Monday, February 04, 2008

Celebrate African History

Celebrate African History

“Several strands of evidence-fossil, genetic, and linguistic- point persuasively to the conclusion that every person alive today is descended from a population of anatomically modern humans that existed only in Africa until about 100,000 year ago. They were nomads and they soon spread around the globe. Within the span of 4,000 generations modern humans reoccupied the regions where Homo Erectus and archaic Homo Sapiens had become extinct, they replaced pre-existing populations and colonized lands that people had never occupied before. Humans dominate the Earth and have been tot he moon. We see vision of the future in the mind’s eye and turn them to reality with the aptitudes and talents which evolution bestowed-in Africa.” A Biography of The Continent Africa by John Reader page 85.

As we celebrate Black History Month let us not make the error of thinking our history began when we were brought to these shores in chains and shackles. Let us not fall prey to the disinformation and lies put forth by our adversaries that says Africans contributed little to the world except maybe song and dance. Let us expand our minds, beyond the culturally imposed boundaries of Eurocentric white supremacist compensatory propaganda and embrace the truth of our being. We are the direct descendants of the first modern human beings. As such we, yes you and I are heirs to a marvelously unbroken legacy of genius, invention, innovation and triumph. This same genius that created civilizations unsurpassed in magnificence along the Nile from Sudan to the Delta which subsequently spread into Asia and around the world is encoded and embedded in our DNA and genes. Ancient African people were the fathers and mothers of humanity. Their resourcefulness, resoluteness and resilience paved the way and laid the foundation for social or civil organization which we call civilization. Our ancestors created rituals and ceremonies like marriage and other rites of passage to recognize and denote the various stages of life. Our people created metaphysics, philosophy, religion, metallurgy, the esoteric and mundane sciences. We were the first to adorn ourselves with feathers, shells, gold and animal skins and parts. We incorporated our adornment into our rituals, our ceremonies and our daily living. We used adornment and oft times special scarification as a means to reinforce our values, customs, to signify social status and identify position within the group. We come from a truly innovative people!
Over the centuries Africans migrated to and fro building great communities throughout the continent: Great Zimbabwe in the South, Meroe, Nubia , Aksum, Cush, Sudan in the East and vast kingdoms in the West like Benin, Ghana, Mali and Songhay and the Kongo in the middle. We invented the notion of government whether it was an informal council of wise elders comprised of the men and women of the community who had demonstrated self-control, selflessness, skills, expertise and wisdom or a formal ritualistic leadership. We created the positions of Chiefs, Kings and Queens. There is no need for us to be in awe of anybody else or feel inferior to anything anyone else who came on the planet after us has accomplished. Our African ancestors laid the foundation for all we see in the world today, even the evil and dysfunctional.
Africans being social beings actively engaged in the process of life were forced to come to grips with dealing with anti-social or deviant behaviors. They must have worked on a trial and error basis at first until they came up with established patterns and ways of dealing with miscreant or incorrigible members of their community. One form of discipline was stoning or execution. Another form was banishment. We see in history our ancestors banished lepers from their midst. Leprosy was the scourge of the ancient world. It is equivalent to our AIDS. Since all Africans were originally richly melanated, once they contracted leprosy their skins became discolored (turned white), they turned blotchy with running sores and as the disease progressed their bodies became disfigured with deformed limbs. It was awful to look at and highly contagious. To prevent its spread and the possibility of infecting the whole community, early humans exiled or banished sufferers from their group, villages and communities. Coming from a socialistic or communal environment, the lepers huddled together as best they could in what were called leper colonies in an effort to survive amidst their debilitating infirmities.
Our ancestors also banished recalcitrant members of their community; behavioral deviants and perverts who could not be socialized by the conventional methods of the times, peer, age group and societal pressures. But because the deviants also came from communal environments they too banded together to survive. Legend has it that these outcasts were banished from communities in Africa and Southern Asia, they migrated into and settled into Eurasia. They settled there but eventually got trapped during the ice age. Away from their original cultural ties but continuing their deviant behaviors, they lost all semblance of a moral communal society. Through centuries of incestuous inbreeding they lost their melanin. They eschewed a collectivist African social paradigm and opted for a dog eat dog predatory lifestyle. The strong preyed upon the weak. Their lifestyle was characterized by infanticide, male dominated autocratic and ruthless rule which relegated females to a lessor status and role. The only way a woman could gain any status within the group or tribe was by attaching herself to a dominant or powerful male.
Two separate and distinct cultural patterns eventually evolved. The indigenous Africans and those Africans who migrated into Asia created and transplanted a more peaceful and balanced way of life. The de-melanated outcasts trapped in the Northern latitudes produced a more violent, blood thirsty patriarchal social paradigm. Cheikh Anta Diop called these two social paradigms the Two Cradle Theory. You an read more about them his books: Civilization or Barbarism and The Cultural Unity of Black Africa. There were vast differences between the Northern Cradle and their aboriginal ancestors. Whether they want to admit it or not, whether they like it or not, Europeans, Arabs, Chinese and all other non-African phenotypes are mutations of aboriginal Africans! “Noting a trend of evolutionary development, Brauer concluded that anatomically modern humans had evolved in East Africa from the pre-existing hominid stock not less than 150,000 years ago. Thereafter they spread rapidly throughout the length and breath of the continent. From among those who exploited the resources of the Nile Valley and reached the Delta, small numbers migrated along the shores of he Mediterranean into the Middle East and thence into Europe, Asia Australia and the Far East.” A Biography of The Continent Africa John Reader page 93.
Mitochondrial DNA has proven all modern humans are the fruit of Africans who lived in East Africa. We celebrate Black History Month best by celebrating and honoring who we are, human being whose ancestors originated and thrived in Africa! We are all descendants of those Africans who first populated Africa then spread out all over the world. Celebrate yourself, celebrate African History!!!



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