ALBUM COVER WHY BLACKMAN DEY SUFFER
Radio Shrine! Gan! Gan!
To start with, I will like to thank those of you out-there that sent me nice birthday wishes for my anniversary. Also thank you to those of you who wrote me private messages asking why no comments and posts from me lately? As I have often reiterated, thanks to internet today, we can assemble everyone interested, discus all the problematic aspects of our society. It allows the circulation of thoughts, history, and especially for the Africans because it permits us a new way of communication different from traditionally controlled media by respective governments. Internet invigorates the circulation of information, thoughts and history, and one big consequence of Internet is the change of the way of communication today - it is the means and the material of communication - an accessory for Africans to communicate between Africans who are separated, now they could re - communicate together. It has also another dimension and advantage as a tool of social change.
My silence on social network has been deliberate because it gave me the opportunity to access our level of political and historic consciousness. I have been reading newspapers, blogs, and commentaries from Africans on several issues and one glaring point to note is the lack of political and historic consciousness from most of the comments. A "historic consciousness" means: I am conscious of my past, I am aware of this and I have a conscience of the future. This is what we call the historic consciousness of the human conditions - an awareness of history. The resent Federal Government of Nigeria’s centenary celebration of the country’s ‘amalgamation’ is a good example of our lack of political and historic consciousness. There is no doubt about the historic importance of the 1914 amalgamation in Nigeria’s history, because it was the beginning of ethnic and tribal politics in Nigeria.
1914 was the first time that the British colonial administration in Nigeria, tried to bring together what they (British) described as culturally diverse people of Nigeria together under one central colonial administration. According to British historians, without the amalgamation Nigeria would not have developed or emerged as one country instead, we would now have two or possibly three different countries. The question is why should we, as a nation be seen to be celebrating the 1914 so-called ‘amalgamation’ of Nigeria by the British colonial power? The Federal Government argues that Nigeria is not a historical accident, and having existed for nearly 100 years as a country merits celebration. It is important that we get Nigeria’s colonial history right like the rest part of African history. If we do, it will be obvious to us that we should not be celebrating such a dubious event in our colonial history as the ‘amalgamation’ was the direct product of British imperialism in West Africa after the abolition of trans-Atlantic slavery.
Ethnicity that has become a vocabulary to describe African people is a direct, consequence of the plunders from the trans-Atlantic slave raids. The cultural, linguistic, and religious unity, of all Africa is no longer in doubt thanks to archaeological excavations and the works of Africans the likes of Cheikh Anta Diop continued by re-known linguist Theophile Obenga. There are no ethnics in Africa, as every linguist will confirm that whenever a group of people leave the cell-mother to found another settlement fifty kilometres away - from this moment the language changes. In the history of humanity, nothing can be compared to the industry of the trans-Atlantic slavery because it left Africans of today what is called a genetic memory.
Wherever there is a conflict on the continent, instead of the people to come together in identifying the origin of the conflict, and finding solutions, each family grabs whatever they consider precious to them taking to the road in a massive exodus in search of peaceful territory to settle. I believe Africans don’t feel themselves in security since the slave raids and plunder on the continent, they believe that there is a permanent danger wagging war against them – it has thus created a kind of chronic instability on the continent today. For many generations, the slave plunder and raids and the massive exodus - constant displacements of people, has left some bad memories in the African so much that we believe we belong to different ethnic groups.
Remember that African societies were founded on the basis of Kingdoms and Empires before the trans-Atlantic slave raids. How can there be ethnics in a kingdom or within an empire? It is impossible otherwise something must be wrong! We can make a test in order to see clearly on the subject why there are so many divisions in Africa today. Take any group of kids like those French children from the suburbs called "gangs". Lock them in an isolated region in France, brainwash them, teach them to hate each other’s gang, each group against the other, this is when we can see what is called genetic memory in action. It is a human memory, capable of being dormant for millions of years - suddenly coming to life.
