Those Brilliant Black People from Jamaica and Nigeria

Average national IQs can only tell us so much. In Europe/Anglosphere and East Asia average IQs run “high,” in sub Saharan Africa average IQs tend to run “low,” and everywhere else is somewhere in between. When you are looking for the top 10 countries with “the highest number of geniuses per capita in the world,” Mensa points us toward European countries. Nobel Prizes in the sciences likewise have largely gone to people working in Europe and the Anglosphere primarily.

Global IQ by National Average IQ Scores

But that evaluation is too coarsely-grained to explain the striking exceptions, such as the brilliant blacks of African extraction who migrate to the Anglosphere from Caribbean countries or from African countries such as Nigeria. Looking at particular strains of African-derived blacks who display exceptionally high levels of achievement for persons of any race, a rational person will begin looking for possible explanations of this “discrepancy from the mean.”

Consider the high IQ Igbo [or Ibo] people who were first discovered in Nigeria, and were later taken to parts of the Caribbean — including Jamaica — as slaves.

Originating primarily from what was known as the Bight of Biafra on the West African coast, Igbo people were taken in relatively high numbers to Jamaica as a result of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, beginning around 1750. The primary ports from which the majority of these enslaved people were taken from were Bonny and Calabar, two port towns that are now in south-eastern Nigeria.[5] The slave ships arriving from Bristol and Liverpool delivered the slaves to British colonies including Jamaica. The bulk of enslaved Igbo people arrived relatively late, between 1790 and 1807, when the British passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act which outlawed the slave trade in the British Empire.[6] Jamaica, after Virginia, was the second most common disembarkation point for slave ships arriving from the Bight of Biafra.[7] __ Wikipedia “Igbo People in Jamaica”

As a practical matter, intelligent blacks who spoke the languages of the slaves and who were capable of carrying out complex overseeing duties of business, production, and caretaking, would have been in high demand to help run the profitable tobacco, cotton, and sugar cane operations. They would not have been wasted in the fields when so many others who were less cognitively gifted could be used (often literally “used up”). For slave owners, the careless abuse of talent would have led to business failure and financial ruin. Whenever foolish owners abused the Igbo, the result was likely to be either a runaway, a suicide, a rebellion, and ultimately a lot of lost revenue for the owner.

[…] In study after study, it has been documented that the Ibo, through conflict and mobility, have been very successful in enterprise. Indeed, a major study argued that the Ibo have a very high need for achievement in the business world. Still another study showed that the majority of entrepreneurs in the sample were Ibo. (Butler, 1997, p. 178)

Sabino and Hall (1999) describe them as being “competitive, individualistic, status-conscious, antiauthoritarian, pragmatic, and practical—a people with a strongly developed commercial sense.” In colonial-era literature, they were often called “the Jews of West Africa” (see note). __ E & P

The British slave trade was abolished in 1807, and the importation of slaves to the US was banned in 1808 by Congress, so the slow flow of Igbo people from Africa to the New World would have stopped almost entirely before 1810 — if not for indentured servitude, which partially replaced the abandoned institution of slavery on Jamaica.

After the abolition of slavery in Jamaica in the 1830s, Igbo people also arrived on the island as indentured servants between the years of 1840 and 1864 along with a majority Kongo and “Nago” (Yoruba) people.[20] Since the 19th century most of the population African Jamaicans had assimilated into the wider Jamaican society and have largely dropped ethnic associations with Africa. __ Wikipedia

What actually happened since the 19th century is “assortative mating,” which likely strengthened the divides between the brighter Igbo (and associated peoples), and the majority of African derived peoples who originated from other tribes and other regions of Africa.

Igbo Exceptionalism Reinforces Human Biodiversity Theory

At first glance, the existence of so many bright black immigrants from the Caribbean and certain parts of Africa might be seen as the refutation of human biodiversity theories linking genetic evolution with differences in cognitive ability and other traits. But in reality it reinforces the concept of genetic changes that underlie average cognitive differences between breeding populations.

Igbo exceptionalism goes back over a thousand years:

This may be seen in more than 700 artefacts of bronze, copper, and iron recovered from the Igbo-Ukwu site and dated to the 9th century AD:

They are the oldest bronze artifacts known in West African and were manufactured centuries before the emergence of other known bronze producing centers such as those of Ife and Benin. The bronzes include numerous ritual vessels, pendants, crowns, breastplates, staff ornaments, swords, and fly-whisk handles.

The Igbo-Ukwu bronzes amazed the world with a very high level of technical and artistic proficiency and sophistication which was at this time distinctly more advanced than bronze casting in Europe.

[…] Apparently the metal workers of ancient Igbo-Ukwu were not aware of commonly used techniques such as wire making, soldering or riveting which suggests an independent development and long isolation of their metal working tradition. __ Source

When Europeans began exploring the Niger delta, they encountered ambitious and capable black trading people. After the British took over Nigeria, they quickly began employing the Igbo as bureaucrats, administrators, and in other responsible positions of the government. The Igbo proved more than capable of running much of the country under the British, but when the British left, Nigeria came under majority rule — which meant traditional strong-man tribal rule under the larger tribes other than the Igbo.

