We could work together to set a new agenda to restore the stolen pride and peace of Africa continent.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM||comments (2)|
100 things that you did not know about Africa.
1. The human race is of African origin. The oldest known skeletal remains of anatomically modern humans (or homo sapiens) were excavated at sites in East Africa. Human remains were discovered at Omo in Ethiopia that were dated at 195,000 years old, the oldest known in the world.
2. Skeletons of pre-humans have been found in Africa that date back between 4 and 5 million years. The oldest known ancestral type of humanity is thought to have been the australopithecus ramidus, who lived at least 4.4 million years ago.
3. Africans were the first to organise fishing expeditions 90,000 years ago. At Katanda, a region in northeastern Zaïre (now Congo), was recovered a finely wrought series of harpoon points, all elaborately polished and barbed. Also uncovered was a tool, equally well crafted, believed to be a dagger. The discoveries suggested the existence of an early aquatic or fishing based culture.
4. Africans were the first to engage in mining 43,000 years ago. In 1964 a hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge in the Ngwenya mountain range. Ultimately 300,000 artefacts were recovered including thousands of stone-made mining tools. Adrian Boshier, one of the archaeologists on the site, dated the mine to a staggering 43,200 years old.
5. Africans pioneered basic arithmetic 25,000 years ago. The Ishango bone is a tool handle with notches carved into it found in the Ishango region of Zaïre (now called Congo) near Lake Edward. The bone tool was originally thought to have been over 8,000 years old, but a more sensitive recent dating has given dates of 25,000 years old. On the tool are 3 rows of notches. Row 1 shows three notches carved next to six, four carved next to eight, ten carved next to two fives and finally a seven. The 3 and 6, 4 and 8, and 10 and 5, represent the process of doubling. Row 2 shows eleven notches carved next to twenty-one notches, and nineteen notches carved next to nine notches. This represents 10 + 1, 20 + 1, 20 - 1 and 10 - 1. Finally, Row 3 shows eleven notches, thirteen notches, seventeen notches and nineteen notches. 11, 13, 17 and 19 are the prime numbers between 10 and 20.
6. Africans cultivated crops 12,000 years ago, the first known advances in agriculture. Professor Fred Wendorf discovered that people in Egypt’s Western Desert cultivated crops of barley, capers, chick-peas, dates, legumes, lentils and wheat. Their ancient tools were also recovered. There were grindstones, milling stones, cutting blades, hide scrapers, engraving burins, and mortars and pestles.
7. Africans mummified their dead 9,000 years ago. A mummified infant was found under the Uan Muhuggiag rock shelter in south western Libya. The infant was buried in the foetal position and was mummified using a very sophisticated technique that must have taken hundreds of years to evolve. The technique predates the earliest mummies known in Ancient Egypt by at least 1,000 years. Carbon dating is controversial but the mummy may date from 7438 (±220) BC.
8. Africans carved the world’s first colossal sculpture 7,000 or more years ago. The Great Sphinx of Giza was fashioned with the head of a man combined with the body of a lion. A key and important question raised by this monument was: How old is it? In October 1991 Professor Robert Schoch, a geologist from Boston University, demonstrated that the Sphinx was sculpted between 5000 BC and 7000 BC, dates that he considered conservative.
9. On the 1 March 1979, the New York Times carried an article on its front page also page sixteen that was entitled Nubian Monarchy called Oldest. In this article we were assured that: “Evidence of the oldest recognizable monarchy in human history, preceding the rise of the earliest Egyptian kings by several generations, has been discovered in artifacts from ancient Nubia” (i.e. the territory of the northern Sudan and the southern portion of modern Egypt.)
10. The ancient Egyptians had the same type of tropically adapted skeletal proportions as modern Black Africans. A 2003 paper appeared in American Journal of Physical Anthropology by Dr Sonia Zakrzewski entitled Variation in Ancient Egyptian Stature and Body Proportions where she states that: “The raw values in Table 6 suggest that Egyptians had the ‘super-Negroid’ body plan described by Robins (1983). The values for the brachial and crural indices show that the distal segments of each limb are longer relative to the proximal segments than in many ‘African’ populations.”
11. The ancient Egyptians had Afro combs. One writer tells us that the Egyptians “manufactured a very striking range of combs in ivory: the shape of these is distinctly African and is like the combs used even today by Africans and those of African descent.”
12. The Funerary Complex in the ancient Egyptian city of Saqqara is the oldest building that tourists regularly visit today. An outer wall, now mostly in ruins, surrounded the whole structure. Through the entrance are a series of columns, the first stone-built columns known to historians. The North House also has ornamental columns built into the walls that have papyrus-like capitals. Also inside the complex is the Ceremonial Court, made of limestone blocks that have been quarried and then shaped. In the centre of the complex is the Step Pyramid, the first of 90 Egyptian pyramids.
13. The first Great Pyramid of Giza, the most extraordinary building in history, was a staggering 481 feet tall - the equivalent of a 40-storey building. It was made of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing 100 tons.
14. The ancient Egyptian city of Kahun was the world’s first planned city. Rectangular and walled, the city was divided into two parts. One part housed the wealthier inhabitants – the scribes, officials and foremen. The other part housed the ordinary people. The streets of the western section in particular, were straight, laid out on a grid, and crossed each other at right angles. A stone gutter, over half a metre wide, ran down the centre of every street.
15. Egyptian mansions were discovered in Kahun - each boasting 70 rooms, divided into four sections or quarters. There was a master’s quarter, quarters for women and servants, quarters for offices and finally, quarters for granaries, each facing a central courtyard. The master’s quarters had an open court with a stone water tank for bathing. Surrounding this was a colonnade.
16 The Labyrinth in the Egyptian city of Hawara with its massive layout, multiple courtyards, chambers and halls, was the very largest building in antiquity. Boasting three thousand rooms, 1,500 of them were above ground and the other 1,500 were underground.
17. Toilets and sewerage systems existed in ancient Egypt. One of the pharaohs built a city now known as Amarna. An American urban planner noted that: “Great importance was attached to cleanliness in Amarna as in other Egyptian cities. Toilets and sewers were in use to dispose waste. Soap was made for washing the body. Perfumes and essences were popular against body odour. A solution of natron was used to keep insects from houses … Amarna may have been the first planned ‘garden city’.”
18. Sudan has more pyramids than any other country on earth - even more than Egypt. There are at least 223 pyramids in the Sudanese cities of Al Kurru, Nuri, Gebel Barkal and Meroë. They are generally 20 to 30 metres high and steep sided.
19. The Sudanese city of Meroë is rich in surviving monuments. Becoming the capital of the Kushite Empire between 590 BC until AD 350, there are 84 pyramids in this city alone, many built with their own miniature temple. In addition, there are ruins of a bath house sharing affinities with those of the Romans. Its central feature is a large pool approached by a flight of steps with waterspouts decorated with lion heads.
20. Bling culture has a long and interesting history. Gold was used to decorate ancient Sudanese temples. One writer reported that: “Recent excavations at Meroe and Mussawwarat es-Sufra revealed temples with walls and statues covered with gold leaf”.
21. In around 300 BC, the Sudanese invented a writing script that had twenty-three letters of which four were vowels and there was also a word divider. Hundreds of ancient texts have survived that were in this script. Some are on display in the British Museum.
22. In central Nigeria, West Africa’s oldest civilisation flourished between 1000 BC and 300 BC. Discovered in 1928, the ancient culture was called the Nok Civilisation, named after the village in which the early artefacts were discovered. Two modern scholars, declare that “[a]fter calibration, the period of Nok art spans from 1000 BC until 300 BC”. The site itself is much older going back as early as 4580 or 4290 BC.
23. West Africans built in stone by 1100 BC. In the Tichitt-Walata region of Mauritania, archaeologists have found “large stone masonry villages” that date back to 1100 BC. The villages consisted of roughly circular compounds connected by “well-defined streets”.
24. By 250 BC, the foundations of West Africa’s oldest cities were established such as Old Djenné in Mali.
25. Kumbi Saleh, the capital of Ancient Ghana, flourished from 300 to 1240 AD. Located in modern day Mauritania, archaeological excavations have revealed houses, almost habitable today, for want of renovation and several storeys high. They had underground rooms, staircases and connecting halls. Some had nine rooms. One part of the city alone is estimated to have housed 30,000 people.
26. West Africa had walled towns and cities in the pre-colonial period. Winwood Reade, an English historian visited West Africa in the nineteenth century and commented that: “There are … thousands of large walled cities resembling those of Europe in the Middle Ages, or of ancient Greece.”
27. Lord Lugard, an English official, estimated in 1904 that there were 170 walled towns still in existence in the whole of just the Kano province of northern Nigeria.
28. Cheques are not quite as new an invention as we were led to believe. In the tenth century, an Arab geographer, Ibn Haukal, visited a fringe region of Ancient Ghana. Writing in 951 AD, he told of a cheque for 42,000 golden dinars written to a merchant in the city of Audoghast by his partner in Sidjilmessa.
29. Ibn Haukal, writing in 951 AD, informs us that the King of Ghana was “the richest king on the face of the earth” whose pre-eminence was due to the quantity of gold nuggets that had been amassed by the himself and by his predecessors.
30. The Nigerian city of Ile-Ife was paved in 1000 AD on the orders of a female ruler with decorations that originated in Ancient America. Naturally, no-one wants to explain how this took place approximately 500 years before the time of Christopher Columbus!
31. West Africa had bling culture in 1067 AD. One source mentions that when the Emperor of Ghana gives audience to his people: “he sits in a pavilion around which stand his horses caparisoned in cloth of gold: behind him stand ten pages holding shields and gold-mounted swords: and on his right hand are the sons of the princes of his empire, splendidly clad and with gold plaited into their hair … The gate of the chamber is guarded by dogs of an excellent breed … they wear collars of gold and silver.”
32. Glass windows existed at that time. The residence of the Ghanaian Emperor in 1116 AD was: “A well-built castle, thoroughly fortified, decorated inside with sculptures and pictures, and having glass windows.”
33. The Grand Mosque in the Malian city of Djenné, described as “the largest adobe [clay] building in the world”, was first raised in 1204 AD. It was built on a square plan where each side is 56 metres in length. It has three large towers on one side, each with projecting wooden buttresses.
34. One of the great achievements of the Yoruba was their urban culture. “By the year A.D. 1300,” says a modern scholar, “the Yoruba people built numerous walled cities surrounded by farms”. The cities were Owu, Oyo, Ijebu, Ijesa, Ketu, Popo, Egba, Sabe, Dassa, Egbado, Igbomina, the sixteen Ekiti principalities, Owo and Ondo.
35. Yoruba metal art of the mediaeval period was of world class. One scholar wrote that Yoruba art “would stand comparison with anything which Ancient Egypt, Classical Greece and Rome, or Renaissance Europe had to offer.”
36. In the Malian city of Gao stands the Mausoleum of Askia the Great, a weird sixteenth century edifice that resembles a step pyramid.
37. Thousands of mediaeval tumuli have been found across West Africa. Nearly 7,000 were discovered in north-west Senegal alone spread over nearly 1,500 sites. They were probably built between 1000 and 1300 AD.
38. Excavations at the Malian city of Gao carried out by Cambridge University revealed glass windows. One of the finds was entitled: “Fragments of alabaster window surrounds and a piece of pink window glass, Gao 10th – 14th century.”
39. In 1999 the BBC produced a television series entitled Millennium. The programme devoted to the fourteenth century opens with the following disclosure: “In the fourteenth century, the century of the scythe, natural disasters threatened civilisations with extinction. The Black Death kills more people in Europe, Asia and North Africa than any catastrophe has before. Civilisations which avoid the plague thrive. In West Africa the Empire of Mali becomes the richest in the world.”
40. Malian sailors got to America in 1311 AD, 181 years before Columbus. An Egyptian scholar, Ibn Fadl Al-Umari, published on this sometime around 1342. In the tenth chapter of his book, there is an account of two large maritime voyages ordered by the predecessor of Mansa Musa, a king who inherited the Malian throne in 1312. This mariner king is not named by Al-Umari, but modern writers identify him as Mansa Abubakari II.
41. On a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324 AD, a Malian ruler, Mansa Musa, brought so much money with him that his visit resulted in the collapse of gold prices in Egypt and Arabia. It took twelve years for the economies of the region to normalise.
42. West African gold mining took place on a vast scale. One modern writer said that: “It is estimated that the total amount of gold mined in West Africa up to 1500 was 3,500 tons, worth more than $30 billion in today’s market.”
43. The old Malian capital of Niani had a 14th century building called the Hall of Audience. It was an surmounted by a dome, adorned with arabesques of striking colours. The windows of an upper floor were plated with wood and framed in silver; those of a lower floor were plated with wood, framed in gold.
44. Mali in the 14th century was highly urbanised. Sergio Domian, an Italian art and architecture scholar, wrote the following about this period: “Thus was laid the foundation of an urban civilisation. At the height of its power, Mali had at least 400 cities, and the interior of the Niger Delta was very densely populated”.
45. The Malian city of Timbuktu had a 14th century population of 115,000 - 5 times larger than mediaeval London. Mansa Musa, built the Djinguerebere Mosque in the fourteenth century. There was the University Mosque in which 25,000 students studied and the Oratory of Sidi Yayia. There were over 150 Koran schools in which 20,000 children were instructed. London, by contrast, had a total 14th century population of 20,000 people.
46. National Geographic recently described Timbuktu as the Paris of the mediaeval world, on account of its intellectual culture. According to Professor Henry Louis Gates, 25,000 university students studied there.
47. Many old West African families have private library collections that go back hundreds of years. The Mauritanian cities of Chinguetti and Oudane have a total of 3,450 hand written mediaeval books. There may be another 6,000 books still surviving in the other city of Walata. Some date back to the 8th century AD. There are 11,000 books in private collections in Niger. Finally, in Timbuktu, Mali, there are about 700,000 surviving books.
48. A collection of one thousand six hundred books was considered a small library for a West African scholar of the 16th century. Professor Ahmed Baba of Timbuktu is recorded as saying that he had the smallest library of any of his friends - he had only 1600 volumes.
49. Concerning these old manuscripts, Michael Palin, in his TV series Sahara, said the imam of Timbuktu “has a collection of scientific texts that clearly show the planets circling the sun. They date back hundreds of years … Its convincing evidence that the scholars of Timbuktu knew a lot more than their counterparts in Europe. In the fifteenth century in Timbuktu the mathematicians knew about the rotation of the planets, knew about the details of the eclipse, they knew things which we had to wait for 150 almost 200 years to know in Europe when Galileo and Copernicus came up with these same calculations and were given a very hard time for it.”
50. The Songhai Empire of 16th century West Africa had a government position called Minister for Etiquette and Protocol.
51. The mediaeval Nigerian city of Benin was built to “a scale comparable with the Great Wall of China”. There was a vast system of defensive walling totalling 10,000 miles in all. Even before the full extent of the city walling had become apparent the Guinness Book of Records carried an entry in the 1974 edition that described the city as: “The largest earthworks in the world carried out prior to the mechanical era.”
52. Benin art of the Middle Ages was of the highest quality. An official of the Berlin Museum für Völkerkunde once stated that: “These works from Benin are equal to the very finest examples of European casting technique. Benvenuto Cellini could not have cast them better, nor could anyone else before or after him … Technically, these bronzes represent the very highest possible achievement.”
53. Winwood Reade described his visit to the Ashanti Royal Palace of Kumasi in 1874: “We went to the king’s palace, which consists of many courtyards, each surrounded with alcoves and verandahs, and having two gates or doors, so that each yard was a thoroughfare … But the part of the palace fronting the street was a stone house, Moorish in its style … with a flat roof and a parapet, and suites of apartments on the first floor. It was built by Fanti masons many years ago. The rooms upstairs remind me of Wardour Street. Each was a perfect Old Curiosity Shop. Books in many languages, Bohemian glass, clocks, silver plate, old furniture, Persian rugs, Kidderminster carpets, pictures and engravings, numberless chests and coffers. A sword bearing the inscriptionFrom Queen Victoria to the King of Ashantee. A copy of the Times, 17 October 1843. With these were many specimens of Moorish and Ashanti handicraft.”
54. In the mid-nineteenth century, William Clarke, an English visitor to Nigeria, remarked that: “As good an article of cloth can be woven by the Yoruba weavers as by any people … in durability, their cloths far excel the prints and home-spuns of Manchester.”
55. The recently discovered 9th century Nigerian city of Eredo was found to be surrounded by a wall that was 100 miles long and seventy feet high in places. The internal area was a staggering 400 square miles.
56. On the subject of cloth, Kongolese textiles were also distinguished. Various European writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries wrote of the delicate crafts of the peoples living in eastern Kongo and adjacent regions who manufactured damasks, sarcenets, satins, taffeta, cloth of tissue and velvet. Professor DeGraft-Johnson made the curious observation that: “Their brocades, both high and low, were far more valuable than the Italian.”
57. On Kongolese metallurgy of the Middle Ages, one modern scholar wrote that: “There is no doubting … the existence of an expert metallurgical art in the ancient Kongo … The Bakongo were aware of the toxicity of lead vapours. They devised preventative and curative methods, both pharmacological (massive doses of pawpaw and palm oil) and mechanical (exerting of pressure to free the digestive tract), for combating lead poisoning.”
