AFRICAN HOLOCAUST (Part 3)
COMPANIES WHO PROFITED FROM SLAVERY
Investment banks Brown Bros. Harriman and Lehman Bros. Railroads Norfolk Southern, CSX, Union Pacific and Canadian National. Textile maker WestPoint Stevens. Newspaper publishers Knight Ridder, Tribune, Media General, Advance Publications, E.W. Scripps and Gannett, parent and publisher of USA TODAY. 850 The Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac Railroad, part of CSX today, paid slave owners $30 to $150 apiece to rent slaves for a year. Price in 1850: $150 In today’s dollars: $3,379 1856 The Mobile & Girard, now part of Norfolk Southern, offered slaveholders $180 apiece for slaves they would rent to the railroad for one year. 1856: $180 Today: $3,737 1859 The Central of Georgia, a Norfolk Southern line today, valued its slaves at $31,303. 1859: $31,303 Today: $663,033 1865 The Nashville & Chattanooga Railroad, today part of CSX, placed a value of $128,773 on the slaves it lost as a result of emancipation at the conclusion of the Civil War. 1865: $128,773 Today: $1.4 million 1865 The Mobile & Ohio, now part of Canadian National, valued slaves lost to the war and emancipation at $199,691. 1865: $199,691 Today: $2.2 million. Sources: Economic History Services, USA TODAY research The list of corporations tied to slavery is likely to grow. Eventually, it could include energy companies that once used slaves to lay oil lines beneath Southern cities, mining companies whose slaves dug for coal and salt, tobacco marketers that relied on slaves to cultivate and cure tobacco.
Slavery’s long shadow also could fall over some of Europe’s oldest financial houses, which were leading financiers of the antebellum cotton trade. Lloyd’s of London, the giant insurance marketplace, could become a target because member brokerages are believed to have insured ships that brought slaves from Africa to the USA and cotton from the South to mills in New England and Britain.
The United States owes African-Americans over $100 trillion in reparations, based on 222,505,049 hours of forced labor between 1619 and 1865, with a compounded interest of 6%. Africans in America today have been enduring struggles of discrimination, lynchings, indentured servitude, high imprisonment rates from disproportionate bias sentencing, sold to the highest sugar cane and sharecropper plantation owners and the historical impact that slavery had on African American even today, that lost of wealth in inheritance, land, pay, history, culture, family names.
When it comes to the Jews the flexibility of justice twist and turns to explain why Jews deserve compensation but Africans do not. Laws are used to obfuscate and blur issues. Broken analogues are made “If we paid everyone for every wrong in history where would it end?” There is however no statute of limitations on an ongoing Holocaust which impacts Africans the world over. It is not a historical event like when Rome sacked Greece; confined to ancient history. After the WW2, until now, Germany is sentenced to pay reparations even to grandchildren of the victims of the Jewish Holocaust.
As Boyce Watkins in response to Henry Louis Gates controversial remarks: “If a young girl is sold into prostitution by her own parents, the pimp must still pay for the suffering he caused the young woman. He can’t simply say, “Her parents made a deal with me, so you should stop the blame game…I am not sure why Gates has gone out of his way to assuage white guilt in America. I hope that’s not the price a Black man must pay in order to write an op-ed in the New York Times.”
There is no escaping African culpability in the Atlantic slave trade. However, the principle benefactor was clearly European nations. Also African participation in the 300 year old system was for but a blink of an eye. How could it be possible to hold both equally guilty? The person that sells the gun is guilty for that moment, but the person that uses it to kill for years is clearly at a different level of criminality.
Also, most enslaved people in the West were in that state for all of their lives by European process, not African. Those who were captured in Africa were touched by the African component briefly– and never again in the history of their enslavement. African involvement, while shameful, was was hardly a partnership in Holocaust, beyond the initial capture and sale.
