Stop U.S. Wars of Occupation and Police Terror!

Re-blogged from: Uhuru.org

 

“…All over the planet—and inside the U.S.—African, Mexican and oppressed peoples are resisting U.S. war, terror and theft of their resources and land.

Black and brown peoples are fighting back against this brutal and profit-driven capitalist system built not on ideals of equality and democracy, but on hideous crimes such as the massive enslavement and commodification of African people, unimaginable genocide of the Indigenous people and colonial violence of massive proportions.

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This system and country rest on a pedestal of torture, terror and humiliation for the benefit of a minority of the human race at the expense of millions and millions of people and their cultures and social systems.

This is how capitalism was born and this is the only way it can continue to function today.

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement offers a solution to the crisis of today’s world.

There is a future for humankind being forged in the ghettos and barrios and oppressed and impoverished communities every place where people are fighting for self-determination, the freedom to live and not just grovel to survive on a dollar a day in a repressive system while others enjoy the benefits of their stolen labor and resources.

People everywhere want the right to build their own economies with their own resources that benefit their children and their people.

They want to freely associate both economically and culturally with whomever they wish.

They want a dynamic, equitable world built on true justice, peace and mutually-respected independence.

We can and must be part of that future.

As white people organized under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party, working for the liberation of Africans everywhere and in solidarity with oppressed and struggling peoples across the globe, we know there will never be peace without this vision.

That’s why we say “Reparations—there can be no justice without it.”

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We must separate ourselves from identifying with the U.S. government and its expectations of unity, a white nationalist unity, and mindless apathy that has us  fighting for our own interests at the expense of the rest of the world…”;  Read full post on Author’s site

Racist Police Brutality Part I: History of The American Police State

Re-blogged from a post by Agyei Tyehimba gyei Tyehimba on My True Sense.org

Why does Police Brutality Exist?

“…As Hip Hop legend Jay Z has said, “Men lie and women lie, but numbers don’t.”  Nor do numbers lie concerning Black death by white hands. According to the 2012 “Operation Ghetto Storm” report by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, statistics taken between January and June of that year demonstrated that a “Black person was killed every 36 hours by white police, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes.”

Disturbing data like this compels the intelligent and concerned among us to ponder why Black lives in so-called “post-racial America are still criminalized and devalued. All across this country, Black people seething with righteous indignation are protesting and discussing how to protect ourselves from agents of the American police state (the second part of this series will focus on this issue.)

ghetto storm

Concerning this question of resolution, I’ve heard and read intelligent and well-meaning Black folk offer the same traditional approaches we always hear regarding police brutality: Marches, demonstrations, rallies, protests, teach-ins, filming police, police sensitivity training, clinics on how to cooperate with and peacefully engage police, and the like. While I am not completely resistant to these strategies, I am admittedly  skeptical. I am inclined to believe that our wholehearted and patriotic devotion to such methods reeks of naivete.

.Somehow we have come to believe that murderous and repressive police are acting outside of their official duties. And this is where we are wrong. The first intelligent step toward ending or at least effectively neutralizing police brutality is to understand the sociopolitical role and function of police in the United States.

Understanding the true role of police in our nation requires that we know the true history of police forces in this country. Mainstream scholars of police history spin the narrative that America inherited its idea of policing from Britain in the form of constables and night watchmen. According to most accounts, early forms of public policing began first in Boston (1636), then New York City (1651), and then Philadelphia (1705). As populations grew and territories became more industrial and based on specialized labor, other cities adopted volunteer and later professional and more organized police departments.

This history is factually accurate, but does not explain the political and sociological function of police in modern society. For this, we must dig a little deeper and examine the development of police institutions in the early South. As you will see, this history helps us understand why police brutality is a mandated, deliberate, and organic part of our society.

The advent of police departments, if we trace its southern origins, began with slave patrols in the colonies and later states of America. As revealed in the article, “The History of Policing in the United States: Part I,”

Slave patrols had three primary functions: (1) to chase down, apprehend, and return to their owners, runaway slaves; (2) to provide a form of organized terror to deter slave revolts; and, (3) to maintain a form of discipline for slave-workers who were subject to summary justice, outside of the law, if they violated any plantation rules. Following the Civil War…”;  read full article on Author’s site

About the Author:  Agyei Tyehimba Agyei Tyehimba

Senzeni na? Marikana Justice Project

Re-blogged from:
 
 
 
“… Director, Sipho Singiswa, spent two years in Marikana gathering the narratives and songs of the people of Marikana before and after the terrible Marikana Massacre happened in August 2012.  With his film work he exposes the dire socioeconomic  conditions communities around extractive industries are made to endure by exploitative multinationals and government. 

This awareness raising advocacy film is told from the perspective of the men, women and children of Marikana as they struggle to come to terms with the police massacre of 34 men who were striking for a living wage.  It looks at the history of mining and cheap labour in South Africa and connects this to the current conditions workers endure in a democratic South Africa.  

 

What We Need & What You Get

We need a budget to:

  • Continue with the filming; hire in a high end DP to direct the footage to frame the film for an international audience;  hire studios to conduct formal interviews; pay for archive; hire translators, editors, scriptwriters and production staff; pay for post production and distribution as well as to travel with the film to raise awareness.
  • In return for a contribution you will either get a credit at the end of the film; get a special thanks poster; get a copy of the documentary; get a copy of the series of videos we have made; and mostly you would have been part of a social justice campaign that tells the human story of Marikana in solidarity with their struggle for social and economic justice.
  • If we do not reach the entire goal in funding we will use the funds to continue to share the voices in video on our Media for Justice site www.mediaforjustice.net  as an online social media series – for advocacy and education purposes.

 The Impact

  • Contributing to this project will go a long way in providing a much needed platform for the grievances of the community to be heard.  This project goes beyond the sound byte version of events.  It is about recording and sharing the deep narratives of people who are forced to carry the burden of a profit-driven society. 
  • Hearing the testimony of, and experiencing the day to day life of men, women and children in this community will go a long way to assist in their demand for justice and advocacy for a better life and proper living conditions. 
  • It calls for multinational and government  accountability and applies pressure for justice to be served to the Marikana widows, who lost husbands and breadwinners. 
  • It exposes the living conditions, the environmental conditions and the lived experience of communities living around mines in South Africa.
  • It unpacks the current model of politics which led to a heinous massacre reminiscent of the Sharpville massacre of the apartheid days.
  • It becomes a form of catharsis for community members who struggle to come to terms with this massacre of their people in their quest for a better life.
  • Video advocacy makes a big difference to community struggles and film becomes witness to atrocities and transgressions against communities. 
  • Media for Justice has followed, recorded and made public many transgressions by state or corporates against many communities and helped apply pressure on these transgressors for accountability.  
  • You can follow these projects here:  http://www.mediaforjustice.net/category/news-categories/socioeconomic-justice/page/2/…”; via @GillianSchutte

Find out more:  Go To Senzeni na? Marikana Justice Project

The Illogicality of White Supremacy [IMAGES]

Originally posted on United States Hypocrisy:

The awkward moment when Robert Roche of the American Indian Movement (left) is confronted by Pedro Rodriguez (right), who is donning redface, outside a Cleveland Indians game.

The awkward moment when Robert Roche of the American Indian Movement (left) is confronted by Pedro Rodriguez (right), who is donning redface, outside a Cleveland Indians game.

The pressure on the billionaire owner of the “Redskins” football team, Dan Snyder, to change his team’s name has been mounting in recent weeks, especially after the National Congress of American Indians‘ hard-hitting television ad titled “Proud To Be” aired during the NBA Finals game on June 10. One week after it aired in the prime-time slot, the United States Patent and Trademark Office took the step of formally cancelling six of the team’s trademark registrations due to its being named a derogatory racist slur. And while Snyder vows to fight to the end, there’s growing optimism that his days of directly profiting from the ‘R-s***s’ franchise are numbered.

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The Atlantic Features: The Case for Reparations

Carlos Javier Ortiz

Two hundred and fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole.

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May 21, 2014

And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or a Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the LORD thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing today.— Deuteronomy 15: 12–15Besides the crime which consists in violating the law, and varying from the right rule of reason, whereby a man so far becomes degenerate, and declares himself to quit the principles of human nature, and to be a noxious creature, there is commonly injury done to some person or other, and some other man receives damage by his transgression: in which case he who hath received any damage, has, besides the right of punishment common to him with other men, a particular right to seek reparation.— John Locke, “Second Treatise”By our unpaid labor and suffering, we have earned the right to the soil, many times over and over, and now we are determined to have it. — Anonymous, 1861

I. “So That’s Just One Of My Losses”

Clyde Ross was born in 1923, the seventh of 13 children, near Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the blues. Ross’s parents owned and farmed a 40-acre tract of land, flush with cows, hogs, and mules. Ross’s mother would drive to Clarksdale to do her shopping in a horse and buggy, in which she invested all the pride one might place in a Cadillac. The family owned another horse, with a red coat, which they gave to Clyde. The Ross family wanted for little, save that which all black families in the Deep South then desperately desired—the protection of the law.

Clyde Ross, photographed in November 2013 in his home in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago, where he has lived for more than 50 years. When he first tried to get a legitimate mortgage, he was denied; mortgages were effectively not available to black people. (Carlos Javier Ortiz)

In the 1920s, Jim Crow Mississippi was, in all facets of society, a kleptocracy. The majority of the people in the state were perpetually robbed of the vote—a hijacking engineered through the trickery of the poll tax and the muscle of the lynch mob. Between 1882 and 1968, more black people were lynched in Mississippi than in any other state. “You and I know what’s the best way to keep the nigger from voting,” blustered Theodore Bilbo, a Mississippi senator and a proud Klansman. “You do it the night before the election.”

The state’s regime partnered robbery of the franchise with robbery of the purse. Many of Mississippi’s black farmers lived in debt peonage, under the sway of cotton kings who were at once their landlords, their employers, and their primary merchants. Tools and necessities were advanced against the return on the crop, which was determined by the employer. When farmers were deemed to be in debt—and they often were—the negative balance was then carried over to the next season. A man or woman who protested this arrangement did so at the risk of grave injury or death. Refusing to work meant arrest under vagrancy laws and forced labor under the state’s penal system.

Well into the 20th century, black people spoke of their flight from Mississippi in much the same manner as their runagate ancestors had. In her 2010 book, The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson tells the story of Eddie Earvin, a spinach picker who fled Mississippi in 1963, after being made to work at gunpoint. “You didn’t talk about it or tell nobody,” Earvin said. “You had to sneak away.”

When Clyde Ross was still a child, Mississippi authorities claimed his father owed $3,000 in back taxes. The elder Ross could not read. He did not have a lawyer. He did not know anyone at the local courthouse. He could not expect the police to be impartial. Effectively, the Ross family had no way to contest the claim and no protection under the law. The authorities seized the land. They seized the buggy. They took the cows, hogs, and mules. And so for the upkeep of separate but equal, the entire Ross family was reduced to sharecropping.

This was hardly unusual. In 2001, the Associated Press published a three-part investigation into the theft of black-owned land stretching back to the antebellum period. The series documented some 406 victims and 24,000 acres of land valued at tens of millions of dollars. The land was taken through means ranging from legal chicanery to terrorism. “Some of the land taken from black families has become a country club in Virginia,” the AP reported, as well as “oil fields in Mississippi” and “a baseball spring training facility in Florida.”

Clyde Ross was a smart child. His teacher thought he should attend a more challenging school. There was very little support for educating black people in Mississippi. But Julius Rosenwald, a part owner of Sears, Roebuck, had begun an ambitious effort to build schools for black children throughout the South. Ross’s teacher believed he should attend the local Rosenwald school. It was too far for Ross to walk and get back in time to work in the fields. Local white children had a school bus. Clyde Ross did not, and thus lost the chance to better his education.

Then, when Ross was 10 years old, a group of white men demanded his only childhood possession—the horse with the red coat. “You can’t have this horse. We want it,” one of the white men said. They gave Ross’s father $17.

“I did everything for that horse,” Ross told me. “Everything. And they took him. Put him on the racetrack. I never did know what happened to him after that, but I know they didn’t bring him back. So that’s just one of my losses.”

Sharecropper boys in 1936 (Carly Mydans/Library of Congress)

The losses mounted. As sharecroppers, the Ross family saw their wages treated as the landlord’s slush fund. Landowners were supposed to split the profits from the cotton fields with sharecroppers. But bales would often disappear during the count, or the split might be altered on a whim. If cotton was selling for 50 cents a pound, the Ross family might get 15 cents, or only five. One year Ross’s mother promised to buy him a $7 suit for a summer program at their church. She ordered the suit by mail. But that year Ross’s family was paid only five cents a pound for cotton. The mailman arrived with the suit. The Rosses could not pay. The suit was sent back. Clyde Ross did not go to the church program.

It was in these early years that Ross began to understand himself as an American—he did not live under the blind decree of justice, but under the heel of a regime that elevated armed robbery to a governing principle. He thought about fighting. “Just be quiet,” his father told him. “Because they’ll come and kill us all.”

Clyde Ross grew. He was drafted into the Army. The draft officials offered him an exemption if he stayed home and worked. He preferred to take his chances with war. He was stationed in California. He found that he could go into stores without being bothered. He could walk the streets without being harassed. He could go into a restaurant and receive service.

Ross was shipped off to Guam. He fought in World War II to save the world from tyranny. But when he returned to Clarksdale, he found that tyranny had followed…”;  Read more 

6 Childhood songs you didn’t know were totally Racist

Re-blogged from innerisness.com

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“…If you’re determined to keep your childhood memories intact by thinking only positive thoughts to maintain pleasant nostalgic trips, avert your eyes now.

It’s no secret that early cartoons and even Disney movies featured some of the most racist characters and exaggerated images of black people around, but when we learned that our beloved ice cream had racist roots, we knew the devil had won.

To our surprise, one of the most known tunes in the history of America, often heard blaring from ice cream trucks dotted with pictures of HyperStripes, Fudgesicles, Rocket Pops and Strawberry Shortcakes is associated with a song titled, “Nigger Love A Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!

Like, come on America? Way to confirm our roots are grounded in racism. Luckily, these alternatives exist:

But with our image of the ice cream truck forever tainted, we decided to see what other childhood memories would be destroyed with a history lesson.

Take a trip down memory lane with us to find the racist roots in these other childhood staples, if you dare.

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe:

Sorry kids, this one has nothing to do with catching a tiger by his toe. Because like really…who the hell has ever caught a tiger by the toe? According to the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, the common sing-song melody was used in almost all classrooms and playgrounds in the 1880s by children — except the word tiger was originally “nigger.”

Here, in the chorus of Bert Fitzgibbon’s 1906 song, you can see the use of the racial epithet.

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo

Catch a nigger by his toe,

If he won’t work, let him go

Many versions even had…”;  Read more/original post on Author’s site.

 

Call to free political prisoners still languishing in SA jails | The New Age Online

“It truly repulses me when words such as “reconciliation” and “healing” and ‘nation building” and “social cohesion” are used to mask the inequities that are still so rife in South Africa. These were the terms used by minister of police in an eNCA interview to justify the release of apartheid killers De Kock and possibly Derby Lewis … yet no mention of releasing PAC members who were jailed in the apartheid era … and they were freedom fighters. This is totally unacceptable and a miscarriage of justice! #equalrightsforall!” via Gillian Schutte

See on Scoop.itTHE LAW & INJUSTICE

See on www.thenewage.co.za

VUDU – Build It Bigger: South African Gold Mine

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

“…This 1 SINGLE goldmine has more than $6 Billion of untouched gold.Enough to cover our whole school infrastructure and NSFAS spending for the year.Sadly this wealth will end up in Europe, while our people fight for daily survival…”; via Wynand Naidoo

Build It Bigger: South
See on www.vudu.com

THE TRUE SIZE OF AFRICA…

Re-blogged from:  Racism is White Supremacy

“It was no surprise to learn that European mapmakers — as far back as the 16th century – DELIBERATELY reduced the size of the African continent, but I had no idea by how much until I compared the maps below.