If we follow European proclamation, on the reason why they went to Africa namely: because Africans were cannibals, heathens, waging wars between themselves and ruled by despotic kings. Everybody is aware today, that the first attribute of any warring people or nation is to perfect their ammunitions. If Africans were at war with each other as they would want us to believe, the continent would never have been found with armaments so rudimentary: bows, arrows, spears – it is impossible.
There are claims, that Arabs also practised slavery of Blacks and much more for a long time than the Whites. Furthermore, in order to re-write history some Western writers claim that Blacks reduced to slavery were already slaves sold by other Blacks. They even went as far as to say: American Blacks can speak about slavery, but not the Africans. Africans they insist are so much responsible for slavery, as much as the Whites or Arabs. There is further claim that it is easier to accuse always the Whites rather than to question ourselves and to face our responsibilities... African-Americans living in United States of America and stemming from slavery are believed to have the right to talk about slave raids but not the African - who did not suffer from slavery but contributed to it.
It makes me laugh to see African Blacks speaking about slavery in this manner today, and they have become the touch bearers of those who claim that African ancestors probably sold other Blacks as slaves to the Whites. If I insist on the use of words like plunder and raids, it is because we use vocabulary of business, treaties, contracts, and laws that do not finally give enough substance to the nature of slavery. It is just like the holocaust if we want to compare anything close in human history – one can compare slavery to the situation Jews found themselves in Europe in the middle of 20th Century. Today, the Jewish holocaust is considered a terrible crime against humanity, and in the same breath we can apply the same word to qualify slavery because it was an enormous crime with as much dehumanizing character as the holocaust.
While this piece is not designed for any form of apology for slavery, we have proof of this genocide from books like: Destruction of Black Civilization by Chancellor Williams, Civilization or Barbarism by Cheikh Anta Diop, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney, to mention but a few. For those who read in French language; to better understand the magnitude and how it was executed, I would like us to read specifically Professor BWENBA BONG in his book titled: QUAND L’AFRIQUE ETAIT L’OR NOIR DE L’EUROPE (WHEN AFRICA BECAME THE BLACK-GOLD OF EUROPE).
Before going any further; it is important to note that as Africans today we have to understand that we have been seriously damaged during five or more centuries: at first it was massive deportations, followed afterwards by years of colonialism, again since the last fifty years we are trying to come-out of this very disturbing period in our history. Since the advent of all these events in Africa, the Black man has never been the same again - never been his or herself again.
In truth, generally we hear about Arab slavery in Africa and its existence before the trans-Atlantic slave raids. However we have the tendency of putting both subjects in the same context so that Europe could feel some sense of relief. In the first place, what both raids and plunder have in common is religion. Everyone is aware that for Islam, there is no other religion than Islam – all those who are not Islamize are considered as unfaithful, and everyone who is unfaithful automatically has the quality to be put into slavery.
Propagators of Christianity too, acted in similar manner when Europeans arrived in Africa – they proclaimed to have as mission, the conversion of African heathens to Christianity. But to make them Christians they had to bring them outside of their pagan and savage land. When the captives arrived in these foreign lands, the law imposed that they could not set foot on the land without being baptised and since they were not baptised they were considered as eligible to be enslaved. Thus you see why one can consider both as a pair, of the same coin on the subject of religion and the justification for African slavery.
Nobody can deny that there was Arab slavery in Africa before that of the Europeans, the difference that nobody can also deny, is that even when the Muslim (Arabs) slavery dynamics in Africa was at its height, Africans were still producing - we had industries in which Arabs were also working. The specificity of the trans-Atlantic plunder and raids in Africa is that when it began, Africa was reduced to producing only human beings to work in Europe and the Americas. There were no more industries; we could no more cultivate even the soil, because everything was forbidden.
Anybody that attempted to cultivate any piece of land was caught and made a slave. Thus Africans were reduced to eating broad beans imported from Europe - exactly the same way we eat Uncle Ben’s rice, cereals and semolina imported from Europe and the United States of America today. With the trans-Atlantic slave raids and plunder in Africa, every industry stopped with the exception of human industries dedicated to the production of men, women and children.
Why the words plunder and raid?
