Neurodiversity and African Americans

slaveshipTwo biological processes impact the American Black population, resulting in increased learning disabilities, specific medical maladies and challenges not familiar to most other ethnicities and most whites of European origins. In addition to the challenges of these biological circumstances, as a result of these processes, the American Black population is also blessed with gifts that provide recognition and respect, and now the presidency.

There are three primary genetic pools in Africa. One genetic source is believed to have resulted in literally all other humans that have distributed themselves about the world since the diaspora of 50,000–80,000 years ago. The other two are far smaller, located in central and east/central Africa. All three are relatively ancient compared to the many other ethnicities across the planet.

Darwin observed, while breeding pigeons, that when two widely divergent threads or strains mate or blend, having had no genetic contact for a prolonged period of time, the progeny often reveals traits of the last common ancestor. For example, Chinese pigeons were bred in isolation from European pigeons for more than 2,000 years. When cross-bred, they revealed features of the Roc pigeon, ancestor to both derivations.

Breeders would sometimes observe a surge of archaic features that would offer robust health to strains long separated from their origins. Sometimes individuals would emerge that seemed an echo from the past, less useful for their purposes.

American Blacks in large measure are a mix of African Blacks and a variety of other European and indigenous American ethnicities. This mixture has resulted in an American population infused with the neurological and physiological repercussions of the emergence of features of ancient archetypes in the present day. At an extreme, many American Blacks have been burdened by learning disabilities as they seek to navigate written languages, while at the same time they are gifted by a facility with speech and dance.

There are negatives and plusses in this mixed genetic landscape. There may be those carrying very old prespeech genetics, carrying facility communicating in gesture and song, with neurologies demanding constant rhythm and touch. They are not born into an environment mirroring those demands. These may be some of the children that become autistic.

Profoundly complicating the implications of crossed genetics is the impact of seasons on genetics cued to equatorial light patterns. Peoples living near the equator are used to 30% testosterone fluctuations responding to diurnal (daily) light cycles. Taken from their geographic origins to a land with seasons, the pineal gland interprets winter as night, summer as day, resulting in testosterone thresholds that last months instead of hours. There are a number of implications. One area of impact is the mother’s uterine testosterone, changing according to the season, modifying the maturation rates of her children according to their season of birth. A mother’s testosterone level regulates progeny testosterone levels and maturation rates. The result is children skewing toward the maturational extremes, with higher and lower testosterone thresholds than the standard societal distribution. The result is both maturational-delayed males and maturational-accelerated females (susceptible to autism, learning disabilities and specific medical maladies) and maturational-accelerated males and maturational-delayed females (susceptible to a different variety of medical maladies and different learning disabilities).

Marian Annett hypothesized two different types of dyslexia based on two different kinds of neurologies. One set had difficulty with phonology, the other side was challenged by being able to visually represent language. I would predict that the American Black population would display both these forms of dyslexia at higher rates than other populations based upon the varying thresholds of mothers’ uterine testosterone levels. I would also predict strong opposite season-of-birth correlations.

Mixing formerly separated genetic populations and exposing equatorial populations to changing seasons are two ways to both compel challenges and offer gifts. Pushed to hormonal extremes with unconventional metabolic and maturation rates, individuals both suffer and transcend. The astonishing number of gifted black athletes and orators has much to do with impacts noted above. Barack Obama is just one example of the gifted, lanky, left-handed, brilliant communicator, the classic maturational-delayed male. Perhaps with increased funding in education, many more will be able to take advantage of the unique biological circumstances that have resulted in the Black American.

Proceed to author’s FREE book download on this subject (The book is called Evolution, Autism and Social Change). 10 minute introductory video here.

on 12/23/09 in featured, Society | 1 Comment | Read More

Comments (1)


  1. Have you read Murry’s book, The Bell Curve? I havn’t read it myself, but from what I know it describes racial differences in IQ, very contraversial. What makes this smore interesting is yesterday I was listening to a clip about Rap music, and one of the rap artists said “before black men use to be docile. Now, after Hip Hop, we have to (put on a machismo face)” It must be the decline of the comunity which allows the “machismmo” culture of the triditional western male to trickle-down in to a unordered fashion in the black population and other other marginalized groups of young people.

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