Map A (updated in 2013?) shows Europe and Africa as roughly the same size while North America is larger than both. This is FALSE.world-continent-mapThe composite map below (Map B) is not 100% accurate — for example, all of China does not fit inside Africa –  but it is more accurate when comparing the size of the African continent to Europe and the United States.true_size_of_africa

This is just ONE more piece of evidence that:

1) we live under a system of white supremacy/black inferiority — even when it comes to making maps.

2) the system of white supremacy relies on LIES, DISTORTIONS, AND DECEPTION to minimize, marginalize, and inferiorize African people, even to the extent of making it appear that the African continent is much smaller than it actually is.

3) referring to Africa as the “Third World” is another…”;  Read full article on authors site

 

Deeper Than Words: Donald Sterling’s Racism and the Model Minority Myth

See on Scoop.itThe Price of PREJUDICE. AND Privilege

“its not surprising that someone who made his wealth from a system in which white landowners profited from racial exclusion might later engage in housing discrimination. The charges against Sterling’s real estate business have included refusing to rent to black and Latino tenants, but also preferring Korean American tenants. In 2003, the Housing Rights  …”

See on www.racefiles.com

Mirror, Mirror: Does ‘Fairest’ Mean Most Beautiful Or Most White? : Code Switch : NPR

See on Scoop.itThe Price of PREJUDICE. AND Privilege

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?

We all recognize the mantra of Snow White’s evil stepmother.read more …

See on innerisness.com

The Truth About Black People and their place in World History; Dr Leroy Vaughn

Asians in the Library

 

 

 

ImageRe-blogged from Abagond

“Asians in the Library” (2011) is a YouTube video, a three-minute racist rant against Asians made by Alexandra Wallace (pictured), a White American student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). It came right after a tsunami had killed 10,000 people in Japan. Three years later it is still the top suggested completion for “Asians” on Google.

In the video she informs us that there are “hordes of Asian people” that UCLA accepts into “our” school. Which, she said, was “fine” but they should learn “American manners”.

In commenting on their lack of manners, she observes:

their moms and their brothers and their sisters and their grandmas and their grandpas and their cousins and everybody that they know that they’ve brought along from Asia with them – comes here [to her apartment complex] on the weekends to do their laundry, buy their groceries and cook their food for the week.

Like that was a bad thing. She claims, “They don’t teach their kids to fend for themselves.”

At the library:

I’ll be in like deep …”;  Read full post on Author’s site

A Hundred years After the 1913 Land Act

Reblogged from/Read full article at:  The South African Civil Society Information ServiceSol Plaatjie

“…But as English colonialism, frequently driven by actual rather than metaphorical enslavement, gathered momentum from the seventeenth century onwards, people around the world who sought to hold on to their land and autonomy in defiance of an advancing storm were presented as monstrous – a many headed hydra that needed to be destroyed so that land and labour could be exploited. Liberal philosophy presented this violent assault on the commons – which ranged from Ireland, to India, Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas, in terms of enlightenment and progress.  From the underside it was often experienced as catastrophe borne on the terror of burning and killing.

This history is our history. But of course here it has been and remains profoundly inflected by race. Today people flying in to Port Elizabeth to travel on to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown will pass one luxury game farm after another. Grahamstown still carries the name of John Graham, the British soldier who drove the Xhosa people off this land, the Zuurveld, between 1811 and 1812 by burning their homes, destroying their crops and killing any man that resisted. John Cradock, the governor of the Cape Colony, had given Graham his orders. Cradock knew what he was doing. He had crushed anti-colonial rebellions in Ireland and India before being posted to Cape Town. In 1812 he could report to the British cabinet that the inhabitants of the Zuurveld had been forced across the Fish River with ‘a proper degree of terror’. A hundred years later Jan Smuts, speaking at the celebrations held to celebrate the centenary of the founding of Grahamstown, declared, “South Africa was a home for a great white race.” On the 19th of June the following year the Natives Land Act came into force.

In the famous opening lines of his Native Life in South Africa, Sol Plaatje wrote, “Awakening on Friday morning, June 20, 1913, the South African Native found himself, not actually a slave, but a pariah in the land of his birth”. It was the colonial wars of the previous century that had left Africans with only 7% of the land in the new Union of South Africa. But the Land Act entrenched this dispossession by preventing Africans from buying or renting land from whites, outlawing share-cropping and opening the way to the establishment of ‘reserves’, later known as Bantustans. It became a legal cornerstone of the segregationist project.

The ANC, founded the year before the Land Act was passed, was committed to the restoration of land to Africans. But it was the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU), founded on the docks in Cape Town in 1919, that became a mass movement of rural people. It claimed more than a hundred thousand members by 1927. But like all movements that rise on a tide of millennial fervour it didn’t take care of the details of organisation very well, or work out a viable strategy for achieving its goals, and its hopes were dashed on the unforgiving shores of South African reality. There have been many rural struggles since then, perhaps most famously the Mpondo Revolt that began…”;

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Author:  Richard Pithouse 

 

Video

Falsification of African Consciousness

The cost of racism

Originally posted on Resist racism:

Another way that racism harms white people is by denying them the ability to develop their critical thinking. This is due in part to the constant, regular reinforcement that white is right. White people are raised in an environment in which they are regularly assured of their superiority. Their experts are white, like them. And they often live in segregation, thus denying them the opportunity to be exposed to other viewpoints.

What happens in a culture of white supremacy? White people assume that they are the experts. Even in the absence of any history, education or knowledge.

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Why Black History is Important for Young People

Re-blogged frm Black History Studies

“Education for all British teenagers focuses on an intellectual heritage that begins with the Greco-Roman tradition, on one hand, and the Judaeo-Christian tradition on the other. In addition, mainstream education includes references to the contributions of the Hindus, Buddhists, Arabs and the Chinese to certain aspects of human culture.

 But what about the contributions of Africans and African descended people? Where is any of this reflected in mainstream education?

 For most Black teenagers, the experience in the classroom and lecture hall is one of being present and being excluded at the same time. Nearly all information taught in schools and colleges ignore the black teenager’s cultural heritage. Some old school educationalists even claim that black teenagers (and black people in general) have no cultural heritage whatsoever!

Consequently, the experience in the classroom and the lecture hall, as far as black teenagers are concerned, is one of being indoctrinated with somebody else’s culture. For black teenagers, this poses a difficult question: Should you forget your cultural heritage and fully embrace another heritage or should you resist the indoctrination?

This is a difficult choice that black teenagers have to make. Some will embrace the European heritage and will be rewarded with GCSE and A-level success. The rebellious teenagers will resist for as long as they can. Many will leave the education system with little or nothing to show for it.

 Black History is a subject that can interest black (and non-black) teenagers. It is a subject that enables black teenagers to see and learn about people that are just like themselves. Black history in the broadest sense includes the contributions of black people to development of history and civilisation. It includes the contributions of black people to the development of the arts, technology and the sciences, industry and world trade, and religion and philosophy.

Even if we restricted the scope of black history to the British Isles, black people here have a history stretching well beyond the Empire SS Windrush in 1948. For example, one mainstream TV documentary shown over the last 12 months featured the rediscovery of the burial of an eleventh century African male. Another documentary featured the rediscovery of a burial of an elite fourth century African female in York. Yet another documentary featured a Roman emperor, of North African stock, who led troops in battles against the early people of Scotland, and who himself died in York.

 Even if we restricted our focus from 18th century to pre 1948 London, there are various black personalities and organisations important in political history such as Oludah Equiano, William Cuffay, and Henry Sylvester Williams and the Pan African Movement. In Literature…”;  Read full article on Author’s site

 

Making Black History Month Relevant

With Black History Month (BHM) rapidly approaching, I want to take this opportunity to address: 1.) The purpose and background of BHM  (2. The limited ways in which we typically use this month  3.) How to make BHM more relevant and empowering

Purpose/Background

Carter Godwin Woodson, founder of Black History Month, scholar, author and institution-builder

What we now refer to as Black History Month began as “Negro History Week.” Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard University graduate and history professor, began this commemoration in 1926. He was frustrated by the absence of scholarship and discussion about Black people’s contributions to America and the world. He hoped that NHW would fill this void.

A common belief among Black people is that whites created Black History Month in February because it is the “shortest and coldest month of the year.” Actually, Woodson  designated the second week of February to honor the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, two people he believed were great emancipators of Black people. The first recorded celebration of Black History Month was in February of 1970 by Black students at Kent State University. By 1976, America’s Bicentennial, the government officially “recognized” this change from Negro History Week to Black History Month, however Black people began this tradition before…”;  Read more here

Re-blogged from:  MyTrueSense.org

Article Author:  Agyei Tyehimba

is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-SpanNY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.

 

28 Common Racist Attitudes And Behaviors

Re-blogged from:  DemocraticUnderground

“Below is a list of 28 common racist attitudes and behaviors that indicate a detour or wrong turn into white guilt, denial or defensiveness. Each is followed by a statement that is a reality check and consequence for harboring such attitudes.

1. I’m Colorblind.

“People are just people; I don’t see color; we’re all just human.” Or “I don’t think of you as Chinese.” Or “We all bleed red when we’re cut.” Or “Character, not color, is what counts with me.”

REALITY CHECK + CONSEQUENCE:

Statements like these assume that people of color are just like you, white; that they have the same dreams, standards, problems, and peeves that you do. “Colorblindness” negates the cultural values, norms, expectations and life experiences of people of color. Even if an individual white person could ignore a person’s color, society does not. By saying we are not different, that you don’t see the color, you are also saying you don’t see your whiteness. This denies the people of colors’ experience of racism and your experience of privilege.

“I’m colorblind” can also be a defense when afraid to discuss racism, especially if one assumes all conversation about race or color is racist. Speaking of another person’s color or culture is not necessarily racist or offensive. As my friend Rudy says,
I don’t mind that you notice that I’m black.” Color consciousness does not equal racism…”;  Mr Scorpio 

And more:

Blame the Victim.:  “We have advertised everywhere, there just aren’t any qualified people of color  for this job.” Or …Read more  here

Due Process.:  “Lady Justice is color blind.” White parents who tell their children, “The police are here to protect you. If they ever stop you, just be polite and tell the truth.” Then when a black teen is beaten or killed by police, those same parents say, “He must have been doing something wrong, to provoke that kind of police response.”

The Innocent by Association.: “I’m not racist, because… I have Vietnamese friends, or my lover is black or I marched with Dr. King.”

The Penitent.: “I am so sorry for the way whites have treated your people.” Or “I am sorry for the terrible things that white man just said to you.”

BWAME.: “But What About Me. Look how I’ve been hurt, oppressed, exploited…?

Silence.:  We stay silent.

Read the original article here

Its Time to get UNPLUGGED

Re-blogged from MyTrueSense.org

...It doesn’t matter if you wear a cross, star of David, Ankh, Eye of Heru, or medallion of Africa. Whether you wear a tailored suit, traditional African clothing or Timberland boots with jeans and a hoodie. Whether your name is European or African. Whether you worship In a church, mosque, or temple.

Whether you follow Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Yahweh, Jehovah, Shiva or Shango. Whether you meditate, pray, chant, or visualize.Whether you are a vegan or carnivore.

You can burn incense, scented candles, get massages or bathe in exotic bath salts. Whether you jog, do yoga, lift weights, bike, hike, or swim. Whether you ski, surf, skate, or skateboard.

You might be straight gay, bisexual, transgender or transsexual. Male, female or androgynous. Perhaps you’re socialist, nationalist, feminist, integrationist, or pan African.  Conservative, liberal or radical. Middle class, working class or homeless. Perhaps you believe in conspiracies, think Tupac and Bruce Lee faked their deaths, believe you were abducted by aliens, were reincarnated, can communicate with animals and the deceased or can move objects without physically touching them…….

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Our religion, sexuality, political ideology, faith system, style………are personal decisions that govern our person spheres. They are all bubbles that we live in, per se.

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But no matter what bubble of belief or behavior we choose to reside in, a minority of people in this world ( helped along by our apathy, ignorance and cooperation) own the wealth, make and enforce the laws, declare wars, define “truth,” beauty, love, what’s legitimate, what you should buy, think, wear, eat, believe and obey. If you’re cool with this scenario, stay in your little bubble of personal interest and may the force be with you. But if you truly want to change things,,we will need to have compassionate hearts, flexible minds, and proactive spirits. We will need to push past rigid dogma, controlling and divisive mythologies, and cult-like thinking.

The revolution has already begun. Your first steps are to THINK FOR YOURSELF, SEEK TRUTH, and GET UNPLUGGED from ideas, people, or philosophies that deceive, manipulate and cause disharmony, destruction and confusion… Open …”;  Agyei Tyehimba

cropped-my-two-cents

Agyei Tyehimba is a former NYC public schoolteacher, co-founder of KAPPA Middle School 215 in the Bronx, NY, and co-author of the Essence Bestselling book, Game Over: The Rise and Transformation of a Harlem Hustler, published in 2007 by Simon & Schuster. Agyei has appeared on C-SpanNY1 News, and most recently on the A&E documentary, The Mayor of Harlem: Alberto ‘Alpo’ Martinez.” Mr. Tyehimba is a professional consultant and public speaker providing political advice and direction for Black college student organizations, community activist groups, and nonprofit organizations. If you are interested in bringing Agyei to speak or provide consultation for your organization, please contact him at truself143@gmail.com.

 

BECAUSE NO LIE CAN LIVE FOREVER

Author:  Moorbey

Re-blogged from:  Moorbey.com

“…Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the government refuse to acknowledge their wrongful incarceration of Leonard Peltier? Almost 40 years of lies spurred on by the FBI and based on their own deceitful and malicious behaviors. WHEN will Leonard Peltier walk out of prison a FREE Man?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever…. how long will… 

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will Institutional Racism be accepted (while denying that it exists)? …

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the War Mongers continue to use our young ones as pawns to fight in Wars that only succeed to fill the pockets of certain Individuals/Organizations/Other Countries, etc?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the Mass Incarceration of People-of-Color continue to drain our communities of their life-blood? It is no lie that a Person-of-Color endures a longer prison sentence for any type of crime than their White Counterparts and it is further known that more Innocent People-of-Color are incarcerated only because of skin color due to prejudice and racism within both State and Federal Judicial Systems. WHEN will actual Justice prevail?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the government insist that automated Drones do not target citizens of Countries the USA is attempting to “help” or take over and bring “democracy” to? In the perverted “Game of War” using drones is…

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will Individuals with higher incomes insist that Individuals with lower incomes are just lazy and/or should be happy with whatever job they can find…if they can find a job?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the Government Spying Agencies (NSA, FBI, CIA, etc) be allowed to continually violate the constitutional, civil, and human rights of the general populace who they perceive to possibly be “terrorists”, when these same agencies are carrying out their own terrorist behaviors upon the general populace?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will …

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the government bankroll Wars for its own devices and the devices of other Countries while the people at home perish from lack of resources? WHEN will we acknowledge that besides obvious war-toy weapons (guns, bombs, biologics, etc), *poverty is a weapon of mass destruction?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will corporations-as-people be considered more valuable and viable than Humans, Animals, Plants, and the Mother{Earth} Herself?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will it take before we-the-people stop harming one and other? We harm each other out of jealousy, greed, prejudice, hatred, selfishness, and ignorance. Our diversity is a great strength that should give us a better understanding of our individual and collective selves. WHEN will we realize that Peace within our own eclectic society could become a beacon of Peace for other Countries?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will it take before even the most greedy and ignorant among us realize that if we use up ALL the resources that Mother{Earth} provides for us….there will be NONE left?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will the general populace buy into the FEAR orchestrated by various entities which include but are not limited to anyone who uses fear as a part of their personal agenda to intimidate, demean, disrespect and sway others to think or act as they do?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will we continue to let these lies continue to inform our daily lives? How long will we continue to pass these Legacies of Lies onto our future generations? WHEN will these lies be put to rest once and for all?