And while the institutions of Arabia and Zanzibar that have profited from slavery have long vanished from our era, those in Europe still remain. They therefore have inherited both the profit and the lost of their trade in human flesh. And the victims of this horror are exclusively African. Therefore those victims have the right to forgive those whom they chose and bring charges against those they deem key persecutors of crimes against humanity.
It is not appropriate for the principle culprit to point fingers and say “I didn’t act alone.” Each will be judged according to the level of crime and the profits they derived from the crime. It is actually even part of European law; no court gives a lesser sentence to each individual because they happen to act in a group. Africans can therefore (without suggestion or help from Whites) deal with those African nations and kings who profited from slavery as they see fit.
REPARATIONS MEANS REPAIR
Reparations means repair. And that repair has to last every subsequent generation to come. When you go and buy a BMW with the “reparations check” what will that repair? Apart from BMW USA sales? So repair means things like University education — for free, for those willing (a critical component in repair to engage a persons own healing processes).
After all this time the general public still frames the debate in terms of a personal cash windfall, a check in the post. We (Africans) do it because we sometimes do not realize repair, the Holocaust and lack of full conscious means a corruption of the holistic understanding of repair and healing. The institutions destroyed by slavery must be rebuilt so that the people, for every generation to come, can rebuild themselves and their self worth.
Personal Message: Now the crime against our ancestors is an open wound. And we cannot rest until there is justice. But there is a justice we can do for self. Do not be dis-empowered, do not be uneducated and do not be economically weak, do not destroy family and do not disunite. Let those who died for Africa know that we escaped the shackles of slavery. But every time we drop out of school, do crime, disrespect our history and our culture we are doing an injustice to their memory. We are confirming the legacy of slavery.
SLAVERY AS A PENAL SYSTEM
Today there is an overemphasis on the word ‘slavery’ where slavery means the involuntary removal of an individual’s freedom. But the restriction of degrees of freedom is an ongoing aspect of human societies; where if members of a given society commit undesirable acts (not paying tax, adultery, treason, terrorism, etc) then systems were designed to curb the freedom of these individuals. So today America calls it the Criminal Justice System, history calls it Slavery. And in America’s system Africans are again targeted and taken out of the voting process and the competitive job process. So while this is not chattel slavery it is akin to the broader social slavery seen in history.
A judicial process was in place throughout most of Africa to preserve the law of the land; resources were such that large expensive industrial complexes were not viable. The Transatlantic Slave system distinguished itself because there was no crime on the part of the victims, simply being of African ethnic origin was the “crime.” Moreover the inhumanity and absolute debasement of the human being and then the subsequent legacy of this system which still exist and still creates privilege and opportunity for the majority of European descendants.
SLAVERY, LEGACY & LANGUAGE
Africans became black when Africans became enslaved. This was a critical process in the making of a slave; disconnecting the African from any notion of having a Motherland. Black people (Negroes in Spanish) is a construction which articulates a recent social-political reality.
Political blackness is thus not an identity in terms of who a people are; but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms. Indians are no longer “brown people”, Chinese do not respond to being called “yellow.” Identity is always geographical and ties the people to their native environment or their core doctrine (Jews of Judaism, Muslims of Islam, Chinese of China). There is no country called Blackia or Blackistan. Hence, the ancestry-nationality model is more respectful and accurate: African-American, African-British, African-Arabian, African-Brazilian, and African-Caribbean.
Today terms like sub-Saharan Africa dominate history books and discussions on Africa. But this term is not an African construction but yet another European linguistic tool to divide and conquer. It is a vestige of the colonial project used to describe European terms of African homogeneity. This barrier of sand hence confines Africans to the bottom of this make-believe location, which exists neither politically (African Union), ethnically (Tuareg), linguistically (Afro-Asiatic), religiously (Islam) or physically (Sudan and Mali). Sub-Saharan Africa is used as a by-word for primitive African: a place, which has escaped advancement. Hence, we see statements like, “no written languages exist in Sub-Saharan Africa” and “Egypt is not a Sub-Saharan African civilization.” It is a term used to satisfy negative perceptions and feed the “Dark Continent.”