58. In Nigeria, the royal palace in the city of Kano dates back to the fifteenth century. Begun by Muhammad Rumfa (ruled 1463-99) it has gradually evolved over generations into a very imposing complex. A colonial report of the city from 1902, described it as “a network of buildings covering an area of 33 acres and surrounded by a wall 20 to 30 feet high outside and 15 feet inside … in itself no mean citadel”.
59. A sixteenth century traveller visited the central African civilisation of Kanem-Borno and commented that the emperor’s cavalry had golden “stirrups, spurs, bits and buckles.” Even the ruler’s dogs had “chains of the finest gold”.
60. One of the government positions in mediaeval Kanem-Borno was Astronomer Royal.
61. Ngazargamu, the capital city of Kanem-Borno, became one of the largest cities in the seventeenth century world. By 1658 AD, the metropolis, according to an architectural scholar housed “about quarter of a million people”. It had 660 streets. Many were wide and unbending, reflective of town planning.
62. The Nigerian city of Surame flourished in the sixteenth century. Even in ruin it was an impressive sight, built on a horizontal vertical grid. A modern scholar describes it thus: “The walls of Surame are about 10 miles in circumference and include many large bastions or walled suburbs running out at right angles to the main wall. The large compound at Kanta is still visible in the centre, with ruins of many buildings, one of which is said to have been two-storied. The striking feature of the walls and whole ruins is the extensive use of stone and tsokuwa (laterite gravel) or very hard red building mud, evidently brought from a distance. There is a big mound of this near the north gate about 8 feet in height. The walls show regular courses of masonry to a height of 20 feet and more in several places. The best preserved portion is that known as sirati (the bridge) a little north of the eastern gate … The main city walls here appear to have provided a very strongly guarded entrance about 30 feet wide.”
63. The Nigerian city of Kano in 1851 produced an estimated 10 million pairs of sandals and 5 million hides each year for export.
64. In 1246 AD Dunama II of Kanem-Borno exchanged embassies with Al-Mustansir, the king of Tunis. He sent the North African court a costly present, which apparently included a giraffe. An old chronicle noted that the rare animal “created a sensation in Tunis”.
65. By the third century BC the city of Carthage on the coast of Tunisia was opulent and impressive. It had a population of 700,000 and may even have approached a million. Lining both sides of three streets were rows of tall houses six storeys high.
Abyssinian/Ethiopian warriors (they are from the 1890’s, but regardless, the military stayed relatively the same from the 1400’s onward).
66. The Ethiopian city of Axum has a series of 7 giant obelisks that date from perhaps 300 BC to 300 AD. They have details carved into them that represent windows and doorways of several storeys. The largest obelisk, now fallen, is in fact “the largest monolith ever made anywhere in the world”. It is 108 feet long, weighs a staggering 500 tons, and represents a thirteen-storey building.
67. Ethiopia minted its own coins over 1,500 years ago. One scholar wrote that: “Almost no other contemporary state anywhere in the world could issue in gold, a statement of sovereignty achieved only by Rome, Persia, and the Kushan kingdom in northern India at the time.”
68. The Ethiopian script of the 4th century AD influenced the writing script of Armenia. A Russian historian noted that: “Soon after its creation, the Ethiopic vocalised script began to influence the scripts of Armenia and Georgia. D. A. Olderogge suggested that Mesrop Mashtotz used the vocalised Ethiopic script when he invented the Armenian alphabet.”
69. “In the first half of the first millennium CE,” says a modern scholar, Ethiopia “was ranked as one of the world’s greatest empires”. A Persian cleric of the third century AD identified it as the third most important state in the world after Persia and Rome.
70. Ethiopia has 11 underground mediaeval churches built by being carved out of the ground. In the twelfth and thirteenth centuries AD, Roha became the new capital of the Ethiopians. Conceived as a New Jerusalem by its founder, Emperor Lalibela (c.1150-1230), it contains 11 churches, all carved out of the rock of the mountains by hammer and chisel. All of the temples were carved to a depth of 11 metres or so below ground level. The largest is the House of the Redeemer, a staggering 33.7 metres long, 23.7 metres wide and 11.5 metres deep.
71. Lalibela is not the only place in Ethiopia to have such wonders. A cotemporary archaeologist reports research that was conducted in the region in the early 1970’s when: “startling numbers of churches built in caves or partially or completely cut from the living rock were revealed not only in Tigre and Lalibela but as far south as Addis Ababa. Soon at least 1,500 were known. At least as many more probably await revelation.”
72. In 1209 AD Emperor Lalibela of Ethiopia sent an embassy to Cairo bringing the sultan unusual gifts including an elephant, a hyena, a zebra, and a giraffe.
73. In Southern Africa, there are at least 600 stone built ruins in the regions of Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. These ruins are called Mazimbabwe in Shona, the Bantu language of the builders, and means great revered house and “signifies court”.
74. The Great Zimbabwe was the largest of these ruins. It consists of 12 clusters of buildings, spread over 3 square miles. Its outer walls were made from 100,000 tons of granite bricks. In the fourteenth century, the city housed 18,000 people, comparable in size to that of London of the same period.
75. Bling culture existed in this region. At the time of our last visit, the Horniman Museum in London had exhibits of headrests with the caption: “Headrests have been used in Africa since the time of the Egyptian pharaohs. Remains of some headrests, once covered in gold foil, have been found in the ruins of Great Zimbabwe and burial sites like Mapungubwe dating to the twelfth century after Christ.”
76. Dr Albert Churchward, author of Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man, pointed out that writing was found in one of the stone built ruins: “Lt.-Col. E. L. de Cordes … who was in South Africa for three years, informed the writer that in one of the ‘Ruins’ there is a ‘stone-chamber,’ with a vast quantity of Papyri, covered with old Egyptian hieroglyphics. A Boer hunter discovered this, and a large quantity was used to light a fire with, and yet still a larger quantity remained there now.”
77. On bling culture, one seventeenth century visitor to southern African empire of Monomotapa, that ruled over this vast region, wrote that: “The people dress in various ways: at court of the Kings their grandees wear cloths of rich silk, damask, satin, gold and silk cloth; these are three widths of satin, each width four covados [2.64m], each sewn to the next, sometimes with gold lace in between, trimmed on two sides, like a carpet, with a gold and silk fringe, sewn in place with a two fingers’ wide ribbon, woven with gold roses on silk.”
78. Southern Africans mined gold on an epic scale. One modern writer tells us that: “The estimated amount of gold ore mined from the entire region by the ancients was staggering, exceeding 43 million tons. The ore yielded nearly 700 tons of pure gold which today would be valued at over $7.5 billion.”
79. Apparently the Monomotapan royal palace at Mount Fura had chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. An eighteenth century geography book provided the following data: “The inside consists of a great variety of sumptuous apartments, spacious and lofty halls, all adorned with a magnificent cotton tapestry, the manufacture of the country. The floors, cielings [sic], beams and rafters are all either gilt or plated with gold curiously wrought, as are also the chairs of state, tables, benches &c. The candle-sticks and branches are made of ivory inlaid with gold, and hang from the cieling by chains of the same metal, or of silver gilt.”
80. Monomotapa had a social welfare system. Antonio Bocarro, a Portuguese contemporary, informs us that the Emperor: “shows great charity to the blind and maimed, for these are called the king’s poor, and have land and revenues for their subsistence, and when they wish to pass through the kingdoms, wherever they come food and drinks are given to them at the public cost as long as they remain there, and when they leave that place to go to another they are provided with what is necessary for their journey, and a guide, and some one to carry their wallet to the next village. In every place where they come there is the same obligation.”
81. Many southern Africans have indigenous and pre-colonial words for ‘gun’.Scholars have generally been reluctant to investigate or explain this fact.
82. Evidence discovered in 1978 showed that East Africans were making steel for more than 1,500 years: “Assistant Professor of Anthropology Peter Schmidt and Professor of Engineering Donald H. Avery have found as long as 2,000 years ago Africans living on the western shores of Lake Victoria had produced carbon steel in preheated forced draft furnaces, a method that was technologically more sophisticated than any developed in Europe until the mid-nineteenth century.”
83. Ruins of a 300 BC astronomical observatory was found at Namoratunga in Kenya. Africans were mapping the movements of stars such as Triangulum, Aldebaran, Bellatrix, Central Orion, etcetera, as well as the moon, in order to create a lunar calendar of 354 days.
84. Autopsies and caesarean operations were routinely and effectively carried out by surgeons in pre-colonial Uganda. The surgeons routinely used antiseptics, anaesthetics and cautery iron. Commenting on a Ugandan caesarean operation that appeared in theEdinburgh Medical Journal in 1884, one author wrote: “The whole conduct of the operation … suggests a skilled long-practiced surgical team at work conducting a well-tried and familiar operation with smooth efficiency.”
85. Sudan in the mediaeval period had churches, cathedrals, monasteries and castles. Their ruins still exist today.
86. The mediaeval Nubian Kingdoms kept archives. From the site of Qasr Ibrim legal texts, documents and correspondence were discovered. An archaeologist informs us that: “On the site are preserved thousands of documents in Meroitic, Latin, Greek, Coptic, Old Nubian, Arabic and Turkish.”
87. Glass windows existed in mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found evidence of window glass at the Sudanese cities of Old Dongola and Hambukol.
88. Bling culture existed in the mediaeval Sudan. Archaeologists found an individual buried at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity in the city of Old Dongola. He was clad in an extremely elaborate garb consisting of costly textiles of various fabrics including gold thread. At the city of Soba East, there were individuals buried in fine clothing, including items with golden thread.
89. Style and fashion existed in mediaeval Sudan. A dignitary at Jebel Adda in the late thirteenth century AD was interned with a long coat of red and yellow patterned damask folded over his body. Underneath, he wore plain cotton trousers of long and baggy cut. A pair of red leather slippers with turned up toes lay at the foot of the coffin. The body was wrapped in enormous pieces of gold brocaded striped silk.
90. Sudan in the ninth century AD had housing complexes with bath rooms and piped water. An archaeologist wrote that Old Dongola, the capital of Makuria, had: “a[n] … eighth to … ninth century housing complex. The houses discovered here differ in their hitherto unencountered spatial layout as well as their functional programme (water supply installation, bathroom with heating system) and interiors decorated with murals.”
91. In 619 AD, the Nubians sent a gift of a giraffe to the Persians.
92. The East Coast, from Somalia to Mozambique, has ruins of well over 50 towns and cities. They flourished from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries AD.
93. Chinese records of the fifteenth century AD note that Mogadishu had houses of “four or five storeys high”.
94. Gedi, near the coast of Kenya, is one of the East African ghost towns. Its ruins, dating from the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries, include the city walls, the palace, private houses, the Great Mosque, seven smaller mosques, and three pillar tombs.
95. The ruined mosque in the Kenyan city of Gedi had a water purifier made of limestone for recycling water.
6. The palace in the Kenyan city of Gedi contains evidence of piped water controlled by taps. In addition it had bathrooms and indoor toilets.
97. A visitor in 1331 AD considered the Tanzanian city of Kilwa to be of world class. He wrote that it was the “principal city on the coast the greater part of whose inhabitants are Zanj of very black complexion.” Later on he says that: “Kilwa is one of the most beautiful and well-constructed cities in the world. The whole of it is elegantly built.”
98. Bling culture existed in early Tanzania. A Portuguese chronicler of the sixteenth century wrote that: “[T]hey are finely clad in many rich garments of gold and silk and cotton, and the women as well; also with much gold and silver chains and bracelets, which they wear on their legs and arms, and many jewelled earrings in their ears”.
99. In 1961 a British archaeologist, found the ruins of Husuni Kubwa, the royal palace of the Tanzanian city of Kilwa. It had over a hundred rooms, including a reception hall, galleries, courtyards, terraces and an octagonal swimming pool.
100. In 1414 the Kenyan city of Malindi sent ambassadors to China carrying a gift that created a sensation at the Imperial Court. It was, of course, a giraffe.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on March 2, 2014 at 9:20 AM||comments (0)|
THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED KONGO (Central Africa) the Kongo and the Portuguese
Extending over a large portion of South-West Africa, borders covering the current country of Congo and his alter ego Zaire, Angola, a small part of Mozambique and Gabon is about more than 300 000 km2 of land controlled by a Christian ruler, the Mani Kongo (or MweneKongo).
From the seventh century, the Kongo Empire is already known in the Western world. But with the Quattrocento, it will take on an international dimension. Led by the Portuguese explorer Diego Cao met for the first time the ruler of Kongo in 1482 not without taking a few aristocrats or members of the royal family hostage for the return as proof of their discovery to the court of Portugal. Arrived in Lisbon, they are exhibited at the royal court and placed in convents or 8 years, they learn to read and speak Portuguese, math, theology.
For the Portuguese remained in Africa, Mani (Mwene) Kongo allows them to settle on the coasts, to open an embassy there and even who wanted to profess their Christian religion. Moreover Nkuwu Nzinga, Almighty Ruler of Kongo * succumb to the lure of itself Portuguese Catholicism and will be baptized May 3, 1491 under the name of John I. Former governor of the northern province of Nsundi and Nzaza Vumbi, he came to power in a coup d'état
The Queen, meanwhile, had to wait a month with his son Mpanzu A Nzinga respectively to be baptized together under the name Dona Eleanor the Queen and the name of Alphonse for the Crown Prince. Even the capital Mbali was renamed San Salvador in a flamboyant and drew a coat worthy of the best European monarchies for the sovereign. The arrival of March 29, 1491 Mpinda missionaries was organized in a big way by the Kongo monarchy. Mani (King) Soyo had deployed an audience of 3,000 traditional warriors honor to welcome the head of the Portuguese expedition, Dom Ruy De Sousa. Conversion April 3, 1491 under the name Manual Soyo had impressed Nzinga Nkuwu which had sent the Portuguese in the capital.
The history of Kongo was therefore on. The Nzinga ruler Jean did not want to do that agricultural trade with the Portuguese and did nothing to support any sales of slaves on its territory. Relations between the Portuguese and the Kongo monarchy tarnished very quickly. The missionaries were arrested and imprisoned, schools burned. The son of Mani Kongo, Mpanzu A Nzinga, who favors the royal council (the Kongo monarchy was elective but among members of the ruling dynasty) did not hide his desire to end the Portuguese. Amplified the crisis between the Portuguese and the royal court as and attempts slave traders to capture villages for the purposes of their trade of ebony. In 1499, the island of Sao Tome (hereditary fief given to the Governor Fernando De Mello 1486) became the scene and the scene of anti-Kongos conspiracies by some slave traders forcing the Portuguese crown to intervene and dismiss the governor's son .
John I was now less sensitive to religious discourse. How could she the bible prohibit polygamy, social institution spread throughout the kingdom and guarantor alliances with minor kingdoms. This issue deeply divided the court, but John died without setting the question
* The term significant Kongo word varies according to various sources. For some, it could mean "the panther ally" or is simply a throwing weapon called Kong Kong which is served the people of Angola future. It is noted that although the term has become generic Kng to designate the kingdom of the same name, only residents of the capital Mpemba is reserved in use (Esi-Kongo)
The Mani Kongo Alfonso I
Mpanzu ascended the throne in 1506 (or 07?) But he had a few hours to enjoy. Day celebrations of his accession to the throne, he was assassinated. Nzinga Mbemba said his brother Alfonso I immediately took power without consulting the council which suggests that a plot had been organized between the prince and the Portuguese. 51 years old, the new Mani Kongo was not unanimous. Kitima his brother, who was sickened by this crime renounced the Christian religion, took up arms. He besieged the capital, but was quickly defeated by the king Alfonso. Legend has it that the rebel brother was seized with a panic at the sight of the sky, the appearance of Saint Jacques ... And beyond the crest was designed that would be one of the royal family until 1860.
Anyway, the King "by the grace of God, King of Kongo, Loango, Kongo and Ka-Ngoyo, to of it and beyond Zaire Lord Ambundus .... "Alfonso I could sit back on the throne and be the first African king recognized by a European court. He undertook to Christianize his empire, a mere copy of the state of Portugal (and to the various existing taxes), opened a school which counted 400 students in exchange for more missionaries to his kingdom, he educated his son Henry to the court of Portugal, sent ambassadors to Rome in 1513. Henry was even appointed Bishop of Utica in 1517, he served as the office of Governor of Mpanza until his death in 1531 (or 1539). The slave trade could take off within the Empire vassals of Kongo king seeing a lucrative gradually turned away from him to join the Portuguese protectors (ethnicity Teke was finally submitted by Alfonso I of the leading troops armed with rifles, weapons then little known in Africa). The Portuguese used among prisoners Mani Kongo for their slave trade but did not disdain to use in villages to see the Empire among the nobility itself. When Alfonso I learned this, he hastened to write to his Portuguese counterpart specifically asked to stop these practices. The end of his life was marked by a series of conspiracies organized both by the Portuguese (1526 assassination attempt in 1539, Easter made a dead and two wounded ..) who accused him of losing interest in both Catholicism members of his own clan who wanted to get rid of. Conspiracy in which he died tragically
C) The Manikongo Peter I
. In 1543, his son Peter I succeeded in an atmosphere heavy and threatening civil war. Besides the royal court of Portugal not mention his death in the annals of history. For two years, Peter I had to struggle against his own court did not hide his desire to submit to the benefit of one of his son Diego (Nkumbi Mpudi) or Francis (Mzinga Mbemba) who also claimed the throne. Indeed, despite the introduced European modernism in the kingdom, notables and aristocrats wanted the customary principle continued to prevail over the hereditary succession established by Alphonse in Kongo. I saw the stone to escape it, beaten by the troops of his nephew Jacques took refuge in the main church of the city. His son Diego who was crowned respected the sanctity of the sanctuary of the church and left alone his father took refuge in the island of Sao Tome. A lull since Mani Kongo Peter I was finally assassinated the same year of his testimony as he tried to regain power, imploring the Holy See and Portugal for help in vain .. The son of Peter I, Francis told Mani Kongo turn but he had a short reign and his cousin Jacques, who in turn took the royal title. Diego I quickly put an end to the anarchy of sovereign.
