The month of March is Women’s Month. A celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture, and society. In light of this, we are celebrating a few women from the African diaspora whose immense contributions although, often overlooked should live on in perpetuity. And so we continue with a woman who is fearless, a fierce warrior of Africanism, and an advocate of African history, Africa’s story, a writer and storyteller, best known for her themes of politics, culture, race, and gender. She’s also a wordsmith a gift that she has honored to the fullest and precisely the kind of woman we need today in our modern era — who is not afraid to tell it like it is. She’s truly a remarkably inspirational woman and if you are among the lucky few lucky enough to read her work then you know she’s really the voice we need especially in a society that[…]
Mansa Musa or Kankan Moussa (c. 1280 – c. 1337) came to the throne as the 10th ruler of the Mali Empire one of the largest and wealthiest empires the world has ever known. Mansa is the Mandinka word for an emperor or sultan. He came into power around 1312 AD, only as a temporary substitute to his predecessor Abubakari Keita II who decided to explore and find out what was on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, he never made it back. However, according to some scholars and historians, Abubakari did make it to South America. With three thousand ships, some slaves, and gold that Abubakari took with him, it is difficult to grasp that they will disappear in thin air without a trace or a single survivor. Therefore, an Arab historian al-Umari, has speculated Abubakari’s voyage as a possible instance of pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. Mansa Musa[…]
The griots have been telling a 700-year-old story about a sickly boy named Sundiata, who grew up to become a great warrior, defeated a brutal enemy, and united the Mandinka people under one empire – the Mali empire. One of the most successful, wealthiest, and thriving empires in Africa. This theme of the power of ancestral knowledge will continue to resonate throughout the epic of Sundiata as you read, and it is inherent to the telling of the story. For not only is the story of Sundiata important but so is the actual telling of the story important. It must not only be studied but also told since griots maintain the history of Mali within themselves. The father of Sundiata, Naré Maghann Konaté (also called Maghan Kon Fatta or Maghan the Handsome) was the king of the city of Niani. According to griots, a soothsayer who was also a hunter foretold[…]
African history has been so mistreated in the past so much so that efforts were made deliberately to obscure it. In the 1830s the German philosopher G. H. F. Hegel remarked that Africa “is no historical part of the world; it has no movement or development to exhibit.” Such arrogance and dismissal towards an entire continent are simply myopic, to say the least. Although, one man an African will challenge this narrative and provide scientific proves that in fact, Africa is the cradle of humanity, the birthplace of humankind. And so we begin with an individual whose work lay the foundation stone to the numerous doors opening to African history. Cheikh Anta Diop, (29 December 1923 – 7 February 1986) was a historian, anthropologist, physicist, Pan-African, and politician who studied the human race’s origins and pre-colonial African culture. Diop grew up attending both traditional Islamic and French colonial schools in[…]
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