Part of any examination of Slavery and it’s legacy must also look at how language is used to favor European interest and justify slavery. “Black on Black” violence in Africa is a term which is used to say Slavery was self-inflicted. But then the Jewish Holocaust would be “White on White.” Words have powerful meanings and a serious effect on historical perception.
Language is a principle factor in understanding the African Holocaust even in how demographics are understood. The highly contested number of people disrupted or lost to European slaving activities is partly locked in definitions. This is why Karenga takes issue with the term “Slave trade”, as it has the power to mitigate or mask the reality of a Holocaust. So if we measure “slave trade” we get the European promoted number of 10 million arriving (notice the word arriving to further limit their culpability). However, the minute we change the linguistics to : “Not only was Transatlantic Slavery of demographic significance, in the aggregate population losses but also in the profound changes to settlement patterns, epidemiological exposure and reproductive and social development potential” an entirely new figure emerges. European historians have generally been very skillful at using language to define reality so that African casualties by their hands are very low but the casualties by African or Arab hands are as high as possible.
AFRICA, RELIGION AND SLAVERY
“Religion is not the opium of the masses but religion must be used as an arm by the revolutionary forces” – Kwame Ture
None of them had principle objections to slavery. Therefore, the challenge which is posed to Islam and Christianity for having a tolerance for slavery is also true for the religions native to Africa. The only true difference between Islam and Christianity and indigenous faith is power. They had more power to destroy and had the added side-effect of carrying the culture of the conquering party: may that party be Arab, European, or another African group (see Songhai and Mali).
And today the old urban legend of religion and oppression is invalid. The new tools of oppression hide themselves in western democracy. And in the Trojan horse of democracy are the soldiers of the free market, globalization and debt. False focus on religion is a death sentence, like worrying about a spider when a lion is about to pounce.
“During the capture, when the slave raiders were grabbing people and destroying villages. A village may have been Mandinka, another village Fon. At what point did that fact come to bear when the gun fire cleared? In the dungeons where we lay, in our own excrement, uncertain of our destiny, in Goree, in El-Mina, some where Orisha, some where Muslim, some were Asante, some were Igbo, at what point did those definitions spare the inhumanity? On the ship when they were throwing our people overboard, some cried in the night to Allah, others to Alusi and others to Olodumare. Some where from Sokoto, some where from Gambia. At what point did any of this give us an advantages during the dark voyage, infected with disease and death?” – Maafa | African Holocaust
Islam, Christianity, and what became known as Vodun all fell prey to human greed. All were used to enhance the position of the slavers. So in native African faith based societies (Dahomey especially) the rituals which were set-up for purity and celebrating the deities became an opportunity to acquire more captives.
Life is beautiful and ugly too, but always diverse enough to respect the good in something while cursing the bad. Rome was a tyrant where Africa was concerned. But it doesn’t mean every last thing in Rome was vile. Our world is far too sophisticated for such simplistic deductions. Ships carried every African from the Motherland to Africa (America?), do we curse the ship? Surely without ships there could never have been slavery. Planes were used to drop poison on Ethiopia, do we curse the plane?
What in the message of Jesus said “Go to African and get as many Africans as you can?”,
Where in the Qur’an does it say “Where ever you find a Black make him a slave”?
Democracy– right now, is creating new colonies all over creation. However, this does not invalidate the principles of democracy just because of Obama and Bush have abused democracy.
If these mainstream religions are the principle agent of mentally enslaving people why is there the same problems existing in countries that do not have the influence of these faiths? Does Benin have some superiority claim over Ethiopia? But if the argument was correct then we should see this. We should see more agency in Benin than in Islamic-Christian Ethiopia. Because if these Abrahamic faiths, as separate elements, are enslaving people then how do you explain Ethiopia’s rich and power history? In treating a prostate cancer it is usually a good idea not to cut out the bladder and leave the prostate. Mis- identifying religion is a detrimental to Africa; it is only convenient for people who do not want to waddle through the complexities of the Africa’s problem. And the language of “destruction and domination” is political language, not historical language. The script destroyed oral tradition, the car destroyed the donkey, the CD destroyed the record, and the turntable destroyed the musical instrument. It is no different with culture and religion anywhere.