The assassination of Pierre led a series of internal conflicts within the royal court, leaving the field to continue their Portuguese slave trade without any opposition. Diego meanwhile tolerate Christianity as long as it serves their interests. In 1546, he sent a Creole as Ambassador to Portugal with a mission to bring some church but two years later he denounced as conspirators plaguing these priests in the kingdom. It is true that many of them had writing to King John III of Portugal to the deposed king Kongo too independent in their eyes. Diego eventually expel all. The Franciscans who are present in the country in 1557 will struggle to write Kikongo in the Bible. Diego I died 4 November 1561 and as usual, the estate will be tough.
D) Civil war in Kongo.
Pretender to the throne was assassinated. Alfonso II placed by the Portuguese as Mani hereditary reigned only one year before being deposed by a popular uprising. Besides its original subsidiary is the object of all suspicion. Son of the sister of Diego, maybe even see the result of incest, it was not recognized by his contemporaries saw him as the puppet of the Portuguese. Riots broke out, many Portuguese were killed as the King. I. Bernard whose lineage is equally uncertain succeeded him and lead the Empire until 1566, when he died in an ethnic conflict with Tekes and Ba Yakas. His successor Henry II had also to face an uprising organized one after his accession to the throne by his son and cousin, Lua Nimi A Lukeni Mvemba. Henry II was assassinated in 1568 and Nimi was crowned under the name of Alvaro I, inaugurating the reign of a new branch of the royal family known as Kwilu.
Far from being a cure for the crisis of the kingdom, the reign of twenty years of Alvaro I (which said it was the little son of Alfonso I. by his sister who married her cousin Henry I) was a disaster for the Empire .. The new king was quick to seize the throne of his cousin with his army was quickly routed by the enemy. The Yakas (Jagas) are offered the luxury of seizing the capital (1569) and burn, its population massacred. Refuge in the mountains with his court, the king will soon begging for food. Slaves will be killed, dismembered in order to survive, children sold to the Portuguese who took advantage of the crisis to increase the slave trade. Even the nobles sold them.
Threatened by invasions Yakas, Mani Kongo sent an embassy to Sebastian I of Portugal to beg him for help. The Portuguese king sent an armed force of 600 men in Kongo restore the sovereign prerogatives after a year of fighting. Governor Francisco Gouveia Sottomaior him sign an agreement of vassalage before taking him to join the royalist troops in Luanda headquarters of the Portuguese and was outside the kingdom. A ruler suffering from dropsy. Alvaro wanted to give a reward to the ruler of his empire that Portugal refused but asked in return granting gold mines in the country. Mani Kongo ungrateful ultimately gave false information to the Portuguese who were lost en route. Curiously, it is a Portuguese priest who had advised the king to hide its natural resources to Western alter ego. Alvaro was then assassinate the governor and totally denied having signed any agreement vassalage. Joining his troops, he was soon enough in number to directly threaten its allies.
Alvaro I soon reestablished the alliance with the Portuguese who took the opportunity to restore the authority of the clergy in the country somewhat battered by wars of succession. Since they could appropriate the sovereignty of the Kongo, the Portuguese started up the colony of Luanda in southern kingdom. Mani Kongo then had to deal with the push Yakas who came to invade the country before princes dismiss some rebels who caused him a lot of trouble.
The evangelization of the country became difficult during the reign of Alvaro I.. Portugal was slow to send missionaries to the country cools the generosity of Mani Kongo. And finally Spain in the sixteenth century who came to annex Portugal answered his expectations despite some logistical difficulties. Alvaro began to modernize his country like the lifestyle of European force during this century. Counties, duchies and marquisates were created throughout the Empire. A cathedral was built in San Salvador.
In March 1587, Alvaro passed away in a country ravaged. His son of the same name succeeded him. Alvaro II Nkanga Nimi was quickly exposed to the ambitions of his brother and sister. Supporters of the two candidates clashed in the capital, undermining the borders of the Empire. He even had to recognize the independence of Miguel Count of Soyo in the kingdom. Alvaro II eventually assert themselves and to reward the nobles who had supported him, created the Order of Christ despite the complaints of plagiarism of Portugal to the Pope.
Pope .... Alvaro sends an ambassador to the Vatican to plead his cause, and a full recognition. The Ambassador-designate reached Rome January 3, 1608 after almost four years of traveling there and delivers his message: The king demanded the same privileges as other Christian kings of the world, asked the Bishop of Kongo remains within the limits of its authority . It is not Portuguese. Because if he was, he should align the positions of Kongo. Exhausted, he died 24 hours after his arrival. But history has recognized it as the first African ambassador to the Vatican.
E) The anarchy
The Mbemba (Duke) Antoine Da Silva decided it was time to end the reign of Alvaro II. In 1614 with his army, he threw in favor of Bernard II (son) and then a year later (August), he replaced by Alvaro III (brother of Bernard II). Antoine Da Silva was the true master of the kingdom until his death in 1620. Alvaro III was surrounded by his supporters to protect themselves from the expansionist governor of the Portuguese colony of Angola Luanda now called. In fact, since 1617, it sent mercenaries to operate raids on villages in defiance of Kongos agreements signed between the two monarchies. Tensions were increased to the death of Alvaro III May 4, 1622. The new ruler appointed by the electors of the kingdom (the heir Ambrose considered too young had been removed), the Mbemba (Duke) Pierre II dia Ya Nkanya MVikade Nsundi royal lineage, liked to hide all runaway slaves to Angola. The governor of Angola immediately invaded the southern kingdom in retaliation.
Portuguese armies swept into the kingdom. They meet the soldiers of Peter II Mbanda Kasi. The stinging defeat for the Portuguese Kongos face combined with other African tribes. Furious II Peter responds quickly by executing four governors who had refused to commit troops alongside those of Mani Kongo. Taking fear throughout Kongo armed himself while Peter Ii said more or less the entire war in Portugal. Their soldiers finally beaten Mbanda Kasi, Portuguese merchants settled in the kingdom who naturally supported this invasion will now denounce, fearing for their lives. Pierre II wrote letters of protest to the Pope and the King of Spain. Riots erupt in anti-Portuguese throughout the kingdom. Anxious to preserve his business, Peter II put an end to the riots. Hero for some, Pierre II became the "King of the Portuguese" to his opponents.
In Angola, the Portuguese had rebelled against their governor (Joao Correia de Sousa) with the help of the Jesuits and is a Bishop who will ensure the interim of the colony. Him, Pierre II wrote: "It has no nobility, no heart or so"
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 28, 2014 at 4:45 AM||comments (0)|
Zimbabwe: Questioning the Relevance of Western Education
THERE is something astounding about education in that the more you have of it, the more ignorant you become, and the less relevant you turn out to be to your community. It is really amazing how many learned ignoramuses abound in this world. Yes, you may pride yourself in being educated, but as long as what nourishes your ego is Western education, then you may be as irrelevant to yourself as you are to your community. You may question yourself today whether what has catapulted you to your current status is your level of education or ingenuity or lack of it. Can you really say your grandmother or great-grandmother is uneducated and thus lacks knowledge?
It is worrisome sometimes to know that a nation may invest vast resources in individuals who may not even be worth it in the end. A case of investing on redundancy, which is usually admired by those perceived to lack it. How much really does a Western educated person know?
This vexing situation is what Jean-Marie Medza, the protagonist in Mongo Beti's "Mission to Kala" (1957) finds himself enmeshed in.
Having failed the oral in his baccalaureate exams, Medza returns home with a bruised ego. "I was ploughed," he admits, but as one who is conceited by virtue of being at college at a time when only a sprinkle of Africans have such blessings, the protagonist boasts of his "evil genius" and calls himself "The Conqueror".
But, as he walks home, it dawns on him that the whole village has picked it from the wind that "he had been failed"; he is also aware of the ugly confrontation that awaits him in the form of his father.
Meanwhile, there is an urgent issue that has to be attended to, which affects the entire community; his cousin, Niam's wife has gone back to her people, in Kala, a village which is considered to be rather backward, about 50km from their own. Someone has to be sent on a mission to fetch her and the whole village, at the behest of the patriarch, old Bikokolo, settles on Jean-Marie Medza because of his knowledge of the Whiteman's ways through Western education.
Beti creates humour through the use of the first person singular narrative technique, as Medza is given a chance to expose himself when he is apprised of his cousin's predicament and the community's worry. "Have any of you the least idea what preparing for an examination and sitting it entails? Gentlemen, try and imagine something worse, far worse, than working in a plantation with a machete from dawn till dusk-?" he challenges them.
However, in the absence of his father who has gone on a visit, the protagonist, in spite of having his uncle and Amou, his aunt, in his corner, finds himself at the mercy of the elders. Using a potpourri of legend, national myth and confusing facts, old Bikokolo manages to cajole "the boy" who is only "a congenital simpleton" to agree to bring their lost pride back. The old patriarch coaxes him: "When the story is recited after my death, you will be its hero. You are that formidable man; you speak with the voice of the thunder . . . Shall I tell you what your thunder is?" He plugs it home, "Your certificates, your learning, your knowledge of white men's secrets".
Spurred on by his ego, despite his tender 19 years, Medza descends on Kala whereupon he realises that "the Bushmen" are not really idiots after all. They are even more sophisticated than he is, though in their own traditional way.
Medza's introduction to the youth of Kala, by his cousin, Zambo sets the wheel in motion. "You could search the whole district round for two, three, four, five, hundred miles, and I wager you wouldn't find a man, white or black, as learned and knowledgeable as he is", he boasts.
Though this is a deliberate exaggeration, it puts Medza in high esteem in the eyes of the villagers, as one of the youths, Duckfoot Johnny, in his drunken stupor tells him: "You're Godalmighty".
Set in colonial Cameroun, the book explores the tragedy of a continent whose hopes are intertwined with individual aspirations where Western education is accorded undue prominence. The educated elite, who should be the community's visionaries, are simply swallowed into the colonial system of oppression and capitalism. Because they are esteemed, they use societal myopia to impoverish their own people, yet at the same time are unable to offer any meaningful contribution to their communities. Education becomes not only a tool of oppression but an extension of imperialism.
The conceited, rude and arrogant Medza embodies this kind of redundancy in African communities as he is escorted around the village "like an American diplomat under the protection of his private eyes", on his daily excursions around Kala. All and sundry jostle for his attention and parties are thrown in his honour; presents in the form of livestock strewn at his feet - simply because of his perceived knowledge, knowledge that in no way improves the situation of the lot of the villagers.
Medza's foibles, at his own admission, are exposed through the intelligent questioning that he suffers at the hands of his audience. His first encounter with the reality of his lacks, comes when he is asked whether whites were "cleverer than (him) in class?" or "learn quicker".
When he flinches, to his surprise, one man comes to his defence when he says: "it's perfectly reasonable to suppose that white children learn faster than blacks. What are they being taught? Their ancestral wisdom, not ours, isn't that so? Now if it was our ancestral wisdom that was taught in this school, it would be normal to expect coloured children to learn faster than whites, wouldn't it?"
The seemingly ignorant villagers also tell him that "it's by no means certain that it was the whites who invented cars and aeroplanes, and all that".
The protagonist's failure to convincingly expound to his audience what they are taught at school and what it really is and how it would help him and his people, blows his bubble. His failure to give them a convincing definition of Geography in the vernacular and his use of examples drawn from New York, lays bare the folly of Western education. His realisation that "knowledge" should be put to test "by genuine circumstance not under the artificial conditions of an examination room" as he "had already discovered vast gaps in the frontiers of (his) tiny kingdom", exposes the fallacy of any educational system premised on inflexible set syllabi.
Going out of the norm, Medza uses the Russian experience with its communism, and it is this that elates his audience which yells: "These people are very much like us at the bottom. They've got a sense of solidarity."
Beti highlights the hypocritical inclinations inherent in the so-called educated elite through Endongolo, the young man who drills Medza on what nature of job he would partake after leaving college. The artist adeptly uses the stream of consciousness technique to examine the inadequacy of Western education systems as the hero asks himself: "Yes, indeed: what would I do when I (finish) my studies? And where (do) those studies lead". But he dreams of becoming a teacher, doctor, lawyer and the like.
The narrator's desperate situation is further compounded by one woman who could see through this thin veil and challenges him: "When you get the kind of job you've mentioned, will you make plenty of money? You will, won't you? That means you'll live like white men? Where do we come in to all this?" He is only saved from further assault when someone offers him American whisky which makes him escape from his inadequacies as he is able to give "explanatory remarks loaded with all manner of convincing details" after imbibing, which may suggest that like alcohol, Western education is just a temporary illusion.
The dynamics of culture also find prominence as the writer exposes the Kala culture, which, though untainted by Western influences, seem to be morally bankrupt. Though Western education may be irrelevant in some aspects, it seems to be necessary in moulding the individual as is evident in Medza's shift of character. He leaves Vimili a teetotaler and a virgin, and loses it all in Kala. Therefore, there is need for integration of cultures through interacting African and Western education systems.
Medza emerges from Kala with Niam's wife in tow, a more enlightened young man who is able to tell his oppressive father: "I am not going to college anymore - I am through with all this nonsense". His rebellious nature is suggestive of resistance to colonial rule through the creation of interfaces between Western and African values. When he eventually goes back to college, he passes his oral without even studying for it. Education really sometimes comes naturally.
In Jean-Marie Medza's own admission, he, "discovered many truths" in Kala, as the tragedy of Africa is its dependency on "a man left to his own devices in a world which does not belong to him - which, he neither understands nor has made".
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 27, 2014 at 1:50 PM||comments (0)|
Boko Haram gunmen suspected of three separate attacks in northeast Adamawa state, which killed at least 32 people.
Suspected Boko Haram gunmen have killed at least 32 people in three separate attacks in northeast Nigeria, including at a theological college, a local government official and residents have said.
The co-ordinated attacks in Adamawa state late on Wednesday came just a day after armed fighters were blamed for killing 59 people, most of them children, as they slept at a boarding school in Yobe state.
Maina Ularamu, the chairman of the Madagali local government area in Adamawa, said "a large number of militants carried out three separate attacks on Shuwa and Kirchinga in my local government area and on Michika in neighbouring Michika (district)".
"The gunmen divided themselves into three groups and separately attacked the three locations," he told AFP news agency.
In Shuwa, several buildings were burnt, including a Christian theological college and a section of a secondary school.
A local resident, Kwaje Bitrus, said three bodies were recovered from the seminary and a total of 20 were killed in and around the village.
In Kirchinga, Samuel Garba said the gunmen were all dressed in military uniform - a tactic used by the armed fighters in previous, similar attacks.
"The gunmen... killed eight people in our village and burnt many houses," he added.
"Four people have so far been confirmed dead in Michika," said Abdul Kassim, who lives in the village.
The dead were a young boy and three security guards, he added.
The northeastern states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno have been under emergency rule since last May, when the military launched an offensive to stamp out the armed rebellion, which has killed thousands since 2009.
Hundreds of thousands displaced
The UN said on Thursday that nearly 300,000 people, more than half of them children, had fled their homes in the three states from May last year to this January because of the violence.
Residents in Michika described earlier how people fled to the nearby foothills when the attackers arrived in four-wheeled drive trucks and on motorcycles.
Michika resident Abdul Kassim said militants arrived at about 9.30pm (8.30pm GMT) on Wednesday, "armed with RPGs and explosives which they hurled indiscriminately at homes and public buildings".
The attack reportedly lasted for more than four hours. Various residents said four banks were razed, as well as hundreds of shops, a police station, government buildings and dozens of homes.
One witness said that about 90 percent of all businesses had been destroyed. The military and police declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
The top military commander in Adamawa state last week ordered the complete closure of the border with Cameroon to block the movements of fighters and weapons.
The ongoing military offensive has failed to crush the armed struggle and nearly 300 people have been killed in a range of attacks already this year.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
Lawyer Releases Video Of Man Who Died Outside Of The Moore Warren Movie Theater While In Police Custody
MOORE, Oklahoma - Three Moore Police officers were put on administrative leave while detective investigate an in-custody death from overnight. The family of the man who died said police beat him badly and they recorded it with a cell phone camera.
Nair Rodriguez and her daughter Lunahi told News 9 they got into an argument at the Warren Theater around midnight. Nair said she slapped her daughter then stormed away. Her husband, Luis, chased after her. That was when the family said officers confronted Luis Rodriguez and asked to see his identification.
According to Lunahi and Nair, he tried to bypass the officers to stop his wife from driving off because she was so angry. They said officers took him down and it escalated.