As earlier mentioned; if I insist on the use of words like plunder and raids, it is because we use vocabulary of business, treaties, contracts, and laws that do not finally give enough substance to the nature of slavery. I insist on the words plunder and raids because when we speak of “slave trade” we have the impression that there was a kind of bargain concluded between Africans and Europeans. In reality there was nothing that resembled any negotiation at the start of the plunder – there were no negotiations of any sort, no pacts with any government or government agents, it was carried-out with violence spearheaded by "filamentos" whose only objective was to extract Africans by force from their land.
The next question that would logically be asked is how can one understand how through raids and plunder, we arrive at a phenomenon that massive? How can one believe, that they could fill boats and ships in their thousands by simple raids and plunder of African coasts? The answer is that things were not as simple as that, Africa as we are about to discover never opened the way for those called “lancados” in Portuguese language, they came with force and well prepared.
The slave raids and plunder, started at about 1440 in Africa and was very much astute in execution from the West. French and English for example have always gone to battle since their existence, we are aware today that the first attribute of any warring people or nation is to perfect their ammunitions. When they arrived in Africa, with their superiority in arms, they forcefully obliged the people who don’t speak any of the two languages to do their beadings – particularly at a time when the Blackman was the petrol of the époque.
All other vocations and industries have been prohibited, no one cultivated the lands anymore what was left was human traffic you can see here the dynamic phenomenon. This is important for those brothers and sisters, who say we sold them into slavery, have they stopped to ask what life was like from the moment they were captured and put on the boats up-to the plantations. If they don’t know I affirm here that life from the boats to the plantations were never quiet, there were constant revolts, sabotage activities, etc.
The captured slaves always taught their children, that their White masters kidnapped their parents and brought them to Europe and the Americas by force. To put end to this historic consciousness form of education among Black slaves, what did the White plantation owners invent as punishment? They took the father who taught his children that he was kidnapped; put him in a cage with a large bird, to be devoured before the assembled members on the plantation. His children were sold-off to other plantations. The master would finally announce to the other assembled slaves, that this is what will happen to whoever say’s again that they were kidnapped from Africa. That was how little by little, the idea was implanted in the heads of the slaves that they were sold by their folks back in Africa - this is what we call the dynamic phenomenon - after one, two, three Centuries it becomes the only truth – an unquestionable truth.
Remember that Christopher Columbus was heading-out in search of India, when he accidentally missed his direction and landed in the Americas - that is why today Native Americans are called Indians. Even if it is generally known that America is not the right name for this continent, it has not stopped Westerners from claiming that Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas despite irrefutable evidence abound that Americas was occupied by Natives before the arrival of Columbus and his band of cut-throats. Admitted that America is not the appropriate name, I guess it would be important at this point to align our minds in time with specific dates so as to have a time frame of events and when they took place.
Around the year 1491 of our era after Christopher Columbus second attempt to find the rout to India, every European States were quarrelling over the ownership and possession of the territory called America today and each nation needed slave labour to attain this goal, hence the rush to have as many slaves as possible. There were some Portuguese called “cadavmostos” who had taken refuge in Cape Verde Island, they had been in contact with the Africans from the Island and reported back to their folks in Portugal that the people were: healthy, robust and strong, naturally very hospitable, and never wary of foreigners - hence the rush by subsequent European Nations, to profit and take advantage of this hospitality and kindness from this African population that they would forcibly bring to Europe and the Americas.
The raids started with Portuguese called the "filamentos" and they used a technique purely Western in conception, it is the same method used when they occupied the Americas and later with the Aborigines of Australia. We have to understand at this point, that there is no spontaneous generation in any society as every generation follows what was laid-down by those before them. Every European nation employed the same technique – the Portuguese, Spanish, French, British and Germans. It started at the moment when Western nations emptied their prisons and sent the prisoners away to found new nations to conquer and form their dreamed European Empire. Everywhere they went we can see that they left behind a history of raids and plunder – everywhere they set their foot things passed in the same way.
