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Africa

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Messenger: Fikre Jahnhoi Sent: 2/24/2011 9:56:13 AM
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at least him a tell i bout I Africa so mi irie afta mi nuh see no one a reason bout Africa....pon black history month smh..and mi hear seh Bobo mean African, afta Binghi come from Africa..afta My God and King come from Africa
so Ark I yuh tell i who mi fi call Rastafari.and who not to..and i will do so, cah mi nuh know


Messenger: Fikre Jahnhoi Sent: 2/24/2011 10:11:14 AM
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Messenger: Young Lion Sent: 2/24/2011 2:57:06 PM
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greetings,

i'm just saying Jah no dead, and he dwells in Zion and that that picture of H.I.M might really be him. what i'm supposed to just listen to you an equal and have it made up in my mind that isnt H.I.M? I try to have an open mind, because anything is possible...

1


Messenger: Ark I Sent: 2/24/2011 3:00:39 PM
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Blessed Love,

I can't tell the I who to call RasTafarI and who not to.

Here is something I found about black history that is not often spoke about.

------------------------------------------
There have been many misconceptions about the lives of Africans before the advent of European and American colonization. According to some historians, Africans were nothing more than savages whose only contributions to the world were farming and slaves. This is not true. The history of ancient Africa is just as interesting, complex, and sophisticated as any other ancient civilization, yet almost without exception; it is only Egypt that receives any consideration at all when writing history. Because of this mentality, European and American historians have long espoused that Africa and its inhabitants had no culture or history of their own, except what was given to them by outside factors.

However, long before the colonization of Europeans, Africans built kingdoms and monuments that rivaled any European monarchy. Nevertheless, because of racial prejudice, much of Black African history has been distorted and ignored to give justification to the enslavement of millions for financial profit. This paper will be discussing the ancient African kingdoms of MeroŽ, Ghana, and the Swahili and their rich contributions to the pages of history.

The kingdom of MeroŽ started around 1000 BC when Nubian rulers built up a politically independent state known to the Egyptians as Kush. Eventually, the rulers of Kush would move to Nubia and establish the kingdom of MeroŽ (Davis & Gates, p. 30). These rulers established their capital at MeroŽ around 300 B.C., and the kingdom lasted there for more than nine centuries.
However, some historians feel that because Meroitic culture imitated the Egyptian culture so closely, the MeroitŽs brought no culture of their own to the pages of history. This is not true According to archaeological evidence discovered in North Sudan that is over 2,500 years old, there was an old civilization along the Nile River at lower and Upper Nubia (modern day Sudan) that was older than the civilizations in the North (Egypt). Also, there is evidence that proves that the known Old Egyptian Civilization was an advanced stage of an even older civilization located in the Sudan (Davis & Gates, p. 35).

This evidence proves that MeroŽ had a culture and history that was even older than of the Egyptians. If anything, Egypt was a carbon copy of MeroŽ. This kingdom also had its own language. Most historians however, attributed their language and alphabet system to the Egyptians. It was a common belief that ancient Black Africans could not and did not develop a written language. However, inscriptions in a distinct indigenous alphabet appear in MeroŽ as early as the 2nd century B.C, proving that these assumptions are not true (Davis & Gates, p. 110).
This written Meroitic language was used into the 5th century, when Old Nubian eventually replaced it. Widespread use of Meroitic on monuments indicates that a significant percentage of the population was able to read it. However, the meanings of these inscriptions remain unknown, as this hieroglyphic-derived script is as yet untranslatable.

Another little know fact about the MeroitŽs is that they had a unusually high number of
queens who ruled without male intervention. One queen, Queen Amanirenus led her army against a Roman invasion in 24 BC. She won the first battle, and despite losing a second battle, the Romans had enough, agreed to a truce and went back to Rome. Rome never did conquer MeroŽ, and this kingdom continued to thrive for another 200 years. Actually "queendom" would be more accurate, since the leader of MeroŽ was usually a warrior queen, called a "kandake" which means "queen mother" or more simply "gore"meaning "ruler"(Fairservis. p.60).