When forced to submit to the jealousy, stupidity, and hatred of surrounding tribes, the Igbo naturally rebelled:

The Nigerian Civil War (also known as the Biafran War and the Nigerian-Biafran War) was a civil war in Nigeria fought between the government of Nigeria and the secessionist state of Biafra from 6 July 1967 to 15 January 1970.[37] Biafra represented nationalist aspirations of the Igbo people, whose leadership felt they could no longer coexist with the Northern-dominated federal government. The conflict resulted from political, economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions which preceded Britain’s formal decolonization of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963. Immediate causes of the war in 1966 included ethno-religious riots in Northern Nigeria,[38] a military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbo living in Northern Nigeria. Control over the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta also played a vital strategic role.

Within a year, the Federal Government troops surrounded Biafra, capturing coastal oil facilities and the city of Port Harcourt. The blockade imposed during the ensuing stalemate led to mass starvation. During the two and half years of the war, there were about 100,000 overall military casualties, while between 500,000 and 3 million Biafran civilians died of starvation.[39] __ Nigerian Civil War

The Igbo continue to be persecuted by less intelligent tribes (and Muslims), and will tend to migrate to the UK, Europe, and elsewhere when the opportunity arises.

Igbo as Market Dominant Minorities

The concept of the “Market Dominant Minority” was explicitly defined by Amy Chua in the book World on Fire. Other examples of market dominant minorities include:

Chua gives examples of the concept that she calls ethnic “market-dominant minorities” such as the Overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia; European diasporas throughout Latin America and Africa; Israeli Jews in Israel and the Middle East; Russian Jewish Oligarchs in post-Communist Russia; Croats in the former Yugoslavia; Overseas Indians in East Africa, Overseas Lebanese in West Africa and Mexico, and the Yoruba, Igbos, Kikuyus, Tutsis in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Rwanda.[3]

As the experience of British and European migrants to Rhodesia and South Africa demonstrate, market dominant minorities may do very well in their “new homes” for a while, but the inherent corruption and incompetence of majority populations can doom all of their best efforts, when mob rule takes control of government power. The Igbo experienced that indignity in 1966, and have been fighting an uphill battle in Nigeria since.

In countries such as the UK, Canada, Jamaica, or the US, the Igbo may keep a relatively low profile, but wherever they choose to remain within the larger African-derived communities of these non-African countries they are likely to achieve high levels of authority and greater than average prosperity. In other words, the Igbo will tend to become “market dominant minorities” within the larger black majorities among whom they settle.

A Marvelous Opportunity for Genetic Cognition Researchers

Different populations evolved differently over thousands of years, based upon their initial genetic complement combined with their divergent environments over time. High IQ genes for different populations with high average IQ, are likely to comprise different assemblies. Just because evolution has performed magic tricks for the Ashkenazim, for multiple European populations, for some East Asian populations, and for some population groups in other parts of the world — it doesn’t mean that evolution has done as well as can be achieved, when it comes to producing robust, highly intelligent human beings.

Genomes from the Igbo people can provide yet another template for how nature has created high-IQ human populations. It behooves genetic cognitive researchers to pursue these various high-IQ lineages in search of clues for how we might do even better.


Fascinating tale of the son of a Jamaican migrant to the UK who saved the world from the malicious WannaCry computer virus.

It is important to remember that although black African nations earned their low average population IQs honestly, within such populations exist sub-populations of significantly higher IQ — and higher executive function. Treating all African-derived blacks as “the same” as each other, is just as much a mistake as denying that average levels of violence, illegitimacy, government dependency, and inter-generational low achievement are all higher in black African-derived populations when taken as one group.

If you can walk and chew gum at the same time, you probably have enough cognitive power to discriminate between people based upon tangible and relevant characteristics. Even if you are careful enough with your public image to pretend that you never would.

Be careful not to rush to judgment too quickly.

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7 Responses to Those Brilliant Black People from Jamaica and Nigeria

  1. Someone says:

    That’s some interesting history. I’ve noted some outliers when it comes to blacks and IQ, but for the most part most of them in a collective sense are stupid. And it shows in those countries.

    • alfin2101 says:

      I have certainly encountered a significant number of exceptions to the rule. Many of them were originally from Jamaica or Nigeria.

      • info says:


        It seems Igbo didn’t have enough of competent strategists to properly win the war against others persecuting them.

        • alfin2101 says:

          Nigeria was backed by the USSR and the UK against the tiny Igbo region of Biafra. The Igbo were starved out by two global superpowers.

  2. Jim says:

    The average IQ of American blacks is 85. Assuming a standard deviation of 15 about 25% would have IQ’s above 95 and thus not terribly below the average white person. There are more than 40 million blacks in the US so there are millions who are close to the average white in intelligence.

    • alfin2101 says:

      Very true. But I suspect that if we subdivided the African derived populations into tribally derived groups as best as can be done, we would find some sub-groups with IQ distributions almost identical to those of brighter populations of people from Europe or East Asia.

      If these gifted black peoples allow themselves to be submerged into the larger populations of African derived blacks, it would be a loss for humanity. That is not a politically correct thing to say, so don’t quote me.

      • Jim says:

        There is likely to be considerable variation in average IQ among the populations of Sub-Saharan Africa however I am skeptical as to whether there are any indigenous African populations with an average IQ of 105 which is about the average IQ of Northeast Asians. If there were such a population their presence should be quite obvious.

        The average world IQ is about 88 so African-Americans are only slightly below the world average. Of course no country with an average this low is capable of sustaining a first world economy.

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