|Posted by sjaugu on May 15, 2014 at 10:50 AM|
The African History Month (AHM) is a twelve (12) month event, i.e., (year round). Each month will honor different historical topics, cultural activities, outstanding accomplishments and noteworthy individuals who have affected the global African communities worldwide, from the African perspective. AHM is dedicated to the Motherland and Diaspora's history, and every month has a different theme, and “AFRICAN MEMORIAL MONTH” will represent May 2014.
Within this monthly concept, monthly themes will feature past heroes, and heroines whom fought against slavery and colonialism. History, as it is universally presented today, is embedded with misconceptions, distortions and omissions in how it relates to the history of the global African communities. This has been done to justify the Eurocentric position in its struggle to control the distribution of the world’s resources and to give the global African communities a sense of being inferior to the western socioeconomic communities.
The AHM has a duty to research and reveal the true history of the glorious past of Africa and its associated global African communities. This is including heroes, and heroines who have fought for their independence and freedom in the past, the distribution of knowledge worldwide, the major contributions in art, archeology, science, navigation, military tactics, etc.
These presentations will include all activities of the global African communities; the accomplishments prior to the European colonial expansion in the 15th century, through slavery in Africa, North America, Latin America, and the division of Africa as the results of the Berlin Conference in 1884.
Only a few examples will be presented, but more importantly; these presentations will be from African perspectives that focus on successes, which generates a sense of pride. On the other hand, the current trend of high lighting failed rebellions during slavery, and colonialism has nurtured a sense of hopelessness. This is one more reason to recognize and honor the heroes and heroines of the past within an African Memorial Month.
The heritage of Africans in Mexico after Christopher Columbus is a rarely explored topic in the history books of the Americas. Gasper Yanga is one of the neglected figures within African history in the Americas. He was the founder of the town Yanga, located in the Veracruz region of Mexico, between the Port of Veracruz and Córdoba. It is among the first free African settlements in the Americas after the start of the European slave trade.
While the available official history of Gasper Yanga is sorely lacking, local lore reports that Yanga escaped slavery from the region of the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion plantation in 1570. Regional lore also provides that Yanga was a prince stolen from a royal family of Gabon, Africa. The word "Yanga" has origins in many regions of West and Central Africa, including the Yoruba regions in Nigeria where the word means "pride".
Between 1570 and 1609, Yanga led his followers into the mountains located in the vicinity of Pico de Orizaba (Citlaltépetl, or "star mountain", the highest mountain in Mexico), the Cofre de Perote, Zongolica and Olmec regions. By 1600, it is reported that the Yanga maroon settlement, or palenques, was joined by Francisco de la Matosa and his group of African maroons. All of this occurred before the independence of Mexico from the Spanish crown.
Escaping to the difficult terrain of the highlands, he and his people built a small maroon colony. For more than 30 years it grew, partially surviving by capturing caravans bringing goods to Veracruz, and the Spaniards could not achieve a conclusive victory. This town, is today's Veracruz province, remains to this day under the name of Gaspa Yanga.
Now we will turn our attention to the successful North American Creole slave ship rebellion, which took place in November 1841. The slave ship was sailing from Hampton, Virginia, as part of the domestic slave trades coastal route after the United States banned international slavery.
The slaves demanded the ship be sailed towards British West Indies because slavery was abolished in the British Colonies. Upon arriving at Nassau, Bahamas on November 9, the ship was boarded, and the slaves were taken into custody. Consequently, after several months, they were released, becoming free under the British colonial law.
We will conclude with two stellar examples when Africans in the western hemisphere, and on the continent of Africa fought and won their freedom on the battlefield to either become an independent country or maintain their independence. The first was when slaves on the island of Saint Dominique fought a long bloody war against France, and despite all odds was victorious. On January 1, 1804, the slaves declared themselves the Republic of Haiti.
This represents the only time in history, where African slaves won their independence on the battlefield becoming a republic in the western hemisphere. The second success story was Ethiopia's victory over the Italians at the Battle of Adwa, on March 2, 1896. This victory allowed Ethiopia to be the only African country to enter the 20th century with their independence and culture in tack.
The African Memorial Month will conclude with the celebration of Africa Day, which occurred on May 25, 1963. Which is the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU).
On that day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states at that time signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia In 1991. The OAU in 2002 established its own successor, the African Union (AU).
This concluded the 2014 May theme in the African history month. Which is the continuance of Dr. Carter G. Woodson Negro History Week concept, that he created in 1926 and promoted until his death in 1950.
Unknown to him, his legacy continues in the present-day Black History Month (1976), (A.K.A African-American History Month) in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom Black History Month
(1987 ), as well as, other similar holidays in Latin America, and also, countries in Africa.
Obviously, his legacy has to be continued, and expand upon including all the African communities history before and after the Diaspora. The African History Month can for fill this glorious undertakings by including the African communities history into one forum.
The last and most important point, it must be presented without any time limits. In other words, beginning January 1 and ending December 31, which includes, every day, week and month in the year. Moreover, this initiative would be yearly for future generations to harvest.
The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present By Sagrario Cruz-Carretero
The Creole Mutiny
George Hendrick and Williene HENDRICK
WARS OF Imperial conquest in Africa 1830-1914 Bruce Vandervort
The black jacobins: Toussaint L’Overture and the San domingo Revolution
The Battle of Adwa: African Victory in the Age of Empire