In terms of economics, MeroŽ was famed for its massive iron production, the first large-scale industry of its kind in the Nile Valley and had extensive trade with Greece and Rome. Because of the production of iron, the armies had better weapons to use during battle and the farmers had better axes and hoes to work their lands. MeroitŽ traders exported ivory, leopard skins, ostrich feathers, ebony, and gold and soon gained direct access to the expanding trade of the Red Sea (Shillington, p. 40).


There have been many misconceptions about the lives of Africans before the advent of European and American colonization. According to some historians, Africans were nothing more than savages whose only contributions to the world were farming and slaves. This is not true. The history of ancient Africa is just as interesting, complex, and sophisticated as any other ancient civilization, yet almost without exception; it is only Egypt that receives any consideration at all when writing history. Because of this mentality, European and American historians have long espoused that Africa and its inhabitants had no culture or history of their own, except what was given to them by outside factors.

However, long before the colonization of Europeans, Africans built kingdoms and monuments that rivaled any European monarchy. Nevertheless, because of racial prejudice, much of Black African history has been distorted and ignored to give justification to the enslavement of millions for financial profit. This paper will be discussing the ancient African kingdoms of MeroŽ, Ghana, and the Swahili and their rich contributions to the pages of history.

The kingdom of MeroŽ started around 1000 BC when Nubian rulers built up a politically independent state known to the Egyptians as Kush. Eventually, the rulers of Kush would move to Nubia and establish the kingdom of MeroŽ (Davis & Gates, p. 30). These rulers established their capital at MeroŽ around 300 B.C., and the kingdom lasted there for more than nine centuries.
However, some historians feel that because Meroitic culture imitated the Egyptian culture so closely, the MeroitŽs brought no culture of their own to the pages of history. This is not true According to archaeological evidence discovered in North Sudan that is over 2,500 years old, there was an old civilization along the Nile River at lower and Upper Nubia (modern day Sudan) that was older than the civilizations in the North (Egypt). Also, there is evidence that proves that the known Old Egyptian Civilization was an advanced stage of an even older civilization located in the Sudan (Davis & Gates, p. 35).

This evidence proves that MeroŽ had a culture and history that was even older than of the Egyptians. If anything, Egypt was a carbon copy of MeroŽ. This kingdom also had its own language. Most historians however, attributed their language and alphabet system to the Egyptians. It was a common belief that ancient Black Africans could not and did not develop a written language. However, inscriptions in a distinct indigenous alphabet appear in MeroŽ as early as the 2nd century B.C, proving that these assumptions are not true (Davis & Gates, p. 110).
This written Meroitic language was used into the 5th century, when Old Nubian eventually replaced it. Widespread use of Meroitic on monuments indicates that a significant percentage of the population was able to read it. However, the meanings of these inscriptions remain unknown, as this hieroglyphic-derived script is as yet untranslatable.

Another little know fact about the MeroitŽs is that they had a unusually high number of
queens who ruled without male intervention. One queen, Queen Amanirenus led her army against a Roman invasion in 24 BC. She won the first battle, and despite losing a second battle, the Romans had enough, agreed to a truce and went back to Rome. Rome never did conquer MeroŽ, and this kingdom continued to thrive for another 200 years. Actually "queendom" would be more accurate, since the leader of MeroŽ was usually a warrior queen, called a "kandake" which means "queen mother" or more simply "gore"meaning "ruler"(Fairservis. p.60).

In terms of economics, MeroŽ was famed for its massive iron production, the first large-scale industry of its kind in the Nile Valley and had extensive trade with Greece and Rome. Because of the production of iron, the armies had better weapons to use during battle and the farmers had better axes and hoes to work their lands. MeroitŽ traders exported ivory, leopard skins, ostrich feathers, ebony, and gold and soon gained direct access to the expanding trade of the Red Sea (Shillington, p. 40).

The kingdom of MeroŽ eventually went into decline. Causes for the decline of the Meroitic Kingdom are still largely unknown. The Meroitic kingdom faced formidable competition because of the expansion of Axum, a powerful Abyssinian state in modern Ethiopia to the east. About A.D. 350, an Axumite army captured and destroyed Meroe city, ending the kingdom's independent existence.
The West African Empire of Ghana is another kingdom whose history was downplayed and attributed to outside factors. Although the Berbers originally founded Ghana in the fifth century, it was built on the southern edge of Berber populations. In time, the land became dominated by the Soninke, a Mande speaking people who lived in the region bordering the Sahara (McKissack & McKissack, p. 112). They built their capital city, Kumbi Saleh, right on the edge of the Sahara and the city quickly became the center of the Trans-Saharan trade routes.

