my culture as well as others. and if I hear about how I'm an ethiopian sellout, you can kiss my black ass for all I care. I tell it how it is. one love ain't no love if you don't include everybody.

Bolton, UK

#287 Nov 29, 2009
As long as Ethiopia continues being the begging bowl of Africa,they lack any kind of credibility irrespective of their past history

This is an embarrassment to the rest of the continent

They need to sort out their country,the number of starving children is unacceptable

San Francisco, CA

#289 Dec 17, 2009
ethiopia is poor but it has one of the richest cultures...I don't understand why so many people hate on them.
Your master

Lynnwood, WA

#290 Dec 26, 2009
the bad thing is the blacks sold all the retard stupid lazy blacks tot he jews to transport to the USA as slaves.

we sure did not get the good blacks. we got the lazy stupid retards.

Like there is a good black. OMG.

Roslindale, MA

#291 Mar 20, 2010
you ethiopian idiots . you all are black. whether your hair is nappy or curly. i cant believe they have the audacity to call other black people baria, HA!! oh and by the way... ethiopians need to stop trying to be indians and arabs... because you people look nothing like them. they look a hell of a lot better than you all. 10 million times. ethiopians= Black idiots. ignorant of their other black counterparts. thinks the world is all about them..HA HA what a joke.

Riverdale, IL

#292 Mar 24, 2010
C'mon sister That was not fair. I am Eritrean and to just say all Ethiopians are ------ was not fair. I also have a lot of Waria friends but to generalize one race was not fair. There are good Somalis and bad ones The same goes for every race. The world is not short of assholes.
Princess Lovable S wrote:
<quoted text>
I am having my morning laugh :))
My Somali friends say that NOBODY in Africa likes Ethiopians, and they wish the whole country will break off in the ocean and maybe the Yemeni save them from dying as they always have..
She say that Yemen and a few European nations have always protected and fed Ethiopia for centuries, so now they feel 'white'.
They sent chocolates and steaks from Switzerland and Germany while African Americans only dropped grain on the ground (horse * from the American 'whites'), right?
This is what people think of it... real talk, but I don't think it's right.

Grand Rapids, MI

#293 Apr 12, 2010
i am black but i really dont care what people call me its racist and god does not like that stuff it petty,folish,andwrong everyone has feelings

United States

#294 May 5, 2010
Man everybody is racist Whites call Black people N**ros and the Ethiopians call Black people Bareyas and the Somalis say Adoons and the Arabs say Abd-al-Aswad (Black slave). Everybody on Earth is racist to Black people so get over it! Especially behind computers lolololol!

“Akkami ilman Islamaa?”

Level 1

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#295 Jun 1, 2010
It's just the ugly illegal Yemeni immigrants the "Habesha" amaras who use that word.

The call west Africans and aa Bariya
My ethnic group Galla
and so on.....

They aint African, they're Arabian fools.

AND ETHIOPIA IS A FAKE NATION THAT WAS Colonized by the dirty habesh Abyssinian, they came south killed the true Africans tried to put their language and culture on us so FUCKKKKKKKKKK ETHIOPIA!!!!!!!!!

Newport News, VA

#296 Aug 18, 2010
Tyrone wrote:
I met alot of Ethiopians and when they talk that funny language of theirs. I always hear a word pronounced "BAR-e-YA". I asked one of my ethiopian friends what its meant. She told me, "It means slave or black". Basically in Ethiopian language, she spelled it like this "Baria",, Baria = Black = Slave!
So to Ethiopians a Slave is Black and BLack is Slave.
I find that very offensive and I told her that,but she said "Most Ethiopians look down on Black Americans because 1. They are Black 2. They are Slaves".
I have many Ethiopian friends who are not ignorant as the ones you describe. So for the record all Ethiopians are not like that. For the ones that are, I'll bet that if you let enough African Americans know what the word means that more can expect to get beat down for saying it, they'll stop :D

Seriously though, I'm not for advocating violence no matter how much someone might deserve it, just call whomever says that to you

Anta (An-tah) Baliger (Bah-lee-gere) ahya (ah-hee-ya)(to male)
Achee (An-chee) Baliger (Bah-lee-gere) ahya ((ah-hee-ya)(to female)


Anta (An-tah) betam (beh-taam) Cabt (cah-bt)(to male)
Anchee (An-chee) betam (beh-taam) Cabt (cah-bt)(to female)

The first means "you ignorant donkey" (in Amharic being called a Donkey is a serious insult), the second means "you stupid cow".

My Amharic is not perfect, but they will understand you and not like it. Here's another little factoid that most Ethiopians won't tell you: Ethiopia had slavery until the 1950s. In fact, they mistreated an ethnic group called the Oromo and even have their own N-word to describe them: gala (gah-lah) The Oromo are one of the largest popluations in Ethiopia, so angry were they at their mistreatment that they formed their own political group, the OLF or rather the Oromo Liberation Front.

African American culture has its problems, but an Ethiopian has no room to look down on an African American especially ones living in this country hoping to take advantage of the opportunities that African Americans made possible. Most Ethiopians I have ever met are a kind and generous people, but know that the ones that aren't hope to exploit your ignorance of their culture to put you down so that they can raise themselves up. Don't fall for it.