They decided to empty their prisons: Portugal emptied their prisons followed by Spain, they were called "lançados" “spearheads of hell”. These were the types of people, Europe would send as spearheads, introduce in the interior of Africa to found new nations to conquer and form their dreamed European Empire. Their assigned tasks were the following: raid and plunder everything at sight hence they were called “prince merchants”. They were mostly mentally ill, serial killers, mentally deranged persons release and let-loose in the interior of Africa.
They had as contacts for example in the Island-de-Sao-Tomé, Asian Semites and Jews who lived and cultivated sugar-cane in this region, together they raped Black women they came across and would eventually have half-casts children. You are about to discover the effect of what is called genetic memory and how it works. Their half-blooded off-springs would thus grow-up, trained to hate and detest their half Black part, they were named “half-cast of Sao-Tome” or "half-blooded slaughterers" and they were raised and brought-up with a permanent hatred for their Black half.
Eventually recruited into the ranks of those on the mission to plunder Africa, these half-blooded children from the rape of African women would link-up with the “lancados” - it was this moment that the massive raids and plunder would develop into an industrial enterprise. Now we enter the period of massive industrialization of slavery with raids and plunder on the African continent. If you take for example the case of Angola, the problem which opposed Jonas Savinbi in the war against the Movement Popular for the Liberation of Angola - it is that the MPLA has in her ranks a lot of half-cast members. Memories of that époque still lingers because, the period was very traumatizing for most Black Africans in Angola – for them most half-cast represent a potential danger.
It is important at this stage for us to understand with some precision, the period all these atrocities took place. Taking for example a symbolic date, Pope Nicholas issued the bull “Dum Diversas” (18 June 1452) for King Alfonso V of Portugal to give him the right to "attack, conquer, and subjugate Saracens, Pagans and other enemies of Christ wherever they may be found." The geographical area of the concession given in the bull is not explicit, but the terms "pagans" and "other enemies of Christ" indicates the scope of the bull was applicable to the lands along the west coast of Africa and that the ambiguity of the text was such that it encouraged the Portuguese to extend their explorations further afield - thus officialising slavery bearing in mind, that the Church in Europe welded spiritual and political power then.
From the turn of events in Africa today, one can further argue that the use of crusading language in the bull served to make the Christian-Muslim relationship the model for an enslaved and later colonised Africa. One important issue that needs to be taken seriously which explains the dynamic process of the phenomenon is the following: the Europeans will create a slave empire - the empire drive was lead by the "lançados" who attacked first African palaces and assassinated African Kings. We can explain this case more clearly with what took place in the kingdom of Congo.
It is necessary to be wary of everything history tells us on this subject, like most history written from the point of view of the conqueror and not the conquered because in most cases things did not pass like that. Western written history tells us that there was a war of succession between two brothers – the one later named Alfonso I a member of the Manikongo. According to the legend, he wrote a letter inviting the Pope and the king of Portugal asking him to come and colonise his country.
The truth is that when "lançados" started to penetrate Congo territory, Zinga Bemba named Alfonso I by the Portuguese was a governor of a province. He understood that danger had arrived at the door of Congo, because when the Portuguese first arrived they claimed to come to evangelize and bring religion to the kingdom. But Zinga Benba realised early that these people did not come only for religion. What did he do to counter their intentions? He got converted to Catholicism, thus taking the name Alfonso I, he immediately after his conversion wrote to his “brother” the king of Portugal John I.
Here are two “brothers” that are both Christian kings, each with his own kingdom but Zinga Benba realised that in spite of the fact he was a Christian king, the Portuguese continued to raid and kidnap Congolese and deported them to the Americas. He wrote a letter to his so-called “brother king” saying, that he did not understand and this posses a problem, why as a Christian king with responsibility to protect his people who automatically should be considered Christians, why would another “brother king” continue to kidnap my citizens?
It is necessary to specify also that like in our today’s world, there are always pacts and treaties signed between kingdoms and nations. We also know that in-order to protect their interests, nations or governments instigate divisions in any government they intend to destabilise – thus it is not new to have a provincial governor rebel against the central government or one army pushed against the other. This was the case with Zinga Benba and his so-called Portuguese “brother king”. They went further than brotherly betrayal, as it was the Portuguese who attacked and kidnapped Congolese citizens.
