Afrobeat Culture Federator

THE HOUSE NEGRO SYNDROME

Monday 28 May 2018 by Mabinuori Idowu (aka ID)

Fellow Africans and Diaspora Africans, we give proofs of Blacks from the continent not responsible for slavery, but the house slaves among us won’t believe because it is not the Whiteman saying it – this is what I call: THE HOUSE NEGRO SYNDROME. We will come back to this at the end of this long article, which needs to be read to the end in-order to understand why I consider them as such.

When I say at the start of slavery on the African continent; that it was carried out with raids from European invaders, one of my distracter say: “Mabinuori Kayode Idowu you wrote that African fought against slavery that’s why the cannons were positioned facing the sea. You and I know damned well Europeans used Africans to build those castles and it was the Europeans that position those cannons…”

Another critic said for example the 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. He underline that the irony of this, is he (the king) was Black. Others say 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 there were also collaborators.

We have others who say; on the other hand, while there may be doubts and less conviction regarding the dimensions of complicity of African royals, we have to be careful not to deny completely the responsibility of some individuals among Africans because, 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.

Thus they claim; that 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. We can enlighten us more they say, 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.

Despite efforts to make Africans and Diaspora Africans; understand that Africans in the continent were not responsible for slavery, we still have uninformed members of our community that insist Africans played a big role in the deportation of fellow Africans. 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.

To begin with; we have to understand that the West (Western Europeans) falsified African history and they cannot love Africa, because they have committed crimes and done things that are impossible to do to a fellow human in their quest for a European empire. The depth of their crime makes it impossible for them to love Africans, and so, they had to re-write African history, this is what Cheikh Anta Diop (perhaps the greatest in terms of scholarship on African civilization in the 20th Century) called the falsification of African History.

As members of the international scientific committee at the Cairo colloquium that lead to the production of the General History of Africa (GHA), the interventions of Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop assisted by Professor Théophile Obenga, were considered in the final report as meticulously prepared and invite the scientific community to re-write universal history of humanity, granting Black Africa her primordial role that she has effectively assumed in the edification of civilization.

All the fundamental theses defended by Cheikh Anta Diop in his work: “Nation, Negro and Culture,” were validated during the International symposium in Cairo.

For those unaware, the General History of Africa (GHA) is a two-phase project undertaken by UNESCO from 1964 to the present. The 1964 General Conference of UNESCO, during its 13th Session, instructed the Organization to undertake this initiative after the newly independent African Member States expressed a strong desire to reclaim their cultural identity, to rectify widespread ignorance about their Continent’s history, and to break free of discriminatory prejudices.

Phase one; which began in 1964 and was completed in 1999, consisted of writing and publishing eight volumes which highlight the shared heritage of the peoples of Africa. If we speak today of the European linguistic unity, it is only at this profound level, freed up and returned to science by linguistic archaeology otherwise, French, English, Germans, Italians, Romans, Lithuanians, Russians, etc. Do not understand each other more than Walafs, Bambaras, Hausas, etc.

But African linguistic research in recent years has made it possible to attain a degree in which kinship, the African linguistic unity in the genetic sense, is as evident as that of the great Indo-European linguistic family. And we see the ways that are open, to the assertion and strengthening of African cultural identity.

Thanks to researches; Africans discovered very quickly, and to a great surprise, that it was a typically African negro language that was the oldest written in the history of humanity, 5300 years ago in Egypt, while the earliest ancient testimonies of an Indo-European language (Hittite) date back to the eighteenth Egyptian dynasty (1470 BC), probably under the influence, political, and cultural domination of Asia Minor Egypt.

In any case, it is by studying the Egyptian-Nubian languages that the historical dimension which has hitherto been lacking in African studies is introduced. The resulting comparatives make it possible, every day that passes, to reinforce the feeling of linguistic unity of the Africans, and thus the sense of cultural identity of the Africans.

Phase Two, which began in 2009, focuses on the elaboration of history curricula and pedagogical materials for primary and secondary schools on the basis of the eight volumes of the GHA. It also focuses on the promotion of the use and harmonization of the teaching of this collection in higher education institutions throughout the Continent.

The objective of both Phase one and Phase two of the project is to re-appropriate the interpretation and writing of African histories and to demonstrate the contribution of African cultures past and present to the history of humanity at large.

Apart from the GHA; we also have the works of Dr. Ivan Van Sertima on the African Presence in the Americas and African Presence in Early Europe, he puts in perspective the history of the role of the African in world culture. He considered recent archaeological and anthropological studies that present new evidence of little known contributions by African people to the advancement of European civilization.

He detailed the physical and cultural presence of Africans in Europe. Other topics covered include: the debt owed to the Moors for the Renaissance. Leo Africanus’ Geographical History of Africa as a source for Shakespeare’s vision of Othello, the Africoid Grimaldis in Europe, the black Moors and the origin of Greek philosophy, African popes and black Madonna’s.

Dr. Ivan Van Sertima’s, scholarly works is continued by Dr. Runoko Rashidi a historian, and anthropologist with a major focus on the Global African Presence: that is, Africans outside of Africa before and after enslavement. He is the author of eighteen books, the most recent of which are Black Star: The African Presence in Early Europe, and African Star over Asia: The Black Presence in the East. His other works include the African Presence in Early Asia, co-edited by Dr. Ivan Van Sertima.

