World History: Afri-centric Analysis
By Dr. Kwame Nantambu
November 03, 2011
As T&T celebrates the United Nations General Assembly-sponsored "International Year for People of African Descent", this article conducts an Afri-centric analysis of world history.
At the outset, it must be stated that the European enslavement of African people only represents .01 per cent of the history of African people on this planet. Put another way, for 99.9 per cent of their history, Africans were a free people.
Indeed, it is too often assumed that "African history began with the slave trade." Contrary to this Euro-centric myth, "there were a thousand years of independent state formation and state management in inner West Africa called the Western Sudan before the slave trade."
In addition, let the record show that between 1400 and 1600, "Europeans freed themselves from the lethargy of the Middle Ages, the aftermath of the Crusades and the famine and plagues that had taken one-third of the population of Europe. It is also the period when Europeans freed themselves from almost a thousand year fear of Islam and what they referred to as the Infidel Arabs who had been controlling the Mediterranean and its trade routes since the decline of the Roman Empire in the middle of the 7th century."
"The renewal of European nationalism, the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, the expulsion of the Arabs, Moors and the Jews from Spain in 1492 and the introduction of the slave trade gave Europe a new economic lease on life. Europeans had to create a rationale and a series of myths to justify their new position and what they intended to extract from non-European people."
As R.R. Palmer and Joel Cotton point out in their book titled" A History of the Modern World"(1984):
"Europeans were by no means the pioneers of human civilization. Half of man's recorded history had passed before anyone in Europe could read or write. The priests of Egypt began to keep written records between 4,000 and 3,000 B.C., but more than two thousand years later, the poems of Homer were still being circulated in the Greek city-states by word of mouth. Shortly after 3,000 B.C., while the Pharaohs were building the first pyramids (in Egypt), Europeans were creating nothing more distinguished than huge garbage heaps."
This ancient African-Kemetic historical reality is further corroborated by Cheikh Anta Diop as follows: "Universal knowledge runs from the Nile Valley toward the rest of the world, in particular, Greece, which served as an intermediary. As a result, no thought, no ideology is foreign to Africa which was the land of their birth."
And French historian Count C.F. Volney concurs in his book titled "Ruins of Empire" (1980) thus, "There are a people, now forgotten, discovered, while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected for their black skin and wooly hair founded on the study of the laws of nature these civil and religious systems which still govern the universe."
Deceased African-American, Afri-centric scholar and historian Dr. John Henrik Clarke postulates that "Civilization did not start in European countries and the rest of the world did not wait in darkness for the Europeans to bring the light... most of the history books in the last five hundred years have been written to glorify Europeans at the expense of other peoples. Most Western historians have not been willing to admit that there is an African history to be written about and that this history predates the emergence of Europe by thousands of years. It is not possible for the world to have waited in darkness for the Europeans to bring the light because, for most of the early history of man, the Europeans themselves were in darkness. When the light of culture came for the first time to the people who would later call themselves Europeans, it came from Africa. Later, (Europeans) would colonize world scholarship, mainly to show or imply that Europeans were the only creators of what could be called a civilization."
The fact of the matter is that as part of the "manifestation of the evil genius of Europe", Europeans have not only colonized the world but they have also colonized/Europeanized information about the world, including the concept of the African God. Ergo, today Europe is the Subject of world history, that is, HIS- STORY while Africa is the Object of world history.
The celebration of the "International Year for People of African Descent" is a timely global clarion call for African people to internalize their Africanness so as to "live in the hope that in the process of time, their turn will come, when they will occupy a prominent position in the world's history and when they will command a voice in the (global) council of nations(as their ancestors once did in the B. C. Era)"
African people must realize that we are the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
As "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine" prognosticates in the "Holy Bible" (Chapter 2:26): "And he (the African) that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him (the African) will I give power over the nations" of the earth.
"Africans of the world unite; we have nothing to loose but our minds"
Shem Hotep ("I go in peace").
Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies.
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