Because No Lie Can Live Forever….how long will 

Read full article on author’s site:  Moorbey.com

The Panther Party’s Ten Point Program

Re-blogged from: ReThink Schools

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black and oppressed communities.
We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.

2. We want full employment for our people.
We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black and oppressed communities.
We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.

4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.

5. We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.
We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.

6.  View original article on the ReThinkSchools.org website

Evers, Medgar

See on Scoop.itThey put Afrika on the map

Profile. Medgar Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963). Civil Rights Movement activist in Mississippi.

See on zinnedproject.org

Pan-African Congress

See on Scoop.itThey put Afrika on the map

Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere convened the last Pan-African Congress June 17–19, 1974, in Dar es Salaam Commonly known as the Six PAC this was the first congress held in Africa Nyerere conside…

See on renegadeslave.wordpress.com

10 Fearless Black Female Warriors Throughout History – Atlanta Black Star

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa – Manhyia Palace Museum, Kumasi Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa (c. 1840–October 17, 1921) Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of the Edweso tribe of the Asante (Ashanti) in wh…

See on innerstandingisness.com

The Underground Railroad: Faces of Freedom

See on Scoop.itThey put Afrika on the map

Find out about these “faces of freedom” for the Underground Railroad—important former slaves, abolitionists, writers and poets, detectives, and teachers.

See on education.nationalgeographic.com

Christopher Columbus: father of modern-day white supremacy (part 2)

Re-blogged from:  ushypocrisy by: CalebG

**The following article is the second in a two-part series titled Christopher Columbus: father of modern-day white supremacy. To read part one click here

The European reemergence from out the ashes of hundreds of years of bitter religious warfare and anti-Muslim crusades gave rise to new aspirations of global domination and economic supremacy, and nowhere was this clearer than in Christopher Columbus’s first encounter with the Arawak people of the Bahamas. The Arawaks, just as the Africans on the Guinea Coast before them, greeted these pale-skinned foreigners not as enemy invaders, but as guests visiting from a far-away land. They brought Columbus and his men gifts made from gold and offered them whatever food and water was necessary. The good Christian Columbus, rather than seeing these kind and generous acts as signals of a virtuous character, saw them as proof that these were a naïve people worthy of his condescension. To King Ferdinand and Isabella he wrote that the Arawaks were “so naïve and so free with their possessions that no one who has not witnessed them would believe it. When you ask for something they have, they say no. To the contrary, they offer to share with anyone.” [Zinn, Howard. (1980). A Peoples’ History of the United States: 1492-present, Page 4.] Later the same evening he noted in his diary, “They willingly traded everything they owned… They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features… They would make fine servants…” “They’ll be easier to conquer than I thought they would be.” [Clarke, John Henrik. (1993). Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: slavery and the rise of European capitalism. Page 30] Far from being appreciative of the gifts they’d bore him, his reaction upon receiving them was to “wonder why they’re bringing such small amounts of gold… I wonder where the mines are.” To find out where the mines were, he decided it best to “take some of the natives by force in order that they might learn and might give me information of whatever is in these parts.” Those he’d taken captive were Arawaks he’d noticed were wearing tiny golden earrings. Threatening to cut them with his sword, Columbus gave them an ultimatum: if they did not wish to be mutilated they would immediately lead him to the source of the gold. And so the captives obliged, first leading him to what is now known as Cuba, where only small amounts of gold were discovered, and then to Hispaniola. [Zinn, 1-3] On the island nation of Ayiti, now known as Haiti, Columbus found a large and peaceful population known as the Taino. Of them he wrote Queen Isabella that “with fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” [Clarke, 67] It was around Christmas time 1492, and Columbus and his crew mates immediately set about erecting a gigantic fortress, which they called Fort Navidad, to serve as a place of storage for any gold obtained from the local mines. Columbus and his crew initially tried to appear as if their goal was simply to set up trade relations with the local peoples. But in an ominous sign of things to come, when some of the Taino people refused to trade away as many of their bows and arrows as Columbus and his men would have liked, two of them “were run through with swords and bled to death.” [Zinn, 4]

an artist's rendition of the horrors Columbus brought upon the Arawak people

an artist’s rendition of the horrors Columbus brought upon the Arawak people

It was January of 1493 when Christopher Columbus, five months after leaving Spain in search of a Western route to Asia, finally journeyed back to Spain. (^) He was not returning to Ferdinand and Isabella empty-handed, however. Sailing across the Atlantic with him and his crew were some of Hispaniola’s natives who they’d captured and forced into slavery. In the absence of any measurable amount of gold to bring back to Isabella and Ferdinand, these slaves were brought for the purpose of enticing the Queen and King and convincing them of the need to finance an even larger expedition to return with Columbus to the islands. Meanwhile a total of 39 of Columbus’s companions from the 1492 voyage had been left behind in Haiti, stationed at Fort Navidad to store and keep watch over any gold they came across on the island.

And so, after months of letter-writing, Columbus was finally once again standing face to face with the King and Queen of Spain, and bearing with him news he was certain would sound delightful to the royal monarchs’ ears (the inaccuracy of it notwithstanding). The way he told it, he and his men had discovered such a large quantity of gold in the mines of just one island that the King and Queen simply could not believe it without seeing it for themselves! (As it turns out, they shouldn’t have believed it.) With a promise to bring back his majesties an almost endless supply of gold in addition to more captured slaves to do “whatever we want”, Isabella and Ferdinand entrusted Columbus with seven new ships, carrying a sizable a crew of more than 1,200 Spaniards to accompany him on his journey back to the island. [Zinn, 4]

Drawings published based on the first-hand testimony of Father Batolome de Las Casas

Drawings published based on the first-hand testimony of Father Batolome de Las Casas

Meanwhile, as Columbus was made his case before the Queen and King, the 39 men he’d left stationed at Fort Navidid were busying causing an immense amount of trouble on their own. Venturing out into the unfamiliar island, they quickly degenerated into a state of barbarity, breaking into villagers’ homes, raping native Taino women, and kidnapping small children who they used as their sex slaves. This obviously didn’t sit too well with the island’s native inhabitants, and soon local villagers attacked Fort Navidad, freeing the women and children who’d been taken captive. Columbus’s men who were responsible for the kidnappings were summarily executed by the Taino so as to prevent their committing further atrocities. But when Columbus returned to the island from Spain in November of 1493 and discovered his men had been killed, all hell broke loose, and the suffering of the natives of Haiti only intensified from then on out. In a violent sweep of rage, Spanish soldiers rounded up men, women and children from all over the island at gun-point and forced them into outdoor pens. Over time these pens, which were guarded around the clock by ferocious canines and vicious soldiers, became so tightly packed and overcrowded that it was impossible for them to freely move around. By the year 1495 thousands of Hispaniola’s natives were forced to work grueling hours of slave labor in the island’s mines in an unavailing search for gold. Another 500 people were placed on board a ship set sail for Spain, but due to the bitter and desolate climate conditions onboard the ship, 200 of them died before they made it to Spain, where they would have been consigned to slave labor for the rest of their lives.

Anyone over 13 years of age on the island of Hispaniola who failed to bring Columbus back the amount of gold he designated had their hands cut off and bled to death.

Anyone over 13 years of age on the island of Hispaniola who failed to bring Columbus back the amount of gold he designated had their hands cut off and bled to death.

Christopher Columbus and the Spaniards who accompanied him were hideously ruthless in the way they dealt with the indigenous people. Absolutely nothing was off-limits when it came to their getting hands on the fabled gold, even if it meant the mutilation of young children. In 1494 it was decreed that all persons fourteen years of age and older must work in the ‘gold’ mines from sun-up to sun-down. A gold-quota was set and every individual had to meet that quota or else suffer the extreme consequences. At the end of every three months if an individual had delivered unto Columbus the required amount of gold, he or she was given a copper token to be worn around their neck. If at the end of this period one was discovered not to be wearing a copper token around their neck, however, both of his or her hands were cut off and they were left to bleed to death. Being that Columbus and his men always set such unrealistically high quotas, many of the enslaved were forced to take their chances and run rather than face decapitation. This too ended abysmally, for once they were discovered they were viciously attacked and torn apart by the ferocious canines. Any captive who showed even the slightest hint of rebellion or resistance to Spanish occupancy either was immediately hung, or worse burned alive. Within just two years, 1495-1497, close to 125,000 people on Haiti had died from either “murder, mutilation, or suicide.” [Zinn, 5]

Natives who should any sort of resistance to Columbus and Spanish occupation were hung, mutilated or castrated.

Natives who showed any sort of resistance to Columbus and Spanish occupation were hung, mutilated or burned alive.

One man bearing witness to many of these most gruesome events was a Catholic Bishop, Father Bartolome de Las Casas, who as a young priest accompanied Columbus on more than a few of his conquests and expeditions. He soon discovered, however, that hearing about Columbus’s journeys while he sat comfortably giving his blessings was a completely different experience from actually witnessing them up close with his own eyes. Over time he would come around to becoming the single most vocal critic against the horrific treatment of the so-called ‘Indians’ by the Spanish explorers. Of the missions that he himself had been a part of, he said they served no other purpose than “to exasperate, ravage, kill, mangle, and destroy.” (*) He watched as Spanish soldiers took it upon themselves to literally “ride on the backs of the Indians as if they were in a hurry.” And, rather than having to walk on their own two feet, soldiers forced slaves to them from one place to another while they lay comfortably in their hammocks. Soldiers “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades.” Las Casas even told of one such incident in which two adolescent boys, no older than 10-12 years of age, were needlessly stopped by soldiers and subjected to harassment. Each of the boys was carrying a parrot on his arm. Upon seeing this, the Spaniards snatched them away from the boys and, keeping the parrots as their own, beheaded the two young boys. This the soldiers did “for fun”. [Zinn, 6] In his final assessment, Father de Las Casas cited some figures to help demonstrate how, from one island to the next, indigenous populations were nearly if not completely wiped off the face of the earth. In 1494 it was estimated that nearly 1 million aborigines inhabited the island of Hispaniola. By the time Las Casas arrived in 1508 the population had been reduced to a mere 60,000 people; and by 1514 – two decades after Columbus’s arrival – the population had shrunk to just 32,000.

spanish-conquest-1By no means did this unprecedented amount of genocide and destruction end with Columbus. As it would turn out, Columbus was simply the catalyst who kicked down the door for others to follow in his footsteps, men who were well-versed in the tactics of divide-and-conquer…Read original article on ushypocrisy.com

Investigations Force Feds to Revisit Murders of Civil Rights Era – COLORLINES

See on Scoop.itTHE LAW & INJUSTICE

There were many more killings than those of activists. A Louisiana black businessman’s murder is the latest case reporters have reopened.

See on colorlines.com

Boardwalk Empire and it’s Portrayal of Black Leadership

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

  The HBO series “Boardwalk Empire” (a show I watch faithfully) has taken a weird turn in storyline. This season they introduced a new character named Dr. Narcisse (played by Jeffrey Wright). …

See on mytruesense.org

Christopher Columbus: father of modern-day white supremacy (part 1)

Re-blogged from:  http://ushypocrisy.com

The popular mythology that has surrounded Christopher Columbus for the last five centuries, the exaltation of him as “discoverer” of the Americas a.k.a. the ‘New World’, was still being taught as part of elementary school curriculum and touted as historical fact in classrooms all across America as late as the dawn of the dawn of the 21st century, decades after many scholars had begun unmasking this lie. (*) In this version of history, not only was Columbus the first person of importance to step foot on the American continent, but he was also touted as a man of great distinction and honor. It isn’t until students enter the college-level (if they are so fortunate as to be able to attend college) that their history courses begin delving into the truth of Columbus’s alleged “discovery”, or into the truth about the rest of American history for that matter. By the time they’ve reached this point, however, students have been fed so many tales – like those of Columbus’s “great expeditions”, British Pilgrims landing on “Plymouth Rock”, and their subsequent harmonious feast of “Thanksgiving” with the less-cultivated “Indians” – so many times that they can recite them verbatim. By this time most students have already formed their basic opinions and their political ideology has all but hardened into impenetrable stone. Nevertheless, due to persistent and commendable efforts by scholars of African and Native American descent, in addition to some white and Jewish scholars who came to realize the true nature of European colonialism, the last 50-60 years have seen one blow dealt after the next to the deception that is the Columbus myth. As global populations emerged from underneath the desolate cloud of colonialism in the 20th century, so too did the truth. With that truth comes the stark reality that, if Christopher Columbus is to be recognized as the “founder” or “discoverer” of anything of consequence, it’s the unfortunate discovery that political advantages can be obtained by instilling in people a false belief in white superiority.

an artist's highly fictionalized version of Columbus's voyage to the 'New World.'

an artist’s highly fictionalized version of Columbus’s voyage to the ‘New World.’

Columbus had no part in discovering America in any way, shape or form. The Americas were discovered some 250 centuries ago by travelers from eastern Asia who likely crossed on foot across a theorized land bridge.These people relatively quickly populated the American continent from North to South, numbering anywhere from 50-75 million by the time of Columbus’s first encounter with the Arawak people of the Bahamas in 1492. [Zinn, Howard. (1980). A Peoples’ History of the United States: 1492-present. Page 18] In North and South America alike, people “were using irrigation canals, dams, were doing ceramics, weaving baskets, [and] making cloth out of cotton” for themselves. [Zinn, 19] In many Ancient American societies, as in Ancient African societies, “power was shared between the sexes and the European idea of male dominancy and female subordination in all things was conspicuously absent…” [Zinn, 20] This Ancient world, which was closer to being a truly egalitarian society than anything we can imagine today, was often referred to as the “New World” by members of the “Old World”, i.e. those living east of the Atlantic. For five-hundred years it has been taught that Christopher Columbus was the first explorer from the Old World to encounter the New World, but even this is a dubious claim. There are reports of everyone from the Ancient Egyptians to the Ancient Phoenicians and even the Vikings having made been to the New World or at least made contact centuries ahead of Columbus’s expeditions. (**) In fact when he first set sail on a quest for gold, Columbus’s original destination was East Asia, which he believed he’d reach by traveling west and circling the world. Once he’d reached the shores of the Bahamas by way of the Canary Islands, he was certain he’d found a western route to India (thus, the reason he dubbed the islands the “West Indies” and its inhabitants “Indians”). The first time he stepped foot on Cuba he believed he’d come upon the island nation of Japan. [Clarke, John Henrik. (1993). Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust: slavery and the rise of European capitalism. Page 31 

Columbus_explaining_his_discovery_to_King_Ferdinand_and_Queen_IsabellaIn order to adequately tell the story of Columbus’s journey, it’s essential that we first take into account the situation Europe was in at the time he set sail on his most famous voyage – a voyage being financed by none other than Spain’s renowned royal monarchs who, not coincidentally, were the most powerful monarchs in all of Europe. The European continent at the end of the 15th century was in many ways a desolate place. It was still emerging out from under the dark cloud of the Middle-Ages and the Crusades, which had seen Europe’s population drastically reduced by nearly 1/3rd. The marriage between the two Catholic monarchs, King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, breathed new life into Spain, which had for the previous 700 years been under the control of the Moors. The Royal couple’s marriage significantly brightened prospects for the future in the minds of many Europeans. For after centuries of Europeans slaughtering each other in the name of religious war between the competing ideologies of Catholicism and Protestantism (today we’d call this religious sectarian violence), Europe began setting its sights elsewhere on the globe. With these ambitions came a new era of European nationalism, nationalism not concerned with any potential havoc it might wreck on other regions of the world. Ferdinand and Isabella desired to accumulate the most gold, prestige and wealth they could obtain, and it was for this purpose that they financed Columbus’s expedition to Asia. In return for discovering and returning the wealth to the Royal House of Spain, Columbus was promised 10% of all the profits gained from the riches he found, governorship of all newfound lands, and he’d officially be knighted “Admiral of the Ocean Sea.” The tireless explorer had made plenty of promises, and for him falling short was simply not an option.