Lunahi Rodriguez said that five officers beat her father to death right in front of her, in the parking lot of the movie theater.
"When they flipped him over you could see all the blood on his face, it was, he was disfigured, you couldn't recognize him."
By the time it was all over, Nair Rodriguez said that she knew her husband was dead.
"I saw him. His [motionless] body when people carry it to the stretcher," she explained. "I knew that he was dead."
Nair says her husband was only trying to defuse the fight she was having with her daughter. She said when police asked her about it she told them what happened.
"I told them I hit her and he was just trying to reach me. Why didn't they arrest me?"
Lunahi added, "My mom was taking a video and asking, ‘What are they doing this for? Why?' And they didn't give really an explanation."
Rodriguez told News 9 that police took her phone with the recording on it. Another family member provided News 9 with an audio recording she said was taken when that happened. The family hoped Luis would pull through, so they waited for news at the hospital.http://www.news9.com/story/24815189/lawyer-releases-video-of-mans-death-in-police-custody-in-moore
"Two hours passed. They finally called her up to say, 'Oh you could see him,' but it turned out it was a lie. They moved his body elsewhere," said Lunahi.The family told News 9 they would hire an attorney.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 24, 2014 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
On Homosexuality by H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of the Republic of Uganda Responding to H.E. Obama’s statement on Homosexuality
18th February 2014
I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right from the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:
1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;
2. those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and
3. exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.
The only point I disagreed on with some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Ugandans was on the persons I thought were born homosexual. According to the casual observations, there are rare deviations in nature from the normal. You witness cases like albinos (nyamagoye), barren women or men (enguumba), epa (breastless women) etc.
I, therefore, thought that similarly there were people that were born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex. That is why I thought that that it was wrong to punish somebody on account of being born abnormal. That is why I refused to sign the Bill and, instead, referred it to our Party (the NRM) to debate it again.
In the meantime, I sought for scientific opinions on this matter. I am grateful to Ms. Kerry Kennedy of the USA who sent me opinions by scientists from the USA saying that there could be some indications that homosexuality could be congenital. In our conference, I put these opinions to our scientists from the Department of Genetics, the School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health.
Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic. It was learnt and could be unlearnt. I told them to put their signatures to that conclusion which they did. That is why I declared my intention to sign the Bill, which I will do.
I have now received their signed document, which says there is no single gene that has been traced to cause homosexuality. What I want them to clarify is whether a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual. Then my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.
After my statement to that effect which was quoted widely around the World, I got reactions from some friends from outside Africa. Statements like: “it is a matter of choice” or “whom they love” which President Obama repeated in his statement would be most furiously rejected by almost the entirety of our people.
It cannot be a matter of choice for a man to behave like a woman or vice-versa. The argument I had pushed was that there could be people who are born like that or “who they are”, according to President Obama’s statement. I, therefore, encourage the US government to help us by working with our Scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual. When that is proved, we can review this legislation.
I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our Scientists.
I would like to discourage the USA government from taking the line that passing this law will “complicate our valued relationship” with the USA as President Obama said. Countries and Societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making.
“Valued relationship” cannot be sustainably maintained by one Society being subservient to another society. There are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West.
Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody. We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality. It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.
I thank everybody.
Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)
P R E S I D E N T
18th February 2014.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 9, 2014 at 3:35 PM||comments (1)|
Do you remember The Askaris? Do you remember the Buffalo soldiers and all the other YES-SIR-NO-SIR NEGROES that have historically bowed down and served their white masters faithfully till the very end?
An askari was a local soldier serving in the armies of the European colonial powers in Africa, particularly in East Africa, Northeast Africa, and Central Africa. Not only was the word used in that sense in English, but also in French, German, Italian, Urdu and Portuguese. The designation is still in use today to describe police, gendarmerie and security guards.
During the period of the European colonial empires in Africa, locally recruited soldiers were employed by Italian, British, Portuguese, German and Belgian colonial armies. They played a crucial role in the conquest of the various colonial possessions, and subsequently served as garrison and internal security forces. During both World Wars askari units served outside their colonies of origin, in various parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
The word askari is a loan word from Arabic عسكري (ʿaskarī meaning "soldier". The Arabic word is a derivation from عسكر (ʿaskar) meaning "army", which in turn is from Persian لشکر (laškar). Words for "(a regular) soldier" derived from these Arabic words are found in Amharic, Azeri, Somali, Swahili, Tajik, Turkish and Urdu.
Nazi Austin Mahone Germany Hiwi (volunteer)
During WWII, the Germans used the term "askaris" for Red Army, largely Russian, deserters who formed units fighting against the Red Army and in other action on the Eastern front. Soviet archives apply the term to Latvians, Lithuanians, and Ukrainians—who all fought against the Red Army, not Russians.
This term was also applied[who?] to the Western Ukrainian volunteer units like the Nightingale Battalion, Schuma battalions, and the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, which was used in many operations during WWII. Most of them were either Red Army deserters or anti-communist peasants recruited from Western Ukrainian rural areas under German occupation.
Soldiers of the King's African Rifles at the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902
The Imperial British East Africa Company raised units of askaris from among the Swahili people, the Sudanese and Somalis. There was no official uniform, nor standardised weaponry. Many of the askaris campaigned in their native dress. Officers usually wore civilian clothes. From 1895 the British askaris were organised into a regular, disciplined, uniformed force called the East African Rifles, later part of the King's African Rifles. The designation of "askari" was retained for locally recruited troops in the King's African Rifles, smaller military units and police forces in the colonies until the end of British imperial rule in Kenya, Tanganyika and Uganda during the period 1961-63.
The German Colonial Army (Schutztruppe) of the German Empire employed native troops with European officers and NCOs in its colonies. The main concentration of such locally recruited troops was in German East Africa (now Tanzania.) Formed in 1881 after the transfer of the Wissmanntruppe (raised in 1889 to suppress the Abushiri Revolt) to German imperial control.
The first askaris formed in German East Africa were raised by DAOG (Deutsche Ost-Afrika Gesellschaft - the German East Africa Company) in about 1888. Originally drawn from Sudanese mercenaries, the German askaris were subsequently recruited from the Wahehe and Angoni tribal groups. They were harshly disciplined but well paid (on a scale twice that of their British counterparts in the King's African Rifles), and highly trained by German cadres who were themselves subject to a rigorous selection process. Prior to 1914 the basic Schutztruppe unit in Southeast Africa was the feldkompanie comprising seven or eight German officers and NCOs with between 150 and 200 askaris (usually 160) - including two machine gun teams.
Such small independent commands were often supplemented by tribal irregulars or ruga-ruga.
They were successfully used in German East Africa where 11,000 askaris, porters and their European officers, commanded by Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, managed to resist numerically superior British, Portuguese and Belgian colonial forces until the end of World War I in 1918.
The Weimar Republic provided pension payments to the German askaris. Due to interruptions during the worldwide depression and World War II, the parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) voted in 1964 to fund the back pay of the askaris still alive. The West German embassy at Dar es Salaam identified approximately 350 ex-askaris and set up a temporary cashiers office at Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
Original caption: "Askaris used during the operation."
Only a few claimants could produce the certificates given to them in 1918; others provided pieces of their old uniforms as proof of service. The banker who had brought the money came up with an idea: as each claimant stepped forward he was handed a broom and ordered in German to perform the manual of arms. Not one of them failed the test.
In Portuguese West Africa, and most other African colonies of the Portuguese Empire, local askaris were recruited. These were used to keep the peace in the nation-sized colonies. During the 20th century, all the indigenous troops were merged into a Portuguese colonial army. This military was segregated along lines of race, and until 1960 there were three classes of soldiers: commissioned soldiers (European whites), overseas soldiers (black African "civilizados") and native soldiers (Africans who lived in the Portuguese colonies). These categories were renamed to 1st, 2nd and 3rd class in 1960 - which effectively corresponded to the same classification
When Mussolini decided that Ethiopia should become Italian property, he found no difficulty in recruiting such despicable characters to attack their own people on behalf of their white masters. They were known back then as Askaris.
When Mussolini decided that Ethiopia should become Italian property, he found no difficulty in recruiting such despicable characters to attack their own people on behalf of their white masters. They were known back then as Askaris.
The Askaris or Black Eritrean soldiers, were members of the regular Italian Colonial infantry who provided the army’s spear-point during Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia in the 1930s. They largely belonged to the same race and had the same religions and customs as their Ethiopian brothers.
Regarded by Italian officers as MORE EXPENDABLE , more highly TRAINED, and more experienced in guerrilla-style warfare than their Italian counterparts, THEY BORE THE BRUNT OF EVERY ACTION, so much so that in many of the actions the white troops would seem to have been little more than spectators of the Askaris’ gallantry.
As a result, their casualty rates were far higher than those of white troops. (Editorial from The Black Man, London, July/August 1936 quoting A.J. Barker, The Civilizing Mission: The Italo-Ethiopian war 1935 – 1936 (London: cassell, 1968) pp. 141 – 142, 215.)
Two things to know about the modern-day Askari: In the slave-master’s books he has an unblemished impeccable record, for he has never been known to speak against or rebel against his white masters, and he can be counted on to rise to his master’s defense.
There are many Negroes like that today, and the slave-owners have absolute trust in them. That is why they are frequently promoted and used to interface with other Negroes on their master’s behalf.
Some of them can be found fervently articulating the slave-owner’s point of view, and making the case that there should be NO REPARATIONS. And the real low-life, good-for-nothing, scum-bag Negroes are the ones that are frequently enlisted to assassinate the character of those that make the case for reparations.
Never did the captives in the slave-ship think that out of their offspring would come such low scum-bag Negroes with an antipathy to the enslaved.
Never in their wildest dreams could the slaves in the cane fields imagine that after being robbed of four hundred years of time and labor, AND CONDEMNED TO FOREVER INHABIT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, that some Negroes would step forward to argue against reparations.
What a predicament! While a small number of Africans are struggling for reparations, just as many TRAINED AND EDUCATED ones are consciously struggling to make sure it doesn’t happen.
To their kith and kin they say: “Forget about reparations, NEVER MIND THAT YOU ARE PRESENTLY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BARREL, wait in line, and someday you or one of yours may be promoted just like us.”
TODAY ASKARI Post 2003 Iraq War.
Widely deployed Ugandan private security guards are also designated as askari. Guards were to receive $1,000 monthly salary and an $80,000 bonus if shot, but many have complained that the money was not paid or unfair fees assessed.
The guards work for recruiting agencies such as Askar Security Services, which are hired by Beowulf International, a receiving company in Iraq, which subcontracts their services to EOD Technologies, an American company hired by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide security guards for Camp Victory in Baghdad. A Beowulf representative said that 400 of the workers "had impressed the US Army with their skill and experience", but complained that some of the workers lacked police or security experience and "didn't even know how to hold a gun". At least eleven other Ugandan recruiters include Dresak International and Connect Financial Services.
Askari Was A Local Soldier Serving In The Armies Of The European Colonial Racist powers in Africa And Global
NEVER TURN INTO AN ASKARI ..NEVER BETRAY YOUR AFRIKAN BLOOD ANCESTORS
"If we are not about change, we have sold out."
"What has oppressed you is not going to liberate you.
NOTHING IS WRONG WITH US IT IS WHITE SUPREMACY ONGOING NATURE OF RADICAL EVIL THAT HAS CREATED THESE CONDITIONS OF UNBEARABLE INJUSTICE ON PLANET EARTH .
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 5, 2014 at 9:55 AM||comments (1)|
Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations.
Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become “commonwealths,” and colonies become “territories” or “dominions” (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, “commonwealths” too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of “national defense,” “national security,” and maintaining “stability” in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.
Across the Entire Globe
By "imperialism" I mean the process whereby the dominant politico-economic interests of one nation expropriate for their own enrichment the land, labor, raw materials, and markets of another people.
The earliest victims of Western European imperialism were other Europeans. Some 800 years ago, Ireland became the first colony of what later became known as the British empire. A part of Ireland still remains under British occupation. Other early Caucasian victims included the Eastern Europeans. The people Charlemagne worked to death in his mines in the early part of the ninth century were Slavs. So frequent and prolonged was the enslavement of Eastern Europeans that "Slav" became synonymous with servitude. Indeed, the word "slave" derives from "Slav." Eastern Europe was an early source of capital accumulation, having become wholly dependent upon Western manufactures by the seventeenth century.
A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps.
The preponderant thrust of the European, North American, and Japanese imperial powers has been directed against Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By the nineteenth century, they saw the Third World as not only a source of raw materials and slaves but a market for manufactured goods. By the twentieth century, the industrial nations were exporting not only goods but capital, in the form of machinery, technology, investments, and loans. To say that we have entered the stage of capital export and investment is not to imply that the plunder of natural resources has ceased. If anything, the despoliation has accelerated.
Of the various notions about imperialism circulating today in the United States, the dominant view is that it does not exist. Imperialism is not recognized as a legitimate concept, certainly not in regard to the United States. One may speak of "Soviet imperialism" or "nineteenth-century British imperialism" but not of U.S. imperialism. A graduate student in political science at most universities in this country would not be granted the opportunity to research U.S. imperialism, on the grounds that such an undertaking would not be scholarly. While many people throughout the world charge the United States with being an imperialist power, in this country persons who talk of U.S. imperialism are usually judged to be mouthing ideological blather.
The Dynamic of Capital Expansion
Imperialism is older than capitalism. The Persian, Macedonian, Roman, and Mongol empires all existed centuries before the Rothschilds and Rockefellers. Emperors and conquistadors were interested mostly in plunder and tribute, gold and glory. Capitalist imperialism differs from these earlier forms in the way it systematically accumulates capital through the organized exploitation of labor and the penetration of overseas markets. Capitalist imperialism invests in other countries, transforming and dominating their economies, cultures, and political life, integrating their financial and productive structures into an international system of capital accumulation.
A central imperative of capitalism is expansion. Investors will not put their money into business ventures unless they can extract more than they invest. Increased earnings come only with a growth in the enterprise. The capitalist ceaselessly searches for ways of making more money in order to make still more money. One must always invest to realize profits, gathering as much strength as possible in the face of competing forces and unpredictable markets.
Given its expansionist nature, capitalism has little inclination to stay home. Almost 150 years ago, Marx and Engels described a bourgeoisie that "chases over the whole surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connections everywhere. . . . It creates a world after its own image." The expansionists destroy whole societies. Self-sufficient peoples are forcibly transformed into disfranchised wage workers. Indigenous communities and folk cultures are replaced by mass-market, mass-media, consumer societies. Cooperative lands are supplanted by agribusiness factory farms, villages by desolate shanty towns, autonomous regions by centralized autocracies.
Consider one of a thousand such instances. A few years ago the Los Angeles Times carried a special report on the rainforests of Borneo in the South Pacific. By their own testimony, the people there lived contented lives. They hunted, fished, and raised food in their jungle orchards and groves. But their entire way of life was ruthlessly wiped out by a few giant companies that destroyed the rainforest in order to harvest the hardwood for quick profits. Their lands were turned into ecological disaster areas and they themselves were transformed into disfranchised shantytown dwellers, forced to work for subsistence wages—when fortunate enough to find employment.
North American and European corporations have acquired control of more than three-fourths of the known mineral resources of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. But the pursuit of natural resources is not the only reason for capitalist overseas expansion. There is the additional need to cut production costs and maximize profits by investing in countries with cheaper labor markets. U.S. corporate foreign investment grew 84 percent from 1985 to 1990, the most dramatic increase being in cheap-labor countries like South Korea, Taiwan, Spain, and Singapore.
Because of low wages, low taxes, nonexistent work benefits, weak labor unions, and nonexistent occupational and environmental protections, U.S. corporate profit rates in the Third World are 50 percent greater than in developed countries. Citibank, one of the largest U.S. firms, earns about 75 percent of its profits from overseas operations. While profit margins at home sometimes have had a sluggish growth, earnings abroad have continued to rise dramatically, fostering the development of what has become known as the multinational or transnational corporation. Today some four hundred transnational companies control about 80 percent of the capital assets of the global free market and are extending their grasp into the ex-communist countries of Eastern Europe.
Transnationals have developed a global production line. General Motors has factories that produce cars, trucks and a wide range of auto components in Canada, Brazil, Venezuela, Spain, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Nigeria, Singapore, Philippines, South Africa, South Korea and a dozen other countries. Such "multiple sourcing" enables GM to ride out strikes in one country by stepping up production in another, playing workers of various nations against each other in order to discourage wage and benefit demands and undermine labor union strategies.
Oba Ovonramwen's compound after it havd burnt by the British invaders.
After the white invaders had burnt down is palace, he was forced to exile by ship.
Not Necessary, Just Compelling
Some writers question whether imperialism is a necessary condition for capitalism, pointing out that most Western capital is invested in Western nations, not in the Third World. If corporations lost all their Third World investments, they argue, many of them could still survive on their European and North American markets. In response, one should note that capitalism might be able to survive without imperialism—but it shows no inclination to do so. It manifests no desire to discard its enormously profitable Third World enterprises. Imperialism may not be a necessary condition for investor survival but it seems to be an inherent tendency and a natural outgrowth of advanced capitalism. Imperial relations may not be the only way to pursue profits, but they are the most lucrative way.