Newport News, VA

#297 Aug 18, 2010
Truth wrote:
I am an Ethiopian woman and I just want to explain that the word bariya is not equivalent to the N-word in English. My boyfriend is African American and this has been a topic of discussion before. In order to understand the true meaning of the word, you must speak the language. There are different connotations that can completely alter how the word is perceived.
This might sound stupid but I even have an example to help non-Amharic speakers understand: the word bariya can be adapted to a diminuitive, baricho, to become a term of endearment meaning my cute little dark one. It is similar to the Spanish word for black girl (negra), used as a term of endearment or just descriptive without being offensive...adding ita/ito to the end of a word is endearing ie. abuelito/a bebito/a, besito..
Yes, the word means "slave" but when Ethiopians say bariya, they are not referring to AA slaves that worked on plantations in the South, but rather the domestic servants in Ethiopia. To be honest, most Ethiopians don't know much about AA history and just use the word to describe one with dark skin who is a non-Ethiopian. If there is any discrimination against this so-called Bariya, it is probably based on socio-cultural factors, and not racial differences.
On that note,I would like to address the fact that people think Ethiopians are denying their disdain/hatred towards the AA community. I am not saying that Ethiopians don't look down on non-Ethiopians. Certain individuals DO look down on others just like rich people look down on poor people, just like black people look down on Asian people. The portrayal of the AA community has not the greatest. Images of crime, violence, and poverty have played a major role in this.
In closing, I want to say that instead of trying to prove some kind of innate hatred for AAs based on an oversimplified definition of a word is just breaking apart the black community (AAs and Ethiopians included). I hope that AAs reading this will just understand this: ETHIOPIANS DON'T HATE AFRICAN AMERICANS! WE ARE BLACK JUST LIKE YOU!
**Princess Lovable: Allah would be ashamed of you...your ignorance is overwhelming. All I can say is, think about what you post before you get all crazy saying things like: All Africans hate Ethiopians.
Don't even try it, it is the same as the N-word because it is said to disparage and to disrespect. Amharic has plenty such words such as GALA and D'KALLA. None of my habesha friends would ever use the word Bariya to describe me. Such Baligere habesha do a huge disservice to misrepresent their GOOD culture. Whether Muslim or Orthodox, such behavior is alien to both faiths and cannot be justified under any circumstance

As that other habesha will eventually read this post, let me make this point about antagonizing African Americans:

You can pizz on the African American all you like but one fact remains true: This is _our_ home... in general, the African American is the ONLY ethnic group in America that gives a shyt about *anywhere* in Africa and your fortunes here RISE and FALL with US. You don't have the population to change not ONE of our laws in your favor. Habesha in DC wanted to rename the Adam's Morgan section to "Little Ethiopia" and couldn't because it was BLOCKED by African Americans. Kinda makes you wonder if it would have happened had relations between the Ethiopian and African American communities had been warmer... The Congressional BLACK Caucus has no Habesha members... and we have far more influence affecting stuff like the immigration quotas to America from your countries that YOU DO. So antagonize us all you like, and let's just SEE how that works out for you.

Daytona Beach, FL

#300 Jan 28, 2011
The Ethiopians are lying. The Amara's call themselves "Chewa" and the darker Skin people baria. The conotation is Baria = slave. It should be abbandonned since the Ethiopians have become one of the poorest people in the world (ironic).

Detroit, MI

#301 Apr 30, 2011
The REAL Africans should throw them into the sea. Just Amhara, Tigrayan, Somalis. They sure talk alot of trash and cannot back it up at all. All things considered Angola or Nigeria, their so called slaves could completely conquer their countries in a matter of days. Am I being racist? No. if people want people to be their slave they obviously want war. That is how you get slaves isn't it? So I think the blacks should just give them what they want.

Detroit, MI

#302 May 2, 2011
Naw actually, I think Ethiopians are black, no matter what things we have done to each other in the past Ethiopians and other blacks should work to get along better.


#303 May 8, 2011
KIP wrote:
I could really care less what some African jungle bunny with an empty stomach has to say about me or any other black American being a slave.
i am ethiopian but damn you made me laugh xD

Chicago, IL

#304 May 8, 2011
No offense to the nice Ethiopians I have met but u call us slaves thats messed up! I cant believe it. do u know what americans in general call ethiopians? HUNGRY!!!!!!!

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

African-American Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
News Barack Obama, our next President (Nov '08) 1 min Teaman 1,581,276
News Trump's lack of moral compass leaves America on... 1 min Cigar Face 26 152
What music are you listening to right now? (Sep '08) 2 min Bebe 35,950
White women so jealous of us asian women (Aug '16) 8 min Jax 17
White nationalists "Unite the Right" Campus Rally 17 min Fucisil 102
Do black women prefer doggystyle? 22 min Harrisson 33
Poll Which race of women have the best bodies? (Oct '07) 28 min Fresh 1,187
Tomi Lehren dating a Black Man!!!! 2 hr MaceotheCoon 50
Seriously. What's gonna happen to the "sell-out"? 3 hr Ugly monkeys 52
More from around the web