Monthly Archives: October 2013

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

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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

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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…

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THE NEW JIM CROW Online documentary

Re:blogged from:  Moorbey.wordpress.com

“…A online video documentary depicting the way the war on drugs has gave rebirth to the jim crow laws and how the prison industrial complex makes billions to lock us up

Timeline Photos – Freedom From Mental Slavery | Facebook

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For us to sit here and be unaware of what is going on in the world means that we have to be out of touch with reality. And, one of the major instruments…

samantha tesner‘s insight:

For us to sit here and be unaware of what is going on in the world means that we have to be out of touch with reality. And, one of the major instruments for putting people out of their minds is EDUCATION. It’s often the basis for making people IGNORANT. – Dr. Amos Wilson (May 19, 1983)

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

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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 .

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Colonialist British in Africa 1930.. via https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blacks-History-And-Africa-Education

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“We must look at the psychopathology of everyday life and must recognize that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot talk about a people who have ENSLAVED us (AND MANY OTHERS), who DISCRIMINATE against us, who INSULT us, who do all manner of other things AGAINST us, and then use them as MODELS OF NORMALITY …”~~ Dr Amos Wilson
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