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Old 09-18-2013, 08:26 PM
Location: Maryland
18,624 posts, read 16,426,727 times
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Originally Posted by Mantana View Post
The past does not always determine the future. I still have hope for Africa. A millennium ago Northern and Western Europeans were regarded as savages by their Mediterranean and darker-skinned cousins but they are on top of the world today.

History is a very vast and unpredictable road-map but it is very easy to be misguided by the trappings and beliefs of the present.

However, most people here should note the only thing constant is change. Civilizations come and go. One star dies and another is born.


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Old 09-18-2013, 08:29 PM
Location: Maryland
18,624 posts, read 16,426,727 times
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Originally Posted by Mantana View Post
Another thing to note here re: writing systems is that VERY few cultures developed writing independently.

To my knowledge, the only cultures that did this were the Chinese, Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, and Meso-Americans.

Much of the world's writing systems evolved or borrowed from these through trade and spread of various religions or cultures (spanning millenia).

Some cultures were lucky enough to be exposed before others, really.

The biggest barrier as far as sub-saharan Africa's access to the rest of the world was geography ( for example thick rain forests).
Not sure about the Meso-Americans but agree in general.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:19 AM
574 posts, read 1,670,585 times
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Don't worry about proving anything to me. You're going to be the next one to win the Most Informative Poster contest; your going to be $500 ahead of me!

Who you need to worry about is Jtur88; that is your competition. You don't know what he is going to come up with next! He may start calling black people "long-termed tanned white people".
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Old 09-19-2013, 04:35 PM
Location: Vineland, NJ
8,483 posts, read 10,464,129 times
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Originally Posted by 9162 View Post
It's amazing how so many blacks think? You create a fantasy, then live it as reality. Nobody ever said that Africans from equatorial Africa do not immigrate, specifically, in this case to more prosperous North Africa.

Berbers of Algeria:

Moroccan Berbers...Oh, no! blondes!

So Berbers can't be racially mixed or have ancestry from different continents? I wasn't aware that you were making up all the rules.
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Old 09-20-2013, 02:31 PM
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Pre-colonial Africa was beautiful as Black people are! I'm a European descendant, but I admire African courage, cultures.

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Old 09-20-2013, 03:06 PM
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Default The Empire of Benin

There were many great civilizations in what is now Nigeria. For example, the Empire of Benin. It lasted from around 1440-1897.

The kingdom of Benin comprised the capital city, that is, metropolitan Benin, and the outlying districts. Just like the metropolis, the Oba (ruler) of Benin directed the control of these districts from the central government at the capital.

Before its destruction, Benin City possessed an extensive network of streets up to 131 feet wide. A complex city wall system with nine gates, numbering among the most impressive earth structure in the world, protected the city from intruders. The palace compound itself occupied a large part, and is meant to have encompassed a surface area of 1148 x 2133 feet.

Apart from these palace grounds encompassed the private living quarters of the king, various reception courts, the quarters of the three palace societies, and the royal harem. At least in the 17th century the wooden pillars supporting the roof of the galleries were decorated with mounted bronze reliefs plaques. In the 19th century the pillars were made of clay, and bore reliefs worked directly into the material. Doors and beams in the royal precinct were in some cases covered with hand-embossed sheet brass, or decorated with inlaid mirrors.
The defensive fortification of Benin City, the capital, consisted of ramparts and moats, call iya, enclosing a 4000 square kilometer (2485.5 miles) of community lands. In total, the Benin wall system encompasses over 10,000 kilometres (6213.7 miles) of earth boundaries. They range in size from shallow traces to the immense 20-meter-high rampart (66 feet) around Benin City. Patrick Darling, an archaeologist, estimates that the complex was built between 800 and 1000 up to the late fifteenth century....

The Guinness Book of World Records describes the walls of Benin City as the world's second largest man-made structure after China's Great Wall), in terms of length, and the series of earthen ramparts as the most extensive earthwork in the world.

During the second half of the 15th century, Oba Ewuare the Great ordered a moat to be dug in the heart of the city. The earthworks served as a bastion and also afforded control of access to the capital which had nine gates that were shut at night.
A European visitor commented:
"The King's court is certainly as large as the town of Haarlem, and is entirely surrounded by a special wall. . . . It is divided into many magnificent palaces, houses, and apartments of the courtiers. Fine galleries, about as large as those on the Exchange at Amsterdam, are supported by wooden pillars, from top to bottom covered with cast copper on which are engraved the pictures of their war exploits and battles, and they are kept very clean."
Ancient Benin City

The Walls of Benin City was the world's largest man-made structure.[3] Fred Pearce wrote in New Scientist: "They extend for some 16,000 kilometres in all, in a mosaic of more than 500 interconnected settlement boundaries. They cover 6,500 square kilometres and were all dug by the Edo people. In all, they are four times longer than the Great Wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops. They took an estimated 150 million hours of digging to construct, and are perhaps the largest single archaeological phenomenon on the planet.
Walls of Benin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plaque depicting chief flanked by two warriors, Benin, AD 1550-1650:
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:26 AM
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You know Western literature is pretty good but sometimes it kind of puts forth an impression that becomes somehwat of a real bad generalization when it comes to viewing the African past.....Check this out from English lit...

