BLACK HISTORY More Than Just a MONTH
Extraordinary black people who succeeded in the face of oppression
Alexander Pushkin, The Original Black Russian
The Original Black Russian
The African roots of Russia’s most famous poet.
A book by Catharine Nepomnyashchy


As Americans observe Black History Month, Russians will celebrate their own link to black history. This year marks the 171st anniversary of the death of their greatest national poet, Alexander Pushkin.

Yes, Pushkin, who died on Feb 10, 1837, was part black.

Pushkin’s great-grandfather, Abram Gannibal, was born in Sub-Saharan Africa, probably on the territory of what is now Cameroon, in the late 17th century.  Taken captive in his boyhood, he was transported in 1705 by a Russian emissary from the court of the Turkish Sultan and presented as a gift to Peter the Great.  Peter had the boy baptized and made him his godson. Since Abram was apparently a quick study, Peter gave him a job as his personal secretary then, as part of his crash program of modernizing Russia, sent him to France to study military engineering.