christopher-columbusslavery-clarkeThe voyage popularly known as “Columbus’s first voyage” may not have actually been his first after all. Small bands of Portuguese boats had been sailing up and down the coast of West Africa, which they unsurprisingly called the “Gold Coast”, since at least as early as 1438. Just as Columbus came to the Bahamas in search of the golden treasures of Asia, so too did the first Portuguese explorers wind up on Africa in search of a shorter route to Asia. [Clarke, 60] While it cannot be proved conclusively whether Columbus ever took part in these expeditions, which were in their infancy when Columbus himself was a child, circumstantial evidence exists that seems to suggest that he did. A primary example is an entry in his diary which reads, “As a man and boy, I sailed up and down the Guinea Coast for 23 years.” The only probable reason for him to have been repeatedly sailing back and forth the Coast of Guinea in these formative years was in all likelihood involvement in setting up what would later become the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. [Clarke, 27] And what did these sailors find when they first stepped upon the shores of Africa? Contrary to what’s been repeated and uncritically accepted as fact by some scholars for nearly five centuries, the Europeans did not come upon “savage”, “uncivilized” people who were living in some sort of “primitive” state in the jungles. Far from it, they came upon magnificent civilizations that dwarfed the size of anything found in Europe during the time. As the late highly-esteemed historian John Henrik Clarke put it, “There were, in the African past, rulers who extended kingdoms into empires, great armies that subdued entire nations, generals who advanced the technique of military science, scholars with wisdom and foresight, and priests who told of gods that were kind and strong.” It wasn’t until later, “with the bringing of the African into the New World, every effort was made to destroy his memory of having ever been part of a free and intelligent people.” [Clarke, 82-83] Not only did the people of Africa have their own technologically advanced civilizations, but also religious customs and a belief in a Higher Being that pre-date the development of Judaism, Christianity, Islam and every other major world religion by thousands of years. The justification most often cited by the powers of Europe (and still hinted at by American missionaries today) about spreading “Christian civilization” to “uncivilized” and “godless” nations and peoples are nothing but lies straight from the pits of hell. The only thing advanced about Europeans was that they had developed the gun, and without it they would never have succeeded in conquering the world. With the development of guns came mankind’s power to in effect play God; for with something as simple as pulling a trigger an entire life can be ended.

When the men from Portugal first stepped foot on the West Coast of Africa to what is now the nation of Ghana, they were greeted very warmly by the local population and were an object of immense curiosity. The Ghanaians treated these lost travelers with the utmost respect and dignity, and sought to accommodate them as one would a guest or tourist visiting from a foreign nation. The two peoples apparently became so fond of each other that they eventually established trading relations and the Portuguese were allowed to build several small trading posts along the Guinea Coast. This trading partnership would last for more than four decades. It was also during one of these travels to and from the West Coast of Africa that in either 1441 or 1442 – less than a decade before Columbus was born – several African slaves were brought to the European continent. King Afonso V of Portugal, upon seeing these foreign slaves as they arrived at his Court, mistook them to be visiting royalty from far-away kingdoms because of the clothes they wore and the gifts they bore him, all of it of exceptionally high quality. [Clarke, 27] Indeed, these were not slaves in the modern sense of the word. Europeans however, whose minds couldn’t even begin to grasp the different traditions and customs of Africa, would later use this practice as a means of justifying their own enslavement of Africans.

A realistic artistic depiction of an ancient Asante King in what is now Ghana. painted by  Alfred Smith.

A realistic artistic depiction of an ancient Asante King in what is now Ghana. painted by Alfred Smith.

These first Africans brought to Europe by Portuguese traders were in fact prisoners-of-war who’d been taken captive after being in on the losing side of a battle between warring African families, nations or tribes. This practice was a remnant of the commonly-practiced slavery of the Ancient World, a form of involuntary servitude which, as terrible as it was, bore little resemblance to the slavery emerging with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Slavery in the ancient pre-Columbus world, while by no means ideal or necessarily even tolerable, nevertheless existed at some point in every single region of the globe; in Europe, in Asia, and even the Americas. It was akin to what we now know as “indentured servitude” and was not determined by the amount of melanin in one’s skin. In the system as it was practiced in African cultures in particular, “the slave was usually a loser in a local war. He was not enslaved separately from his family and no slave was sent outside of Africa. Some slaves with talent rose to be kings in the very house in which they had been slaves.” [Clarke, 78] If one tribe or family was on the losing side of a conflict, they were taken captive and made to work for a designated period of time, and when that time was up they were free to return home. In contrast to the European-American system of slavery that followed, one was not born into slavery, nor was he a slave for life, nor was all of his descendants predetermined to be slaves. Most importantly, slavery did not exist on account of one race of people being recognized as inferior or subservient to another race. Without the designation of racial castes the extreme dehumanizing aspect was not altogether present. [Clarke, 51] Neither was there the incessant cracking of the slave-master’s whip, the unspoken rape of the women, the separation of entire families, or the sadistic acts of mutilation and torture of the European trade that are so rarely talked about. Europeans who understood nothing about African culture decided to misrepresent African customs and use them as a tool for propaganda. [Clarke, 97-98] The justification was that “Africans are enslaving other Africans, so why can’t we just enslave them all too?” To this very day there are those who insist that Africans are at least partially responsible for their own enslavement as well as all the other atrocities that have been visited upon their continent. Those who advocate this point of view, however, often brush under the rug the most ruthless tactics Europeans used to force Africans into the slave trade. These tactics were similar to modern-day proxy wars (not coincidentally a tactic often employed by the United States, most recently in Syria), in that the Europeans would pick one side in local conflicts and supply them with arms and ammunition in order so that they would carry out raids on enemy villages, kidnap the inhabitants and trade them off to their arms-suppliers, i.e. the Europeans. This is only part of the story though, because for every tribe that jumped at the chance to capture and trade away their adversaries in exchange for this advanced weaponry, there was another tribe that expressed discomfort at the thought of sending their neighbors off into foreign lands that they knew nothing of. Some altogether refused to take part in it, but many who didn’t wish to take part in this ugly scenario were forced to choose, quite literally, at gun-point. [Clarke, 53] The choice they were given was this: ‘Either you use these weapons to round up and deliver slaves to us, or we’ll just take our guns and ammunition and trade them with the next tribe so that they might use them to capture and enslave you and your family. It’s either them or you!

Emina Castle Fortress

Emina Castle Fortress

This was the atmosphere the Portuguese helped usher in when they returned to the trading posts in 1482 for what Ghanaians assumed was just another one of their many visits. Something was different now, however, and at least one King – Nana Kwamena Ansa – began taking notice of what he felt was a “strange difference” in the attitudes of the Portuguese men. He implied as much when addressing the Portuguese Commander, Diego de Azambuia. On one of their last cordial meetings, Nana Ansa remarked how “a great number [of your crew], richly dressed, are anxious to be allowed to build houses, and to continue to build among us.” This Ansa believed to be an unwise decision, for “the passions that are common to us all men will therefore inevitably bring disputes and it is far preferable that both our nations should continue on the same footing as they have hitherto have done, allowing your ships to come and go as usual; the desire of seeing each other occasionally will preserve peace between us.” [Clark. 45, 60] It wasn’t long after Nana Ansa delivered this warning that the Portuguese began building a huge fortress with the help of the Africans they’d befriended, a fortress to be known asEmina Castle. The Ghanaians did not know that they were being deceived, however, or that these men who professed to be their friends would use this fortress as a warehouse to them and their families in cages, stripping them of everything they knew and loved, before shackling them and loading them onboard a ship bound for the West.

A view from the top of the fortress of Emina Castle in Ghana.

A view from the top of the fortress of Emina Castle in Ghana.

"The Door of No Return" in which millions of Africans passed through before being loaded on board a ship headed westward, never to see their home continent again. Goree Island, Senegal.

“The Door of No Return” in which millions of Africans passed through as they were loaded on board a ship heading westward, never to see their home continent again. Goree Island, Senegal.

Castle Emina, which had a capacity of 1,000 people at a time, would be only the largest of the more than fifty slave posts set up along the the Guinea Coast. From one slave-post alone, located on the tiny island of Goree right off the coast of Senegal, millions of Africans walked through the “Door of No Return” before being loaded onto ships and sent on the nightmarish journey of the ‘Middle Passage.’ (^) Their skins were branded as if they were nothing more than chattel, and the untold number of men, women and children were so tightly packed below the top-deck that it created the most miserably intolerable conditions. The passengers could neither stand up straight nor lie down properly, having less room to move than “a man in his coffin.” Often a captive would have his or her ankle shackled to another captive’s. This was done in order to prevent potential escapes, revolts or suicides. The extreme heat inside the lower decks would for many prove unbearable; the air “reeked of excrement and infected sores.” [Clarke, 79] When upper deck’s door was occasionally opened for a split-second, the light of the sun shining through must have felt to the prisoners as if they were looking up at the earth’s surface from the deepest darkest pits of hell.

Although Portugal was primarily responsible for the very beginnings of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade (^^), the next three centuries would see them followed and superseded by nearly every major European nation that hoped to stake a claim and capitalize off this immensely profitable enterprise. The first slaves were brought from Africa to the Americas by Portuguese and Spanish conquistadors in the early 1500’s. [Gates, Henry Louis. (2011). Life upon These Shores: looking at African American history, 1513-2008. Pages 3-11]. For one hundred years Portugal and Spain enjoyed complete monopoly over the African slave-trading business, but as the 16th century they came to a close they found themselves in an uncomfortably close competition with the Netherlands. Later Denmark and Sweden joined in the business as well, but no nations came anywhere close to rivaling France and Great Britain once they came to dominate the slave trade in the 17th and 18thcenturies. And so, after centuries of ravaging, pillaging and raping the entire continent of Africa from the west coast to the east, north coast to the south, Europe came to view Africa as essentially little more than a breeding grounds for slaves, slaves who could be easily exploited and subjugated for Europe’s own financial gain while feeling no remorse at all. What had begun as a singular country’s enterprise had grown into an entire continent’s entire means of obtaining wealth. A viewpoint was born and nurtured over time out of the need to justify these actions, and soon it would become accepted as an undisputed fact. “This is just the way things are and were always meant to be,” people would tell themselves; with Europe the world’s dominant master and Africa its subservient slave. This false reality was propagated and expanded upon until it became for many an undisputed fact. From then on history books would only speak of Africa and its people as if their history had begun only begun with slavery. In reality, the Trans-Atlantic slave trade marked the turning point when Africa’s long history of technological progress, advancements, and place of pre-eminence in the world came to an abrupt halt, submerged in a state of despondency that it’s only recently begun recovering from.

A British blueprint of a slave ship, demonstrating how they were to pack as many Africans as possible into a ship for the nightmare known as the 'Middle Passage'.

A British blueprint of a slave ship, demonstrating how they were to pack as many Africans as possible into the ship’s lower decks for the nightmare journey known as the ‘Middle Passage’.

Just how many Africans lost their lives as a result of the slave trade (and later, in Europe’s “scramble for Africa” in the 20th century) is a number too large to ever realistically calculate. The figure most often cited by historians is likely far too conservative an estimate. (*^)  20thcentury writer John Weatherwax wrote in a short book published in 1963 titled The Man Who Stole a Continent that, of the more than 20 million Africans who were sold into bondage, there were “ten million [sent] to the Eastern Hemisphere and ten million to the Western Hemisphere.” In addition to those millions, some 80 million others died, many in the slave raids on their villages in which “the very young and the very old and the very sick were killed.” Others died “from exposure, disease and grief during shipment abroad, and some by suicide at the water’s edge or in transit.” [Weatherwax, page 3. Also quoted on Clarke, p. 48]

Words cannot express Read original on Author’s site 

 

RAISING JEDI KNIGHTS: RE-THINKING THE GOALS AND METHODS OF CHILD EDUCATION

Re-blogged from:  My True Sense
by Agyei Tyehimba

Wouldn’t it be interesting if we approached parenting in the same manner as preparing a Jedi Knight? This would require us to shift our focus from merely protecting, feeding, clothing, and teaching basic lessons, to preparing our children with the specific SKILLS, CHARACTER TRAITS, and ATTITUDES they would need to function effectively as adults and to defend and advance our communities long after we’re gone.

Notwithstanding white supremacy, the reason why so many (not ALL of them) of our young people find themselves lost, confused, and dysfunctional in the world is because we as their parents are not properly preparing them; frankly speaking, they are ill-equipped, and this reality sadly shows through the consistently poor decisions they make, their immaturity, their lack of initiative and motivation, and their inability to generally deal with life successfully. And this reality will continue until we become proactive in our parenting and creative in our approach to education. Essentially, such thinking would completely transform education as we know it, and result in the training of balanced and well-rounded young people, leaders and problem-solvers.

Is there a precedent for this? In most ancient cultures, children had to undergo rites of

Masai girls undergoing their Rites of Passage in Kenya.

initiation in which they were not considered an adult until they received certain training, passed several tests and demonstrated proficiency in the skills and qualities their village needed for survival and development. For instance, an initiate would learn how to hunt, build shelter, skin an animal for clothing, fight, and a number of other things. Wouldn’t it be interesting if our homes, schools and spiritual centers approached parenting in this way? We would identify the skills and qualities our children and need in the “real” world, create lessons and projects to impart such knowledge and skills, then test them to determine if they are adequately prepared. Some of these tests would be traditional written tests. Most trials would involve actually having to do something, avoid something, go without something, create something, withstand something, and so on. In short, this transformed educational process would be both abstract and functional . Wouldn’t preparation like this help to ensure that they grow into powerful and competent adults? Wouldn’t students and children be more willing to learn with such engaging and relevant activities?

In the epic Movie series “Star Wars,” the ancient rites of passage custom is captured

Master Jedi Knight Yoda training an apprehensive Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

through the training of “Jedi Knights,” warrior monks sworn to protect the galaxy and promote peace and cooperation. Initiates undergo a series of lessons and training, which conclude with a series of trials they must overcome. These trials cover 5 areas including the Trial of Skill, the Trial of Courage, the Trial of the Flesh, the Trial of Spirit, and the Trial of Insight or Knowledge.

Living as we do in contemporary times with a specific cultural, political and economic context, our training program would need some tweaking to be relevant. Perhaps such skills and qualities would include:

  • Washing dishes
  • Cleaning the home effectively
  • Cooking well-balanced, delicious and nutritious meals
  • Creating a business
  • Self-Defense (including martial arts and use of weapons)
  • Performing CPR
  • Swimming
  • Reading and writing… Read full article on author’s site

Pan-Africanism

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

Pan-Africanism is generally taken to mean that set of political ideas asserting that Africa is a single entity which must unite All the peoples of the continent are fundamentally similar They all b…

See on renegadeslave.wordpress.com

Honoring Huey Newton and Young Panthers February 17, 1942 August 22, 1989

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

Our mission is to unite every black family world wide ,We seek to foster a more unified and stronger black community in which our community is included and valued, by sharing ideas based on the challenges we .

See on www.reunionblackfamily.com

Seeing RED!