Whether imperialism is necessary for capitalism is really not the question. Many things that are not absolutely necessary are still highly desirable, therefore strongly preferred and vigorously pursued. Overseas investors find the Third World's cheap labor, vital natural resources, and various other highly profitable conditions to be compellingly attractive. Superprofits may not be necessary for capitalism's survival but survival is not all that capitalists are interested in. Superprofits are strongly preferred to more modest earnings. That there may be no necessity between capitalism and imperialism does not mean there is no compelling linkage.
The same is true of other social dynamics. For instance, wealth does not necessarily have to lead to luxurious living. A higher portion of an owning class's riches could be used for investment rather personal consumption. The very wealthy could survive on more modest sums but that is not how most of them prefer to live. Throughout history, wealthy classes generally have shown a preference for getting the best of everything. After all, the whole purpose of getting rich off other people's labor is to live well, avoiding all forms of thankless toil and drudgery, enjoying superior opportunities for lavish life-styles, medical care, education, travel, recreation, security, leisure, and opportunities for power and prestige. While none of these things are really "necessary," they are fervently clung to by those who possess them—as witnessed by the violent measures endorsed by advantaged classes whenever they feel the threat of an equalizing or leveling democratic force.
Myths of Underdevelopment
The impoverished lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America are known to us as the "Third World," to distinguish them from the "First World" of industrialized Europe and North America and the now largely defunct "Second World" of communist states. Third World poverty, called "underdevelopment," is treated by most Western observers as an original historic condition. We are asked to believe that it always existed, that poor countries are poor because their lands have always been infertile or their people unproductive.
In fact, the lands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America have long produced great treasures of foods, minerals and other natural resources. That is why the Europeans went through all the trouble to steal and plunder them. One does not go to poor places for self-enrichment. The Third World is rich. Only its people are poor—and it is because of the pillage they have endured.
The process of expropriating the natural resources of the Third World began centuries ago and continues to this day. First, the colonizers extracted gold, silver, furs, silks, and spices, then flax, hemp, timber, molasses, sugar, rum, rubber, tobacco, calico, cocoa, coffee, cotton, copper, coal, palm oil, tin, iron, ivory, ebony, and later on, oil, zinc, manganese, mercury, platinum, cobalt, bauxite, aluminum, and uranium. Not to be overlooked is that most hellish of all expropriations: the abduction of millions of human beings into slave labor.
Through the centuries of colonization, many self-serving imperialist theories have been spun. I was taught in school that people in tropical lands are slothful and do not work as hard as we denizens of the temperate zone. In fact, the inhabitants of warm climates have performed remarkably productive feats, building magnificent civilizations well before Europe emerged from the Dark Ages. And today they often work long, hard hours for meager sums. Yet the early stereotype of the "lazy native" is still with us. In every capitalist society, the poor—both domestic and overseas—regularly are blamed for their own condition.
We hear that Third World peoples are culturally retarded in their attitudes, customs, and technical abilities. It is a convenient notion embraced by those who want to depict Western investments as a rescue operation designed to help backward peoples help themselves. This myth of "cultural backwardness" goes back to ancient times, when conquerors used it to justify enslaving indigenous peoples. It was used by European colonizers over the last five centuries for the same purpose.
What cultural supremacy could by claimed by the Europeans of yore? From the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries Europe was "ahead" in a variety of things, such as the number of hangings, murders, and other violent crimes; instances of venereal disease, smallpox, typhoid, tuberculosis, plagues, and other bodily afflictions; social inequality and poverty (both urban and rural); mistreatment of women and children; and frequency of famines, slavery, prostitution, piracy, religious massacres, and inquisitional torture. Those who claim the West has been the most advanced civilization should keep such "achievements" in mind.
More seriously, we might note that Europe enjoyed a telling advantage in navigation and armaments. Muskets and cannon, Gatling guns and gunboats, and today missiles, helicopter gunships, and fighter bombers have been the deciding factors when West meets East and North meets South. Superior firepower, not superior culture, has brought the Europeans and Euro-North Americans to positions of supremacy that today are still maintained by force, though not by force alone.
It was said that colonized peoples were biologically backward and less evolved than their colonizers. Their "savagery" and "lower" level of cultural evolution were emblematic of their inferior genetic evolution. But were they culturally inferior? In many parts of what is now considered the Third World, people developed impressive skills in architecture, horticulture, crafts, hunting, fishing, midwifery, medicine, and other such things. Their social customs were often far more gracious and humane and less autocratic and repressive than anything found in Europe at that time. Of course we must not romanticize these indigenous societies, some of which had a number of cruel and unusual practices of their own. But generally, their peoples enjoyed healthier, happier lives, with more leisure time, than did most of Europe's inhabitants.
Other theories enjoy wide currency. We hear that Third World poverty is due to overpopulation, too many people having too many children to feed. Actually, over the last several centuries, many Third World lands have been less densely populated than certain parts of Europe. India has fewer people per acre—but more poverty—than Holland, Wales, England, Japan, Italy, and a few other industrial countries. Furthermore, it is the industrialized nations of the First World, not the poor ones of the Third, that devour some 80 percent of the world's resources and pose the greatest threat to the planet's ecology.
This is not to deny that overpopulation is a real problem for the planet's ecosphere. Limiting population growth in all nations would help the global environment but it would not solve the problems of the poor—because overpopulation in itself is not the cause of poverty but one of its effects. The poor tend to have large families because children are a source of family labor and income and a support during old age.
Frances Moore Lappe and Rachel Schurman found that of seventy Third World countries, there were six—China, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Chile, Burma, and Cuba—and the state of Kerala in India that had managed to lower their birth rates by one third. They enjoyed neither dramatic industrial expansion nor high per capita incomes nor extensive family planning programs. The factors they had in common were public education and health care, a reduction of economic inequality, improvements in women's rights, food subsidies, and in some cases land reform. In other words, fertility rates were lowered not by capitalist investments and economic growth as such but by socio-economic betterment, even of a modest scale, accompanied by the emergence of women's rights.
Artificially Converted to Poverty
What is called "underdevelopment" is a set of social relations that has been forcefully imposed on countries. With the advent of the Western colonizers, the peoples of the Third World were actually set back in their development sometimes for centuries. British imperialism in India provides an instructive example. In 1810, India was exporting more textiles to England than England was exporting to India. By 1830, the trade flow was reversed. The British had put up prohibitive tariff barriers to shut out Indian finished goods and were dumping their commodities in India, a practice backed by British gunboats and military force. Within a matter of years, the great textile centers of Dacca and Madras were turned into ghost towns. The Indians were sent back to the land to raise the cotton used in British textile factories. In effect, India was reduced to being a cow milked by British financiers.
By 1850, India's debt had grown to 53 million pounds. From 1850 to 1900, its per capita income dropped by almost two-thirds. The value of the raw materials and commodities the Indians were obliged to send to Britain during most of the nineteenth century amounted yearly to more than the total income of the sixty million Indian agricultural and industrial workers. The massive poverty we associate with India was not that country's original historical condition. British imperialism did two things: first, it ended India's development, then it forcibly underdeveloped that country.
Similar bleeding processes occurred throughout the Third World. The enormous wealth extracted should remind us that there originally were few really poor nations. Countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Chile, Bolivia, Zaire, Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines were and sometimes still are rich in resources. Some lands have been so thoroughly plundered as to be desolate in all respects. However, most of the Third World is not "underdeveloped" but overexploited. Western colonization and investments have created a lower rather than a higher living standard.
Referring to what the English colonizers did to the Irish, Frederick Engels wrote in 1856: "How often have the Irish started out to achieve something, and every time they have been crushed politically and industrially. By consistent oppression they have been artificially converted into an utterly impoverished nation." So with most of the Third World. The Mayan Indians in Guatemala had a more nutritious and varied diet and better conditions of health in the early 16th century before the Europeans arrived than they have today. They had more craftspeople, architects, artisans, and horticulturists than today. What is called underdevelopment is not an original historical condition but a product of imperialism's superexploitation. Underdevelopment is itself a development.
Imperialism has created what I have termed "maldevelopment": modern office buildings and luxury hotels in the capital city instead of housing for the poor, cosmetic surgery clinics for the affluent instead of hospitals for workers, cash export crops for agribusiness instead of food for local markets, highways that go from the mines and latifundios to the refineries and ports instead of roads in the back country for those who might hope to see a doctor or a teacher.
Wealth is transferred from Third World peoples to the economic elites of Europe and North America (and more recently Japan) by direct plunder, by the expropriation of natural resources, the imposition of ruinous taxes and land rents, the payment of poverty wages, and the forced importation of finished goods at highly inflated prices. The colonized country is denied the freedom of trade and the opportunity to develop its own natural resources, markets, and industrial capacity. Self-sustenance and self-employment gives way to wage labor. From 1970 to 1980, the number of wage workers in the Third World grew from 72 million to 120 million, and the rate is accelerating.
Hundreds of millions of Third World peoples now live in destitution in remote villages and congested urban slums, suffering hunger, disease, and illiteracy, often because the land they once tilled is now controlled by agribusiness firms who use it for mining or for commercial export crops such as coffee, sugar, and beef, instead of growing beans, rice, and corn for home consumption. A study of twenty of the poorest countries, compiled from official statistics, found that the number of people living in what is called "absolute poverty" or rockbottom destitution, the poorest of the poor, is rising 70,000 a day and should reach 1.5 billion by the year 2000 (San Francisco Examiner, June 8, 1994).
Imperialism forces millions of children around the world to live nightmarish lives, their mental and physical health severely damaged by endless exploitation. A documentary film on the Discovery Channel (April 24, 1994) reported that in countries like Russia, Thailand, and the Philippines, large numbers of minors are sold into prostitution to help their desperate families survive. In countries like Mexico, India, Colombia, and Egypt, children are dragooned into health-shattering, dawn-to-dusk labor on farms and in factories and mines for pennies an hour, with no opportunity for play, schooling, or medical care.
In India, 55 million children are pressed into the work force. Tens of thousands labor in glass factories in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. In one plant, four-year-olds toil from 5 o'clock in the morning until the dead of night, inhaling fumes and contracting emphysema, tuberculosis, and other respiratory diseases. In the Philippines and Malaysia corporations have lobbied to drop age restrictions for labor recruitment. The pursuit of profit becomes a pursuit of evil.
When we say a country is "underdeveloped," we are implying that it is backward and retarded in some way, that its people have shown little capacity to achieve and evolve. The negative connotations of "underdeveloped" has caused the United Nations, the Wall Street Journal, and parties of various political persuasion to refer to Third World countries as "developing" nations, a term somewhat less insulting than "underdeveloped" but equally misleading. I prefer to use "Third World" because "developing" seems to be just a euphemistic way of saying "underdeveloped but belatedly starting to do something about it." It still implies that poverty was an original historic condition and not something imposed by the imperialists. It also falsely suggests that these countries are developing when actually their economic conditions are usually worsening.
The dominant theory of the last half century, enunciated repeatedly by writers like Barbara Ward and W. W. Rostow and afforded wide currency in the United States and other parts of the Western world, maintains that it is up to the rich nations of the North to help uplift the "backward" nations of the South, bringing them technology and teaching them proper work habits. This is an updated version of "the White man's burden," a favorite imperialist fantasy.
According to the development scenario, with the introduction of Western investments, the backward economic sectors of the poor nations will release their workers, who then will find more productive employment in the modern sector at higher wages. As capital accumulates, business will reinvest its profits, thus creating still more products, jobs, buying power, and markets. Eventually a more prosperous economy evolves.
This "development theory" or "modernization theory," as it is sometimes called, bears little relation to reality. What has emerged in the Third World is an intensely exploitive form of dependent capitalism. Economic conditions have worsened drastically with the growth of transnational corporate investment. The problem is not poor lands or unproductive populations but foreign exploitation and class inequality. Investors go into a country not to uplift it but to enrich themselves.
People in these countries do not need to be taught how to farm. They need the land and the implements to farm. They do not need to be taught how to fish. They need the boats and the nets and access to shore frontage, bays, and oceans. They need industrial plants to cease dumping toxic effusions into the waters. They do not need to be convinced that they should use hygienic standards. They do not need a Peace Corps Volunteer to tell them to boil their water, especially when they cannot afford fuel or have no access to firewood. They need the conditions that will allow them to have clean drinking water and clean clothes and homes. They do not need advice about balanced diets from North Americans. They usually know what foods best serve their nutritional requirements. They need to be given back their land and labor so that they might work for themselves and grow food for their own consumption.
The legacy of imperial domination is not only misery and strife, but an economic structure dominated by a network of international corporations which themselves are beholden to parent companies based in North America, Europe and Japan. If there is any harmonization or integration, it occurs among the global investor classes, not among the indigenous economies of these countries. Third World economies remain fragmented and unintegrated both between each other and within themselves, both in the flow of capital and goods and in technology and organization. In sum, what we have is a world economy that has little to do with the economic needs of the world's people.
Neoimperialism: Skimming the Cream
Sometimes imperial domination is explained as arising from an innate desire for domination and expansion, a "territorial imperative." In fact, territorial imperialism is no longer the prevailing mode. Compared to the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the European powers carved up the world among themselves, today there is almost no colonial dominion left. Colonel Blimp is dead and buried, replaced by men in business suits. Rather than being directly colonized by the imperial power, the weaker countries have been granted the trappings of sovereignty—while Western finance capital retains control of the lion's share of their profitable resources. This relationship has gone under various names: "informal empire," "colonialism without colonies," "neocolonialism," and "neoimperialism."
U.S. political and business leaders were among the earliest practitioners of this new kind of empire, most notably in Cuba at the beginning of the twentieth century. Having forcibly wrested the island from Spain in the war of 1898, they eventually gave Cuba its formal independence. The Cubans now had their own government, constitution, flag, currency, and security force. But major foreign policy decisions remained in U.S. hands as did the island's wealth, including its sugar, tobacco, and tourist industries, and major imports and exports.
Historically U.S. capitalist interests have been less interested in acquiring more colonies than in acquiring more wealth, preferring to make off with the treasure of other nations without bothering to own and administer the nations themselves. Under neoimperialism, the flag stays home, while the dollar goes everywhere—frequently assisted by the sword.
After World War II, European powers like Britain and France adopted a strategy of neoimperialism. Left financially depleted by years of warfare, and facing intensified popular resistance from within the Third World itself, they reluctantly decided that indirect economic hegemony was less costly and politically more expedient than outright colonial rule. They discovered that the removal of a conspicuously intrusive colonial rule made it more difficult for nationalist elements within the previously colonized countries to mobilize anti-imperialist sentiments.
Though the newly established government might be far from completely independent, it usually enjoyed more legitimacy in the eyes of its populace than a colonial administration controlled by the imperial power. Furthermore, under neoimperialism the native government takes up the costs of administering the country while the imperialist interests are free to concentrate on accumulating capital—which is all they really want to do.
After years of colonialism, the Third World country finds it extremely difficult to extricate itself from the unequal relationship with its former colonizer and impossible to depart from the global capitalist sphere. Those countries that try to make a break are subjected to punishing economic and military treatment by one or another major power, nowadays usually the United States.
The leaders of the new nations may voice revolutionary slogans, yet they find themselves locked into the global capitalist orbit, cooperating perforce with the First World nations for investment, trade, and aid. So we witnessed the curious phenomenon of leaders of newly independent Third World nations denouncing imperialism as the source of their countries' ills, while dissidents in these countries denounced these same leaders as collaborators of imperialism.
In many instances a comprador class emerged or was installed as a first condition for independence. A comprador class is one that cooperates in turning its own country into a client state for foreign interests. A client state is one that is open to investments on terms that are decidedly favorable to the foreign investors. In a client state, corporate investors enjoy direct subsidies and land grants, access to raw materials and cheap labor, light or nonexistent taxes, few effective labor unions, no minimum wage or child labor or occupational safety laws, and no consumer or environmental protections to speak of. The protective laws that do exist go largely unenforced.
In all, the Third World is something of a capitalist paradise, offering life as it was in Europe and the United States during the nineteenth century, with a rate of profit vastly higher than what might be earned today in a country with strong economic regulations. The comprador class is well recompensed for its cooperation. Its leaders enjoy opportunities to line their pockets with the foreign aid sent by the U.S. government. Stability is assured with the establishment of security forces, armed and trained by the United States in the latest technologies of terror and repression. Still, neoimperialism carries risks. The achievement of de jure independence eventually fosters expectations of de facto independence. The forms of self rule incite a desire for the fruits of self rule. Sometimes a national leader emerges who is a patriot and reformer rather than a comprador collaborator. Therefore, the changeover from colonialism to neocolonialism is not without risks for the imperialists and represents a net gain for popular forces in the world.
After the white invaders had burnt down is palace, he was forced to exile by ship.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on February 2, 2014 at 1:15 PM||comments (0)|
AFRIKAN BLOOD FRANTZ FANON :
was an author from Martinique, essayist, psychiatrist, and revolutionary. He was perhaps the pre-eminent thinker of the 20th century on the issue of decolonization and the psychopathology of colonization. His works have inspired anti-colonial liberation movements for more than four decades.
What I call middle-class society is any society that becomes rigidified in predetermined forms, forbidding all evolution, all gains, all progress, all discovery. I call middle-class a closed society in which life has no taste, in which the air is tainted, in which ideas and men are corrupt. And I think that a man who takes a stand against this death is in a sense a revolutionary.”