Many religion or spiritual systems, for hundreds of years, in West Africa practiced, and still practice, Trokosi: The giving of virgin girls to the gods for services or religious atonement. Similar practices were also found in the royal court of the Kingdom of Dahomey (in what is now Benin), in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wives, slaves, and in fact all persons connected with the royal palace of Dahomey were called “ahosi”, from “aho” meaning “king”, and “si” meaning “dependent” or “subordinate.” In traditional Efik societies It is believed that Abassi gave certain tribesmen the ability to heal the sick through necromancy. If the witch doctor was unable to heal the ill person, they were thrown on a fire because it was believed that Abassi did not want them to be healed. Khasso Kingdom (17th to 19the century) like the Bambara Empire to the East, depended heavily on the slave trade for their economy. A family’s status in a society was indicated by the number of slaves it owned, leading to wars for the sole purpose of taking more captives.
So we must understand the “flaws” of spirituality and religion are not exclusive to the Abrahamic faiths. And with the coming of Islam many of these harmful practices were destroyed or in some cases augmented. Islam was not selective and some serious aspects of culture were also washed away with its rise. And this must be considered in a holistic understanding in presenting valid arguments regardless of our position on religion and Africa.
“The knife in the hands of a skilled surgeon can heal; the same knife in the hands of a tyrant can kill” – ‘Alik Shahadah
Organized mainstream religions are spiritual technologies responsible for the backbone of civilized societies. Out of these organized rituals came vehicles for perpetuating culture, law, justice and morality. However, religion has been fingered time and time again as being the inspiration and agent of slavery and brainwashing. Mass religion is a big soft target since most people are members of a religious group it is easy to say it was this religious factor, above all others, which is responsible for any and all negative behavior. Anti-religious Russia and China witnessed some of the most barbaric regimes, pure inhumanity and severe oppression– Yet no religion. So the argument about religion as an agent for dividing people is equally true for politics, race, color, nationality if not more so.
More wars are caused over land and resources than God. The largest wars in human history had nothing to do with religion. Even during the crusades (which were supposed to be a Muslim-Christian conflict), the crusaders killed many non-Western Christians. However, far more emphasis has to be placed on greed, wealth disparity, and its effect on the human condition. In the absence of religion, slavery would have taken place. In the absences of democracy and communism, wars would have taken place. If we look at the most ruthless dictators most of them do not kill in the name of religion, (Mao for example said religion was poison). The problem with Mao et al was religion competed with him as a god-head. The biggest wars in history are not really in the name of religion; even the crusades were about Europeans acquisition of trade routes, which Muslims controlled. Outside of Islam and Christianity slavery existed, the largest slavers on the continent were neither Muslim nor Christian. All arguments support that religion is not the primary agent in the oppression of Africa, now or then.
It might not be right, but one thing we need to swallow is that all “advances” and “civilization” is the product of degrees of imperialism and conquest: Take a look at Ethiopian history. Kemet in her brutal conquest of Nubia, and Nubia’s conquest of Kemet? Or the bloody Mfecane of Shaka Zulu as he forcible united the Ngoni people. If our primary issue is with conquest, then the only thing to celebrate is hunter-gatherer societies. There is a profit from conquest which every society of technological sophistication has inherited, and we must deal with this. The human challenge is therefore how to advance without exploitation.
Terms like “Islamic Invasion” and “foreign religions” are painted all over African history as if this was the only process by which Christianity and Islam came into Africa. Islam has been a native part of the African landscape for 1418 years, Christianity for 2000 and Judaism for far longer. Yet history paints Christianity in Europe as if it was fundamentally a European institution. Europe Europeanized Christianity just like how they paint Buddhism in China as if its origins where Chinese. So the notion of Christianity being a European project needs to be challenged. They were Churches in Africa long before the Vatican.