With the above information and many more out-there; today to deny Africa’s role in the edification of civilization, is participating in genocide against a people that gave birth to what we know as civilization.

To answer the issues raised above, that Africans were not only passive as victims but also they were collaborators. My answer; 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. But before going any further; it is important to note that as Africans today we have to understand that we have been seriously damaged mental and psychological 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.

It is also important, to understand that the African of today has nothing to do with the African before the slave raids. When we see certain decision makers in Africa today who collaborate with Westerners to the detriment of their people, we have to understand that these Africans have nothing in common with the Africans before the plunder of the continent. This is not a today’s phenomenon, if we take into consideration examples of the King of Dahomey, Oba Kosoko of Lagos, who can be considered as Black Skin, White Masks (apology Franz Fannon). We should also bear in mind; that certain African Kings of that time were not Africans, for example the King of Makoko if you see the picture 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.

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.

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. It is important at this point to see the beginning, of the decline of Ta–Merry (Egypt) - the most ‘Fearful Power’ of her time.

Her decline started at about 1,490 BC when 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 and the destruction of Black Civilization. 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.

In 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). These foreign invasions will continue with the Romans 30 BC and the Arabs in 47 AD thus pushing Africans more into interior of the continent and the births of several kingdoms.

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.

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.

Pursued; hunted, and chased like animals, and 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 and the savage treatment was carried out on Africans during three and a half centuries (350 years): daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, without interruption.

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. Bearing in mind that; 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. 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, Quaker Oats cereals, and semolina imported from Europe and the United States of America today.

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. It is necessary to know the history of the resistances in Africa, some person and individuals or group of individuals who resisted deportation and the revolts of the Black Maroons in the Caribbean etc. There is obviously much more large number of people who resisted, kings who resisted the slave raids.

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 that was why they all participated in it. 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 plunders; started at about 1440 in Africa, and was very much astute in execution from the West. 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 released from prisons and let-loose in the interior of Africa.

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. 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. We have as colonial relics; most of the cannons from all the foreign invaders in Africa, have we stopped to ask why we don’t have images of the cannons used in the so-called tribal wars in Africa? Can anyone produce a picture of a Yoruba, Igbo, Ashanti or Fanti made cannons, used in the so-called inter-tribal wars?

Everybody is aware today, that the first attribute of any warring people or nation is to perfect their ammunitions. French and English for example; have always gone to battle since their existence, hence the perfection of their arms. All foreign invaders on their arrival on the African continent, with the perfection of their ammunitions, it gave them the superiority of arms needed to conquer the continent. When they arrived in Africa, with their superiority in arms, they forcefully obliged the people who don’t speak any of the foreign languages to do their beadings – particularly at a time when the Blackman was the petrol of the époque.

Remember; 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, who installed and positioned those cannons facing the sea to wade-off other foreign invaders.

Ethnicity that has become a vocabulary to describe African people is a direct, consequence of the plunders from the trans-Atlantic slave raids. UNESCO’s publishing of eight volumes of General History of Africa, which highlight the shared heritage of the peoples of Africa, is an irrefutable proof of this. 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 Théophile 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 with what is called a genetic memory. 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 Congo kingdom. Like earlier mentioned, 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” John I (the king of Portugal).

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.

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).

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, how can people who live in such well organised and structured society sell their fellow citizens in exchange for mirrors, whisky, etc?

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. How can a people with the know-how, to produce silk and mining, sell their people for alcohol? Remember that African local alcohol distilleries; were considered illegal during the colonial administrations and they were only allowed in some African countries after our so-called independence. How can a people, who have the knowledge of distilleries, sell their fellow brothers and sisters’ in-exchange for mirror or alcohol?

So the 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. 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 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.

With all enumerated above, fellow Africans and Diaspora Africans, as earlier stated; we give proofs of Africans not responsible for slavery, but the house slaves among us won’t believe because it is not the Whiteman saying it. My answer to all the critics is: I’m a field Negro like many of us conscious of our true history! Malcolm X said: “Back during slavery, when Black people like me talked to the slaves, they didn’t kill them, they sent some old house Negro along behind him to undo what he said. You have to read the history of slavery to understand this. There were two kinds of Negroes. There was that old house Negro and the field Negro

The house Negro always looked out for his master. When the field Negroes got too much out of line, he held them back in check. He put them back on the plantation. The house Negro could afford to do that because he lived better than the field Negro. He ate better, he dressed better, and he lived in a better house. He lived right up next to his master - in the attic or the basement. He ate the same food his master ate and wore his same clothes. And he could talk just like his master - good diction. And he loved his master more than his master loved himself. That’s why he didn’t want his master hurt. If the master got sick, he’d say, "What’s the matter, boss, we sick?" When the master’s house caught afire, he’d try and put the fire out.

He didn’t want his master’s house burned. He never wanted his master’s property threatened. And he was more defensive of it than the master was. But then you had some field Negroes, who lived in huts, had nothing to lose. They wore the worst kind of clothes. They ate the worst food. And they caught hell. They felt the sting of the lash. They hated their master. Oh yes, they did. If the master got sick, they’d pray that the master died. If the master’s house caught afire, they’d pray for a strong wind to come along. This was the difference between the two. I’m a field Negro”.


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