“For the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.”
UNDERSTANDING THE USE OF THE TERM NEGROPEAN OR AFROPEAN
However painful it may be for me to accept this conclusion, I am obliged to state it: for the black man there is only one destiny. And it is white.
SOME OF YOU HAVE NO IDEA ....
Collective guilt is borne by what is conventionally called the scapegoat. Now the scapegoat for white society--which is based on m ... yths of progress, civilization, liberalism, education, enlightenment, refinement--will be precisely the force that opposes the expansion and the triumph of these myths. This brutal opposing force is supplied by the Negro.
I am black: I am the incarnation of a complete fusion with the world, an intuitive understanding of the earth, an abandonment of m ... y ego in the heart of the cosmos, and no white man, no matter how intelligent he may be, can ever understand the Congo.
“I made up my mind to laugh myself to tears, but laughter had become impossible.”
FRANTZ FANON .
WRITE UP ABOUT FRANTZ FANON (JULY 20 1925 - 6 DECEMBER 1961
by Jocelyn Coldrey
Alice Cherki, a trained psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who worked under Fanon at both Bilda and in Tunis, was also an active comrade in the Algerian wage for independence, gives personal insight into fragments of Fanons life as well as the contemporary relevance his work and way of thinking (Cherki, 2006 and Martin, 2004: 165). The book gives a representation of Fanon as a person, exposing his temperament in a textual portrait. Cherki does not write a meticulous biography of Fanon’s life but rather draws to light certain experiences and ways of the world which enable the Fanonian reader to historically contextualize not only what he was exposed to at the time of his writing but also his mode of being in reality. She claims that it is “important to reconstruct the journey if one is to rein in the profusion of attributes that have been imputed to Fanon” (2006: 1). In harnessing her personal interaction with Fanon, and what she found out from other people, she places particular importance on the parallels between the way Fanon viewed psychiatric patients and colonized subjects. Ultimately her portrayal of Fanon’s life remains true to his belief that “[o]ne must not relate one’s past but, but stand as a testimony to it” (2006: 1).
Fanon the Human Being:
In the preface Cherki writes that Fanon’s, persona has become “synonymous with decolonization and the Third Worldism” (2006: ix). My initial encounters with Fanon which have been very minimal, in comparison to the colossal amount of Fanonian literature available, have lead me to idealising him as an omnipotent literary hero who shared deep prophetical insight into the process of decolonization and the inequalities of the world. Needless to say, when embarking on this week’s reading I was curious to find out about Fanon the human being whom embodied the persona which lives on through interpretations of his writing. Cherki’s clear admiration for Fanon, made this a harder task than anticipated, as time after time it becomes increasingly evident that Fanon may have been human but an exceptional one who visibly had a “profound talent for life” and manage to do remarkable amounts on very little sleep (2006: 3 and 92). In a similar manner to my idealization of Fanon, Claudine Claudette compares Fanon to a classical hero, similar to Jesus or Aristotle. Nevertheless, Cherki is quick to disagree and asserts that he was “much too human , put too much effort into trying to identify with others, and most of all he could not bear being alone” (2006” 161).
Cherki makes it clear, more than once, that Fanon was not an open person, and seemed to only share what he found important. This could be the result of the fact that he had to grapple with the injunction of a public life, which could result in a casual conversation about his experiences having bigger political consequences than what they deserved (2006: 101). On the other hand, and perhaps more plausibly, Cherki claims that Fanon’s reluctance to talk about the past could be a result of the fact that he “lived in the immediacy of the moment, with an intensity that embodied everything he invoked” (2006: 1).
The manner in which Cherki affectionately talks about Fanon expressively personifies Fanon By saying things like, “I can only smile when I think how those two would have gotten on each other’s nerves” (2006: 149), or the fact that she never noticed that he was black because she was so absorbed “on the sparkle in his eyes, of a brown so clear as to seem transparent, on the expressiveness of his elegantly dressed person” (2006: 3).
Fanon’s exceptional faith in human kind made him more of an idealist than a realist, but the fact that he wrote about his own reality could suggest that notions of him being an idealist are in actuality his optimistic attitude towards a “prospect that is human” (Fanon, 1963: 205).
Fanon, intrinsic faith in humankind resulted in him having very high expectations of people, and was disappointed when they did not achieve what he expected them to. Cherki claims that Fanon “[i]dealized and demanding expectations for what a human should be”, which must have stemmed from the universal importance he placed on human dignity (2006: 117). It could be said that Fanon’s excellence was often received with dismissal because of his skin colour ignited in his desire to see the human excellence in everyone, especially those who were dismissed. He believed that the process to decolonisation would only be successful if it included ordinary people. Which could be why he held his patients and those who worked under him accountable to what they were capable of. Cherki claimed that he was “demanding and relenting with those students who were less gifted or lazy” (2006: 80). In a similar manner Fanon’s attitude towards his patients Fanon “could be very demanding, often impatient and at times, even intrusive in his interactions with the mentally ill. He did, after all, prize their dignity as men and women above all else wanted to hold them to it” (2006: 23).
The emphasis in which Fanon places on action in his writing, makes it very plausible that the manner in which he practiced psychiatry would embody his political agendas. In a letter in which he wrote home to his parents whilst fighting he stated that “whenever human dignity and freedom are at stake… I will fight it to the end” (2006: 10). Furthermore, he was a diligent believer in the fact that every aspect of life is politicised and every single being carries their politics in their bodies (2006: 135).
Psychological unconscious trauma of being oppressed:
Fanon was obsessed with the connection between human beings
and the bonds which could quash all difference (2006: 61).
The parallels between the way Fanon approached his psychiatric patients resonated “as a spring board for colonial theories” (2006:1). This was presumably always evident in Fanon’s way of being, but in Bilda-Joinville, known as HPB, it becomes very apparent that the way the which the chronically insane where institutionalized echoed the core of Algiers exclusionary. Fanon, claims he was shocked in the manner in which different racial groups did not integrate and it was not because judicial legislature but rather the practiced norm imbedded deep into the unconscious reality of the people (2006: 54). The severity of Algerian racism was intrinsically encrypted into the bodies of the people (2006: 54). Yet that shock seemed minimal compared to the manner in which the mentally ill where dehumanized and almost treated like prisoners in the manner they were restrained and secluded (2006: 62). Fanon’s ability to empathise and respond to any form of human suffering and the continuous paradoxes which he found in humanization seemingly aided him in understanding the complexities of a human being (2006: 23).
Fanon transformed HBP into a space where the mentally ill could recover through the process of negotiating and language (2006: 73). He transformed the building into a space which did not incorporate one dominate ideology or religion, making it possible for people from all walks of life to feel a sense of belonging. Though he believed that difference could be quashed, he did discover that treating patients according their cultural particularity was essential (2006: 69). Similarly he asserted the necessity for cultural revival if oppression where ever to be entirely eradicated (2006: 88 and 144).
The similarities between Fanon’s attitude to the mentally ill and his political work are endless. He saw oppressed people as oppressed people and paved their way to recognition and human dignity in a similar way. Consequently Fanon’s text will live on in all instances of social exclusion and inclusion.
The longevity of Fanon’s Text:
A work belongs to its readers, and each new generation of readers is free to interpret Fanon’s work as it sees fit (Cherki, 2006: x).
Critics on literature have long argued the longevity of literary work, in the manner in which text can become fully “intelligible in terms of its cultural politics, social location and politics” of that time (Clark, 396). This understanding enables a specific situation represented in the text to be universally recognised. Cheriki, on more than one instance, asserts that no one who reads Fanon remains indifferent (Cherki, 2006: 48). The manner in which Fanon “worked language and allowed it to work him”, succeeds in the provoking the reader in to some sort of emotion, no matter the circumstance. Fundamental to Fanons life and writing exist in in the fact that humans adapt to fit a social situation, the essentialising of humans and culture is repudiated because they will always transform in according to the particular epoch surrounding them.
Through his diligent militancy to an actional way of life, Fanon develops a language which “arises out of a body in motion” (2006: 184). This seems to echo the bodily experience in which Fanon appropriates in his writing, the ‘lived experience of oppression’. Yet the process of writing distances itself away from the body and “[p]erhaps the only way we to overcome a traumatic severance of the body and mind is to come back to mind through body” (Hartman, 1995: 541).
Fanon wrote The Wretched of the Earth with his comrades in mind, he seemed to guess that what he had to say would enable the political struggles of the colonized to successfully decolonize (Cherki, 2006: 94). However, his insistence on Sartre writing the forward to his last book, suggests that if he was not around to defend his ideas, at least someone, who he agreed with, would be able to supervise the manner in which his book was to be received (Hartman, 1995: 548). In some ways this suggests Fanon’s awareness of the limitations of language. The incorporation of Sartre as a living being into his texts suggests an attempt to avoid the distortion which exists between the reader, text and author. Hartman (2006: 548) understands this distortion to be an “epistemological bias- which not only favours a progressive view of our knowledge, but sees the complex structure of our coming-to know as the clearing away of subjectivity”.
The human experience in which Fanon writes about continues to speak to the contemporary world despite ever changing epistemologies. This is likely because of Fanon’s understanding that the human subject and experience “cannot be methodized or reduced to an affirmative structure” (Hartman, 1995: 547). Though it is textually represented, it will continue to speak to the reader, with the aim of changing the reader or provoking the reader into action. Cherki asserts that as long as Fanon’s texts prompts the reader to “reflect and proceed, to act and think” anyone can relate without understanding the substance of his work (Cherki, 2006: 203)
Fanon repeatedly uses metaphors which beautifully embody his views enabling him to describe reality in manner whereby the images provoked remain judgement free and text speaks for itself (Cheriki, 2006: 77). Through the use of his metaphors he is able to “exhibit languages power to represent such intangible [motions such as decolonization]… through concrete images” (Attridge, 2004: 33). This is clear through the quote from The Wretched of the Earth which Cheriki (2006: 176) quotes at length:
If the building of the bridge does not enrich the awareness of the those who work on it, then that bridge ought not to be built and citizens can on swimming across the river or going by boat. The boat should not be “parachuted down from above; it should not be imposed by a deus machine upon the social scene; on the contrary it should come from the muscles and brains of the citizens (TWOE, 160).
Fanon uses a metaphorical bridge and its construction in order to deploy the manner in which all people should be involved in the process of decolonization. Though there is no doubt that Fanon wished to promote action from his text I do not think they serve as a moral guidance, but rather depicts language’s power to evoke guilt, to crystallize ethical gaols, to convey the difficulty of choice” (Attridge, 2004: 22).
In his autobiographical paper “Africains Antillais”, Fanon grapples with the paradox of his existence, in the multiplicity of his identity by stating “I am and I am not there” (Cheriki, 2006: 77). To contextually interpret his statement to the permanence of his work, Fanon is here and not here every time we read and respond to his texts and way of thought.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 30, 2014 at 3:10 AM||comments (0)|
"Much of what I say might sound bitter, but it's the truth.Much of what I say might sound like it's stirring up trouble, but it's the truth. Much of what I say might sound like it is hate, but it's the truth." - Malcolm X
Reasons Why Homosexual “Marriage” is Harmful and Must be Opposed
It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution
In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”
If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.
The railroading of same-sex “marriage” on the American people makes increasingly clear what homosexual activist Paul Varnell wrote in the Chicago Free Press:
"The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality."
It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society
By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.
In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.
In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.
It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother
It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent.
The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model.
Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.
It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle
In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.
Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.
Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.
It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union
Traditional marriage is usually so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. It naturally tends to create families.
On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families.
Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.
It Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage
One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents. This aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the State.
Homosexual “marriage” does not provide such conditions. Its primary purpose, objectively speaking, is the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.
It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right
Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.
This is false.
First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.
Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.
Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.
It Violates Natural Law
Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.
Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.
Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.
Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally.
If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.
America Legalizes Sex with Animals for Military.
CAN YOU REALLY DOWN DEEP IN YOUR HEART AND MIND SAY THIS IS NORMAL LETS BE HONEST.
There are many black people who have no knowledge of their true selves, they have no knowledge of their true history, so in that case there has be a lack of developmental reality within their lives. The schools system made sure that the truth was not taught to black children and I doubt that they are teaching white children the truth about how they came into being. So when grown people talk like they have a lack of black consciousness and lack divine morals, principles' values and common sense, I do understand where these mentalities come from, a enslaved mentality. We were strong in the black power movement when I came into the world, drugs, alcohol and many others situations knock the power back to the ground.
To know what is going down, black people needs a certain amount of wisdom about Cannibals, the trans-Sahara Slave trade, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow, the invasion, the conquest, colonization, the Social Welfare Programs, Chattel Slavery, the Cointelpro, the Drug Culture, the distortion of black history and the black stolen legacies and the religious structure that was forced on the X Slaves. Just to name a few matters that bring us where we are today within the white mans Death Consumption Culture. This is just another one of his long term closely thought out plans to destroy the last vestige of ancestral spiritual consciousness out of the black nation. It's bullshit for the weak and feeble minded people. They are attacking our DNA, so that our off-spring will be easy for them to handle, and so that our black ancestral spiritual consciousness will no longer develop on the planet. So we can all become beast. Peace, Truth and Black Power..... Maati Middleton
Today Homosexuality right; Tomorrow gonna be Bestiality right
HIJACKING OFF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT BY ANTI LIFE GAY ACTIVIST SMH AND SOME IMMORAL ANTI LIFE NEGROS SUPPORT THIS SOME HAVE BECOME AS WORST AND AS IMMORAL AS THE BEAST SMH .
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 26, 2014 at 5:05 AM||comments (10)|
It was bad enough in 2011 when Obama’s liberal political machine forced the Joint Chiefs of Staff to drop ‘don’t ask don’t tell,’ allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. This was followed by a military order out of the Pentagon that all military chaplains will perform same-sex marriages and make military chapels available for such services.
Thousands of chaplains are refusing to follow those orders saying they will not perform same-sex marriages as it goes against their religious beliefs. Now, the US Senate has taken the moral degradation of the US military down even lower when they passed S 1867 which calls for the repeal of Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), which made it illegal to engage in sodomy with humans or sex with animals. Shockingly, the Senate vote was 93-7 which means that the not only did the liberal Democrats vote in favor this bill but so did the vast majority of conservative Republicans.
I wonder how the constituents of these conservative Republicans would feel about their senator if they knew they voted to allow sodomy and bestiality in the military. The measure now goes to the House where I can only hope and pray it is not just defeated, but trashed, shredded and burned. They say that history repeats itself.
Ancient Rome became morally and sexually decadent just prior to their fall from glory. Not only did their political and social arenas delved into debauchery, but the military also became corrupted with rampant homosexuality. Not long after that, mighty Rome fell in power, glory and world renown. The US is following closely in the footsteps of ancient Rome. Our nation is legalizing the same perverse and sinful lifestyles as did Rome and now it appears that our military is following the same path as Rome’s military. And if history does repeat itself as historians claim, then our total downfall from might, power and glory is just around the corner. May God have mercy on the righteous when He destroys us with His judgment.
Senate Approves Bill that Legalizes Sodomy and Bestiality in U.S. Military
December 1, 2011 - 1:55 PM
(CNSNews.com) – (Updated) The Senate on Thursday evening voted 93-7 to approve a defense authorization bill that includes a provision which not only repeals the military law on sodomy, it also repeals the military ban on sex with animals--or bestiality.
On Nov. 15, the Senate Armed Services Committee had unanimously approved S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes a provision to repeal Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
Article 125 of the UCMJ makes it illegal to engage in both sodomy with humans and sex with animals.
"To be truly liberated, African people must come to know the nature of European thought and behavior in order to understand the effect that Europe has had on our ability to think victoriously. We must be able to separate our thought from European thought, so as to visualize a future that is not dominated by Europe. This is demanded by an African-centered view because we are Africans, and because the future towards which Europe leads us is genocidal."Mama Marimba Ani
"TO NOT KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE YOU WERE BORN IS TO REMAIN A CHILD FOREVER." – Cicero
MANY DON'T KNOW or DON'T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT THE FACT THAT BOYS and MEN WERE ALSO RAPED.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM||comments (0)|
After a botched stop and frisk two pint sized cops decide to exact there revenge for years of high school bullying on an unsuspecting teen that wasn't ready to submit to the wills of these NYPD hobbits !
The NYPD is composed mainly of the children of racist Ku Klux Klan members that descend on minority neighborhoods to hunt black men for extermination. After 6 years of documenting these devils I have concluded that these deceptive demons have picked up where there murderous ancestors left off and continue to be the black man's natural enemy !
Make sure you share this video and donate so when these cretins finally catch up with me my family doesn't have to be burdened with burial expenses.
“We are integrating into a burning house” .Martin Luther King Jr
"There will be no more black messiahs unless we create them."- Gay Edgar Hoover
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 23, 2014 at 6:00 PM||comments (10)|
Black Babies used for ALLIGATOR BAIT in florida
Two movies in 1900 “Alligator Bait” and “Gator and the Pickaninny.” both showed and proved this practice.There were many advertisements and postcards in the South that proved this was real.