Zinga Benba to by-pass the acts of the king of Portugal, chose his nephews and nieces at a very young age, sent them to Portugal to learn Western education and religious studies but what would happen to them? All the nephews and nieces of Zinga Benba sent to Portugal, were systematically stopped and arrested in high seas or mid-ocean and sold into slavery in Portugal. After 15 attempts, Zinga Benba understood that he could not trust his “brother king” hence he wrote to the Pope and king of Portugal. He accused the Pope and king of not keeping his words, and highlighted that he had been duped and deceived to think if he was Christian they will consider his citizens as fellow Christians and not be enslaved. Thus the situation between two sovereigns will further deteriorate, and the Pope and King of Portugal wrote back saying if he (Zinga Benba) continues to protest his actions in the Congo, he himself would end-up in one of those boats.
The case of Congo is symbolic because they bled the region so much, and it is necessary to establish the truth. Obviously the phenomenon was so much vast that it touched all African coasts right up to the interior - right up to the heart of the continent. Because of its vast nature, we have the impression that there was no resistance from Africans against this genocide. This is far from the truth even if we are not told in our history books the contrary. There were a lot of stories talking about Black resistance to slavery hence, the bloody nature of the raids and plunder on the continent.
Please see how African societies were before Westerners’ arrival: well built homes, well structured and organized cities.
Also important, we see images of the period that shows how African societies were before Westerners’ arrival: well built homes, well structured and organized cities. We see maps and plans of cities like Benin in current Nigeria, similar images of the city of Kumasi in the kingdom of the Ashanti - present day Ghana. It is hallucinating, to see that these cities in comparison with modern Africans cities of today were better constructed and more structured. So Congo is important because of the volume, the number of persons kidnapped and deported and those who died during the passage between the 15th and 18th Centuries - it is really one of the places on earth where the Europeans bled the biggest reserve of human beings.
On the other hand, while there may be doubts and less conviction regarding the dimensions of complicity of African royals, the case of Alfonso I (Zinga Bemba) for example, we have to be careful not to deny completely the responsibility of some individuals among Africans. Because I believe we can very well segment or identify the persons in charge who were accomplices in African slavery without saying that blacks (Africans in general) participated. It is necessary to know the history of the resistances at the same time in Africa, some person and individuals or group of individuals who resisted deportation for example the revolts of the Black Maroons in the Caribbean.
Thus it is very important for our knowledge of history; it is also important for our collective memory and also very important to teach that we have locale accomplices in the slave raids. For example king of Abomey (Dahomey) in 1770 gained the equivalent of 125 thousand pounds sterling from the sale of slave - that makes more or less one and a half million Euros today - it is enormous. The irony of this is he was Black. We can enlighten us more in the intellectual and historic domains, and this may be salutary, because there is a resonance direct with what has been said or admitted recently by some European leaders with regards to the responsibility of Africans.
Okay; it was the Arabs and Europeans who directed the slave raids and plunder as some historians claim, but Africans were not only passive as victims their were also collaborators. The truth is there were leaders that cannot be exonerated for their complicity, however is it not an error especially for Black Americans who hold that vision, the bad feeling, in any case the bad analyses which makes them claim Africans participated in their deportations - finally after all we cannot deny the responsibility of Africans in the deportations. Do we not absolutely have to raise the question of the responsibility: legal, ethical, of some who participated in these crimes because of personal weaknesses? Namely they wanted to have money, power, weapons, alcohol, etc.
In the first case to answer the issues raised above, the African of today like I mentioned before has nothing to do with the African before the slave raids. There is obviously much more large number of people who resisted, kings who resisted etc. When we see certain decision makers in Africa today who collaborate with Westerners, we have to understand that these Africans have nothing in common with the Africans before the plunder of the continent. Remember that each society has a culture, there is no universal culture anywhere in this world where everyone acts and behaves in the same manner – every society has their culture as guideline for their people like Fela sang in Beasts of No Nation: “You go China, na them culture be teacher for them! You go England, na them culture be teacher for them…!”