Anthropologists seek to extract religion from reality and make Africa the perpetual victim of invading Arabs and Europeans. Afrocentric history on one page vilifies these religions but then on the next page tries to score racial points by claiming the glories of the Islamic and Christian contributions such as Mali, Aksum and Songhai. However, Aksum was not a victim when it chose out of its rights as a sovereign self-determined super-power to accept Christianity as a state religion. Nor was Ancient Ghana when it accepted Islam as the state religion. These were super powers under African influences that made these choices, just as Rome did when it accepted Christianity. And in Africa’s recent history some of the greatest minds of liberation were both Muslim and Christian: Garvey, Malcolm, Martin Luther King, etc.
Before there was a Church of England there was an Ethiopian Orthodox state in Ethiopia, before Islam was ever heard of in Iran and Iraq or Syria or Medina it was being practiced on the African continent; these religions are traditional African religions. The unique African expression within these faiths is not homologous but in Ethiopia and West Africa, the African traditions are distinctively African. This is because the process of acceptance had Africans as agents of their destiny and hence Africanized these religions as opposed to be victims of other people’s interpretations.
This does not mean that the alteration to culture was not destructive at times, but to use these terms are very loaded. In the case of Eurocentric Christianity, it was partners with a holocaust and thus was extremely destructive because its primary modus operand was to enslave and destroy. With all these religions, the problem of undue cultural influence became an issue where to be Islamic or Christian meant taking on the cultural attributes of the dominant practitioners of these faiths, may they be Arab or European. So this is a cultural challenge not serviced by throwing the baby out with the bath water. If Muslims and Christians are sensitive to this they will select African Muslim names, as opposed to Arab names, they will seek out African interpretations, which speak to their reality, and the same for Christianity. But religion is part of human globalize culture and cross-fertilization is an aspect of human history and it is in this context that religion should be looked at in Africa and indeed world history.
The question to all those that seek to re-divide up Africa by being anti-Islamic or anti-Christian is what, in practical terms, do they want Africans to do? Beyond the rhetoric, what is their plan to fix what they see as a conflict? Should the Ancient Churches and Mosque of Lalibella and Sankore be burnt? Are you going to rip the Islam from the corpse of Malcolm X and see what is left? Do they expect 1 billion people to mass exit these two religions? In addition, what religion are they bringing as an alternative? Will this native African religion work in the 21st century? Today many so-called native faiths have very harmful practices such as the Muti in South Africa and other faiths which are highly superstitious.
The African Holocaust or Maafa, as it is referred to by many, is a crime against humanity and is recognized as such by the United Nations, scholars, and historians who have documented the primary and overwhelming culpability of European nations for enslavement in Europe, in the Americas and elsewhere.
So practically, it is a futile endeavor to attempt to mass convert a continent in which the fastest growing religion is Islam, followed by Christianity. It would be far better to Africanize these faiths and make them service the people and the culture at the same time. It would be more sincere to unite all these people around common moral core. And as Karenga said; speak the ethics of the religion.
So in the America’s we see Christianity being used as part of the making of a slave by transplanted Eurocentric values. In Africa we see Islam, or lack of Islam, being used as justification for enslaving people.
We also see how selective interpretations were used in both Islam and Christianity (Curse of Ham, etc) to sustain slaving. However, when slavery became a liability due to the numerous revolts and the industrial changes the same religious institutions, which formally sanctioned became vocal in the abolition of slavery. The sincere question regarding the role of religion in Slavery has to be looked at from the perspective of 1st came the greed and 2nd came the justification. Religion, like political systems (communism, democracy, etc), offer the justifications for the greed of man and all three world religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam have been used in this way, as well as indigenous religious systems.
Europeans and Arabs did not walk into Africa to enslave Africans because of a deep hatred for dark skinned people: The primary motive was profit. South African apartheid was the same. It was a system, which protected European privilege and opportunities. Race was used as a justification to secure this privilege and most found justification in the Bible, the same Bible that Martin Luther King and Nat Turner used for liberation.