In 1923 Time magazine carried this story:
From Chipley, Fla., it was reported that colored babies were being used for alligator bait. The infants are allowed to play in shallow water while expert riflemen watch from concealment nearby. When a saurian approaches his prey, he is shot by the rifleme
Alligator bait, also known as gator bait, is the practice of using little black children as bait to catch alligators.
Here is the most complete account of how it was done, coming from the grandson of someone who says he used to do it:
… the slaves who had babies they would steal the babies during the course of the day, some times when their mothers weren’t watching . … some would be infants, some would be a year old, he said some would be toddlers, he said they would grab these children and take them down to the swamp, and leave them in pens like little chicken coops.
They would go down there at night, take these babies and …. tie them up, put a rope around their neck and around their torso, around here, and tie it tight.
… they’d be screaming. … what they were doing would help them to chum the water. He said when they would throw the babies in tied to this rope, he said in a matter of minutes, he said, the alligator were on them. He said the alligator would clamp his jaws on that child, as a matter of fact once he clamped on them he was really swallowed, he said you couldn’t see anything but the rope!
As a lifelong student, and later lecturer of African and African American history, I thought I had covered just about all of the bases when it came to atrocities committed against black people by Europeans and their American cousins.
I've done the research, written the papers, attended the classes and seminars...and I travel every year to the Motherland.
I have thoroughly explored the Atlantic Slave Trade, beginning with the kidnapping of Africans from the interior of Africa. I have been force-marched along with my forebearers through the thick jungle and bush, across mile-wide rivers, and burning deserts to the coast, sometimes for hundreds of miles.
I have actually visited many of the “slave castles” – dungeons – which dot Africa's West Coast and where the captured men, women and children were warehoused like so much cattle or cord wood (chattel) until an English, French, Dutch, Spanish or American slave ship appeared on the horizon to transport them to a new life of endless unpaid, forced labor in the so-called “New World.”
And, of course, as stated, I've done the reading, watched the movies and documentaries, about the absolutely indescribable horror of the damnable voyage across the Atlantic that has come down to us as “The Middle Passage.” Indeed, on every single flight I've made back and forth across that vast and angry ocean, I look down from 35,000 feet at its turbulent waters. I try, but of course can never really imagine, appreciate or understand what it must have been like for those many millions who were hog-tied naked, chained and shackled in those filthy ships' holds.
And then there is the actual on-the-ground, in-the-field, in-the-mine, and in-the-house enslavement of the people. Again, I've read the books.
But I also talked extensively with my own now deceased parents and grandparents (on both sides) about their “treatment” from the 1920s right straight through to the 1960s in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas. They were never slaves per se, but they might as well have been. My father's parents – and him – were share croppers and tenant farmers until they escaped Louisiana during World War II.
What you will read below and watch is breathtaking in its depravity.
I called my mother's last surviving sister tonight and asked her did she know anything about this. She is 83. And, if she did, why we were never told of this as kids growing up. She hesitated for a full minute. Finally, they did not tell us about "a lot of things that white folks did to us" "down South," she said. They were afraid that it would forever embitter me, my siblings and cousins against white people forever. Once they had all successfully "escaped" the South, they wanted to put those years behind them, and build new lives here "up North," she concluded.
And so it is that I am thankful that the Internet has provided an opportunity for black people to regain their stolen history – not just as victims of white America but as the descendants of powerful empires and nation-states which once put Europe to shame in terms of wealth, land, population, health, education, and most importantly, in terms of justice.
Did you know that black babies were often used as bait for alligators in the swamps from Texas to Florida. I didn't until today. It just never occurred to me that any people would do – could do – such a thing to another people.
But it happened – for hundreds of years, well into the 20th century.
The practice has been documented in at least three movies: “Alligator Bait” (1900) and “The ‘Gator and the Pickaninny” (1900). And the story of two black boys who served as alligator bait was told in “Untamed Fury” (1947).
Indeed, the term “alligator bait” was common throughout the South from at least the 1860s to and through the 1960s. It was a racial slur and threat among whites that was meant to “domesticate” recalcitrant black children. But by the 1940s in Harlem, New York, “alligator bait” applied to blacks of any age – particularly those who were from Florida.
Finally, in terms of iconography, from at least the 1890s to the 1960s, black children were often pictured as alligator bait – as toys for white children, soap dishes, toothbrushes, ash trays, and especially on postcards sent through the US mail.
Again, the attached video is disturbing. I strongly advise anyone with a weak stomach not to view it.
Reparations anyone? Naw ... didn't think so.
White folks don't owe black folks anything, right?
Just like they don't owe the Indians a damn thing, either – except maybe a few casinos.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 23, 2014 at 11:35 AM||comments (0)|
President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, challenged African leaders to give priority to the promotion of inclusive economic growth on the continent to avoid problems associated with poverty and financial equality.
He made the call in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. He was received on arrival by the founder of the World Economic Forum, Dr. Klaus Schwab. He said his administration was already doing a lot to enhance inclusive growth in Nigeria through policies and programs that focus on wealth creation rather than poverty alleviation.
Jonathan said: “Economic inclusion is very important and we are already taking necessary steps to improve financial inclusion in our country. Transforming our agricultural sector is one way in which we are doing so.
“We are doing all that we can to transform agriculture in Nigeria into a much more productive and job-creating sector. We are also working to create more inclusive wealth through better education, skills-acquisition programs, and policies that encourage the addition of value to our primary products before exportation.”
He added that with Africa’s population projected to exceed 2 billion persons by 2050, wealth and job creation must remain at the top of the continent’s developmental agenda.
Presidents Jonathan, John Mahama of Ghana and Nigerian business magnate Alhaji Aliko Dangote among other participants in the debate agreed that the objective of achieving more inclusive economic growth would be better served if African leaders took more positive action toward boosting intra-African trade, saying that the current situation in which only 11 percent of Africa’s total trade took place within the continent was unacceptable.
Jonathan said that African leaders must do everything possible to remove impediments to trade in the continent, including inadequate air and ground transportation links.
The president spoke further: “Security and political stability are key to development. Investors will not come to any country that is insecure or politically unstable. Happily, many African countries now enjoy political stability. It is a major reason for the positive economic growth rates which we are now witnessing on the continent and we must continue to do our best to maintain and expand the frontiers of political stability on our continent.”
goodluck davos 1In his own contribution, president and chief executive of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote decried the negative perception of the socio-political situation in Africa, saying it was responsible for the low level of inflow of investment into the continent.
Speaking on “Africa’s Next Billion,” he said that the wrong perception of the security and political scene in Africa have made investors, especially from the West, lose sight of the potential in the continent.
According to Dangote, African countries have also done little or nothing to remedy the damaging perception, even though circumstances are not as bad as is being painted.
Dangote noted: “For instance, foreign investors wait for election to be concluded, after then, they try to check the stability of government of the day for at least two years but then, it is more difficult to take any decision because the tenure of the government is coming to end and by so doing, foreign investors are scared of incoming or incumbent, and the cycle keeps going on. But then I don’t think there is anything to be afraid of because no government is against business, every government is pro-business.”
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 21, 2014 at 8:30 AM||comments (1)|
Thomas L. Jennings (1791–1856) was the first African-American to be granted a patent, March 03, 1821 (U.S. patent 3306x). Jennings’ patent was for a dry cleaning process called “dry scouring”, which would go on to make modern-day dry cleaning possible. In his early 20s he became a tailor but then opened a dry cleaning business in New York City. While running his business Jennings developed dry-scouring and patented the process at age 30.
The patent to Jennings generated considerable controversy during this period. Slaves at this time could not patent their own inventions. This regulation dated back to the U.S. patent laws of 1793. The regulation was based on the legal presumption that “the master is the owner of the fruits of the labor of the slave both manual and intellectual.” Patent courts also held that slaves were not citizens and could not own rights to their inventions. Thomas Jennings, however, was a born a free man and thus was able to gain exclusive rights to his invention and profit from it.
He spent his early earnings on legal fees to purchase his family out of slavery, and much of the remaining portion of his income went to supporting the abolitionist movement. Jennings was also a skilled tradesmen, which aided him in running a successful business, and an abolitionist. In 1861 patent rights were finally extended to slaves, 5 years after Jennings’ death.
Mary Bellis, Thomas Jennings: Thomas Jennings was the first African American to receive a patent, http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bljennings.htm;
Joan Potter, African American Firsts (New York: Kensington Publishing Group, 2002).
|Posted by African History Month on January 9, 2014 at 8:05 PM||comments (0)|
Dear African Communities,
2014 is the year a global coalition of African and African-American groups are collaborating to honor their respective celebrations from all the different African communities worldwide and consolidating these events into one forum. This is a normal process undertaken by all other ethnic groups who celebrate their documented history and accomplishments. It is imperative that Africans rewrite their history, starting from the beginning of time to the present, so that it reflects the African viewpoint wherever African communities exist in the world.
Allow us to introduce ourselves, in presenting a case for an African History Month (AHM). The principal is based on one of Marcus Garvey's philosophies, “Africa for the Africans, those at home and those abroad." Our history, accomplishments and the numerous contributions to society are some of our most valuable resources. By using the same principle, it also applies to African history, which must be presented universally. Marcus Garvey founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) at the turn of the twentieth century. Its purpose was to free Africans from colonialism in Africa and all African communities worldwide through political independence, economic solvency and many other associated programs which became known as African Nationalism.
The honorable Marcus Garvey's ideals were continued by the late Carlos Cooks, who was a young leader in Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA). Carlos Cooks was born on June 23, 1913 in the Dominican Republic and died May 5th, 1966 in Harlem, which is located in New York City. During his 52 years, he administered the Advance Division of the UNIA after Garvey's deportation. A short time later, he founded the African Nationalist Pioneer Movement (ANPM). As the leader of the ANPM, Carlos Cooks kept Garvey's UNIA red, black, and green flag continually displayed on the corner of 125th Street and Lenox Avenue in Harlem, New York City, during his nightly presentations. The ANPM spearheaded a drive to keep his legacy alive for over 20 years, teaching the principles for a liberated Africa for all Africans, which is known as “African Nationalism.” Carlos Cooks coined the phrase “Buy Black”, advocating self-determination and economic solvency in the African communities everywhere worldwide. This was a time, when referencing ”Africa” or "Black" was persona non Grata in all communities and the western controlled media.
It is from these humble beginnings one of Carlos Cook’s disciples, Sabamya Jaugu, developed the African History Month concept. This concept would consist of a perpetual celebration of the motherlands' culture and history and including the accomplishments by victims of the Diaspora that are scattered around the world. The African History month will be using the ideals of Marcus Garvey to elevate their consciousness so that they can be aware of its grandeur past and its tremendous future potential. Not to be confused with the present “Black History Month”, because it is a different entity. Moreover, we must give homage and acknowledgement to the lifelong work of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of the 1926 initiative to honor heroes, heroines and events of former slaves in the United States called “Negro History Week” and later in 1987 adopted by Linda Bellos in the United Kingdom, “Black-British History Month.
Most importantly, we must root out the inferiority complexes planted in our minds by our oppressors. These complexes are embedded within the culture and as a result a large segment of the African-American communities are convinced to disassociate themselves from the motherland. We have an ancestral duty and responsibility to develop and nurture concepts that will lead to universal acceptance of African history from the dawn of civilization to the present. These concepts will restore a sense of self-pride, honor, and glory to Africans and their descendants everywhere. There will be a perpetual celebration within an “African History Month”. This initiative is designed to help correct the distortions and misconceptions falsely embedded in our way of thinking. The case for an African history month can be exemplified by the following quote:
“We were trained to despise ourselves and all of Africa. We felt that Africans were either primitive or semi-primitive, that they had no science and made no significant contribution to civilization. We did not realize that we were looking at a looted Africa, a shatter Africa. We did not realize that there were two Africa's, Africa before and after the Holocausts. ” Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, African Historian
Unfortunately, this quote, which is over fifty years old, is still valid. During the seventeen, eighteen and nineteen centuries, history was written by Europeans. History that was purposely laden with distortions and misconceptions and then integrated into their respective cultures to justify and maintained their dominance. This also created the presumption that Africans had no history before contact with Europeans. Consequently, it's more important than ever that those global communities learn from their own perspective. A good beginning is ancient and medieval empires, kingdoms and civilizations before and after the Diaspora. Mindfully, there were over 300 kingdoms and empires at both ends of the continent, some lasting only a few centuries others flourished for millenniums.
Within African History month, “MONTH” will represent every month in the year. In other words, it will begin January first and ends December thirty-first. Of major significance, existing celebrations, and holidays will still be honored. Realistically, it would allow different African-Americans and African communities worldwide to learn and respect each other's culture. Furthermore, among the AHM topics would include kingdoms, empires and civilization historical events, heroes and heroines who have been neglected in western culture. Just think of the benefits between cultures, if these celebrations were consolidated under one global platform instead of individual.
Consider that there will be specific days, weeks and months honoring all aspects of African history worldwide. Surely, this would be an excellent opportunity to learn about our neglected history. It is sufficed to say that there is an inherit necessity to learn medieval and ancient history that has been deliberately hidden for so long. This is feasible because of modern technologies, such as: E-mail, Blogging, Publishing, social median networking, as well as, telephone and video conferencing.
Mindfully, there is a plethora of African kingdoms and civilizations to choose from. Among them is Nubia, in the north, Ethiopia and the Kilwa city states on the east coast, along with the great Zimbabwe in the south together with West African medieval kingdoms. And also, the untold history of successful slave and maroon rebellions, in addition, to the Trans-Sahara slave trade which began in the 8th century and existed until the late 16th century. It was the first slave trade. It lasted longer and impacted more slaves, than the Atlantic slave trade ever did.
Rightfully so, both existing black history months, of Dr. Carter G. Woodson in February and Linda Bellos in October, will be continued as usual. Let us consider the benefits of a universal platform that would be on par with world history or any other ethnic group, which has no time constraints. Likewise, African History Month will start on the first day of each year; to honor the successful Saint Domingue (Haiti) Revolution on January 1, 1804, which was the only time in history, where African slaves, not only won their independence but became a republic and freed themselves from slavery. African history month would end with the celebration of Kwanza the last week in December.
Additionally, during the year, two other days requires special attention. One is the victory at Adwa, Ethiopia on March 4, 1896, which represents the only African country to win their independence on the battle field. More importantly, their culture which includes their own traditions, religion, language and written script were maintained.
The other is honoring Marcus A Garvey's birthday, August 17, whose accomplishments must recognize him as one of the greatest leaders in the twentieth century. By 1922, Marcus Garvey’s organization the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) had 6 million members around the world, and this feat has never been duplicated. Most importantly, he had the clairvoyance to identify that African-American and African social and economic issues are similar and should be addressed universally.
Naturally, the remaining days, weeks and months will be used accordingly. This would be a glorious task for the African communities on the motherland as well as the Diaspora and everywhere else to participate in populating this ever on going platform. This fine undertaking will plant the seeds for the future generations to harvest. This can be best expressed by the following two quotes.
“Africans and persons of African descent must assume the primary responsibility and leadership in historical research….if we are to continue to leave practically all important historical research and writing concerning the black race to the white man, then we must be prepared to accept, uncomplainingly, the white man's point of view.”
Chancellor Williams, African Historian
“History is not everything, but it is a starting point. History is a clock that people use to tell their political and cultural time of day. It is a compass they use to find themselves on the map of human geography. It tells them where they are but, more importantly, what they must be.”
John Henrik Clark, African Historian
We are seeking collaboration from the African, and Diaspora communities. Once again, existing celebrations, and holidays will still be honored. In order to make African History Month a reality, please contact us for further information. Those organizations that annually celebrate and honor, heroes, and historical events during the year, these events will continue, but under one platform to benefit Africans on the motherland, victims of the Diaspora and others that are scattered around the world.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 8, 2014 at 3:55 AM||comments (0)|
"Years of careful investigation had taught me the European powers that had colonized Africa had done more than just beat our people into submission with artillery and rifles. They had done more than simply sow confusion amongst our people by introducing many conflicting versions of the religion amongst the people.
They had deliberately so brain washed our people, that Africans had lost all self-knowledge, self-love, self-respect, self-pride and
self-dependency. If you rob a people of all these things you turn them into a race of robots, forever dependent upon you. And even if you stood up and walked away from these people, and said tot them that you were giving them back their freedom, they would stand up and follow you wherever you are going for their minds were still your slaves even though their bodies were now free of your chains.
I believed then as I believe now, that the African has never really
gained freedom and independence. Which is why our people have not been able to achieve what nations such as India and the tiger Nations of South East Asia, which were once also colonized by the white people as we were, have today achieved.
For example today India is a nuclear power feared and respected by all nations on earth. India is admired for its great culture and its
ancient religious philosophies as well as its other philosophies.
While Africa is a downtrodden casualty of history forever dependent like a whipped slave upon her former oppressors.
This breaks my heart as a black man, I who, over many years of
travelling through my motherland, have discovered that there was a time when we, the black people now held in contempt by many races were once masters of the world. When we, now derided as a nation of savages incapable of ruling itself were once the tutors of the early world, feel great bitterness, when I see how far we have been made to fall. We whose sons and daughters once walked tall in the Americas, not as slaves but rather as civilizes and rulers.
I wept when I found out that we were once the founders of some of the worlds oldest civilizations.