'We penetrated deeper and deeper into the heart of darkness; We were wanderers on a Prehistoric Earth..We couild not understand because w were too far and cold not remember because wew ere traveling in the Night of the First Ages; Of those Ages that are gone, leaving hardly a sign and no memories'.

Joseph Conrad-Heart of Darkness

Now Africa of course does have a history that is being unearthed through its extremely young history of archaeology (last 60-70 years). Archaeologists excavating in Timbuktu, Jenne-jeno, Benin, Buhaya, Forum el-Alba , Taruga, Igbo Ukwu, Shum Laka, Great Zimbabwe, M'bake, Mema. Tichitt, Nabta Playa have played a great part in formulating and constructing the rich history of Africa's past cultural heritage. Once erroneoulsy charged by uninformed opinion as a cultural backwater, Africa certainly with research can now be seen as an active participant not only with itself in generating histroy but really with the the Arab and European world. they were involved alright. Now it''s just a matter of getting down deep nto the land to prove it...;-)...
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:13 PM
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
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A bit late to the party, since my second child was born a few weeks ago, and I had to cut back my time online, but on the question of Egypt, there are several questions, and they all have different answers.

Were the Ancient Egyptians an African Civilization?

Absolutely. They were the indigenous civilization to the Nile Valley, which is in Africa. They spoke an African language, which is part of the Afro-Asiatic family. Although Semitic languages are part of this family, and spoken in part outside of Africa, the other branches (Berber, Chadic, Cu****ic, and Omotic) are all spoken in Africa.

Were the Ancient Egyptians unadmixed "Sub-Saharan African"

Probably not. After all, Egypt is at the very edge of the African continent, and the Sinai is not some impassible boundary. The strongest evidence that Egyptians didn't used to look like South Sudanese is there is no strong evidence of a lot of black admixture in the Near East, despite Egyptian trade links and empire going into the region. Yes, Muslim Arabs are 10%-20% black, but non-Muslim/non-Arab populations (Kurds, Assyrians, middle-eastern Jews, Druze, Lebanese Christians, etc) show very little or no black ancestry - suggesting this is mostly the result of the recent Islamic slave trade.

Were the Ancient Egyptians "Black" in the U.S. sense?

Quite possibly. Keep in mind how the color line works. Barack Obama is only 50% SSA, but perceived as black in the U.S. Genetic tests have shown Henry Louis Gates Jr. has more white ancestry than black, but he is again slotted as "black" in the U.S. Ancient Egyptians were undoubtedly a mixture of different peoples, as the Nile and the Mediterranean allowed movement across a wide area. The average Egyptian could have been 20%-40% SSA, and thus both not been predominantly "black," yet perceived in the U.S. context as being black.

IMHO, the question of the classical era is settled though. My Roman times, Egyptians were white. Take a look at the Fayum mummy portraits from the second century CE. Presuming they were realistic depictions of how the people looked in life, most in Roman Egypt were either strictly "Mediterranean" in terms of their looks. This is about as "black" as they got.

More here.

At minimum, the Arabs didn't change the racial balance of Egypt too much.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Motion View Post
I wanted to clear up some of the misconceptions about pre-colonial Africa that many people seem to have and that's shaping how they view Africa and Africans.

The Benin Kingdom:

What do you define specifically as pre colonial Africa? Africa was conquered by Arabs and Muslims since ancient times and it lasts in many ways still to this day. The Arabs colonized much of Africa. In fact it was the Arabs developed the ideas of an oppressive mass slave trade of Africans throughout the globe. Look up the Arab slave trade.

Europeans slave trade doesn't compare to the larger and even grander scale of the much worse Arab slave trade. Arabs are the biggest culprits of them all.
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Old 10-06-2013, 03:35 AM
Location: Melbourne, Australia
9,781 posts, read 16,238,353 times
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Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
There definitely is a misconception that Africans(particularly South of the Sahara) had no type of civilization prior to the Europeans arrival. This is largely due to history of extreme Eurocentrism and White supremacy. The time period before Pre-Colonialism was like a "Golden Era" for the continent and especially West Africa, as many kingdoms existed. The Trans-Saharan routes flourished and brought great wealth throughout the most of the continent. Even with North Africa, many Eurocentrics felt that the only reason civilizations like Egypt existed was because Europeans or other foreign groups allowed them to do so. So in a sense, they didn't really view them as indigenous African Civilizations.
This is true. When I was a kid I thought that Africans were all stone-age hunter gatherers, who at best lived in huts or maybe raised goats or sheep or cattle, but little did I know of the advanced civilisations that have existed in Africa for millenia, not even counting those in North and East Africa.
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