Re-blogged from: ThoughtLeader

AUTHOR: Gillian Schutte
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“What is the Red October movement hoping to achieve through its hate-based hodgepodge discourse that is a bizarre combination of radical left communist speak and backward racist doctrine, peppered with obtuse analysis and expedient misinterpretation of social statistics. No really — what do they see at the end of this tunnel vision? Do they think that if they send out enough verbal hate missiles the black population will simply disappear into thin air and they can get on with running the country along with workable roads, clean hospitals and job reservations for whites only?

The recipient of their vitriol is the black South African population, the members of which, it seems, are stealing all the jobs, torturing and murdering up to 17 white people a month and raping whites by the minute (and God knows they are not used to being raped by ethnics — as Steve Hofmeyr was quick to point out). Not only this, they (the blacks) simply cannot run a country and as a result all the hospitals are “filthy”, all the roads are up to shit, the entire country is falling to pieces and this is apparently, solely because white people are no longer in power.

But the discursive cherry on the top is the fact that genocide is being perpetrated against the white population in South Africa — barring the libtards, the communists, and shameless black-loving whites (like me) … because we are, according to this bunch — actively encouraging this genocide.

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**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB1e.jpg

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**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB1e.jpg

But as Facebook friend Alcide Herveaux points out: “The genocide story is ridiculous. 1.2% of the murders happening in SA annually are white according to 2009 Medical Research council stats. Whites make up almost 9% of population. According to Sunette’s stats of 17 murders per month it is around 200 white murdered per year. The rest of the 15 000 are other races.”

When asked about their claim that white Afrikaners are undergoing level six genocide in South Africa, Sunette Bridges is quick to say that is not about the numbers of people being killed — genocide takes on all forms of oppression, which lead to final genocide. This includes it seems “giving jobs to black people” and “renaming the cities and towns after African indigenous names”. Getting rid of the names of apartheid oppressors is genocide? Really? This document cites the South African government as being active in the encouragement of the genocide of white farmers in South Africa.

it does not seem to matter to them that we are all sympathetic to murder of any kind but that we cannot support the fabrication of facts and figures to present one group as being the victims of a genocide, which cannot be proved to actually exist.

Apparently as Bridges told radio presenter Rowena Baird in an interview on SAfm, it is also about the president once singing Umshini Wami — to which Bridges has liberally added the words — “rape the dogs”. When it was pointed out to her by Baird that we would clearly hear the word izinja in the song if it were indeed there, Bridges raised her voice to an imperious attack that implied that Baird, a mere black, had no right to question her truth. Her tone was indeed, a metaphorical sjambok and Baird had to grit her teeth and get through the tense interview without losing it — kudos to her for such fortitude.

You can listen to the podcast here.

After the radio interview this commentary was to be found on Bridges Facebook site in relation to Baird.

**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB5.jpg

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**for TRANSLATION see END OF POST 2013/10/FB5.jpg

Then came the Aljazeera show about Red October, which I was invited to participate in. I turned it down based on my understanding that it is useless to argue against their irrational racism — I prefer to write at them than go blue in the face on a public podium about it. Besides which I think it is black people to whom they must answer, not fight with me about what sort of white I am.

In the show both Dan Roodt and Bridges were strident and confident that the pearls of swine wisdom that fell from their lips was the God’s honest truth. The rest of us were “pathetic libtards” as some tweeted during the show. But this comes as no surprise as according to them some of us are even “black-cock-loving social terrorist morons” among other delightful multi-epithets.

During the show Roodt and Bridges claimed they are “human-rights activists” and it was implied — after the show on social media — that we “the communists”, are actively working to rob them of their rights to cultural expression. More likely though is that we are actively working to reflect back to them their sense of entitlement at their so-called God-given right to be white, arrogant, superior, hateful and sanctimonious. Why? Because some of us do in fact respect and celebrate diversity and will not stand idly by while the right wing create a propaganda machinery of prejudice and anti-black hate mongering while also attributing this malice to all whites.

(I do have to add though, that at least with this lot we know what we are dealing with and they do not have the arrogant temerity to say dubious things like “I agree with the content but will punish her for tone”. Get over yourselves. If you agreed with the content you would not inadvertently feed right-wing supremacy by fighting about tone.)

**Translation exists in image itself

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**Translation exists in image itself

Anyway, moving on from liberal hypocrisy back to white supremacy …

I asked the question in my video contribution on the Aljazeera The Stream show (click here to see the show) what the systemic machinery is that the right-wing discourse seeks to create or feed into with their homily of fear and the demonisation of blackness. Though I have written about this before it became very clear to me while listening to their ludicrously constructed arguments, that what they seek to do first and foremost is discredit and demonise black South Africans — but mostly black South African men. It is black South African men who they perceive as the biggest threat to their wealth, privilege and status quo. Thus everything they put out, from xenophobia to crime, to baby rape, to corrective rape, to women abuse, to corruption, is placed squarely at the feet of black men. They spend a lot of their time and resources feeding this myth through curating stories of black male crime and corruption — totally overlooking white crime of course. This is the war of patriarchs. It is the discursive space in which the white Afrikaans patriarchs of the right wing pit themselves against those whom they perceive as the next wave of patriarchal power players.

The terms in which they speak of “the blacks” are disgusting and dehumanising. The right wing will “plagiarise” the language of many ideologies and appropriate anyone else’s struggle vocabulary, as long as it suits their discourse of demonising the black SA male. They will use African foreigner’s concerns about xenophobia and black lesbian narratives about corrective rape (without their consent) to push their own white anti-black male propaganda. See video in this article.

They even refer to our government as “a communist government and the ANC a far left-wing terrorist group”. And President Zuma is referred to as a “Kaffer Dog” in one of the screen shots that has been doing the rounds this week.

Besides being really obtuse and even infantile, this is pure hate speech and defamation. But where is the outrage? Besides a handful of mostly Afrikaans protestors the white middle class has been particularly silent over this furore.

**Translation exists in image itself

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**Translation exists in image itself

We know though that largely the white middle class and their gatekeepers choose to get outraged over things that insult them directly, like utterances made by Zuma about how whites “treat dogs better than their gardeners”, or the banning of The Spear — yet they remain silent when movements that host up to 40 000 white followers insult the entire black population with heinous public invectives. What’s up with that? Is this elitism, hypocrisy or just plain indifference? One would imagine that it is important to take on the wave of hate speech that has hit our public spaces and that some have said “reeks of possible treason and defames an entire nation of people”, based on their skin tone.

There are of course white people who care enough to make a stand and some Afrikaans anti-racist activists have been actively lobbying against the Red October campaign and infiltrating right-wing sites with satire, parody and mockery to destabilise the ongoing narrative. One such group is Suid Afrikaners op wie ons Trots is en vir wie ons Skaam kry, the initiator of which, Hendrik Potgeiter, has been recording hate speech found on the sites of Bridges, Hofmeyr and Roodt.

Here is a link to an album that has screen grabs of the most heinous examples of the hate speech that permeates our public spaces right now. (You will need to register to see pics in full size.)

You can follow their campaign on Facebook here.

At the end of the day though it is black people who these white supremacists are attacking and attempting to dehumanise with their discourse of hate — and it is black people to who they must answer. There are rumours afoot of a group of black activists beginning a movement called The People vs Red October, in which they plan to start a class action suit against the Red October group for defamation of the entire black South African population. They also plan to call on the government to take this hate speech seriously and begin to find ways to deal with it through the judicial system.

Perhaps it is also time for the right wing to reflect on the manner in which they are being manipulated by the leaders of Red October into becoming their own worst enemies as they buy into the construct of an imaginary genocide and declare a hate-filled discursive war against the entire black population.

And perhaps it is also time for many more white South Africans to also openly and publicly join the call to stop racism.”; view original post on Thoughtleader

** TRANSLATION of 2013/10/FB1e.jpg: Nou mak dit als sin” – Now it all makes sense.  “Maak my siek!!!!!!!!!” – Makes me sick!!!!!!!!! “Vieslik. Wens ek kon op haar kots.” – Disgusting.  Wish I could throw up on her.  “Shame, so ‘n pragtige paartjie, so fotogenies, so rasig,somooi want mens mag mos nou nie meer ‘n rassis wees, lekker man lekker” – Shame, such a beautiful couple, so photogenic, so ‘racial’, so pretty because we’re not allowed to be racist anymore, nice man nice. “lol”lol  “ugh”ugh (meaning ‘yuck’/not good/disgusting).

** TRANSLATION of 2013/10/FB5.jpg:  Sy lyk soos Malemmer se sussie” - she looks like Malema’s (referring to Julius Malema)  sister.  “Dis mos kamstig waar ons vandaan kom. lmga”Thats apparently where we come from. Laughing my ass off.  “Nee Carlo dis mos ‘n subspesie soos Buks gese het” – No Carlos thats a sub-specie like Buks said.  “Is dit ‘n man of ‘n vrou wonder maar net” –  Is it a man or a woman. Just wondering.  “bccsa@nabsa dit is die organisasie waaran ‘n mens skryf om ‘n klagte te le teen die meid se rassisme maar ek glo nie hulle verstaan baie Afrikaans nie alhoewel hulle elke klagte na die saBC aanstuur” – bccsa@nabsa.co.za thats the organisation one writes to in order to lay a charge against the maid’s racism but I dont think they understand Afrikaans.   woze Rowena..die medem soek bietjie koffie! En jy maak dit ordentlik of ek wetter vir jou terug katnong toe!  (Dis al wat Rowena vir goed is!  Moet dit nooit vergeet nie!” – Woza (mocking black people) Rowena… the madam (“Madam” Apartheid/racist slur meaning ‘your white boss’ refers to female) wants coffee! And you better make it a decent cup or I swear I’ll send you back to Katnong!  (thats all Rowena is good for! Don’t ever forget that!!).

A comprehensive guide to white privilege in South Africa

Re-blogged from ThoughtLeader

AUTHOR:  Gillian Schutte

“After spending two hours on Aubrey Masango’s Radio 702 show Talk@9 this week, fielding questions and accusations around my views on racism and attempting to explain white privilege to white callers, I decided to write an extensive guide to recognising white privilege, borrowing from this anonymous Thought Catalog document, which extrapolates from Richard Dyer’s work on white privilege, and reworking it into the South African context…

1. White privilege, like whiteness itself, is almost indefinable to white people. There are few words to describe the invisible. However, white privilege is only invisible to white people and to those people of colour/black people who benefit and buy into white privilege.

2. Many whites in South Africa are generally unwilling to engage in the topic of racism – most crying out that we “must move beyond race’ and that they “do not see colour”. This is the new phenomenon of “colourblind racism” that denies and ignores the fact that for people of colour/black people, race still matters because they still experience it. This is because colourblind white people still practice racism.

They will make blanket statements like “we don’t have slavery anymore” or “there’s a black president now” or, even worse, “all of that stuff happened so long ago.” But that’s just it – it didn’t happen all that long ago, actually, and it is still happening. Cultural amnesia.

3. These white folk will make statements such as “we don’t have apartheid anymore” or “there’s a black president now” and “all of that stuff happened so long ago and now there is BEE which has made us the victims of black racism or black supremacy”. But 20 years is not that long ago and it will take decades for the pain and destruction of our history to subside.

4. Because of the transitional system of reconciliation, which seemed only to benefit white folk – coupled with the implementation of a business-biased macroeconomic policy – whites have continued to benefit hugely from the system. Economic studies have shown that many whites have in fact grown richer in the past 20 years – while the majority of blacks and smaller pockets of whites and minority groups have just grown poorer.

5. Yes, there is a burgeoning black middle class and many white people will often use this to point out that blacks are taking over and “stealing” their opportunities. This sense of ownership over opportunities is a sure sign of white privilege.

6. White privilege means not recognising that there is no such thing as Black Supremacy as black folk have not occupied and oppressed the world under a dominant ideology of Blackness.

7. There were also no “benefits” to black people under the colonial and apartheid rule, though some whites will argue that whites “brought civilisation to Africa for the blacks”. They did not. They built “civilisation” on the backs of black slavery, for themselves, and were just recently forced to share the spoils of their exploitative history with the indigenous people of this land.

8. This is because black people fought a long and hard struggle to overturn a system from which they received no benefits. White privilege means you do not make the connection between the struggle and a system of historically racialised oppression.

9. Whenever BEE comes up as a way to create opportunities for the previously disadvantaged, a white person is sure to say, “Race shouldn’t matter as much as merit. I don’t think people should be judged on the colour of their skin. Everyone should be judged regardless of their colour.” So why then do white people continue to judge black people according to their skin colour? Why does critique of blackness by the white regime always centre on their morphology, their blackness, ‘their culture‘, ‘their penis‘, ‘their bad use of English‘ among other things? This message is implicit and sometimes explicit in white critique of blackness, whether in news reportage, art, satire, cartoons or columns.

10. The default here is that white people have more merit and capability and are therefore more deserving of opportunities.

11. White privilege is accusing people of drawing the race card when whites are critiqued for being racist and then saying skin colour has got nothing to do with it.

12. As per Thought Catalog, “It is true race isn’t theoretically about skin colour,” race is “a systemic, governmental, juridical set of processes” rooted firmly in an exploitative history that have embedded “racial inequalities”. Race is a set of laws that are entrenched to favour whiteness and that most often vicitimise black folk.

13. Race is the law that becomes apartheid and is then replaced by neo-colonialism. As the poster on Thought Catalog points out, race is the hysterical “stereotype that if a black family moves into a neighbourhood”, property values plummet and noise levels go up, as we often see locally, when too many black kids move into a private or public school it soon sees whites leaving the school. Race is shooting 44 striking black men dead because black working class bodies still have very little value in a white dominated system and many white people will think and say that they deserved it. Race is the common white assumption that all black people are lazy even though between 4am and 7am, the streets are filled with black folk making their way to badly paid jobs in white areas because they work hard to survive and feed and clothe their families.

14.

White privilege is reflected the second a person asks why we are still talking about race.

15. These people act offended, angry and often hyper-aggressive if another person calls out and probes their white privilege. As pointed out on Thought Catalog,they assert vociferously that questioning their whiteness is “reverse discrimination”. They accuse white people who interrogate whiteness of being mad and ‘other’ them in dehumanising terms.

16. White privilege is accusing a black person who critiques whiteness of being racist.

17. White privilege is asking your badly paid maid to unpack your daily clothes-buying splurges in which you spend more in one day than you pay her for the month.

18. White privilege is asserting on a public platform that a white woman learning to Twerk is some sort of nation building exercise.

19. There are 56-million people in South Africa. Half of those people live below the breadline – the majority of poor people are black. This means they are trapped in a system that favours whiteness and white business at the expense of the poor. Many white people will blame this entirely on the government and while government must be critiqued for failing to adequately change the system and deliver to the poor, white people refuse to see the role of white greed and corporate power in this systemically skewed and racialised economy.

20. White privilege is investing in red rhino horns and demonising impoverished black poachers while never once considering marching against hunger or pointing their fingers at those at the top of the value chain in poaching, which is, sometimes, a white game farm owner.

21.

“I don’t see race” or “we should all just look past race” are two general statements that can only be said by a person for whom race is not a daily struggle.

22. White privilege is entrenched entitlement because it is the authority to continuously demand presence of whiteness in all transformation processes and using black representation to further their “causes” only when it suits them. If white people are not in charge of transformation processes, which has become a white industry, they cry racism.

23. If black organisations spring up to take charge of their own representation and transformation white people will use sympathetic media to make a huge hullaballoo about the exclusion of whiteness and label it racism instead of seeing it as self-determination. This has ensured that the means-of-production has mostly remained in the hands of white business and has created another industry from which whites can benefit – the constant training of black people.

24. White privilege is being able to endlessly exploit black body for financial gains and pat themselves on their backs for doing “good” and “beneficial” work.

25. White privilege is the groundless fear that affirmative action programs are going to open the way for “the blacks to take over”, or more specifically to take “my position” at university or in the workplace. As the poster on Thought Catalog points out, white privilege is the assumption that the position is yours by default of being white.

