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Old 09-04-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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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:




BRONZE KING TRIBAL EYE - YouTube
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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The various pre-colonial empires and kingdoms that existed.







African empires - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Trade routes in pre-colonial west Africa:

The Saharan Trade
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Old 09-04-2013, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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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.
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Old 09-04-2013, 01:56 PM
 
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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.
Yeah,there needs to be more tv programming covering pre-colonial Africa. I caught that show on the Benin kingdom on the A&E network back in the 90's.
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Old 09-04-2013, 04:59 PM
 
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Kreutz View Post
A written language would have really come in handy then.

Oh wait....once you went south of Ethiopia those didn't exist.
"The oldest written sub-Saharan language dates from the Meroe period in Sudan." Just as far South as Ethiopia but more central.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Sudan statues show ancient script
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Originally Posted by Kreutz View Post
A written language would have really come in handy then.

Oh wait....once you went south of Ethiopia those didn't exist.
Still doesn't change the fact that their were civilizations and empires that spanned over thousands of miles. I'm so glad the truth is starting to come to light after centuries of lies and deceit caused during the colonial era. Now looking back, it was by far the worst thing to ever happen to the continent of Africa.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by gwillyfromphilly View Post
Still doesn't change the fact that their were civilizations and empires that spanned over thousands of miles. I'm so glad the truth is starting to come to light after centuries of lies and deceit caused during the colonial era. Now looking back, it was by far the worst thing to ever happen to the continent of Africa.
To be fair and to try and stabilize this "white vs black" theme of many of the threads on here, I would say that colonialism was not necessarily a bad thing for Africa. The period of European colonialism was just a continuation of what humans have been doing since the Ancient Egyptians, where you have certain groups of people in certain territories, trying to control other peoples and their territories. Race has nothing to do with this, it's just a thing about power.

It was not like black people were just minding their own business, and the evil white man came and took over their land. As the map that Motion showed retorts, there were empires on the African continent before the French and British Empires. Heck, there were empires on the African continent even before there was a political entity called Britain or France.

For example, the 19th century Zulu Kingdom in South Africa was an empire. It was an empire ran by the famous Shaka Zulu, and it was an empire feared and hated by the countries that it conquered. The Zulu empire wasn't different from the British empire in that it used its military force to dominate other territories.

But during the 1870s the Zulu-Anglo war occurred, and the British won. The British were just the most powerful empire at the time. If the Zulus had won the war, and they would have controlled their part of South Africa efficiently from the 1870s to the present day, I wouldn't think South Africa's political structure would be any different than what it is now.
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Old 09-04-2013, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Originally Posted by Kreutz View Post
A written language would have really come in handy then.

Oh wait....once you went south of Ethiopia those didn't exist.
That is the central crux of the thing. A written language is essential to any civilization in the post-Sumerian sense of the word. There have been a few cultures that have left behind an interesting artifact or two in the absence of a written language, but they simply cannot be thought of as "civilizations" in the modern form.

The well -known kingdoms of Africa, Benin and Ghana and the rest, were possible only because they had a system of writing and record keeping with borrowed Arabic. Prior to the incursions of cultures bringing written languages from the north, Africans simply had no means of organizing advanced cultural institutions.

Africans were basically Stone-age, until about the 8th century, when Arabs began importing slaves and gold from Sahelian Africa, and left the Arabic language and other cultural residue for the Africans to utilize in establishing formidable empires.

The point is, anything that is in any way "cultural" in Africa was brought there by non-Africans from the north, which constitutes, in one fashion or another, Colonialism -- whether continuously enforced with political boundaries or not. "Pre-colonial Africa" was before the Arabs in the eight century, and before then, there was nothing that anyone could stretch into any semblance of what would be called culture today.

Last edited by jtur88; 09-05-2013 at 12:03 AM..
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:16 AM
 
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^

jtur88...


Do you apply all that to the Inca of Peru who had no writing but still had an impressive civilization?
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Old 09-05-2013, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Vineland, NJ
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Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
Africans were basically Stone-age, until about the 8th century, when Arabs began importing slaves and gold from Sahelian Africa, and left the Arabic language and other cultural residue for the Africans to utilize in establishing formidable empires.

The point is, anything that is in any way "cultural" in Africa was brought there by non-Africans from the north, which constitutes, in one fashion or another, Colonialism -- whether continuously enforced with political boundaries or not. "Pre-colonial Africa" was before the Arabs in the eight century, and before then, there was nothing that anyone could stretch into any semblance of what would be called culture today.
That is simply not true and is a testament to how extreme Eurocentrism is still in effect by the level of ignorance in your post. Your basically saying non-African people gave African people their culture and it's all thanks to them. That's one of the most ridiculous statements I've heard in a long time.

A perfect example would be the Nok civilization in West Africa, that goes back to 500 BC. As you can see that culture clearly predates the Arab invasion or any foreign colonization. Nice attempt at trying to spread lies with your misinformed information but that won't work here.

NOKCULTURE.COM

The Nok of Nigeria - Archaeology Magazine Archive
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