Let’s take example from two known peoples; to see how societies functioned before the slave raids in Africa, because there were not too many models of society before apart from Black Egypt of the Pharaohs era and India. When we talk about India here, we are not talking of the current inhabitants rather we are talking about the Indian Empire of the time of Egypt of the Black Pharaohs. What is left of the people from the Indian Empire reside today on a small island and their population remains about 1500 people pushed to a small Island by the Arabs. It was during the period of the people called Dravidians they started the concept of nonviolence in India because Buddha was an Egyptian Black priest who preached the notion of nonviolence to his followers.
Have we stopped to ask ourselves why the majority of India and most Asian nations are predominantly Black? Look at all the many statues of Buddha you will notice that he had flat nose, curly, frizzy hair like Black Africans. Thanks to modern day’s archaeology, we can assign ancient India to the period 8000BC to 9000BC because, even though the book of the Rig Veda (considered to be the oldest of Vedic religion,) was written around the 10th century BC, and its stories had surely been transmitted orally for a very long time. It is part of Indian tradition and mentions some unexplained phenomena which until now, had been regarded as legends. In this period historians confirmed that India was peopled by men and women with dark skin called the Dravidians – their religion called Hindu is one of the oldest religions in the world.
It started long before the emergence of any religion in the region we call the Orient today and the first scripts appeared around 3000BC in Egypt and in Mesopotamia. Dravidians like Africans of the times, were renown to be a sociable less aggressive people, around 1700BC, their civilization was subjected to attacks by Aryan invaders in the same way, Egypt would also know defeat in 1785 BC – thus submitting to the dominance and rule of the Hyksos invaders from East of the Caucus. Despite the constraints of space, it is important here to gives us a chronology of how a great civilization like that of ancient Black Egypt of the Pharaohs era could finish so dramatically.
1,490 BC: Amenhotep IV, otherwise known as Akhenaton (Ikhnaton) was born. He was known to the ancients of his time and after as the ‘Religious Pharaoh’. This was way back, in the hundreds of years before the proclaimed birth of Jesus Christ. Akhenaton taught his followers about a Trinitarian God. He called his God - the Virtues or God in Three Virtues. The virtues were broken down into Love and Body of life. But he was not much of a politician or administrator neither was he a forceful man. It was during his reign in the history of Ta–Merry (Egypt) when a powerful leader was most needed, Egypt did suffer defeat from foreign invaders. Akhenaton made Egypt militarily weak, and started her down the way to her eventual downfall. This was the beginning, of the decline of the most ‘Fearful Power’ of her time. Akhenaton had actually reduced the army of Egypt to a mere police force, thus allowing her enemies to constantly invade her border towns and other out-posts. As a result, Egypt’s trade was cut to mere trickle, her treasury was almost broke and her generals were in total disunity.
332 BC: Alexander (the great) of Macedonia entered Egypt under military power. This conquest, initiated the European control in the Eastern limits of North Africa for the first time. Aristotle, the so-called “Greek Philosopher” and many of his fellow Greek cohorts shortly thereafter, ransacked the archives of Egypt especially that of the Grand Lodge of Luxor (Thebes). They stole what they understood, and burned-down much of what they could not decode or decipher (see G.G.M. James’ Stolen Legacy and Blackman of the Nile by Yosef Ben-Jochannan).
323 BC: Alexander II died in Egypt; his vast conquered empire was divided among his top generals all of whom refused to recognise the authority of King Phillip III (Alexander’s brother in Macedonia).