26. In South Africa black people have also often been overlooked for coloured or Indian people for leadership positions in institutions of learning. This is because white people perceive minorities as less threatening and have more inherent trust in those who are not “fully black”. It is a deeply entrenched prejudice towards blackness that has been cultivated and passed down from generation to generation over the past four centuries.

27. White privilege is not noticing that in a country that is majority black and has a black government, the amount of black teachers and lecturers in schools, colleges and universities is not representative of the country’s demographics. Neither is the number of black directors of NGOs in civil society, or owners of film companies and media outlets. The corporate world remains largely untransformed too.

28. White privilege is blaming this on perceived black incompetence rather that seeing how the system is designed to provide opportunities for white people, then Indian and coloured people, and lastly black people, excluding the small black elite and elements of burgeoning black middle class. This is the racialised hierarchy of privilege entrenched in the apartheid system and still in place today. White privilege is accepting this status quo to preserve white benefit and ignoring the negative impact it has on the next generation.

29. White privilege is also blaming the poor for their poverty instead of looking at systemic issues that create poverty.

30. White privilege means not constantly having your intelligence or integrity questioned just because you are black. It means not having to work that much harder just to safeguard yourself from deleterious critique when you achieve prominence. It means never having to second-guess yourself about your competence or being sideswiped by disparaging comments by white people who are shaken by your success. It means not automatically being suspected of being open to corruption. It means not being racially profiled as the rapist, the tsotsi, the hijacker and the monster in the shadows, simply because you are black and male. It means that if you are raped you are more likely to see justice.

31. Whiteness is invisible to white people.

A white person doesn’t think of themselves as white. We are just people.

White people very quickly revert to being white when they need to differentiate themselves from perceived “bad behaviours” of “these people” though.

32. As the Thought Catalog poster points out, when we talk about white privilege, we’re not only talking about being wealthy. Wealth is about class and we all know there is a small elite class of black and minority groups in South Africa (onto whom many whites project all elements of corruption and unfair power acquisition as they somehow think blacks do not deserve to be rich). What we are talking about a set of automatic but invisible advantages, like never being told that we speak well.

No one has ever told me that I have good diction or that I speak well because I’m white.

It means never having someone walk towards you with a face-cracking smile that seeks to prove that this white person is okay with black folk and is inwardly congratulating herself for her magnanimous and non-racial attitudes. It means never being spoken to in broken stilted English in a fake African accent.

33. White privilege is knowing that the stuff you are taught at schools and universities is largely centred on your culture and value system.

34. White privilege is appropriating aspects of black culture in carnivalesque situations such as Rag or pantomime or as some kind of fun celebration but then returning to whiteness with no inkling of the experience of living black.

35. White privilege is claiming you are “African” and into “Ubuntu” but doing and saying nothing about the inequalities you see around you, thus maintaining your white privilege while assuming commonality and brotherhood with those exploited by the system of which you are a beneficiary.

36. It means co-opting and appropriating black words to push your own business while not fully understanding or practicing the meaning of the indigenous knowledge that you colonise with little reflection on the privileged act of stealing from black awareness.

37. White privilege is thinking it is normal to say you are not racist because you have no problem with “these people”.

38.

Not all white people are racist, but all white people have white privilege.

This is so even in a country that is African – because we belong to and are privileged by a “white regime” that is global and not just a local neo-colonial phenomenon.

I know I have white privilege, and that definitely impacts how I relate to the world and it shapes the kinds of relationships I cultivate … When you understand your own white privilege, you’ll be better equipped to see and understand systemic discrimination and inequality.

39. The first step to overcoming racism is recognising you have white privilege. You cannot deconstruct a social construct if you do not recognise how you have benefitted from it as a white person. While I have never really been economically privileged, with a single-mother household for most of my childhood, I know I have white privilege and that definitely effects how I relate to society and shapes how I choose to live in the world.

When you are cognisant of your own white privilege, you are better equipped to “see and understand systemic discrimination and inequality” and begin to deconstruct it from within. It is hard to imagine being anti-racist without being anti-imperialst and anti-neoliberal as these are the very systems that perpetuate inequality and racism globally.”

40. I am sure there are many more examples of white privilege and I invite readers to please add to this list by sending me your examples of white privilege….”; Gillian Schutte at ThoughtLeader

THE POWER OF NAMING by Max Dashu

STEREOTYPING entire peoples as mad, uncontrollable threats: “Wild Indians,” “Yellow Hordes” or “the Yellow Peril.” As inferior nonhumans: “primitives,” “savages,” “gooks,” “niggers” — this last term used not only against African-Americans, but also by 18th-century English colonizers of Egypt and India. Even the word “natives,” which originally meant simply the people born in a country and by extension the aboriginal inhabitants, took on heavy racist coloration as an inferior Other.

POLARIZATION: “Scientific thought” vs. “primitive belief”; “undeveloped” vs “civilized”; or “the world’s great religions” vs. “tribal superstitions,” “cults,” “idolatry” or “devil-worship.” Depending on where it was created, a sculpture could either be a “masterpiece of religious art” or an “idol,” “fetish,” or “devil.” Few people realize that “Western” scientists did not match the accuracy of ancient Maya calculations of the length of the solar year until the mid-20th century.

RENAMING: Dutch colonists called the Khoi-khoi people “Hottentots” (stutterers). Russians called the northwest Siberian Nentsy “Samoyed” (cannibals). These are blatant examples, but many nationalities are still called by unflattering names given by their enemies: “Sioux” (Lakota); “Miao” (Hmong); “Lapps” (Saami); “Basques” (Euskadi); “Eskimos” (Inuit). European names have replaced the originals in many places: Nigeria, Australia, New Caledonia, New Britain, etc. (But “Rhodesia” bit the dust, after a revolution.)

DEGRADATION OF MEANINGS: “Mumbo jumbo” has become a cliché signifying meaningless superstitions, but it comes from a Mandinke word — mama dyambo — for a ritual staff bearing the image of a female ancestor. (Look it up in any good dictionary.) “Fetish” now connotes an obsessive sexual fixation, but originated as a Portuguese interpretation of sacred West African images as “sorcery” (feitição). The holy city of Islam is often appropriated in phrases like “a Mecca for shoppers.”

DOUBLE-THINK: Conquest becomes “unification,” “pacification,””opening up,” and conquered regions are dubbed “protectorates.” The convention is to use Europe as the standard, writing texts from the viewpoint of the conquerors / colonizers. Thus, a Rajasthani rebellion against English rule was termed the “Indian Mutiny.” A peculiarity of this thinking is the tendency to refer to times of bloody invasions and enslavement with respectful nostalgia, as in “The Golden Age of Greece” and “The Glory That Was Rome,” or “How the West Was Won.” British subjugation of southern Nigeria is recast as The Pacification of the Primitive Tribes of the Lower Niger.

A contributor to Men Become Civilized, edited by Trevor Cairns, explains it all to children:

“When the king of one city conquered others, he would have to make sure that all the people in all the cities knew what to do. He would have to see that they all had rules to follow, so that they would live peacefully together.”

Double-think finds ways to recast genocide as regrettable but necessary, due to failings of the people being killed, who are somehow unable to “adapt.” Distancing the agent is key here, obscuring the violence with the idea that some kind of natural process is at work: “vanishing races,” “by that time the Indians had disappeared.”

Read THE POWER OF IMAGES by Max Dashu here

IF IT WAS GREAT, IT MUST HAVE BEEN WHITE by Max Dashu

A 19th century French engraving imagines the conquest of Algeria as a showering of the benefits of superior civilization on abject, genuflecting North Africans.

Continued from:  “Racism History and Lies “

IF IT WAS GREAT, IT MUST HAVE BEEN WHITE: If advanced science, art, or architecture is found in Africa or South America, then Phoenecians, Greeks, Celts, Vikings (or, in the extreme case, space aliens) must be invoked to explain their presence. (Here, whiteness often functions as a relative concept, as “lighter than.”) This bias gives rise to a pronounced tendency to date American or African cultures later than warranted, and as a result dating for these regions is constantly having to be revised further back into the past as evidence of greater antiquity piles up.

Corollary: IF IT WAS WHITE, IT MUST HAVE BEEN GREAT. Thus, the conqueror Charlemagne was a great man, in spite of his genocidal campaign against the Saxons, but the Asian conquerors Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan were simply evil. Stereotypes of head-hunters picture Africans (in the absence of any evidence for such a practice there) but never Celtic head-hunters in France and Britain — much less Lord Kitchener making off with the Mahdi’s skull in Sudan, or U.S. settlers taking scalps and body parts of Indian people. This doctrine also underlies the common assumption that European conquest must have improved life for subject peoples.

 IF IT WAS NOT WHITE, AND ITS GREATNESS IS UNDENIABLE, THEN IT MUST BE DEPRECATED IN SOME WAY:  Example:The Epic of Man, published in the ’60s by Time/Life Books, says of the advanced civilization of ancient Pakistan: “It is known that a static and sterile quality pervaded Indus society.” It used to be the academic fashion to call ancient Egypt a “moribund” civilization which “stifled creativity.” Similar writings dismissed the “Incas” (Quechua) as “totalitarian,” or the Chinese as “isolated” and “resistant to change,” ignoring their interchange with steppe societies as well as Southeast Asian cultures.

Original post at Suppressed Histories

RACISM, HISTORY AND LIES by Max Dashu

Some doctrines of racial supremacy as classically taught
in Euro/American institutions, textbooks and media:

PHYSICAL CALIBRATION DOCTRINE:   In which white anthropologists treat people as racial specimens, measuring “cephalic indices” and attempting to prove superiority of the “white” brain. Ugly racist terminology: “prognathism,” “platyrhiny,” “steatopygous,” “sub-Egyptian.” Mug-shot lineups of “the Veddan female,” “Arapaho male, “Negroid type,” “Mongoloid specimen” characterize this approach. Out of favor in the mid-20th-century, it has enjoyed a revisionist comeback with sociobiology and works claiming racial differentials in intelligence, such as “The Bell Curve.”

TECHNOLOGICAL CALIBRATION DOCTRINE:   Insists on forcing archaeological finds as well as living cultures into a grid of “development” based on whether tools, materials and techniques valued by “Western” scholars were in use. Example: “They were a stone age civilization who never discovered the wheel!” This model forces cultures into a progressional paradigm: Old and New Stone Ages, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Industrial Revolution, Space Age. This classification ignores the complexity of culture, and the fact that metallurgic technology and military might are not the ultimate measure of advanced culture.

STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT DOCTRINE:  The assumption that “primitive” cultures represent lower “stages” in historical evolution, and have yet to attain advanced forms of culture. One English scholar referred to “the child-races of Africa.” Usually, social hierarchy, militarization and …”;

Read more

Tell me again why we should forget

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

“I see that you haven’t forgotten Pearl Harbor yet

Tell me again why you say you can’t

You paid everyone else for their time in the camps

 

Tell me again why we should ignore

The many times…”; 

 .

See on www.reunionblackfamily.com

Native Americans according to the first Western accounts

RE-BLOGGED FROM:  http://abagond.wordpress.com

“The first accounts of Native Americans, the native peoples of the Americas, that were widely read in the West were those of Columbus in 1493 and Amerigo Vespucci in 1505. Vespucci’s account was so well known that the new land was called America, after his Latin name, Americus.

Columbus in his letter of 1493, speaking about…”; via @JulianAbagond

Timeline Photos | Facebook

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https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blacks-History-And-Africa-Education/299199820174323?ref=hl
“Letter from King Leopold II of Belgium to Colonial Missionaries, 1883 .2 .Convert always the blacks by using the whip. Keep their women in nine months of
submission to work freely for us. Force them to pay you in sign of recognition-goats, chicken or
eggs-every time you visit their villages. And make sure that niggers never become rich. Sing every
day that it’s impossible for the rich to enter heaven. Make them pay tax each week at Sunday mass.
Use the money supposed for the poor, to build flourishing business centres. Institute a confessional
system, which allows you to be good detectives denouncing any black that has a different
consciousness contrary to that of the decision-maker. Teach the niggers to forget their heroes and to
adore only ours. Never present a chair to a black that comes to visit you. Don’t give him more than…”; READ MORE/ORIGINAL POST at “Blacks History And Education” on FB

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AFRIKA : AFRIKAN POWER IN AN EUROCENTRIC WORLD

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

Our mission is to unite every black family world wide ,We seek to foster a more unified and stronger black community in which our community is included and valued, by sharing ideas based on the challenges we .

See on www.reunionblackfamily.com

“Stop Saying Columbus ‘Discovered’ the Americas—It Erases Indigenous History”

Re-blogged from:  Moorbey

christopher_columbus_on_santa_maria_in_1492.

Christopher Columbus on Santa Maria in 1492.

Just over a hundred years ago in Peru, a tall history professor from Yale University left his camp in a valley northwest of Cusco, and walked through cloud forest to a mountain ridge more than 7,500 feet above sea level. There, high above the roaring Urubamba river, he found an ancient stone citadel; sculpted terraces of temples and tombs, granite buildings and polished walls that were covered in centuries of vines and vegetation.

Hiram Bingham had stumbled across the Inca site of Machu Picchu, the site he believed to be the ‘Lost city of the Incas’. ‘Machu Picchu might prove to be the largest and most important ruin discovered in South America since the days of the Spanish conquest,’ he wrote in the 1913 edition of the National Geographic.

But his words were misleading. Bingham hadn’t ‘discovered’ Machu Picchu. Nor was it ‘lost’. He may have alerted it to the western scientific world – for there were no accounts of it in the chronicles of the Spanish invaders – but local tribes must have been aware of its existence. Yet Christopher Heaney, a Fellow at the University of Texas and author of a book on Hiram Bingham, claims the historian was amazed to discover an indigenous family close to the citadel. ‘When he climbed the mountain he was very surprised to find an Indian family at the top of the ridge,’ he said. Why Bingham was surprised is bewildering in itself.

It is unlikely that his terminology had adverse ramifications for the local indigenous peoples, but the language of colonists has long had a tragic part to play in the destruction of tribal peoples across the world. For centuries, tribal lands have been referred to as ‘empty’ in order to justify their theft for commercial, military or conservation reasons. After all, if a region is uninhabited, so the expedient thinking goes, there are by definition no human rights to address. Similarly, racist prejudices – the labeling of tribal peoples as ‘backward’, ‘uncivilized’ or ‘savage’ – have inculcated a popular attitude of disrespect and fear, so underpinning (and even justifying, in the perpetrator’s mind), the appalling treatment to which tribal peoples have been subjected.

When European settlers landed on the shores of Australia, they claimed the land was ‘terra nullius’ – land belonging to no one. It wasn’t. The Aboriginal people had lived there for perhaps 50,000 years yet the concept of ‘terra nullius’ was only properly overthrown in 1992, allowing the lands to be stolen legitimately from the people who had first occupied the continent. Under British colonial law, Aboriginal people had no rights; they were deemed too ‘primitive’ to be owners. In just over 100 years from the first invasion, the Aboriginal population was reduced from an estimated one million to only 60,000.

Similarly, when the trade winds carried Christopher Columbus to the ‘New World’ in 1492, he had in fact arrived in the homelands of peoples who had lived there for millennia: tribes who had their own successful laws, rituals, beliefs, values, ways of life and religions. ‘The whites shout out today, “We discovered the land of Brazil,”’ says Davi Kopenawa, a Yanomami spokesman, ‘as if it were empty! As if human beings hadn’t lived in it since the beginning of time!’ a thought echoed by Megaron Txukarramae, a Kayapo Indian when he said, ‘The land that the whites called Brazil belonged to the Indians. You invaded it and took possession of it.’