Ghana accumulated great wealth because of the Trans-Saharan trade routes. This wealth made it possible for Ghana to conquer local chieftaincies and demand tribute from these subordinate states. This tribute, however, paled next to the wealth generated by the commerce of goods that passed from western Africa east to Egypt and the Middle East. This trade primarily involved gold, salt, and copper (Koslow, p. 70).

A hereditary king called the Ghana ruled Ghana. The kingship was matrilineal (as were all Sahelian monarchies to follow); the king's sister provided the heir to the throne (McKissack & McKissack, p. 115). In addition to military power, the king appears to have been the supreme judge of the kingdom.

Although northern African had been dominated by the religion of Islam since the eighth century, the kingdom of Ghana never converted (McKissack & McKissack, p. 120). The Ghanaian court, however, allowed Muslims to settle in the cities and even encouraged Muslim specialists to help the royal court administer the government and advice on legal matters.

The original founders of Ghana ultimately proved to be its demise. Unlike the Ghanaians, the Berbers, now calling themselves Almoravids, fervently converted to Islam and in 1075, declared a holy war, or jihad, against the kingdom of Ghana. Little is known about what exactly happened but nonetheless, Ghana ceased to be a commercial or military power after 1100. The Almoravid revolution ultimately ended the reign of Ghana.

Europeans and Arabs alike have portrayed the history of the Swahili kingdom as one of Muslim-Arab domination, with the African people and its rulers playing a passive role in the process. However, recent archaeological evidence found shows that the Swahili people are descendants of the Bantu speaking people who settled along the East African coast in the first millennium (Horton & Middleton, p. 70). Although both Arabians and Persians intermarried with the Swahili, neither of these cultures had anything to do with the establishment of Swahili civilization. These cultures became absorbed into an already flourishing African civilization founded by ancient Bantu Africans.

The eastern coast of Africa changed profoundly around the close of the first millennium AD. During this time, Bantu-speaking Africans from the interior migrated and settled along the coast from Kenya to South Africa. Next, merchants and traders from the Muslim world realized the strategic importance of the east coast of Africa for commercial traffic and began to settle there (Horton & Middleton, p. 72). Marriage between the Bantu women and men of the Middle East created and cemented a rich Swahili culture, fusing religion, agricultural architecture, textiles, food, as well as purchasing power. From 900 A.D., the east coast of Africa saw an influx of Shirazi Arabs from the Persian Gulf and even small settlements of Indians. The Arabs called this region al-Zanj, "The Blacks," and the coastal areas slowly came under the control of Muslim merchants from Arabia and Persia (Horton & Middleton, p. 75). By the 1300's, the major east African ports from Mombaza in the north to Sofala in the south had become thoroughly Islamic cities and cultural centers.

The language that grew out of this civilization is one of the most common and widespread of the lingua franca: a lingua franca is a secondary language that is a combination of two or more languages. Swahili or Kiswahili comes from the Arabic word sawahil, which means, "coast." Swahili belongs to the Sabaki subgroup of the Northeastern coast Bantu languages. It is closely related to the Miji Kenda group of languages, Pokomo and Ngazija (Horton & Middleton, p.110). Over at least a thousand years of intense and varied interaction with the Middle East has given Swahili a rich infusion of loanwords from a wide assortment of languages. Even with the substantial number of Arabic loanwords present in Swahili, the language is in fact, Bantu.