We were there in Sumeria, we were there in India, we founded great kingdoms in Cambodia, and the first man to be saluted as emperor of China was one of us, a son of Africa, a black man. Buddha was a black man from Africa, his earliest statues confirm this. Krishna was a black warrior. The goddess Kali, is depicted as an African woman. Even the bible states that Nimrod was a great man in the eyes of the Lord and he was the father of Cush, who founded the great cushite nation.
I weep even now when I see Africans slaughter each other in the
streets , now supposedly a free nation. I weep even
now when my people hunger and suffer in the veld in Africa. I
weep even now when Euro centric education is being fed to our
children. Fed in order to make them Afrofobes, creatures that hate
and despise their motherland, which look down in contempt upon their
own people, because this is what all European educated black people
They despise Africa and all she stands for. And they are in contempt of the culture of her people. They are still even now doing the colonialists dirty work for them, because if you want to destroy the culture of a nation, you must brainwash the youth of that nation and make them do your dirty work for you.
French in Sangaris operation ask people to back off after a demonstrator was shot dead near the international airport in Bangui on December 23, 2013.
East Africa British and Germany Terrorist 1916.
French imperialist destruction of the Central African Republic.Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire
Press TV has conducted an interview with Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan African Newswire from Detroit, to discuss the crisis in the Central African Republic.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Azikiwe just how serious is the crisis in the Central African Republic, despite claims of France coming there to restore stability?
Azikiwe: The presence of the French troops inside of the Central African Republic, as well as their allies, has worsened the political and security situation inside the country and this, of course, is extremely unfortunate because France did not have a larger geopolitical strategy in regard to dealing with the situation inside the Central African Republic.
So therefore as a result of this confusion that is going on inside the country now, France in fact has called upon additional forces within the United Nations Security Council, to dispatch additional United Nations troops into the country. But this is not going to solve the problem because right now it is reported that over two million have been displaced as a result of the violence.
So there needs to be a political solution to the crisis.
Press TV: And of course speaking of those two million people who are in need of aid and of course being displaced. I mean what will happen to these refugees and of course what would the impact be on the neighboring countries?
Azikiwe: Well, this is a role that the United Nations could play if they have a political settlement inside of the country. This has to rely, of course, on the various groups inside of the Central African Republic itself, the government of President Michael Djotodia as well as the ousted President Francois Bozize, who was overthrown back in March as well as the anti-Balaka forces, in addition to Seleka Coalition.
All these forces have to be brought together, presumably through the African Union to reach some type of a political settlement. There is no real military solution to this crisis.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 7, 2014 at 12:35 PM||comments (0)|
Israel criminalize and detain Thousands of the Africa asylum-seekers without trial .
TEL AVIV (AFP) -- Thousands of African asylum seekers demonstrated outside Western embassies in Tel Aviv on Tuesday in a second day of mass protests against Israel's immigration policies.
The migrants, primarily from Eritrea and Sudan, marched from downtown Tel Aviv to the embassies, calling for help in the face of Israel's refusal to give them refugee status and its detention without trial of hundreds of asylum seekers.
A police spokesman said the march by some 10,000 migrants was coordinated with police and there were no disturbances.
Under legislation passed on December 10, authorities can detain illegal immigrants entering Israel for up to a year without trial.
A sprawling detention facility has been opened in the Negev desert to house both them and immigrants already in the country deemed to have disturbed public order.
The demonstrators marched past the Israeli office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, chanting "Wake up UN."
The UNHCR has not been responsible for determining the refugee status of asylum seekers in Israel since 2009, when that authority was transferred to the interior ministry.
UNHCR official Sharon Harel said Israel had not approved a single request for refugee status in all of last year, although an interior ministry spokeswoman told AFP it had granted 10.
Harel said the asylum seekers already in Israel -- 14,000 from Eritrea and 36,000 from Sudan -- received collective protection on arrival and were not returned to their countries of origin.
But the UNHCR condemned Israel for not affording "those with protection needs" with "access to refugee status determination," defining them as "infiltrators" without "taking into account the reasons why they had to flee from their country of origin."
The interior ministry rejected the UN criticism, insisting "all the requests for asylum are examined by the population and immigration authority."
"Any foreign national who has requested political asylum in Israel is protected from expulsion until the examination of their request has been completed," it said.
The right-leaning government has made removal of African migrants who slipped across the desert border with Egypt before the completion of a high-tech barrier last year a priority.
It says their presence in Israel threatens its "Jewish character."
Tens of thousands of African migrants held a mass rally in central Tel Aviv on Sunday to mark the launch of a three-day nationwide strike.
African asylum seekers in Israel seek help from foreign embassies
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 6, 2014 at 3:05 AM||comments (0)|
African-American Slaves Constructed U.S. Capitol And The White House.Out of just about the 600 or so people who worked on the Capitol, about 400 were African-American slaves." -
Jesse Holland, "Black Men Built the Capitol"
Jesse Holland, "Black Men Built the Capitol"
Most people look at the Statue of Freedom now and they think, this is the statue of an American Indian on top of the Capitol. No, it's not. It's actually a statue of a freed slave with an American eagle helmet on top." - Jesse Holland, "Black Men Built the Capitol"
"What a lot of people don't know about the National Mall, Capitol, Supreme Court area is that African-American slaves were held in bondage in slave jails on some of these sites." - Jesse Holland, "Black Men Built the Capitol"
Congress took note of their service and sacrifice Wednesday by erecting commemorative plaques inside the Capitol in their honor. Lawmakers said the memorials will ensure that the contributions of slaves in building one of the world’s most recognizable buildings will never again be forgotten.
“In remembering the slaves who labored here, we give them in death some measure of the dignity they were so cruelly denied in life,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said at the plaques’ unveiling.
The plaques read: “This original exterior wall was constructed between 1793 and 1800 of sandstone quarried by laborers, including enslaved African Americans who were an important part of the work force that built the United States Capitol.”
Lawmakers have been looking for ways to honor the slaves who were used in the construction of government buildings, including the Capitol and the White House.
Democratic Rep. John Lewis, a former civil rights leader from Georgia, who chaired a congressional task force that studied the contributions of slaves to the Capitol’s construction, told onlookers that the plaques help reveal a part of the Capitol’s history that has been overlooked by many.
“Imagine, in Washington’s oppressive summer heat and humidity, to chisel and pull massive stones out of a snake- and mosquito-infested quarry,” Lewis said. “Imagine, having to fight through the bone-chilling winter in rags and sometimes without shoes. Just imagine, the United States government paying your owner, not you, but your owner $5 a month for your labor. This Capitol, the most recognizable symbol of our democracy, was not built overnight, it was not built by machines. It was built through the backbreaking work of laborers and slave laborers.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, both Democrats, along with their Republican counterparts McConnell and House Republican Leader John Boehner, unveiled the plaques inside the Capitol’s historic Mansfield Room. They will next be placed in the Congressional Visitor Center; its largest room is called “Emancipation Hall” in honor of the slaves’ work on the Capitol.
Historians have discovered that slaves worked 12-hour days, six days a week on construction of the Capitol. The federal government rented the slaves from local slave owners at a rate of $5 per worker per month.
Besides working on the building, slaves worked in quarries extracting the stone for the Capitol. Other slaves provided carpentry skills, and still others worked at sawing stone and timber.
Slave women and children were used to mold clay in kilns.
Lawmakers recounted for the standing-room only crowd the story of Philip Reid, perhaps the most famous of the slaves who worked on the construction of the Capitol. Reid was owned by a Maryland sculptor and ironworker who had been contracted to bronze a plaster copy of the Statue of Freedom, the statue that sits today on top of the Capitol Dome.
When the worker who had assembled the plaster model at the Capitol refused to disassemble it until he was paid extra money, Reid — a mulatto slave from South Carolina — was the only person who was able to figure out how to separate the sections so they could be moved to the foundry for casting.
Reid later is believed to be the person put in charge of bronzing the Statue of Freedom and was officially thanked for his work in an address to Congress in 1928 by one of the statue’s admirers.
The original plaster model of the Statue of Freedom that was worked on by Reid now sits in Emancipation Hall.
Reid also was one of the few slaves who was paid for his work at the Capitol, working for $1.25 a Sunday “keeping up fires under the moulds” — or keeping the ironworking fires hot so they would not have to wait on Mondays for new fires to be lit — according to a pay receipt. His receipt is signed with an “X,” suggesting that Reid was illiterate.
“We stand here today not only because of Philip Reid but for other enslaved African Americans like him who worked tirelessly and sacrificed,” said Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln, who also worked on the Congressional Slave Labor Task Force. “These plaques, in their own right, will serve as a symbol of their sacrifice and will be seen by visitors who enter the building forevermore.”
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
|Posted by Reunionblackfamily. on January 4, 2014 at 7:45 PM||comments (0)|
Wake up my people wake up ,,,,,,
Our Dilemma: The Dream Was Not Dreamed For Us
We are America's contradiction. We are a free citizen in a democracy, and yet the sores of racism, inherited from slavery, are still with us and lingering, in the black communities, especially the black urban communities. Black urban communities are the servants' quarters that were created because after the servants had served the master the latter did not want to look at them until he wished to be served again. These communities are old in America. The early freed blacks and escaped slaves lived, in most cases, in the first black urban communities.
When servants were educated at all they were educated to serve and not to share power. This is the basic dilemma in black education. Black people were not brought to this country to be given education, citizenship or democracy. They were brought here to serve, to labor and to obey. When the American promise was made originally, it was not meant for us.
When the American dream was dreamed originally, it was not dreamed for us. And yet we, the pathological American patriots, have never been able to accept this. And when they said, "Liberty and justice for all," we ran to the place where the "all" was being given out, only to discover that we were not part of that "all." And when they draw the picture of the "all," we discover again to our heartbreak that we are not in the picture.
I think our misunderstanding of America is a misunderstanding of its design. If we could understand its design we would understand its education and its miseducation. To understand its design we must go back to its roots and look at the religion of each one of its founding fathers. Go back and look at the property holdings of each of these founding fathers and you will understand what is so very apparent every day, namely, that this country was designed for free, white, protestant males, preferably those who own property and agree with the prevailing political status quo. Everyone else in America is second to that group, although some people choose to dream otherwise.
This country was founded on a particular pecking order with the protestant male property owners at the top of the peeking order. I draw the following example from my sharecropper's background. The rooster in the conglomerate of chickens is the king, and when he gets bored he pecks at one of the hens. In turn the hen, by whatever motivation propels hens, pecks at a smaller hen until it gets down to the smallest chick. The smallest chick does not peck back because he is the end of the pecking order. In the pecking order of power in America, black people stand at the end of the pecking order. What disturbs America now is that there is a revolt at the end of the pecking order. The people in between, especially the white ethnic minorities are in a panic, because if we move from the bottom—who is going to take that last peck without pecking back?
What we have to do in America is to end the whole system of the pecking order and to do this we will have to deal with the white, protestant, maledominated society in order to end this system and bring about a semblance of democracy which could ultimately lead to true democracy. When this happens black people will be able to go where the "all" is given out and get their share of the "all," and they will be able to look at the picture of the "all" and see themselves. Until this happens this country is unworthy of the name Christian and unworthy of the label Democracy.
Another contradiction in America for us is the contradiction in education. We are seen as powerless people and powerful people never educate powerless people in how to take power from them. When education is given to powerless people, the main function of that education is to control them. And this is the tragedy of education for the blacks and for the education of the poor in this country. One can be formally educated and still be a fool where he does not know how to handle himself vis-a-vis the power that controls him.
We need to re-cast education in its entirety. A child going to school needs to be taught how to live in the world that he lives in and how to change that world when it is needed. Somebody needs to take a child's coat or shirt and tell him what process cloth has to go through chemically and scientifically from the field to the shirt, and how one can take a piece of cotton and through different processes turn it into a napkin, a sheet, a towel, and mixed with another kind of fabric into a coat.
We need to sit a child down before his class so that the entire class can see him and be educated by the lesson. We start with his shoes, explainlng that Jan Matzeliger, a black man, invented the lathe that revolutionized shoemaking in America, and that the process of leather tanning was old among us before Europe was born, and that the famous Moroccan leather craved by the kings of Europe did not come from Morocco at all, but came from the same place it still comes from, Northern Nigeria. And that the tanning process in Morocco was in the hands of African craftsmen who made the gloves and the saddles for the horses of the kings. And when we are through with his shoes, we can deal with his cotton socks. He must learn that Eli Whitney did not really invent the cotton gin but tipped the balance laid out by an illiterate slave and developed it into the cotton gin, and then we can deal with cotton itself and the relationship of blacks in America to cotton.
We could ask him how he arrived at school that day. He would tell us that he walked through the streets. We could tell him the contributions of blacks to roadbuilding, long before Europe had its first road. We could mention that the stoplight was a black invention. What we need to do is draw from day-to-day knowledge to teach our children that all history is a current event and that nothing man ever does in the world ever leaves the world, and the first man that sneezed is still influencing the atmosphere, and that all things are here for all time to come, and that if you extract from America the contributions of blacks to this society, the American society would come to a halt.
We could tell this child how the expression, "The real McCoy" developed in our society. The coupling that goes into holding trains together, and the lubrication system that revolutionized American industry was invented by Elijah McCoy, a black man. Elijah McCoy invented so many things and white inventors stole so much from him that when they went to the patent office to register a lubrication system, he was asked, "Did you steal this directly from McCoy, or is this the real McCoy?
By the things that touch the young child's life every day we can try to show him that there moves the genius of his people. The electrical system between the trains was invented by a black man. The very fluorescent light in our room was invented by Louis Latimer who assisted Edison in more ways than Edison cared to admit. Edison's light bulb kept going out until Louis Latimer came up with the filament that made the light burn and bum and bum. This same Louis Latimer drew up the plans for the telephone and he did one other thing that I wish he had not done, he improved the old Gatlin gun which became the forerunner of the rapid-fire machine gun. This same Gatlin gun in the hands of the British, helped to build the British Empire.
In talking about education and struggle, I have been alluding to street education versus formal education and how to communicate with the child whose education is more on the street than in the classroom. My point here is that the institutions of the powerful are limited when it comes to educating powerless people, no matter what the purpose of those institutions happens to be. The one thing powerful people cannot afford to say to powerless people is, "We were wrong." They cannot afford to make this admission without giving the impression that they are unworthy of handling the power that they have. They must always give the illusion of forever being right no matter how disastrous this illusion might turn out to be.
In talking about struggle and formal education we must start with the New England states. At the turn of the century newly freed blacks produced leaders like Frederick Douglass, and strong, black radical ministers who established the first black newspapers, the first labor organizations and the first independent black churches. Now the white missionaries from the North were assisting in black education. Something happened that was very unique in American history and it is unfortunate that this is now forgotten. The first large group of white women who went to school were educated in the New England states. The New England man, a high school graduate if he was that, a good craftsman, a good manager of a factory, but a man not too intellectually endowed, did not know what to do with this college-bred woman. They surely were not going to marry them. In fact, they acted as though they were afraid of them. Large numbers of these women were sent to the south to teach in the newly established schools for blacks. They were called New England schoolmarms, and made a major contribution to black education at a time when we had only a small number of trained black teachers.
Although we have to be thankful for their presence, some of their teaching proved disastrous. Some of these teachers came from New England finishing schools and began to train the black girls accordingly. They began to train black children from farm communities, where they did not have enough forks to go around, how to set a table for a banquet, when they would never have a banquet. If these New England women knew what we did have, like tent meetings, collective eating, mass church picnics in a setting where everything was finger food and no forks were needed, perhaps they could have adopted a more realistic approach to educating the children. They began to teach our girls what gloves to wear with what gown, and our girls often did not own gowns. This was a waste, as all improper education is a waste. One of the notable subjects they taught were Latin and Greek. Their best contribution to our education was the training of black teachers in the structure, design and methodology of teaching the English language.
Soon after Reconstruction the southern man must have gotten used to them. He no longer seemed to panic over them, although he remained in awe of them, and eventually began to marry them. Many of these women remained in the South and became Southerners. Some of them returned to New England to live out the last of their days. In the turbulent period of the Reconstruction and its aftermath, when black colleges and new black institutions were established, the schoolmarms were either marrying Southerners or going back to New England, and there was a terrible struggle to keep alive these institutions without their support.
Early in the twentieth century black institutions were still in trouble and vying for a new kind of education and only partly winning the fight. The racially motivated raids in the South and the struggle against these raids caused blacks to migrate from the South in increasing numbers. They came to communities like Harlem, Boston, Philadelphia. and Chicago looking for a new way of life, a new home for themselves and new opportunities for their children. They came looking for something better than what they left behind only to discover that they were to meet new troubles in these places that had to be dealt with in different ways.
We arrived at this present point in our history again facing change. We are increasingly facing a world that will be run, in the main, by science, technology and the ideology that will maintain these forces. Education for the African world of tomorrow must first and foremost take this fact into consideration. When our youth are properly trained to face this reality there should not be a single child, male or female, in the African world, over the age of ten, without a basic knowledge of the computer, some sciences and the accompanying technology. Great emphasis needs to be placed on ending the dependency on others which started during slavery. We must, increasingly depend on ourselves and exchange goods and services between ourselves and others. We should look realistically at the state of the world and build the kind of state that can be the container for our culture, our hopes, our aspirations and the land base of our true sovereignty. All education should be education to assume responsibility... By Dwayne Themessenger Taylor