The reality of course is that South and North America were not ‘new,’ Australia was not ‘empty’ before Europeans arrived and Machu Picchu was not ‘discovered’ in 1911. ‘The phrase ‘discovery’ of America is obviously inaccurate,’ wrote the linguist and philosopher Professor Noam Chomsky. ‘What they discovered was an America that had been discovered thousands of years before by its inhabitants. Thus what took place was the invasion of America – an invasion…”; Read more/original post on Moorbey.wordpress.com

Timeline: Congo & Great Zimbabwe

10_1a2nd century AD – beginning of Iron Age

10th century – Late Iron Age, cattle-keeping community established at Leopard’s Kopje, near modern Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

11th century – Late Iron Age

1200 – Beginning of Great Zimbabwe state

1400 – Most of Great Zimbabwe stone buildings completed. Capital of BaKongo kingdom fixed at Mbanza Kongo

1482 – Portuguese adventurer, Diogo Cao, arrives at the mouth of the River Kongo.
First European contract with BaKongo

1491 – Manikongo (king) of Kongo, Nzinga a Nkuwu, is christened Joao II

1500 – Great Zimbabwe finally abandoned

1506 – Affonso I (formerly Nzinga Mbemba) becomes Manikongo (king) of Kongo

15th century – Great Zimbabwe decline. Movement of people North East to found Mutapa state and towards the south to establish Torwa state

1512 – Portuguese design coat of arms for Manikongo

1593 – Portuguese build Fort Jesus in Mombasa

1631 – Sultan Muhammad Yusif bin Hassan massacres Portuguese garrison in Fort Jesus

1639 – Queen Nzinga of Ndongo, in modern Angola, begins military campaign against Portuguese

1665 – Kongo defeated by Portuguese at battle of Mbwila

1689 – Fort Jesus falls to Omani Arabs

1704 – Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita claims to be possessed by St. Anthony. She founds a church and launches a mission to revive Kongo’s former glory

1706 - Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita burnt at stake for heresy

1850 – Ovimbundu traders, in the middle of modern Angola, reach Lamba of Northern Rhodesia

1856 – Msiri, Nyamwezi trading king, establishes his seat of power in Katanga, in the southern part of modern DR Congo

1873 – Zanzibar slave market closed down

From:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/10chapter1.shtml

Mining

“The 1860’s saw the British embark on serious mineral exploitation. They started diamond mining in Griqualand West. Gold mining began in Witwatersland in 1886.

Southern African gold had been exported for thousands of years to the Arab Peninsula and the Persian Gulf, but it had never been exploited on a massive scale. Now it was to be the focus of reckless European speculators and the investment houses of the world.

DECEIT
In 1889, Cecil Rhodes, already hugely wealthy from diamond mining, set his ambitions north of the Limpopo and tricked Lobengula, the King of the Ndebele into handing over his land. Ndebele thought he was granting Rhodes a limited mining concession.

In August 1889 the King wrote to Queen Victoria to complain:
“The white people are troubling me much about gold. If the queen hears that I have given away the whole country it is not so.”

“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race”

“I contend that we are the first race in the world, and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race…:; Read more

Oppression Of Khoikhoi and Xhosa

“The hunger for land is a central theme of southern African history from the 17th century onwards. It generated conflict, sparked off wars and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

EXPANSION

The first Europeans in southern Africa confined themselves at first to the western part of the region, centring their activities on the Cape of Good Hope. Here the Dutch East India Company was established in 1652. Gradually the Dutch colony expanded north and east, displacing, in the first instance, the oldest known inhabitants of this region, the Khoikhoi (referred to by the Dutch as ‘hottentots’).

TRADITION DENIED
The Khoikhoi were part of a larger group called the Khoisan, spread across southern Africa, sharing much of the same language. The San branch were hunter gatherers; the Khoikhoi were herdsmen. As a whole, the Khoisan needed large amounts of land in order to hunt and graze their cattle. The Dutch refused to recognise their traditional grazing and hunting rights.

DEFEAT

The Dutch both stole and bought cattle off the Khoikhoi. In 1659, the Khoikhoi fought the Dutch over grazing land south of able Bay and lost. Soon the Khoikhoi way of life disintegrated.

NOT WIDE ENOUGH FOR BOTH OF US

“They objected that there was not enough grass for both their cattle and ours.

‘Are we not right therefore to prevent you from getting any more cattle? For, if you get many cattle, you come and occupy our pasture with them, and then say the land is not wide enough for us both! Who then, with the greatest degree of justice should give way, the natural owners, or the foreign invader?'”
Jan van Riebeek describing the Khoikhoi objections to the Dutch invasion of their pastures, quoted by Kevin Shillington in History of Africa.

The Dutch, who came to be known as Afrikaners (as well as Boers, which means farmers) started to expand their activities. They cultivated land and hunted across large distances. Subsequently, they acquired the title of Trekboers, when they embarked on long journeys or treks to get away from British officialdom in the Cape Colony.

SUBJUGATION

The Khoikhoi often ended up as slaves, either working in the Cape Colony, or as farm labourers for the Dutch. The final blow came to them in 1713 when they fell victim to a small pox epidemic brought on a Dutch ship. The descendants of the Khoikhoi and San can be found in the deserts of Botswana and Namibia today.

XHOSA

The second group of original inhabitants who suffered in the 19th century were the Xhosa. They had their western settlements between the Bushmans River and Fish River. They came into conflict with both the Dutch and then the British.

There were two major battles in the 1830’s and 1840’s. By 1854 the British had stripped the Xhosa chiefs of power and planted them as salaried functionaries in the colonial administration.

COLLAPSING WORLD ORDER

The loss of power and land was devastating, materially and psychologically. The final blow came when their cattle became infected with a lethal lung infection, killing as many as 80 per cent of some of the chiefs’ cattle. Their world order and sense of purpose collapsed and the Xhosa turned to their religion to find the reasons behind these disasters.

PROPHECY & SUICIDE

A sixteen year old prophetess claimed to have been in touch with the ancestors who called on Xhosa leaders to create a new beginning for their people. This, the ancestors said, could only be done by wiping out the old, and that meant killing the remaining cattle.

THE SPIRITS COMMAND

You are to tell the people that the whole community is about to rise again from the dead. Then go on to say to them all the cattle living now must be slaughtered, for they are reared with defiled hands, as the people handle witchcraft.

Say to them there must be no ploughing of lands, rather must the people dig deep pits, erect new huts, set up wide, strongly built cattlefold, make milksacks, and weave doors from buka roots…”
The words of the spirits, talking to 16-year-old Nongqawuse, as recorded by W.W. Qqoba in his narrative of the Cattle killing, based on oral sources. Quoted by J.B. Peires, in his book The Dead will Arise.

DIVISION
The Xhosa people became completely divided over what to do. The amathamba ‘soft’ believers thought they must obey; the amagogotya or ‘hard’ unbelievers rejected the culling.

CATTLE KILLING
In February 1856, the Xhosa began killing their cattle. A total of 400,000 were culled. 40,000 Xhosa died as a result of this and many of those that survived had to work in Cape Town or as labourers on farms.

AFTERMATH
“Every day King Williams Town was thronged and its inhabitants distressed at the sight of emaciated living skeletons passing from house to house. Dead bodies were picked up in different parts within and around the limits of the towns, and scarcely a day passed over, that men…”; Read more -Original article here

Southern Africa: THE RISE OF SHAKA

12_1aIn the first two decades of the 19th century, the Zulu people grew in power and expanded their territory under their leader, Shaka. This expansion, was in some measure a response to drought, putting pressure on the Zulus to find new land.

In addition, the movement of Europeans into new territory, which was not theirs, contributed to a situation of flux of which the Zulus took advantage. However, the Zulu expansion and the defeat of rival Nguni kingdoms is hard to imagine without Shaka’s hugely forceful personality and exacting military discipline.

EMPEROR SHAKA THE GREAT
From the tales of the war and their fame in Nguniland, the Zulus knew how popular their fight was against Zwide. Shaka, proud of these achievements and eager to encourage his army, addressed the regiment:

Great nation of Zulu,
You have shown courage against a superior enemy.
The nations that spoke of you with contempt are chilled by your songs.
Kings and princes shiver in their little thrones.
Enemies flee to hide in the mountain caves.”
This excerpt celebrates Shaka’s victory against King Zwide of the Ndwandwe Kingdom, in 1818 at the Mhalatuse River. Taken from Zulu epic poem, Emperor Shaka the Great, translated by Mazisi Kunene, drawing on a number of Zulu oral historians.

Shaka created a standing army of 40,000 warriors, made up of regiments separated out into age groups. The communities he defeated were plundered for cattle and grain. These attacks were not free for alls, with Zulu soldiers taking what they wanted, but highly organised raids, with all the booty becoming the property of Shaka.

EFFECTS OF ZULU EXPANSION

The Ngwane moved northwards in response to form the Swazi kingdom.
The Ndwandwe also went north to establish the Gaza kingdom.
The Ndebele moved in 1840 to what is now south western Zimbabwe.

MFECANE :  1817-1828

More destruction was caused by those whom Shaka defeated, than by his own forces. Such was the case of the Hlubi and the Ngwane. Bereft of all social order, these refugees took to looting and pillaging wherever they went. They reduced the landscape in the Natal and much of the Orange Free State into a wasteland. This period of change became known as the Mfecane, which is said to derive originally from a Zulu word meaning “crushing”. For the past ten years the word and ideas behind it have aroused much debate and argument.

Many South African historians now believe that Europeans, and slave traders in particular, played a much larger part in upheaval in the region in the first quarter of the 19th century than was previously thought, and that too much emphasis has been put on Shaka’s impact.

The black south African writer and journalist Sol Plaatje wrote movingly about this period after Shaka’s death, in a novel. Entitled Mhudi, it focussed on the Ndebele defeat of the Barolong in the 1830’s. This is believed to be the first novel written in English by an African.

THE ADVANCE OF THE NDEBELE

“Mzilikazi’s tribe (the Ndbele) originally was a branch of the Zulu nation which Shaka once”;  Read more here

Africa Must Benefit From its Mineral Resources – Atlanta Black Star

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

Africa’s political economy is deeply ingrained with its history of the exploitation and mismanagement of its mineral and natural resources.

See on atlantablackstar.com

King Leopold II of Belgium He owned the Congo during his reign as the constitutional monarch of Belgium After several failed colonial attempts in Asia and Africa

King Leopold II of Belgium He owned the Congo during his reign as the constitutional monarch of Belgium After several failed colonial attempts in Asia and Africa.

South Africa: ‘What are we doing about this government that is killing us?’

See on Scoop.itCulturally Teaching

South Africa: ‘What are we doing about this government that is killing us?’Socialist PartyThe police killed at least 140 people on 16-17 June 1976, mostly in Soweto, and 600 more as they tried to put down the year-long revolt.

See on www.socialistparty.org.uk

10 Things We Should NOT Teach Our Children

Re-blogged from: mytruesense.org

fatherchild1. “Race doesn’t matter.” The concept of “race” – that we can accurately determine one’s intelligence, ability, habits, attitudes or destiny based on their biological racial designation – is a lie and illusion. One’s biology does not determine any of these things which are mostly influenced by culture, observation and education. However “racism” is real. So it is more appropriate to teach our children not to judge people on anything but their deeds and actions and to do so on a case-by-case basis. At the same time, we must teach them that racism/sexism/class exploitation, and the brutality, prejudice, discrimination and injustice that accompanies them, does exist, and we should prepare them to identify and challenge these societal vices.

2. “Money is the root of all evil.” In fact, money is a measurement of purchasing power, a tool, and something we need in this system to provide for our basic necessities and luxuries. It is also a symbol of our material wealth. But it is not the root of all evil. The person that created this myth most likely didn’t want poor people to eliminate their poverty and acquire power. Ignorance, vanity, greed, competitiveness, selfishness, arrogance, a false sense of entitlement, avarice, insecurity, and jealously are far more accurate candidates for being the “roots of all evil.” Given this, perhaps we should teach our children that a. money is necessary in our modern economy b. having more of it will provide them with more options in terms of residence, education, food, clothing, entrepreneurship, political power, etc. So they should make plans to acquire it legitimately, budget and invest it wisely, and use it to provide relief to others. But they certainly should not fear, trivialize, or disdain it.

3. “Get a good education so you can get a good job.” It is true that a person with a college degree is more likely to earn a million dollars than a person without one. It is also true that a college education is highly regarded as one way to create more options for oneself. However, the purpose of formal or informal education is not to get a good job, but to primarily develop important contacts/networks, develop successful habits/attitudes, and to learn specific skills/knowledge that will enable a person to effectively pursue his/her goals. As a secondary consideration, we seek education to acquire the credentials for upward mobility. What one does with these credentials, habits, skills, knowledge and networks is their choice, but we must urge our children to use these resources to understand, create, own, run, influence, and control things in their environment. This is the basis of power.

4. “You must vote; it is your civic responsibility and our people died for this right.” Voting might be the powerful demonstration of citizenship we believe it to be if: candidates, the political structure the press and the electoral process were not controlled by corporations, the electoral college did not exist, and money in general did not affect the process. However, all of the above conditions exist, a fact that compromises our political options, our exposure to political ideas, and our vote. Our civic responsibility is to take actions that support humane policies, laws, options and consequences for citizens and to challenge those that don’t. How people choose to do that is another question. We would do more to help our children by teaching them how voting is compromised by money/corporations, how to intelligently research and identify candidates that align with their issues and interests, how to advocate for social causes, and how to amass economic, technological, and institutional power so that they don’t solely depend on politicians.

5. “Choose a partner that will love you the way you deserve to be loved.” This advice contains a kernel of truth, but so much more important information is omitted. In addition, a partner should be someone you are attracted to, can confide in, talk to, find refuge in, receive sound advice from, and whose skills, maturity, knowledge, habits and attitudes contribute significantly to your own peace and larger goals. They should respect you and your feelings, but also be able to challenge and correct you when necessary. When such things are in place, two people are “equally yoked.” Too many marriages, relationships and families have died brutal deaths because people failed to take these things into consideration, and focused too much on subjective feelings, and pleasure alone.

6. “Do as I say, not as I do.” Our actions and behaviors are far better teachers than our words. If we want our children to respect us, we must do our best to make our actions consistent with our words. Mixed messages only serve to undermine a solid relationship with our children, and they cause our children to distrust our advice and teaching. Besides, if there is a major difference between what we tell them and what we do, we are in essence, hypocrites anyway, unworthy of respect or emulation.

7. “I brought you in this world, and I’ll take you out.” Sounds strong and authoritative, but this saying is actually self-defeating and counterproductive. As parents, our role is to provide reasonable boundaries, provide direction, basic necessities, and sound habits and attitudes. It is far more appropriate to take the position that “I brought you in this world, and I will do everything I can to help you navigate it successfully.” A good parent should also provide discipline when appropriate, but never be a bully.