The Swahili civilization expanded southwards until they reached Kilwa in Zanzibar (from the Arabic word al-Zan). Later, its inhabitants carved out a small territory even further south around Sofala in Zimbabwe (Horton & Middleton, p. 140). While the northern cities remained localized and had little influence on African culture inland from the coast, the Sofalans actively went inland and spread Islam and Islamic culture deep in African territory (Horton & Middleton, p. 150).
The major Swahili city-states were Mogadishu, Barawa, Mombasa (Kenya), Gedi, Pate, Malindi, Zanzibar, Kilwa, and Sofala in the far south (Horton & Middleton, p. 155). Kilwa was the most famous of these city-states and was particularly wealthy because it controlled the southern port of Sofala, which had access to the gold, produced in the interior (near "Great Zimbabwe"), and its location as the farthest point south at which ships from India could hope to sail and return in a single monsoon season.

These city-states were very cosmopolitan for their time and they were all politically independent of one another. In fact, they were more like competitive companies or corporations, each vying for the lion's share of African trade. The chief export was ivory, sandalwood, ebony, and gold. Textiles from India and porcelain from China were also brought by Arab traders (Horton & Middleton, p. 175). While the Arabs and Persians played a role in the growth of the Swahili civilization, the nobility was of African descent and they ran the city-states (Horton & Middleton p.195). However, the nobility were Muslims and it was the Muslims who controlled the wealth. Below the nobility were the commoners and the resident foreigners who made up a large part of the citizenry.

However, Islam itself penetrated very little into the interior among the hunters, pastoralists, and farmers. Even the areas of the coast near the trading towns remained relatively unaffected (Horton & Middleton p.198). In the towns, the mud and thatch houses of the non-Muslim common people surrounded the stone and coral buildings of the Muslim elite, and it seems that most followers of Islam were wealthy, not poor.

Still, a culture developed for the Swahili that fused African and Islamic elements. Family lineage, for example, was traced both through the maternal line, which controlled property, an African practice, and through the paternal line, which was the Muslim tradition. Swahili culture had a strong Islamic influence but retained many of its African origins.

These city-states began to decline in the sixteenth century; the advent of Portuguese trade disrupted the old trade routes and made the Swahili commercial centers obsolete. The Portuguese wanted native Africans to have no share in African trade and busily set about conquering the Islamic city-states along the eastern coast (Horton & Middleton, p.225). In the late seventeenth century, the imam (religious leader) of Oman drove the Portuguese from the coast, and gradually established his authority over the coast.

The existence of these ancient Black African civilizations proves once and for all that Africa had a culture and a history of its own other than Egyptian that endured for centuries before the advent of outside factors. The kingdom of MeroŽ ruled for centuries before the Egyptians and deserves its rightful place as one of the premier ancient civilizations of the world. The kingdom of Ghana proved that Africans were capable of managing their own affairs without the intervention of Europeans. The Swahili and their language were around for centuries before Arabians and others "discovered" them.

These civilizations had their own culture, language and commerce before the advent of Europeans and Muslims in Africa and for the most part, the world does not know anything about them. That is a major crime against the study of history and hopefully, through more archaeological studies and writings, the rich and interesting history of these magnificent civilizations will be told and treasured for future generations.









Messenger: Ark I Sent: 2/24/2011 3:06:59 PM
Reply

Young Lion, the I said,

--------------------------------
i'm just saying Jah no dead, and he dwells in Zion and that that picture of H.I.M might really be him. what i'm supposed to just listen to you an equal and have it made up in my mind that isnt H.I.M? I try to have an open mind, because anything is possible...
--------------------------------

No, the I don't need to listen to I, the I is supposed to do whatever the I is supposed to do. I didn't post that link for the I. I posted it for those that come here in the present and future, just as I will post the link any time people mention that monk picture, so that people that come can see that Reasoning and make there own decision based on what they see.


Messenger: NordMan Sent: 2/24/2011 4:48:34 PM
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Give thanks


Messenger: Fikre Jahnhoi Sent: 2/24/2011 5:10:17 PM
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Give thanks Iyah
but as di paper start saying, there have been many misconceptions, so mi haffi say , from mi read "black Africa" and "Egyptians" as if dem two different race of people, this whole paper is a misconception.
Whoever wrote dat, if African, dont really know di depths, di heights,di fullness.
so call historians can seh wha dem waan, di people of KMT neva seperate demself from Africa, they know dem civilization come from the south, beginning of di nile, where Jah love to dwell

"Because of this mentality, European and American historians have long espoused that Africa and its inhabitants had no culture or history of their own, except what was given to them by outside factors."

and mi seh Europe and America had no culture or history of dem own,except wha was given to dem, wha was taught dem, and wha dem theif


Messenger: Ark I Sent: 2/24/2011 8:37:31 PM
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Yes I, I noticed the way she spoke about Egypt too.