SLAVERY | HOLOCAUST TODAY
The African Holocaust is also sadly not confined to history or to external influences. Darfur, the Congo, Sierra Leon and Rwanda are testimony to some of the horrors today. And although the legacy of Colonialism is clearly at the root of these problems it would be immoral not to see that Africans, like everyone else, are capable of unspeakable brutality. Just as in the European-European Holocaust during WW2.
Modern slavery in Africa can be seen as a continuation or outgrowth of slave-trading practices in the past. Africans have stepped into the boots and habits of the retreating colonizers. Forced labor was used to an overwhelming extent in King Leopold’s Congo Free State and on Portuguese plantations of Cape Verde and San Tome. But the majority factor is abject poverty, if the poverty is fixed it will automatically fix the slavery.
In Sudan and Mauritania and parts of Mali and Chad the slavery vacated by the abolition of what is called Arab slavery still continue in pockets of the country (explained in the video by Ali Mazrui). It is often cited that the Arab slave trade is still an ongoing activity, especially in places such as Sudan and Mauritania. And this is true, despite it being legally outlawed. But what is not mentioned is slavery goes on all over the world. 27 million people are trapped in some form of modern slavery may it be white sex slaves in Israel and Eastern Europe, Child slavery in Ghana, ritual slavery in South Africa.
PROBLEM IDENTIFYING SLAVERY
Another issue with 21st century slavery is it is easy to lose the word “slavery” in the linguistic technicality of what is and what is not not slavery. The lines are blurred and in some cases it is hard to determine if it is a human rights issue or a labor rights issue: A case of bad labor rights regarding how people are treated by their employers. Does it stop being slavery if someone is paid $1 a week? And what is the definition of paid, as payment can be in exchange for food and board. Then the only consideration is “freedom,” but freedom in itself is problematic. Are you free to leave your masters home when you have no family, shelter or security outside of their walls? Clearly people can leave but by doing so they put themselves in greater harm. So again “freedom” is a matter of perspective.
MAAFA OR HOLOCAUST
The term Maafa and African Holocaust (from Old French holocauste, via late Latin from Greek holokauston, from holos ‘whole’ + kaustos ‘burned’ (from kaiein ‘burn’) express identical ideas. What is true for one is true for the other. They are interchangeable. But the purpose of these two terms is different, Maafa is the African term to self-describe the African Holocaust. The term African Holocaust is the English term to create an instant understanding of the gravity of what this term means to an English speaking audience who are familiar with the horrors the world “holocaust” invoke. Just like the Jews have Ha-Shoah and Jewish Holocaust. No one owns the word Holocaust, and if someone did, it is certainly not Jewish people, who only started using it in 1942. It is not a Hebrew or Yiddish word, and was not created to describe their historical experience. Like all words in English, meanings and applications change politically. If there is a copyright on words, well why stop with Holocaust?
MODERN SLAVERY TODAY
Today in the Congo the indigenous people are usually victims of their Bantu neighbors, who have replaced the positions once held by Europeans. Ethnic hatred against vulnerable groups such as the so-called Pygmies (Bayaka) is neglected because it is not as sensational as Darfur or Rwanda. But these people are dehumanized and treated as 2nd class citizens by the Bantu Settlers. The uncomfortable reality is an aspect of the African Holocaust has to be ‘self-inflicted’ horrors which cannot be escaped via the smooth language of evasion.
Sex slavery is a major problem in South Africa. Women seeking refugee status in South Africa from other African countries are trafficked by other refugees. An estimated 1000 Mozambican girls are trafficked to Johannesburg each year and sold as sex slaves or as wives to the Mozambican mine workers. When identified by police in South Africa victims of trafficking are deported as illegal immigrants with no treatment for being victims of sex slavery. Victims are afraid of law enforcement and do not trust the police to assist them. South Africa shares borders with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. It has 72 official ports of entry “and a number of unofficial ports of entry where people come in and out without being detected” along it’s 5 000km-long land borderline. The problem of porous borders is compounded by the lack of adequately trained employees, resulting in few police officials controlling large portions of the country’s coastline.
