The most authentic thing about us...

is our capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love and to be greater than our suffering

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Ben Okri

Marian Wright Edelman
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The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; It is whether we can afford not to.
Jesse Owens (1913-1980)
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The battles that count aren't the ones for gold medals.
 
The struggles within yourself—the invisible, inevitable battles inside all of us—that's where it's at.
Let's NOT waste the opportunites we have...

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Dispelling the Myths

Within the website you will find information regarding the REAL HISTORY of people of colour… I use this terminology because if you follow the journey and read the pages you’ll know that the term ethnic is actually derogatory, and for some people still mentally refusing to want to call themselves African – its an easier terminology to handle…. And oh yea we don’t all like to be called black because were not actually the colour black, and we are different shades of brown and alllll the politics… People of colour! Ok, I digress, the point I wish to make is that I cannot physically put all the text WE AS A PEOPLE need to know but I hope to respectfully list important factors that may change your mindset and beliefs when it comes to people of colour…

 

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African, Black whatever you want to call it HISTORY does NOT begin with slavery and us in mud huts, grass skirts, chanting aimlessly into oblivion before the ‘white man’ came and civilised and taught us. My intention is to dispel most of those myths and give you FACTUAL information regarding our history.

History – A collective record of people shaping the world around them in their interest and images…. BUT THE REAL AFRICAN history has yet to be told, we are only fed the slavery, mud hut, uncivilised, uncultured westernised version.

The greatest sort of disempowerment is the loss of cultural and historical perspective by a people. A lack of knowledge of one’s history implies an absence of knowledge about ones place in the universe. The erasure (or obfuscation) of African history and culture is the greatest tool employed by this Euro-American power structure to control Africans at home and in the diaspora.

And so it begins…

DISPELLING THE MYTHS

In brief AFRICA was a rich, successful, peaceful, self sustaining country until the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. We were even held in high esteem up until a certain point, and then the ‘trading’ began and everyone became greedy

During  the enslavement period many of our historical artefacts, beautifully woven and/or crafted clothes, tools, books etc  were taken, burnt, destroyed or put in museums or high society private collectors collections

We are fortunate to have written accounts from spies, informers, travellers etc that went to Africa before the invasions etc to seek out information to report back to the countries wishing to take control of the people, goods, trade and land. These reports are extremely important research tools as they were unbiased accounts of what was seen before slavery began as they were intended for those wishing to make decisions on whether to invade, trade, or bribe inhabitants to get what they wanted.

These written reports are quoted in a variety of African History books and I urge you to invest in them to elevate your understanding of what we were doing and how we were living in Africa before invasion and our REAL history.

For example…

Evidence of streets

In Congo Professor Leo Frobenius A German Africanist (in his many volumes of books) sought out records from late 1800 and early 1900’s that stated… ‘the captains were astonished to find streets well laid out bordered on either side…

Designers

Evidence exist that before enslavement, colonialisation and all the other bad things we always only ever hear about, that West Africa for example exhibited plush velvets of extreme softens made from the most tender leaves from certain banana trees, blade points inlaid with the finest copper, bows ornamented beautifully etc

Architecture

Accounts from 1591 by Flilppo Piafetta an Italian explorer in Kongo he stated that the King at that time had a palace surrounded with walls and royal houses within it. There exists numerous accounts that Architecture and structures were erect and prevalent 100’s of years ago before. In Ghana 1153 ..’the king had a castle constructed in 1116 well solidly fortified. Its dwellings are ornamented by pictures, sculptures and glass windows.

Civil Trade

Accounts from Mail in 1352 report that ‘the village is a construction of houses, mosques and a salt mine with camel skin roofing..dug out of the ground in huge slabs…. A camel carries two slabs of salt and the Malian from their country and carry away the salt... they trade it in pieces

Prosperous

Further reports on Mali in 1352 state that … men at arms come with wonderful weaponry: quivers of silver and gold, swords covered with gold, spears of silver and wands of solid crystal.

Dressed

(Congo report early 1900) … travelling through magnificent fields inhabited by men clad in richly coloured garments of their own weaving!... dressed in silk, and velvet… down to the most minute details… powerful rulers flourishing industries civilised to the marrow of their bones…’ In Mali reports... ‘the preachers concubines had on fine clothes and on their heads they have bands of silver and gold with gold apples as pendants’

Literate /Educated

Timbuctoo/Timbuktu in Mali 1526 report that judges, doctors and clerics were all paid well by the King – individuals would write on tablets and drink the water that they washed it off with to ‘internalise the words/understanding’.. all adults attended university type learning for 14 years and most of the profit in Mail was via high demand for books in manuscript imported from North Africa.

Loyal/ Kind

During the period of exploration as the ‘man’ likes to call it was a period where Africans welcomed the travellers believing they would trade with them.

Servitude

Before the enslavement period there was normal servitude as in ‘if a man needed to pay off a debt he’d work for you until paid’.

Resistance

Before the onslaught of my brothers and sisters we resisted numerous times, and were never in partnership with the slave traders UNLESS bribed, coerced or threatened. The King & Queens of those times defended all the Africa’s and lists upon lists can be presented to you about the events that took place in history where we fought against enslavement and corruption.

On ships we fought, when the ships docked other ‘freed Africans’ would attempt to help rescue those on board, when on plantations or put to work we constantly tried to escape, so much so that barbaric punishments like mutilation were used.

To name a few slave rebellions…

1522 Revolt in San Domingo

1655 Revolt of 1500 Maroons in Jamaica

1692 Revolt in Barbados

1718 Revolt in Haiti

1763 Black Caribs Revolt

1796 St Lucian Revolt

1844 – 1893 Dominican Revolt

5 Acts of Retribution by Black People in Response to European Oppression - CLICK HERE

 

15 Black Uprisings Against European and Arab Oppression They Won’t Teach in Schools - CLICK HERE 

 

To Summarise 

Africa was abundant in food (cocoa, rice, fruits, etc), rich with gold, so much so that African attire incorporated gold within it. Among the history in our faces in Central London you can still see Gold ornaments, parts of statues and buildings with the gold taken from the Africas. We were great inventors, innovators, creators and made buildings, sourced food, grew crops and were well educated. During the enslavement period the strong, educated, creative, skilled people were taken leaving no skilled people to maintain crops, teach, invent and overtime we can now see what the Africa’s have become.

From the beginning of enslavement those countries involved (inc Spain, Portugal, England) became greedier, using more and more tactics relying initially on our  hospitality to come into the country and then used lies, products and promises to coerce us into believing that better would come by informing to, or helping ‘the man’.

Many black people seem to believe that blacks spied on each other, sold slaves, enjoyed the slave master responsibilities etc but the reality is that are families were sometimes threatened or separated and resistant blacks faced death, torture or punishment if they did not agree. Even the Kings and Queens at that time were fed false promises or had their villages burnt down in order for control to be gained by the explorers.

Enslavement was able to expand rapidly and easily because laws were passed in favour of it and the Church strongly advocated it....

 

© 2011 All rights reserved.
No republication of this material, in any form or medium, is permitted without express permission of the author

 

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