306 BC: General Sotar, Alexandra’s best general to whom Alexander assigned the post of Governor of Egypt declared himself Sotar I Pharaoh of all Egypt. He became the first European after Alexander in history, to sit on the throne of the ‘Star of the Nile’. All the other foreign conquerors who preceded the Macedonians and Greeks were from Asia (see The Destruction of Black Civilisation by Chancellor Williams and Black Man of the Nile by Yosef Ben-Jochannan). It was during the Ptolemy I reign, the African-European (mulatto) High-Priest Manetho, became the first historian to codify Egyptian royal history based upon ‘Dynastic Classification’. He also completed a compilation of Egypt’s History of Antiquity, and divided it into the first thirty of the thirty-four royal dynasties. Manetho’s works have been translated by such noted historians as Josephus, Leo Africanus, and Eusebius - the latter, brought forward the most important translation of Manetho’s works to-date. We have to note that Leo Africanus was an indigenous African. He was only renamed, by his god-father Pope Leo of the Roman Catholic Church, following his capture, enslavement, and conversion to Christianity. Josephus was a Hebrew (Jew).
00 BC: Roman rule, continued in North Africa during the proclamation of the birth of Jesus Christ. Some historians however, relate the year one (1 BC) to the death of Jesus Christ.
An important fact of history to note is that during the Black Egyptian Pharaoh era they never practised any form of slavery contrary to what we read in modern day history books and see in American films. Contrary to the impression given that the Hebrew (Jews) as slaves built the pyramids in Egypt, there is nothing as far from the truth because when Hebrew (Jews) appeared in Egyptian history the pyramid age was long gone – Egyptians no longer constructed anymore pyramids. All the great monuments Egypt is renown for today: Sphinx, Pyramids, etc., were already constructed during the reign of Pharaoh Neimer (called Aha by other writers) 2,800 BC. All those songs and images of Jews calling on Egyptian Pharaoh: “to let my people go” came long after the Egyptian pyramids had been constructed.
But to justify the slave raids and plunder in Africa, many Western historians claim that in most parts every civilization has recourse to slavery - a disputable argument in view of modern day research findings and historic consciousness of African thinkers. Another important issue to note is that in most African languages, there are no generic terms to describe a slave. One can ask why African societies function in this way? The answer is that power – political and spiritual were combined in the same person. When he takes power during his swearing of oats of office, he was naked and he can be seen wearing the crown naked – you see this in practice when a Pharaoh is about to take power - it is the same practice in India of that era, and the practice continues among many African peoples today – like the case during enthronements of some Yoruba kings.
In this type of extremely spiritual society, they cannot practice customs and practice which is expected from people who live in caves – the trans-Atlantic slavery was barbaric particularly carried out against a people that gave birth to culture and civilization. Thanks to Cheikh Anta Diop, we know that if the first wave of human beings never left the African continent, to found Asia and Europe every human being on earth would be BLACK. Thus it is necessary to always have in our spirit that Africans of today have nothing to do with those before the slave plunder and raids.
Certain African Kings of that time were not Africans, for example the King of Makoko if you see an image of or painting of the King of Makoko in 1905 you will see that he was White. Look at the picture the caption below it reads: French Congo, a stopover of Chief Makoko in Brazzaville – leader in uniform with tribe and French flag in the background.
Also important to read Ibn Battuta’s book: "travels in the Sudan ", he arrived in Africa in the 14th Century AD (he was an Arab-Spaniard), he wrote for people all over the world that he never saw anywhere in his travels any continent apart from African people who refused so-much injustice. This is proof that Africans were the first people to launch and practice the concept of human rights, it was during the reigns of Soundiata Keita and Soumanguru Kanté, but Western writers would want us to believe that they invented the concept of human rights in the world and all the other bad ways and practices were invented by other members of humanity. They even make us believe that every society and everybody is similar, there is nothing as far from the truth.
Also look at pictures from ancient African cities, you will see how well structured most African cities and towns were organised and equally it would be interesting for those who read in French to pick-up the book of Antonio Pigafetta titled: “Le Congo et ses alentours” (the Congo and her surroundings), he wrote that when the Portuguese arrived in Congo around 15th Century, the Africans they found there were already producing silk and silk dresses.
One can ask at this point, why the trans-Atlantic slave raids lasted so long. How was it organised on such an industrial scale? How could they organise such system of economy?