Religious Slavery ( Trokosi ) in modern Ghana is the continuing tradition of giving of virgin girls to the gods for religious atonement or payment for services. This was part of many ancient religions in this region with some connection to Vodun practices. In West Africa the practice has gone on for at least several hundred years. Similar practices using similar terminology were found in the royal court in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wives, slaves, and in fact all persons connected with the royal palace of Dahomey were called “ahosi”, from “aho” meaning “king”, and “si” meaning “dependent” or “subordinate.”
In Ethiopia, children are trafficked into prostitution, to provide cheap or unpaid labor, and to work as domestic servants or beggars.
The only permanent solution is to eliminate the conditions that perpetuate Modern slavery – poverty. People movements is largely driven by either conflict or poverty, both lead to conditions, which foster modern slavery. Tackling just the visible head, as many NGOs are doing, leaves room for the roots to keep recreating the problem.
NOTES (authors Notes 2014)
I have addressed the issue of bias on numerous occasions. I have written on Arab Slave Trade and many other controversial topics. Detractors come with many arguments, that is just part and parcel of any controversial topic. But it is confusing to me how a European author can be reliable and an African author who has a totally different experience from within the legacy of slavery be unreliable and marginalized. Out of the legacy of slavery the modern Africa has inherited many handicaps, one of those included being excluded from publishing. African scholars struggle with grants and research tools. And all of that shows up in the paucity of authentic African representation. And by authentic I mean not the Africans approved by European/White/mainstream establishments.
I am an African (and have written on that also). My ancestors were dragged out of Africa and exploited on the plantations of the West. It is a very personal story, as I am descended from the African Holocaust. As noted in many articles, history is politics and no matter how neutral someone is claiming they are there is always bias, in some case more scholarly dishonesty than bias. All authors make mistakes, but we must hold high standards in pursuit of discoverable truths. I think that is what it means to be a professional historian/researcher.
As a critical thinker I am conscious of my bias and I write everything with the same critical skills. So if you have a problem with what I wrote on Arab slaver trade you will have a problem here also. I write by reflecting on all available positions and not ignoring uncomfortable facts. My treatment of all topics I write on is generally to remain balanced. Balanced does not mean not-biased. So what people studying any controversial topic must do is not only read what I wrote, but read broad and compare positions and decide based solely on quality of research which position is closer to the truth. No one author, our society can get everything right. But what is wrong with the world is when you go to read about anything African are met by a sea of White historians who still dominant the story of Africans. This is an injustice which I think must be resolved, and the steps to do so means African independent sources, institutions, must contribute equally to the story of Africa and the world. This is the injustice that caused me to start producing work on the story of African people.
Scholarship is not a PhD, or how many times CNN or TED host your opinions. Just like you do not need a PhD to be a good filmmaker or musician, Scholarship is only about the quality of the work. An I would like to be judged by the almost two decades I have dedicated to the African Holocaust topics.
Thank you for reading ALL of the posts from this series on Maafa.
I started reading on the origins of maafa which I originally found back in the 90’s. It was just a website full of photos of lynchings, killings all showing groups of smiling white people watching the murder of innocent black men. I figured 9-11-16 should not only be a day of remembrance of the Twin Towers disaster but also of the lingering reprecussions of past wrongs made against an entire race of people. Racism is slowly being stamped out. Just need for one more generation to die off so that the New World ideas that you see coming from the millennials (people born during the era of the internet) start to take hold. I decided to post this for those who still think just because we had a black president that the country miraculously healed itself of 300 years of crimes against humanity… with no reparations or real attempts to heal those generations of very deep wounds.
There is still hope for mankind though… if we don’t destroy ourselves first.
If you haven’t read the previous 2 posts, read them now by clicking below: