Africa, As It Really WasBeau Albrecht
According to The Narrative, sub-Saharan Africa once was a thriving, peace-loving, technological society. Then, Western imperialists stole all their scientific achievements (meanwhile apparently casting a magic spell to make the Africans forget their high technology, as well as making the archeological evidence of it vanish into thin air). For their next act, they introduced slavery for the first time in human history, and soon were running through the jungle with butterfly nets to round up natives. Alas is Wakanda!
Moreover, inherited guilt and collective guilt are valid concepts. (After all, you totally can go to prison if some distant family member is suspected of pulling off a stagecoach heist in the 1850s.) Consequentially, all blacks are owed unlimited freebies forever.
Don’t laugh! That nonsense is pretty similar to what Afrocentric so-called historians are saying, and with a straight face. If this is what you were taught in school, my condolences. Curiously, this Narrative is more anti-white than it is pro-black. On the other hand, it suggests that only whites are capable of shaping the world’s destiny. Looking at it in a certain way, by so doing, they praise us quite immodestly.
The other side of the story
The February 1909 edition of Watson’s Jeffersonian Magazine includes a long opening editorial depicting many less-than-flattering characteristics of native Africans. It was published by an American politician back when most of them were proudly pro-white. (If he were around today, I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t have endorsed the catch-and-release strategy for dealing with rioters.) Much unlike today’s PC nonsense, here you’ll find a contrarian viewpoint about tribal Africans, informed by accounts from explorers who’d visited the place, without the considerable (ahem) whitewashing job done by politically correct “historians” lately. I’ll recap some of the highlights.
It begins as a rebuttal of a surprisingly early bit of Afrocentrism in the New York Evening Journal:
The Hearst paper, referring to the thick lip of the negro, declares that “those lips appear upon every Sphinx in Egypt”; and that “the ancestors of the negro were laying the foundations of our religion and were mapping the stars” at a time when our ancestors were “gibbering savages, living in caves, sharpening bones and eating raw meat.”
I can hear it already — “We wuz kangs!”
Much follows about what ancient Europeans were like in the state of nature, heavily recapping Tacitus, one of the earliest extensive accounts. I’ll add that although the Romans and Germanic tribes frequently were at war, the portrayal informed by reports of travelers is mainly positive. As it happens, Arminius wasn’t exactly a caveman hopping around while grunting “Ook, ook!” Then the editorial gets into Egyptian iconography, particularly how they depicted their own people (to a large degree, kindred to the Semites) as opposed to their much darker neighbors to the south. The Cushites (Nilotic Africans) generally were depicted with prominently puckered lips. Some other groups in East Africa had heavy Arab admixture.
Then the political incorrectness really goes off the charts when the further distant Bantu peoples are described. (Lately, the Somalis are starting to make the Bantus look a whole lot better.) After a century of political correctness, simply repeating what explorers found in Deepest Darkest Africa is thoughtcrime, just as honestly describing lots of other aspects of history constitutes hatefacts. Well, what about all the advanced science no doubt hatched in laboratories dotting the Congo?
To the negro in his native land, the grand march of the world’s intellect was a thing unfelt, unknown, unsuspected. Into no written sign did he ever put a thought, a sentiment, a discovery, a message. Into his savage life, no mental bugle-blast sounded. Against the bars of human limitations, the soul of the native negro never beat. If he ever had an aspiration which soared higher than the conquering of some neighboring tribe, the possession of more cows, and a plentiful supply of wives, the world does not know it.
Nature gave him a noble heritage in minerals, in timber, in waterpower, in precious metals — but he never showed the slightest sign of appreciation. From highest to lowest, the negro lived for the day, to gratify the appetites of the day, to revel in the lusts of the day.
For the past, he cared nothing for the future, nothing. His life was bounded by the Present tense. He had no ideals that called for labor and for sacrifice, to the end that the world might be made better.
Was the writer being a little harsh with this conclusion? Looking at some other aspects of Africans in their natural condition might be informative.
Two notable kangz
Then it discusses Shaka Zulu, the Stalin of Bulawayo. There’s been plenty of thuggery everywhere in world history since Day One, of course. Still, I have to wonder how folks like him and Genghis Khan could accumulate such a sky-high body count with only swords, spears, and arrows — no WMDs or other modern armaments, not even so much as gunpowder. I suppose the answer is one corpse at a time.
Their greatest King was Chaka — a monster of ferocity and sexuality who reminds one of the brutes who ruled and ravaged Haiti after the downfall of the French regime. Chaka was just a human beast, of tremendous force, whose soul seemed possessed of the devils of war, rapine, slaughter and lust. His bloody career cost the lives of probably a million human beings, of his own race: and if he was moved by anything but the passion for killing, destroying and extending the realm ill which he was feared, it is not discoverable. He founded no institutions, spoke of none, and made no efforts to lift from his country its pall of barbarism.
Others have estimated up to two million deaths after the Zulu invasion from the north, including vast numbers of native Khoisan peoples. Although The Narrative hasn’t completely buried the story about Shaka Zulu pulling a Rwanda, it’s not emphasized too much. (Wait a minute — whatever happened to black lives mattering? Perhaps “Never again the Mfecane!” just isn’t catchy enough.) On the other hand, most of what is said lately about the region’s history is about how bad apartheid was under the evil British and Afrikaners, and how everyone lived happily ever after when that cuddly teddy bear Nelson Mandela took over.
When Chaka’s mother died (poisoned by him, it was said), he elaborately conducted a funeral in which seven thousand of the mourners slew each other in their frenzy. In the grave, Chaka put ten young women and these were buried alive, along with the corpse of the King’s mother.
Did I mention that black-on-black violence was a problem back in the day?
The jealous tyrant could not bear the thought of death for himself, and the idea of having an heir was repugnant. Therefore, whenever one of his numerous wives gave evidence of being with child, Chaka put her to death. (And this was a Nineteenth Century King!)
Turkish sultans, more sensibly, would leave one son alive to be the successor.
Another negro King, M’tesa, who reigned in the 19th century, amazed even the English by his atrocities. For any trifle that displeased him, his subjects were killed. Like Chaka, he was a monster of lust, and a succession of fresh wives was a royal necessity. To escape the encumbrance of too large a harem, it was M’tesa’s practice to have an old wife slaughtered every time a fresh one was introduced.
An English traveller tells of being present when four of the wives of M’tesa offered him their four young sisters. He accepted the four, married them by the simple ceremony of sitting in their laps, hugging them, and rubbing his neck against theirs. This being done, he picked out four wives that he was tired of and ordered them to instant execution. This was in the year 1861.
Ivan the Terrible’s reputation starts improving when compared to King Mutesa I of Buganda. I’ll have to say that Uganda has its moments sometimes, but this wasn’t one of them. At least Idi Amin was a better ruler, kinda sorta.
In the last of the exploring expeditions, — those of Grant, Speke, Baker and Stanley — we find the same frightful conditions which were revealed to the Ambassides, thirteen hundred years ago, when that division of the Arab race crossed the deserts, to escape the Ommiades of the Barbary States. And the conditions, as found by the Ambassides in the seventh century, were precisely the same that existed before Christ.
If all the above was a “Eurocentric” opinion, apparently the Abbasid Arabs were reporting pretty much the same things since early on; and little changed over the centuries.
Apparently family values weren’t a big priority back then.
At the time of the latest Stanley exploration, husbands would sell their wives, and fathers, their daughters. For a few needles, or an elephant’s tooth, or a few cows, the belle of the tribe could be bought, by any white man, or any colored man.
After some more of this, it discusses a French expedition that revealed some fairly sordid details. Regrettably, the explorers disgraced themselves, but it was hardly a scandal to the natives.
The young white men of one of the French expeditions pleased one of the negro chiefs very much by frankly admiring his numerous wives. After these white men and these negro women had almost publicly broken a certain Commandment, the Chief and husband openly expressed his gratification! He took the white men’s act as a tribute to his good taste in the selection of his wives.
My sword-swinging heathen ancestors wouldn’t have cottoned to that. What was the matter with those French guys, though? Visiting the jungle is no excuse for jungle fever. In another episode, Sir Samuel Baker’s expedition brought some musicians with them, but they found themselves frequently surrounded by an open-air strip club.
Whenever this band would start up their music, troops of negro women, stark naked, would surround them, dancing in ecstasy, and with no sense of feminine shame.
So maybe that’s just what their culture was, but in Victorian times, that seemed a little much. I’m tempted to write some rap lyrics to commemorate this, peppered with the word “booty,” but the inspiration just isn’t flowing. Besides, others have done far better than I could even on a good day. In any case, this passage ends sourly with the following:
Different from the white race in physical and mental structure, the negro differs even more radically in the matter of morals. The typical negro has no conception of chastity, — none whatever. The men do not have it, and the women are without it. Of principles, of virtue, they are wholly devoid. They think no more of the congress of the sexes than they do of the breeding of the beasts. To yield to a natural appetite of that kind is, to them, no more of a vice than to eat when hungry and to drink when dry. (See appendix A.)
This lack of the sense of personal morality is one of the chief characteristics of the negro now! A HIDEOUS, OMINOUS, NATIONAL MENACE!
Don’t hold back; say it like you really mean it!
But wait! There’s more!
After that, it gets into more ooga-booga stuff. This includes cannibalism, lack of native religion advanced beyond “evil spirits, malignant demons, haunts, sorcery, and devils little and big,” despotism, and human sacrifice.
No wonder that Darwin and Haeckel pronounce this the lowest of races, different radically in body, brain and spirit from the Caucasian, inferior to it, and “incapable of a true inner culture and of a higher mental development, even under the favorable conditions in the United States of North America. No woolly-haired nation has ever “had an important history.”
This was, of course, before Franz Boas and his followers politicized anthropology, ultimately making race denialism part of The Narrative. After that, the essay speaks dismissively of egalitarianism. Maintaining racial purity is a necessity.
As was forcefully said by the Right Honorable James Bryce (more to be honored because of his books than because he is Ambassador of Great Britain to the United States) this question of a hybrid race concerns the whole of mankind. Says Mr. Bryce:
“The matter ought to be regarded from the side neither of the white nor of the black, but of the future of mankind at large. Now for the future of mankind nothing is more vital than that some races should be maintained at the highest level of efficiency, because the work they can do for thought and art and letters, for scientific discovery, and for raising the standard of conduct, WILL DETERMINE THE GENERAL PROGRESS OF HUMANITY. If therefore we were to suppose the blood of the races which are now most advanced to be diluted, so to speak, by that of the most backward, not only would more be lost to the former than would be gained to the latter, but there would be a loss, POSSIBLY AN IRREPARABLE LOSS, TO THE WORLD AT LARGE.”
Whew! After Enoch Powell left the scene, British statesmen just haven’t been the same.
Then the author states that old archeological finds in Africa aren’t proof that Negroes built them. He doesn’t name specifics, but this would include Arab, Jewish, and Berber settlements and outposts in the past. The famous ruins of Great Zimbabwe are a prime example. Although Afrocentrists point to this ancient fortification as proof of a thriving past, the truth is a bit different. It actually was a distant Jewish colony. Their descendants heavily mixed with the locals, living on as the Lemba tribe. For some reason, they’re not building stone baileys with Middle Eastern architecture these days, much less anything that looks like Tel Aviv. Sad to say, there’s not even a decent delicatessen to be found — oy vey! It’s rather fitting that after the Bush War in Rhodesia ended with the Communist thug Robert Mugabe winning the last fair election, the country now is named after dilapidated ruins.
Leave the negro to himself, and cycles sweep by, empires rise and fall, races appear and disappear, — the negro undergoing no change, making no advance, and dreaming of none. Incapable of creative thought, cherishing no ideals, having no morals and no principles, having no hope of heaven and no fear of hell, he remains, century after century, the neighbor of the gorilla and the chimpanzee, making no more effort at civilization than they make.
Ouch once again! He goes on to say that Orientals, Indians, and Arabs progressed and made something of themselves, but Africans remain backward.
Will Liberia never teach the negro-petters anything? Will Haiti never be classed with the “Horrible Examples?”
They’ve been called shithole countries lately, not to put too fine a point on it. After that, the author mentions that syphilis was rampant and frequently spread to race mixers (though the VD problem wasn’t as bad as after Africans started the AIDS epidemic), cocaine was popular and especially with black preachers (at least they didn’t have crack yet), and other social ills.
The author begins a tirade about egalitarianism. After that:
The well-meaning but mistaken negro-petter who bemoans the condition of the negro, and laments the fact that he was brought away from Africa and put into slavery, is a most absurd creature. His talk is idiotic twaddle.
Had not the African kings sold off the surplus of their subjects, the negroes who were brought to Europe and America might have been cooked and eaten by hungry friends, offered up as a sacrifice to placate offended “spirits,” killed in battle by neighboring savages, or buried alive to keep company in the grave with some member of a royal family, or starved miserably in some season of famine.
Much more of the same follows, including lots of effrontery by blacks and coddling by whites. Here’s a representative sample:
Had he been left in his home in Africa, the negro of this land of the free and the freaks would never have known the delicious flavor of federal pap, philanthropic donations, Carnegie dinners. White House receptions and Presidential luncheons: never would have known how good it felt to send a white girl to prison because of her refusal to wait on him in a restaurant, or to see his children educated at the expense of white men whose own children are in the cotton field and the cotton mill, or to read an editorial in a Hearst newspaper reminding him that his ancestors laid the foundations of modern civilization at a time when ours were “gibbering savages.”
All this was written during the time considered to be the nadir of race relations. Well, now you’ve heard the other side of the story. Gibsmedats, virtue signaling, lawfare, the media’s near-worshipful fabrications, and all the rest of it were all present a century ago; the difference between then and now regarding these is just a matter of degree. The rant continues, then wrapping up with the following:
A final word and I am done: the natural repugnance of our race to equality of social relations with the negroes is THE INSTINCT OF RACIAL SELF-PRESERVATION. It is God-given, and its purpose is the high and holy one of keeping pure the blood of our superior race. To do this is best for us, best for the negro, best for our country, BEST FOR MANKIND.
What an epic tirade! Two appendices follow, anecdotes doing a deep dive on some of the ooga-booga stuff.
The present significance
Sure, the author had his biases. Maybe he isn’t giving voodoo enough credit as a valid pagan tradition. Perhaps he missed some of the better aspects of their culture. One might even argue that Bantu tribes had the best “long pork” recipes until Hannibal Lecter’s fava beans and chianti. Still, I have some news for the Afrocentrists — they’re biased too. They’ll dismiss every unflattering detail in accounts by explorers, missionaries, traders, and so forth — whether by Europeans or Arabs. This means they claim to know more about conditions on the Dark Continent than people who actually were there and described what they found. I’ll leave it up to the reader to decide which was closer to the truth.
The point of recapping this isn’t about picking on 19th century Africans who apparently were a little slow to take up the torch of civilization. Instead, some obvious questions come to mind. Were blacks in America really that bad off during the “Jim Crow” era, particularly compared to conditions in their native homeland? Was segregation about oppression, or was it a sensible containment measure to prevent violence as best as possible short of returning them to their ancestral homeland? For that matter, what the hell are those ingrates complaining about now?
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Western Civilization Is Destroying Its Historical Heritage, Part I
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“Sojourners in the Desert . . . Glad of Each Delay”: Meditations on the Drylands, Part III
Africa is a large continent, where much can be found. While there were surely savage tribes that Europeans came into contact with, and plenty of places have been shitholes for a while, one can also find quite positive accounts of sub-Saharan African kingdoms, such as accounts of the kingdom of Benin, reported by Europeans from the 18th century, before any notion of political correctness existed.
As much as it is an agenda to paint sub-Saharan Africa as a paradise before the coming of the White man, so the depiction of that land as a land of eternal savagery in the past also warrants suspicion. It is indeed true that accounts of Africa in the past were indeed often written in the interest of actual white supremacy and the justification of slavery, oppression. The accounts are likely true, but WHAT they chose to write an account of is where the agenda comes in.
I would recommend looking up European accounts of Sub-Saharan African kingdoms to get a clearer picture. They exist.
The 13.century Arab historian, Ibn Khaldun had this description of sub-Sahara Africa in his work “Muqaddimah” from wiki:
“To the south of this … there is a Negro people called Lamlam. They are unbelievers. They brand themselves on the face and temples. The people of Ghanah and Takrur invade their country, capture them, and sell them to merchants who transport them to the Maghrib. There, they constitute the ordinary mass of slaves. Beyond them to the south, there is no civilization in the proper sense. There are only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings. They live in thickets and caves and eat herbs and unprepared grain. They frequently eat each other. They cannot be considered human beings”
“Ibn Khaldun wrote that “the Negro nations are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because (Negroes) have little that is (essentially) human and possess attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated”
I have read the prior a few years as ago as well. But this account has been altered/distorted very much to fit narrative of translators who added there white supremacist views into the mix as @JJ mentioned before. The true writings of Ibn Khaldun in its original language can not be quoted in its true form as the interpretations have altered over the centuries. However, the reference to people of Ghanah is what today would be the area of Mali, parts of Mauritania, Senegal, Burkina Faso, have existed and the groups that lived in that area have also dispersed over other regions in West Africa as well. However, this account of Ibn can not be interpreted as objective fact, because reliability of Ibn Khaldun’s account precisely on the grounds of its narrative richness of Western Sudan ( medieval term for Western Africa) have been pointed at as by many historical scholars as not having a literal interpretation of genealogical accounts. Also in time of his existence the chance of him moving from the Maghreb ( North Africa) through the deep Sahara and then to tropical shores of West Africa would be impossible. Even today dozens people die in the Sahara today through migration routes alone.
Also the historical fact of berber groups being sold as slaves to southern parts of Sahara/West Africa is also not accounted. Many slaves from the north where sold downs aswell. Also this idea of “the Negro nations to south which is reference to Western African nation being submissive etc. Is also false, as many farest groups any berber from the north would meet would be a black muslim at best who spoke their native tongue but also arabic which a lingua france among north and western african muslims belong to the elite classes. This also why the so called moors was a mixture of muslim groups of north and northwest Africa some being berber and arab (light ones) and other being mande, Fulani, soninke, etc ( the brown/so called black ones).
“I have read the prior a few years as ago as well. But this account has been altered/distorted very much to fit narrative of translators who added there white supremacist views into the mix as @JJ mentioned before. ”
No proof, again. Nobody added “white supremacist” views to anything. They simply accounted the truth of what they saw. And it was mostly negative. That’s it.
Lots of accounts, assorted for outrageous topics (!) can be found in this interesting volume from 1868:
As for the question, whether Whites would denigrate foreign people bc of White supremacy, I have this to offer:
In my experience many (not all!) Whites who go to foreign lands outside of tourism and business travel do so bc they either love those places and cultures to begin with or bc they failed in their homelands.
Certainly many of the early conquistadores were driven by the latter. They were impoverished nobles who could not find a place in European society. Now when people with this motivation come to a foreign place and write home, well, what will they write? Something along the lines of:
“You stupid people at home that rejected me are totally inferior to this foreign city of splendor, wealth and intelligence! One hundred of your town halls (that I was denied to enter) fits into their one town hall and their king is better than your king and I am such a big fish here and much better than you back home.”
If they write in a time when morals are more important than wealth, they will point out how great those are. In times of environmental frenzy they’ll claim how the 15 natives totally live in harmony with that isle the size Britain.
So I guess if anything, then those descriptions are skewed TOWARDS the foreigners, not biased against them.
The African kingdoms of Mali, Songhai, and what not might have been a little more advanced than the tribes of the inner Congo, but that’s not saying a lot. Ghana is significantly better of than Liberia, but it’s still freakin’ Ghana!
Blacks and condescending White and a Jewish educators love to go on about Mali and its Kang Mansa Musa, but his most noteworthy achievement was spurring hyperinflation in the Arab world by making it rain as he went on the Haj.
‘’ might have been a little more advanced than the tribes of the inner Congo’’ little ? You mean a whole lot, the tribes of the Congo lived a very primitive life and not with a much of civilization one would like to study. But kingdoms/empires of Mali, Songhai, Ashanti in Western Africa are definitely above par to the Central and Southern African regions. The kingdoms/empires of Mali, Songhai, Ashanti etc have contributed a lot to African-islamic civilizations such medicine, astronomy, math, extraction of natural resources like gold, salt etc. Hence why the region of Ghana was called ‘’ Gold Coast’’ and many account of Europeans saw the sophisticated gold artifacts and high level jewellery manufacturing skills that they possessed. There even accounts of African slaves who spoke Arabic and wrote Arabic as well, but due to slavery could not profess their knowledge. I agree with Ghana is like 5x better of then a real shithole like Liberia. But that is due to the aforementioned civilization of which Ghana democracy and governance is based on. Ghana already had state nation system with a head of state in the Ashanti/Akan empire prior to European contact with whole political system of hierarchy. Liberia was just a tropical place with small tribes colonized by the USA and where they send ex-Black American slaves to. I have lived in the UK and I and there is a sizable amount of African groups in Britain. One can look at them as ‘negroes’’ but a closer observation you will see a major major difference between the ethnic groups/nationalities. The Nigerians and Ghanaians belong to the very smart and intelligent groups of Africans not only in the UK but also in the USA, Canada and other places in Europe and on the African continent. Its mostly the Nigerians, Ghanaians, Ivorians, Kenyans etc who belong to the so called ( invisible model minority group). While groups likes Somalis, Congolese, Zambians, Angolans etc are not really known for being exceptionally smart groups of people. I remember Jared Taylor being in Ivory Coast ( west Africa) back in the days and how he was amazed how developed it was especially their capital city Abidjan. The reason was due to government being of Ashanti/Akan extraction and the governance being a reflection of their higher civilization of order and structure which you see in Ghana today compared to other undemocratic, chaotic, and extreme corrupt African nations. But Ivory Coast then came under governance and rebellion of the Muslims from the north who still lived in their older ways and felt left out and destroyed the nation into a civil war and chaos (twice) look it up.
“I remember Jared Taylor being in Ivory Coast ( west Africa) back in the days and how he was amazed how developed it was especially their capital city Abidjan. The reason was due to government being of Ashanti/Akan extraction and the governance being a reflection of their higher civilization of order and structure which you see in Ghana today compared to other undemocratic, chaotic, and extreme corrupt African nations.”
I doubt it. I remember Jared talking about being in Africa, and an african man bemoaning the end of colonialism. He believed it would have benefitted them more. It’s anecdotal, but that’s what I remember Jared saying about his time in africa.
The Ivory Coast is decent, but I’m pretty sure their population is quite mixed race, I may be wrong. Anyway, much of their “development” was likely due to the French in the first place. Not because they were Akan or whatever. Also, Ghana is still extremely poor. Not a great example. Probably not the worst, though.
I’ll concede that some West African sculpture looks cool (ex. Benin Bronzes.) But places like Timbuktu were not great centers of the Islamic civilization like Baghdad, Córdoba, or even Marrakech. And I have to wonder how much Mali and so on owe to Arab and Berber influence. It’s a bit like how Nubia looks impressive grading on an African curve despite being a second rate knock-off of Egypt.
You claim that these places contributed so much without actually naming anything or anyone. Did Mali or Songhai produce anyone on the level of Ibn Khaldun or Ibn Sina?
@JJ…one can also find quite positive accounts of sub-Saharan African kingdoms, such as accounts of the kingdom of Benin, reported by Europeans from the 18th century, before any notion of political correctness existed. I fully agree with you on this many writings on Africa in the 19th and 20th century if filled up with white supremacist narratives and agenda. Why because that was the period many territories in Africa was being carved up during the Berlin conference ready to be colonized by the big Western-European players at the time. I disagree with the accounts mostly be being true, as you said accounts of African kingdoms prior to the 19th/20th century. Had many many honest and realistic accounts not filled with today PC culture. The British empire for example described the Ashanti/Akan empire as being very sophisticated and organized kingdom and people with high intelligence and military prowess who also had strong foothold in Western Africa and significantly influenced other ethnic kingdoms. Hold and behold that same kingdom they described is what today is Ghana. One of the view African countries where there is high levels of democracy, freedom of speech, safety, quality education and country that never ever had civil wars/tribal warfare we see and have seen in nations like Congo DRC, Rwanda, Liberia (which is huge mess), Sierra leone, Somalia, Nigeria, Sudan, and the list goes on. So there is definitely a difference among African ethnic groups in their civilizations. Nigeria Yoruba kingdom is also one of the higher sophisticated group compare to the very simplistic and tribal groups seen in The Congo and other Southern Africa. The Yoruba have developed a very developed skill of bronze/copper sculptures as an example.
“so the depiction of that land as a land of eternal savagery in the past also warrants suspicion.”
Not really. None of these accounts say it was eternally savage everywhere, but the accounts are mostly negative, and likely mostly true.
“It is indeed true that accounts of Africa in the past were indeed often written in the interest of actual white supremacy and the justification of slavery, oppression.”
Probably not. “White supremacy” was never the goal of the accounts. The white man came, saw, and recorded it. It wasn’t entirely negative, I’m sure. But most were. It was in the interest of truth, not justification for “slavery”, “oppression” or “supremacy”. Nor is there any proof.
“The accounts are likely true, but WHAT they chose to write an account of is where the agenda comes in.”
Well, if they were true and mostly negative, then there likely was no agenda. It was simply the truth. Arabs would say the same things.
“I would recommend looking up European accounts of Sub-Saharan African kingdoms to get a clearer picture. They exist.”
They existed, but were either still shitholes or created by some type of semites or people with semite admixture (Ethiopia for example).
Your comment is dripping with jew, shalom!
Here is European testimony of contact with the Kingdom of Benin: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Benin#European_contact
It is rather naive to believe that the dominant socio-political agenda in the West at the time of colonization of Africa (white supremacy) did not influence the narrative on Africa. Dissidents acknowledge and grieve that the socio-political agenda of today affects the objectivity of scientific/historical research; what makes you think that agenda affecting objectivity is new? Do you really believe that the white man simply “came, saw and recorded it?” Do you think the mainstream media today simply “comes, sees, and records?” Unfortunately, like the far-left, dissidents turn a blindside to what does not benefit their narrative.
By the way, you need only research the founder of the magazine cited in the article, Thomas Watson, to see my point.
Some places were better off than others, which is hardly surprising. The ones better off were those with outside contact and trade relations, which is certainly true for Benin, which certainly did a lot of exporting. Still, I wouldn’t quite say it was a warm weather Denmark.
This is one of those “forward to the right friend” articles I’m so fond of.
There is no “narrative” about African history. Afrocentrists aren’t taken seriously by anyone with an IQ above 50, and real African history is primarily non-Africans writing about their experiences there, as the natives were not literate. (Except for maybe Ethiopia). Africa just never had much going on.
As the commenters above said, not all of sub Saharan Africa was a dump before Whites showed up, but it was all primitive — which is not always a bad thing.
@Mike Ricci ……..I have read the above as well. But the issue is we look at Africa from a very simplistic and dismissive lense as being a non factor. The real truth is Africa is very dynamic and complex to understand and till this day our best scholars, historians, anthropologist have many questions regarding the very diverse civilizations of Africa, because they don’t know Africa in its diverse fundaments. History written about Africa is mostly filled with white supremacist narratives and sentiments especially during the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century when writing about Africa and colonization began. Africa is huge and we con not compare high civilizations like Ethiopia, Ashanti-Akan, Yoruba, Mali, Soghai empires to primitive and simplistic cultures of let say Central Africa and Southern Africa. Ethiopia has its own writing system for centuries so them being not literate is far from the truth. The Songhai, Mali etc had their own Arabized scripts of their native languages. Many of their history etc was in Timbuktu which the Nomadic Tuereg-beber tribe have partially burned down. Then you have Ashanti-Akan who their symbolic script. The whole afro centrist view is more of a sub-culture among a small group of black Americans who have romanticized view on things such as ‘’we wuz kangz etc’’ but same can be said of Eurocentric views which is even more full of bullshit on African histories. But saying Africa didn’t had great civilizations would be intellectually dishonest I mean looking at Ancient Egypt, so called Moorish history, Ghana empire, Songhai empire, Ashanti empire, Ethiopia, Yoruba kingdom, Hausa-Fulani caliphates etc etc. One can not deny didn’t have great empires because they did and many of the scholars have attested to it even historic accounts of Europeans prior to colonization, imperialism etc have mentioned great and magnificent accounts when in contact with these African civilizations. The mistake we make Is lumping Africa as one monolith entity. As China is different to Saudi Arabia in Asia so is the Songhai empire different to the people of the Congo in Africa.
“History written about Africa is mostly filled with white supremacist narratives and sentiments especially during the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century when writing about Africa and colonization began. ”
I say again, no proof. Your assumption that these accounts were made because of white supremacy is unfounded. The accounts are simply the truth, brutal honesty. They didn’t need “white supremacist” biases to inform their opinions on africa. They could see it. Yes, they had kingdoms that were…decent? I guess? Many of them were likely built by semitic type peoples (ethiopia), not by “black” africans. But sure, they existed. Not super impressive, still. But it’s something. Some accounts are positive as well, but even then, those accounts likely didn’t describe an incredibly advanced civilization. Likely just something serviceable, better than the tribal areas.
If you’re interested, I’d recommend Paul du Chaillu’s works on Africa. He was a French-American explorer who visited the coast of West Africa in the 1840s and he was a self-described abolitionist and ‘friend of many Blacks’ who took the time to learn a half dozen African languages.
He described the coastal kingdoms as being de facto vassal states of the European powers. The largest buildings were typically not higher than two stories and were built out of wood. 400 years of trade with the Portuguese had left little mark other than a few Mulatto warlords who dominated their tribes with guns purchased from slave traders. Agriculture was simple and transient, mostly centered on plantains (introduced to Africa from Asia) and cassava (introduced to Africa by Portuguese after having been encountered in South America).
Farther in he encountered cannibal tribes and described them as ‘dangerous’ but he also pointed out that they didn’t kill healthy members of their own tribe for meat. Only other tribes. Their town, the largest in the area, had only simple iron age tools of its own. This was about 40 miles in from the coast. Farther in he said he would sometimes encounter ‘extremely simian types’ who were being killed off / enslaved by the Bantus. He also described the first modern western encounter with the pygmy tribes who lived in constant fear of the Bantus.
So this was a man who wasn’t motivated by ‘White supremacy’ in the slightest, who lived for years around Black Africans, was opposed to what he perceived as the mistreatment of them, who befriended many of them and spoke their languages – and he still described Africa as extremely primitive.
A similar example would be Andrew Battell’s description of 17th century Portuguese dominated Gabon. He was evidently a deeply religious Christian who put great emphasis on whether or not local Blacks had converted and he resented the Portuguese for enslaving him far more than he resented Blacks:
Even with his desire to be fair to the Blacks he still ended up describing man eating Bantus, shorter tribes that were pure hunter gatherers, and many examples of animalistic behavior among the locals.
An earlier non-European source with no reason to hate Blacks is Hanno the Navigator. He was a Carthaginian explorer who described tribes that ‘lived in caves’ and ‘ran like horses’ living in the Sahel. They were loathed by his interpreters who appear to have either been Semites or Berbers living all around the coast of northwest Africa.
So there are literally dozens of ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian sources from every non-African race that say the same thing about Africans and some of those were written by men who had no grudge against the Blacks or even liked them. At this point it’s not really an issue of evidence / data as we have so much showing that the Afrocentrist narrative is nonsense. The only people left who are bent on making excuses for the Blacks are typically either Mulattos with identity issues, Jews, Christians who wish to convert Africans, or women / gay men who are attracted to their animalistic nature.
Outsiders’ accounts of sub-Saharan Africans’ culture and temperament go back to antiquity and are remarkably uniform. Are we then to assume that Aristotle was a ‘white supremacist’?
That would be strange when so many classicists, Mark Zuckerberg’s sister included, have earnestly been entreating us to stop considering the Ancient Greeks as ‘white’.
And here she gets a good verbal spanking:
Nope. Aristotle surely talked about masters and slaves but the idea of racial hierarchy was alien to him, other than that Greeks were superior to everyone else, which was an idea taken for granted by the culture. Masters and slaves were not divided on racial lines.
Eurybates, Odysseus’ squire and herald, is praised by Homer and is described like this:
“And a herald, a little older than himself,
came along with him. I will tell you about him, what sort of a person he was.
He was round-shouldered, dark-skinned, with wooly hair,
and his name was Eurybates. Odysseus valued him above
his other companions, because they thought alike.”
And there are numerous examples of “black, wooly haired” Ethiopians being praised in classical literature.
It is a fallacy that all observations of racial differences must either comport a linear hierarchy or be cast in terms of slavery. In fact I might go so far as to describe the constant reference to the latter as obfuscatory.
As you yourself point out the writers of the ancient world, whether they praised individual ‘aethiopeans’ or not, count sub-Saharan africans as barbarians with no advanced culture — this is in distinction to descriptions of, for example, India.
Indeed, Pliny the Elder describes a race of savages in ‘Aethiopia’ and barely human prodigies beyond the Libyan desert. These are not the hallmarks of a region that was seen as well-settled and civilised.
Why is sub-Saharan Africa and its diaspora consistently so backward?(*) Slavery, prejudice and the brief period of colonisation do not suffice as an explanation, for other peoples with far less access to natural resources and lower standards of living have recovered from catastrophe in decades, while the lineages of the Dark Continents have languished for all of recorded history.
Could it be due to ingression of an erectus strain of archaic hominids there, instead of the Neanderthal and Denisovan hybridisation events that mark homo sapiens in eurasia? That being the case, is is possible that modern sapiens evolved the critical cognitive capabilities for the ‘Neolithic package’ of technological and cultural advances outside Africa — perhaps in the Near East or Caucusus? These newer alleles may have then diffused back into Africa via admixture, which is why we see more ‘advanced’ eurasiform phenotypes in the Horn of Africa.
In other words, if mankind’s ‘Great Leap Forward’ occurred outside Africa with only a partial later diffusion back there, could that account for the cognitive and other puzzling phenotypic differences between sub-saharans and the rest of humanity, which as the author and many posters note, have been remarked upon by all Eurasian cultures since antiquity, even if they are now taboo?
These speculations seem interesting to me — can an unbiased anthropologist or palaeontologist shed some more light?
(*) Example: no other group of people seriously asserts that an outgroup’s opinion of them causes them to fail academic examinations.
While there was an inter-breeding event in West Africa which contributed quite a bit of DNA to some groups there, there are other African groups which did not receive this particular DNA
and frankly, those other groups are, if anything, less advanced than the ones who did inter-breed. We also have evidence, from the Blombos Cave, that the Neolithic Package evolved in Africa well before the OOA event.
Hmmm I’m not sure that what is proffered as the Blombos cave ‘art’ is particularly convincing compared to the classic Eurasian sites. Also, if the ‘neolithic package’ evolved in Africa — and Southern Africa at that — why then did agriculture first appear in Eurasia?
The cave is not on the migration route out of Africa, and until corroborating sub-Saharan sites appear I would suspend judgement on the constructions being placed on the Blombos data, which were splashed across the media as ‘Ancient Africans were the First Nerds’ — very much ‘on message’
The weight of evidence is still that cognitively modern humans arose outside Africa, whether this is related to archaic hominid introgression in the subcontinent or not. Given that the measured cognitive gap (IQ) is comparable to that of australids, where archaic features are phenotypically evident, I would not kick out the latter hypothesis yet.
There’s clearly a big time gap between Blombos and agriculture. The way I see it, behavioural modernity did not all happen at once. There were at least two OOA events. The first event stalled because Sapiens did not have what it took to deal with the Neanderthals/climate outside of Africa, though a small fraction of them may have gotten through eventually to southern Asia. The second succeeded and we displaced, maybe even slaughtered, the Neanderthals and Denisovans. But something changed in between those two events. The most likely solution is that we got smarter in the meantime. Maybe not Lascaux cave art smart, but certainly smarter than we were before.
As for why we find artefacts in one part of Africa and not another, half of that is climate and local warlords. Would you want to go digging in the middle of a warzone rife with malaria and ebola? Also, stuff doesn’t preserve well in many parts of Africa. The climate is too inhospitable.
Apologies for the delay in responding.
Why must all advances relating to behavioural modernity in Homo sapiens have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. No one disputes that with the exception of the Blombos site, which is still an outlier, the evidence and artefacts of full modernity lie beyond Africa. Is it not more parsimonious to assume the genetic events enabling them occurred at roughly the same times and places — or else how were they selected? If they are instances of exaptation, this needs to be explained.
As for all the other African evidence being in war zones — well that sounds like special pleading to me! When comparable sites to Blombos turn up in e.g. SA, Namibia or Mozambique, the case for fully sub-Saharan modern sapiens will be more convincing. Until then it has more of the character of an unwarranted assumption, or even an item of faith from which one may not demur at peril of one’s academic career.
Well to be fair, I never said all. I’m not particularly attached to the OOA theory, in any case. Still, I think it remains an open question of whether behavioral modernity happened in one place and then spread from there, or happened in many places roughly simultaneously. For instance, at one point we couldn’t talk, but then suddenly we could. Was there one human who was the first to talk, and we’re all descended from him/her? Or did talking just evolve from grunting in a slow, gradual process in thousands of people, all at the same time?
If behavioral modernity evolved outside of Africa, we’re left with the question of how it got into Africa. Our model is simpler if behavioral modernity starts in Africa and then rides along with humans as they leave, and then people in different places continue developing on their own paths, but with considerably higher developmental speed in Europe and Asia. But then, why should things be simple?
I’ve looked into the data about DNA from ancient populations other than Cro-Magnons. There is something to all that. I’d also say, though, that divergent evolution is a factor too.
Water is wet;
Sky is blue
Is the whole “Ruins in Zimbabwe built by Jewish Settler who became the Lemba Tribe” thing actually true, or just a conspiracy theory?
It was likely built by some type of semitic people. Probably not exactly ‘jewish’. But it may be true, they do have links to Judaism and even Islam in their belief system.
There’s Y-chromosome evidence indicating so. They also do have some cultural / religious practices related to their Jewish heritage. So that much is rather uncontroversial.
Consensus today is that it was the Shona. However, even if it were the Lemba, the Lemba were most likely fully black, as they are today, by the time Great Zimbabwe was built.
And to think that all this old African stuff could have been left moldering in some dusty archives in the basements of Oxford or other anthropological libraries in France, Spain, Holland, Portugal, etc. But no! The Black Lives Matter types had to dig up all the ammunition they needed to support Critical Race Theory to blame and shame the White race about how badly we’ve been treating the Black race right along since colonialism first popped into our silly blonde heads. So, now for the past few years, we’ve been digging around a little bit ourselves — as scholars and intellectuals are wont to do — in vast, cavernous libraries and archives of hand-written, first-person accounts of intelligent, curious explorers from Europe — and LO! Look what we’ve found. Think twice before messing with us.
I just watched Mondo Magic (very hard to find), and the footage is very graphic. But a real eye opener, and expresses well the superstition that forms at least the foundation (if not the entirety thing) of their mindset.
Many in the comment section are getting autistic about this. Yes, Africa is a vast continent. Yes, you can argue about who had the least sophisticated social arrangement, and which of their neighbors was slightly more sophisticated. The point remains that Africans did not accomplish much relative to most of the rest of the world. Now if you want to praise animism or talk about how it’s great to be around spontaneous people, that’s fine. But understand what is being underlined here.
I spent three months in Madagascar. Asians from Borneo arrived there first, and still claim the most desirable land in the highlands where they farm rice. They’re all mixed, but the more Bantu tribes exist on the coastlines and either herd cattle or live a subsistence lifestyle fishing and eating the bark of baobab trees when times are hard.
Why did the Borneo people arrive first? The island is relatively close to the mainland of Africa. Because they’re better boat people. Even when the Bantus DID arrive, it was on Arab slave trader boats. It’s the same reason Sao Tome & Principe were uninhabited until the Portuguese brought black slaves there. The distance from the mainland was too far. The island of Bioko is closer, and therefore you find a long history of blacks inhabiting it. Blacks are not great at building boats and navigating the seas, and perhaps they never cared very much for that anyway.
The coastal tribes in Madagascar build structures of one story. Even those with Asian admixture only build traditional houses two stories high. Each time I observed a sophisticated development I thought may have been constructed by the Malagasy people, there was another explanation: “oh, that’s the US embassy, oh that was built by the Chinese, oh that was built by the French, etc.” The small industrial revolution in Madagascar was largely caused and maintained by two gentleman from what is now the UK.
Foreign aid pours in. Blue Ventures from the UK painted a mural on the side of a shack instructing the locals of how to wash their hands. USAID tarps acted as tents for nomadic fishermen on a remote island I camped on. I saw the world’s largest hospital ship (Mercy Ships, which are Christian-funded of course) docked, providing free medical care to the locals. They do not provide condoms or abortions, only the procedures which will lead to a larger population. Then when the ship departs, who looks after the surplus? Either there will be a mass die off when Europeans stop caring, or we will be offering perpetual welfare because feelings.
I saw them remove the dead from the family crypt and dance around drunkenly with the bundled bodies. (Two old men got in a fistfight during this ceremony.) This is their tradition, and it leads to the spread of the black plague on an annual basis. In nearly three months I only saw one local reading anything longer than a receipt, and it was a guide who carried a book about Jesus. Keep in mind that they could choose to learn to read, but they apparently prefer not to. Frankly I don’t care, but this is not because they don’t have access to information. Many Africans still believe that the internet is exactly the same as Facebook. They don’t understand Facebook is one website among many. Being in Africa is like looking at society “under the hood”. It’s all on display.
I enjoyed my time there, and have no hatred for the Malagasy people at all. But be honest about the state of Africa, and the great chasms permanently separating our human biodiversity.
Watch Africa Addio.
Watch Empire of Dust.
Watch Mondo Magic.
Go visit if you don’t believe me.
There is a timelessness there which is exhilarating, but is also the cause of everything I mentioned and more.
Frobenius discerned the traces of long gone civilization in Africa, and maybe ‘Africans’ are the remnants of races long since become Fellaheen, through the ‘law of civilisation and decay’, to paraphrase Brooks Adams, like the Fellaheen character towards which ‘whites’ are fast approaching, for reasons which have little or nothing to do with miscegenation.
he elaborately conducted a funeral in which seven thousand of the mourners slew each other in their frenzy
The more things change…
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