It started with the "treaty of Tordesillas" where Africa was shared exclusively among two powers – it was in the Pope’s palace in Portugal and Spain on 7th June 1494. The treaty divided in Tordesillas in Spain and later authenticated at Setubal in Portugal, the newly “discovered” lands outside Europe between Portugal and Spain along meridian leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands (off the west coast of Africa). Thus when the real business of raids and plunder began, both Spain and Portugal were the sole countries authorised to enter the interior of Africa - no other country had the rights to go into Africa.
Then it was the Pope who welded power, it was him who decided for the world, and afterward the other European nations saw the financial interest in going in search of the oil of the époque (the Blackman) to capture and make him work for the new European Empire. All of Europe descended in Africa in search of the oil of the époque. Africa (the paradise of wealth) then like today, is the land for gold rush and stampede for mineral resources for the West. When the raids and plunder reached the height of its momentum, with large boats and ships going back and fort, Africa was saturated with forts built by European nations.
Picture of American President Barak Obama & wife on a visit to Gore Island
One of the commemorative sites of transatlantic slave raids and plunder in Africa is situated on Gore Island off the coast of Senegal - a testimony of the horror visited on a people by fellow humans. During a guided visit, one can see cells reserved for men - they measure each about two meters and sixty-five centimetres long, they put 15 to 20 men inside. They were all seated with their backs to the wall, attached by the neck and arms in chains, which every slave was obliged to wear between his two hands and two legs, these savage treatment was carried out on Africans during three and a half centuries without interruption.
Pursued, hunted and chased like animals - extracted from their native land like roots of plants, according to conservative estimates at least 12 million Blacks were deported to the Americas. Deported by European in barbarian and inhuman conditions, the slave plunders and ravage attacks were established on the idea of racism - as Blacks were considered as sub-humans. There is a system in physics called the dynamic phenomenon, African researchers and historians, imbued with historic consciousness claim that for a phenomenon that massive to happen, it could only be possible because all Western European nations realised that in order to exist, they needed to go and create colonies outside their continent that was why they all participated in it.
They built ships and tanks; no more small boats that could only carry about 200 or 300 human bodies, they constructed big boats with the capacity to carry between 900 to 1,000 passengers. At a point when the ships were considered too dangerous because of the overcrowding men who revolted all along the journey, they chose as solution to add women and children in the cargo – since both would take less space than the average grown-up man. Where naturally there should be 900 to 1000 men they packed 1200 to 1500 people - thus began the massive phenomenon that became an industrial enterprise, with all of Europe struggling to out-do each other with their slave raids.
It is important to note that with time at the height of the 18th Century, the ship decks were extended and bigger ships were built to transport more human cargos, thus the naval industries in Europe would develop paving the way for their industrial revolution. Countries like Portugal sent to Brazil up to 30,000 boats and ships annually - it is enormous. Spain too sent to Cuba up to 40,000 ships annually, not to mention countries like Great Britain, France, without forgetting uncountable pirate boats and ships. The numbers in the thousands, of people deported is hallucinating.
The most striking aspects are the dehumanizing character of the enterprise. The first thing they make of the victims is strip away their humanity – from the middle passage to the moment the slave arrives on the plantation, words used to describe the deportees were vocabularies reserved for animals: formatted, dressed, break like a wild horse. At this point, would it not be appropriate to qualify this terrible crime against human dignity as a crime against humanity?
To conclude like Fela the founder of afrobeat culture sang: “Why Blackman dey suffer today? Why Blackman no go for moon today? If Africans are suffering today, if Africans are not going to the moon and space today, it is because Africa has no political power to impose her will on any world body. Africa has no economic power to impose on international level. Africa of today has no scientific power to impose, hence the idea to build a new Africa that has the weight to impose her ideas on the world stage. Weak nations don’t count today - it is not a question of if Africa count or not, it is more an affair that relates to strength.
Look at what Russia is doing in Ukraine; if you are weak, even if you are White, Chinese, Red or Black, you will be annihilated. But if you are strong and can impose your will, you will be respected. This is the way things go - it is the rule of the game. Thus it is not an affair of being good or bad. Africa needs leaders that can make the right decisions, if Africa cannot decide she will always be dominated and pushed aside.
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