8. “No matter how disrespectful, irresponsible, and disobedient you are, I will still provide you with gifts to demonstrate my love for you.” Ok, we don’t actually…”;  Read full post on Authors site

photoAuthor – Agyei Tyehimba

Mwanga II Basammula Ekkere: the King of Buganda’s distorted legacy

re-blogged from USHypocrisy.com

Author:  CalebG

(click on the image above to learn more about the Author)

The 31st Kabaka of Buganda, Basammula Ekkere Mwanga II

In a previous post about the new film, God Loves Uganda, it was briefly mentioned that David Kato’s assassin attempted to smear his victim by portraying the murder as a response to an “unwanted sexual advance” made toward him by Kato. This insinuation isn’t new to the region now encompassing Uganda’s history, for a similar charge has been leveled against a former monarch of the Kingdom of Buganda for nearly one hundred and thirty years. The campaign to distort and misrepresent the actions taken by Kabaka (King) Basammula Ekkere Mwanga II of Buganda in the early years of his reign (1884-1888; 1889-1897*) has its roots in the immediate aftermath of a controversial round of executions carried out on the order of the King. The official narrative of the events surrounding these 30-45 killings promoted at first by European Christian evangelical missionaries and now largely accepted as official Ugandan history, holds that these were acts of retaliation by Mwanga II on newly-converted African Christians for refusing to allow the King to sodomize them; sodomy being “against the teachings of Christianity”. These events, portrayed as the martyrdom of African Christians at the gruesome hands of a murderous homosexual pagan-tyrant, are accorded such significance in Ugandan history that they are commemorated every year on June 3rd with a national holiday known as “Martyr’s Day”, a day for honoring and remembering those men who gave their lives for Christianity in the face of Mwanga II’s tyranny. Is it possible that David Kato’s murderer, Sydney Enoch, was hoping to conjure up the Martyr’s legacy when he cited the familiar trope of an “unwanted sexual advance” as a reason to commit murder? Was he trying to implicitly convey to the judge that David Kato and Kabaka Mwanga II were “cut from the same cloth” so to speak?

Kabaka Muteesa I of Buganda

Imperialist entrenchment on the Kingdom of Buganda didn’t come as a result of any decisions made on the part of Mwanga II. The common presence of foreigners in the region is largely attributed to actions taken by Mwanga II’s father, Walugembe Mukbya Muteesa I, who reigned as the 30th Kabaka of Buganda in the years 1856-1884. Muteesa I came to the throne at a time when European missionary groups representing just about every religious faction of Christianity one can imagine were penetrating further and further into the African interior from the coasts, often laying the groundwork for European conquest over the land by first uprooting the indigenous inhabitants’ historical faiths and religious practices. The Europeans were not alone in their determination to achieve this goal, however. Years before the first European arrival, Arabs were converting Africans into faithful followers of the Islam. This conversion proved beneficial to their lucrative Arab ‘trade’ in African slaves. (**) As of the mid-19th century, none of the competing religious sects – Islam, Roman Catholicism, Anglican or other Protestant Christian factions – were able to establish complete dominance over the regions deep within the contenintal interior. The Kingdom of Buganda in particular appeared stubbornly resistant to penetration and refused to comprimise on their ancient customs and traditions, rooted as they were in classical African institutions, in order to satisfy some foreign visitors who claimed they were of a ‘superior’ culture. This began to change, however, with a risky decision made by Kabaka Muteesa I Walugembe, one that in hindsight proved a fatal one. Muteesa I, of course, had no way of knowing at the time that allowing foreign missionaries into his kingdom would have such a devestating impact on Buganda’s future. At first the missionaries came in small numbers and gave very little appearance outwardly of being the threat they eventually became. Missionaries, in contrast to many other European “visitors” to Africa, came armed not with an abundance in arms, ammunition or bayonets, but with a Holy Book they claimed was the actual written word of God. There was also some strategic thinking at work in Muteesa I’s thinking. The Kabaka had been frequently bumping heads with the localized Council of Elders. The Council of Elders was, in traditional African societies, composed of the democratically-chosen representatives of the various regions under the kingdom’s protectorate. They alone, as representatives of the people, had the ability to check the King, and could even remove him from his role as representative of the will of the people if they felt it was the desire of their constituents (only used as a last resort). Muteesa I may have supposed that the introduction of foreign religious doctrines into the kingdom and the acceptance of them among a significant part of the population would potentially eradicate or diminish the influence wielded by the Council. After all, in the religious doctrines of both Christianity and Islam, it is the Almighty’s word which reigns supreme. With the Word of the Supreme Being so clearly written out, the will of the majority becomes only secondary. Or, as another blogger put it, “Followers were easily inspired to oppose anything and anybody in the name of Jesus, God or Allah!”

What figured into the King’s calculation most importantly, however, was the need to thwart any potential invasion of Buganda by Arabs and Afro-Arabs who were steadily converting surrounding African regions into Islamic strongholds as they traveled from Zanzibar in the east and from Sudan to the north . To an African leader in the position of Muteesa I at the time, Christianity could understandably be seen as a having potential to act as a powerful buffer against what for a long time appeared to be an unstoppable Muslim conquest. (^*) Forming an alliance with a foreign religion that had the backing of an immensely powerful empire seemed like the only sure way to counter the formidable Arab armies. In the 20th year of Muteesa I’s reign – 1876 – the kingdom which until then was virtually inaccessible to outsiders, suddenly opened it gates to foreign missionaries.

Missionary groups such as the “Society of the Great White Fathers” often paved the way for European colonization of Africa by first uprooting the traditional religious faiths of the indigenous Africans.

Missionary groups such as the “Society of the Great White Fathers” often paved the way for European colonization of Africa by first uprooting the traditional religious faiths of the indigenous Africans.

From 1876 onward Buganda and the regions surrounding it were bombarded by one Christian missionary group after the next, the most notorious of these being the comically-titled “Society of the White Fathers”. The Christian missionaries acted just as Muteesa I had hoped they would, successfully offering a challenge to Muslim influence in the area and severely undermining the traditional Council of Elders. One thing Muteesa had not foreseen, however, was that his health would deteriorate drastically in the years to come. With so many competing religious factions being held in check solely by the King, the startling revelation that Muteesa I was gravely ill sent shockwaves throughout the kingdom. Suddenly it seemed as if Buganda’s future could be jeopardized. While the circumstances surrounding his sickness seems to have confounded most observers, the European missionaries claimed a spiritual ability to declare a diagnosis. The Kabaka, the Christians declared, was suffering from a terrible disease that afflicts only those men who indulge in the most heinous of all acts: sodomy. In other words, Muteesa I’s suffering was a case of Divine Punishment for the king’s sins, a curse from the Almighty. Though it’s easy to interpret the Europeans’ absurd diagnosis as an attempt on their behalf to try and manipulate the situation to their advantage, it’s just as likely that these Christians believed this nonsense as well. (+) But whatever their motivations, the truth of the matter surrounding the King’s death soon became irrelevant. For now the Kingdom’s religious pilgrims would have a new ruler to contend with, one who would not allow them to encroach on his kingdom unchecked.

The court of Mwanga II

When Muteesa I passed away on October 9, 1884, he vacated the throne to his sixteen year-old son, Bassammula Ekkere Mwanga II. The fact that Mwanga II was still just a teenager at the time he became the 31st Kabaka of Buganda is conveniently left unmentioned in most of the subsequent retellings of these events, especially when discussing his alleged relationships with other male pages of the royal court. The truth of the matter is that with or without these alleged intimacies, the religious crusaders were put off by the new King from almost the moment he ascended to the throne. Any hope the missionaries might have had that Muteesa I’s young son was going to follow in his father’s footsteps and allow them free reign was quickly demolished in the first year of Mwanga II’s reign. This King took an altogether different approach when it came to foreign intrusions into his kingdom, and he came to see European missionaries as more akin to invaders than faithful clergymen. But the general disappointment that most missionaries felt with Mwanga II gave way to horrified outrage in October of 1885 when the King, upon receiving word of the British Anglican Bishop James Hannington of the Church Missionary Society approaching from the east, ordered the Bishop executed. In re-telling this history, the execution order is usually portrayed as if it were the result of a cold-blooded calculation on the part of the king, who never missed an opportunity to demonstrate his forceful might. But this view fails to take into account the extreme amount of pressure the King, barely even 17 years of age at the time, was under to act, and act swiftly. Shortly before receiving word that Bishop Hannington was approaching, he’d received the frightening news that the German Imperial Army just annexed the region south of Lake Victoria. Mwanga felt as if Buganda was being closed in on all sides, and in an act of desperation the young King made an erratic decision to hold the British Bishop off by having him killed. Unfortunately such crass decision-making had the adverse effect of emboldening the opposition to his rule.

This wasn’t the only incident that occurred in the first year of Mwanga’s reign that later proved to be controversial. After only a few months on the Bugandan throne, a Scottish Presbyterian missionary wrote a letter fretting over the behavior of Buganda’s new King. And it was this letter, written in 1884, which would become the primary source for asserting that Mwanga II was some sort of “child predator” who liked to use young men as he would one of his wives, despite the fact that Mwanga was just 16 years old at the time the letter was written. The letter was written by Minister Alexander Mackey. Mackay had set sail from Southampton, Britain in 1876 headed for Zanzibar on Africa’s east coast. From Zanzibar he traveled westward into the continental interior, finally reaching Buganda in 1878. He was among the missionaries who’d witnessed at close range the demise of an African monarch who, in contrast to his successor, was altogether tolerant if not receptive of the Christians’ message. In 1885 Minister Mackay was among the most horrified upon learning how the famed Bishop Hannington was killed on the orders of Kabaka Mwanga II. In the 1884 letter, Mackay mentions a young African man named Apollo Kaggua, a convert to Christianity. Kaggua, Mackay claims, used to ‘service’ the Mwanga II. But ever since he’d accepted the teachings of the Christian Faith as his own, Kaggua began openly rejecting the King’s advances, a rejection Alexander Mackay gleefully hails as “a splendid disobedience and brave resistance to this Negro Nero’s orders to a page of his, who absolutely refused to be made the victim of an unmentionable abomination.” Whatever one believes about the reliability of this account, given it was written by one of the King’s enemies who clearly had a religious agenda, it takes a wild stretch of the imagination to conclude from this that the mass amount of executions that the Kabaka ordered in subsequent years are derived from anger he felt after sexual rejection. Yet that is precisely the way historians have described it.

 

Christian converts gather around the memorial erected in honor of the Bugandan ‘Martyrs’.

To this day there are numerous sites on the web dedicated to the 30-45 Christian Martyrs who were killed from 1886-1887 ostensibly as retribution for having denied their king the pleasures of gay sex. If such a narrative sounds far too absurd to be true, it’s probably because it is. When Kabaka Mwanga II inherited the throne from his late father, it was under siege from all sides of the religious spectrum. Though the Europeans had not yet advanced on the Ugandan region militarily, they had been steadily laying the groundwork for European control first and foremost by uprooting the people of their indigenous religious faith and practices, teaching that real salvation could come only through the worship of a foreign God. All around him, Mwanga II saw traditional African societies give the appearance of collapsing. With Afro-Arabs further up north, British Europeans to the east and west, and Germans to the south, the threat of foreign domination and colonization seemed increasingly possible. Once the young Kabaka suspected some of the pages of his Court as being part of plot to destroy his kingdom from within, he took drastic action by having them killed. These 30-45 men, all converts to Christianity, were put to death based on Mwanga’s belief that they were acting as informants for the European missionaries. And while his actions in this manner are an atrocity of the highest order, they do not constitute martyrdom for the victims. Just as the murder of Bishop Hannington was an act motivated first and foremost by a fear for the future of his kingdom, the mass killing of the Christian converts was motivated by a desire to protect the Bugandan Kingdom as well. In that sense, Mwanga II did something that many African leaders did not. He foresaw what the result was likely to be if Europeans were simply allowed to carry about his kingdom unchecked, and he had a sense that they were laying the groundwork for the complete domination and subjugation of his people by a foreign empire. As one by one his most loyal pages began converting to Christianity, the King sought to undermine what he perceived as their attempted usurpation of the throne by simply eliminating them altogether. After killing them off, he sought to drive out all the missionaries from his kingdom, but by this time it was too late. Christianity – Anglican and Roman Catholicism – and Islam had become an active presence in the everyday lives of many of Buganda’s people. The widespread outrage the king sparked by ordering the executions of the religious converts did nothing to mitigate the matter, for they were perceived as acts of religious intolerance as opposed to being politically-motivated. In the words of David Aster in The Political Kingdom in Uganda: a study of bureaucratic nationalism, “The Church Missionary Society used the deaths to enlist wider public support for the British acquisition of Uganda into the [British] Empire.” Thus the slain were not only seen as victims, but as full-fledged martyrs nobly nobly marched to their deaths in the vein of Christ.

mwangaIn 1888, just three years into Mwanga II’s reign, the now 20 year-old King was forced from the throne by a unified army made up of Christians and Muslims alike. Enemies though they were, the competing religious factions found common ground in their desire to remove the threat of Kabaka Mwanga II. With Mwanga out the way, an exclusively Muslim coup followed the Christian-Muslim alliance and that removed the Kabaka, and installed in place of Mwanga his elder brother Kiweewa on the Bugandan throne. Kiweewa was essentially a puppet ruler, whose only real purpose was to establish a façade of legitimacy on a kingdom coming apart at the seams. With this sudden absence of strong leadership over the kingdom, European companies suddenly found a much friendlier climate in which to conduct business in. The single largest benefactor of the Islamic coup was ironically not the Muslims, but the British East African Company. Founded in 1886, the B.E.A.C. became immensely profitable almost overnight. Two years later, after acquiring huge sums of land “between Mombasa and Lake Victoria”, it was renamed the Imperial British East African Company. The company was allowed to flourish as it never had before with Mwanga out of the picture.

In the four-year ‘Civil War’ that followed, Mwanga formed a politically necessary alliance with the Protestant Christians in the 4-way religious battle for the heart of the kingdom. And in 1892 Mwanga II was formally restored as Kabaka of Buganda after the Protestant Christians emerged victorious in the war. Unfortunately things had changed dramatically in the short time he was away. The very power and authority that had come with being Kabaka was now reduced to the point of irrelevance, and whatever land the Imperial British East African Company didn’t already claim as its own was being contested by others. Everyone from “British missionaries, French priests, Swahili traders, German adventurers, even an Irish trader in German uniform (Charles Stokes)” claimed to have a stake in the region, “all hoping for a profitable agreement.” Seven years passed before these foreign competitors realized there was still one last obstacle left blocking their path to complete domination. Not once in those years had they ever suspected that Mwanga II was secretly strategizing and concocting a plan to drive all of them off the land for good.

King_Mwanga_II_BugandaAccording to the Catholic historian and Professor John Waliggio, during “the period between 1892-7… Mwanga began to form his own party to challenge the two-party system of the Christians. His party was based not on any one religion but on the common element that appealed to most Baganda, the opposition to white rule.” After five years of secret plotting, the time was ripe to regain what was lost, and Mwanga’s rebel army attempted to drive the invaders from the land. Unfortunately his plan did not succeed. Rather than accepting defeat, however, Mwanga mobilized a second army whilst exiled in Tanzania. The army fought its way back into Buganda but did not succeed in restoring the former king to his glory, and they suffered defeat the next year at the hands of militia forces mobilized by the Imperial British East African Company. In 1899 the Brits, realizing that as long as Mwanga II remained on the mainland of the continent he would be a constant thorn in their side, forcibly transported him to the British-controlled Seychelles Islands, hundreds of miles west of Zanzibar. There Mwanga, who’d up to this point stubbornly refused to waver in his dedication to indigenous African culture and tradition, found himself isolated on a tiny island in the middle of the Indian Ocean surrounded by nothing but strangers. Sometime around 1900-01, records show that he was baptized and given a new name, “Daniel”. Having been removed from the land of his birth and the society he grew up in, the man born Mwanga II Basamula Ekkere must have at last come face to face with the devastating reality – that the kingdom he’d fought tooth and nail to protect and preserve was no more. Less than four years after arriving on the Seychelles Islands, Mwanga II died at the tender age of 35. With Mwanga II dead, it seemed as if the final defiant cry of African resistance had been silenced. It was the dawn of the 20th century, and complete domination of Africa by Europe was nearly accomplished. It would be another 4-5 decades before new African leadership would emerge to give voice to the anti-imperialist spirit of resistance, a spirit derived from the continent’s vitality which has characterized it ever since the earth came to be.

One hundred and ten years after Kabaka Mwanga II’s death, his role in Africa’s history is still being distorted and misrepresented. He’s still portrayed as…”; Read More on Author’s website