Messenger: Fikre Jahnhoi Sent: 2/24/2011 10:34:32 PM
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If no one object, mi would like fi livicate this yah Africa History month in memory of Bishop Henry Turner
who taught ini Black people wi must look to di Black God thru wi own spectacles....before Marcus
who seh Back To Africa....before Marcus
Who,it can be argued,took more Africans forward to Africa than Marcus did.

Henry McNeal Turner (1834-1915), African American leader and a bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, argued for African American emigration to Africa.He was born free, and raised by his mother and maternal grandmother. Legend had it that his paternal grandfather was an African prince.
Unable to go to school because of state laws, he was "apprenticed" in local cotton fields but ran away and found a job as sweeper in a law office.
As a young boy, he dreamed that millions of people would look to him as a teacher, and he determined to act on that vision. But first, he had to learn to read and write;in South Carolina, teaching blacks to do either was forbidden.

Turner was raised in the heart of the Confederacy, where it was illegal for blacks to learn to read and write. His mother arranged for lessons, but each time she was found out, and the lessons ended. Finally, an elderly slave taught him to sound out words, and Turner wrote that an angel would come to him in his dreams and teach him the connection between sounds and the alphabet. His education progressed when the lawyers at a firm where he worked as janitor tested his memory by teaching him science. Within four years, he had learned enough to become a licensed preacher.

He preached to white and black audiences throughout the South until 1858. When he learned of the all-black African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME), he joined it.

Turner joined the lobbying effort to convince President Lincoln to enlist freedmen in the Union Army. In 1863, Lincoln acceded, and Turner became the first black chaplain.

Historians consider him an important primary source for researching the experience of black Union soldiers because of his prolific dispatches to the Christian Recorder, the weekly newspaper of the AME church. Chaplains organized prayer meetings, tended to and prayed for the wounded, ensured that the soldiers' pay was sent to their families, wrote letters for the illiterate, and acted as intermediaries between the black troops and white commanding officers. Most importantly, they taught the men in their unit how to read. Many black troops learned to read during the war. Their textbook was the Bible.

After the war, Turner walked back to Georgia, and began organizing AME churches there. By some counts, he founded over one hundred churches.
Turner loosened the strict rules requiring educated ministers, allowed congregants to sing their slave spirituals during worship, and dared the Klu Klux Klan to try and stop him.

At the same time, he helped organize the Georgia Republican Party. In 1868, he was elected state representative, but he and 14 other black representatives were expelled from the Georgia legislature after whites combined in an 82-83 vote.

That rejection made Turner turn his back on the American political process. He turned his attention instead to developing the political potential of the black church.

In 1880, Turner rode a wave of populist popularity to become the first southern bishop elected in the AME Church. He would also prove to be the most controversial.
He provoked white racists in print, and advocated a wholesale move of blacks back to Africa "to achieve our dignity and manhood."

He ordained a woman, Sarah Ann Hughes, as a deacon in the church.

Turner believed that Emancipation was the first Exodus for African-Americans and leaving the South would be the second. While many in the black community shared Turner's views on the limits of freedom in the South, most chose to remain in the United States instead of migrating to Africa. Turner's insistence on linking missionary work in Africa with mass emigration to the continent made him a divisive figure in the AME Church.
At the same time, his four trips to Africa showed him the dignity of a people uncowed by slavery.

In 1895,At the first Black Baptist convention, he gave the speech for which he would be forever known: "We have every right to believe that God is a Negro," he stated, proclaiming that a people needed to see their reflection in their deity.

Turner came close to becoming a national leader in the mold of Frederick Douglass or Booker T. Washington. But in the end, his outspokenness on the Africa issue undermined him.

As for his personal life, Turner married four times, Turner survived three wives and all but two of his children. His final marriage at 73 to his secretary evoked a storm of criticism and attempts were made to remove him from office.

He died, isolated and bitter, in 1915.




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