“You have to know that the opponent kills you intellectually, they kill you morally, before they kill you physically. But this is how entire groups have been supressed. Your existence as a moral being is denied, your existence as a cultural being is denied. They close the eyes, one does not see the obvious. They count on your insecurities, on your alienation, on conditioning, on reflexes of subordination and many factors of this sort. And if we cannot set ourselves free from such a situation by our own means, there is no salvation (…) They lead and we face the most violent fight. More violent even than the fights that led to the extinction of some species. And it is precisely crucial that your intellectual sagacity goes that far” Cheikh Anta Diop, Niamey conference, 1984.
For every black woman or man who gets to know their true history, it’s normal for them to be flabbergastered, shocked to discover who they really are. The astonishing Egyptian civilization, Carthaginian civilization, Niger Bend empires or the Shona civilization in Zimbabwe, Benin kingdom or Kongo empire, Swahili or Ashanti civilization, Imperial Morocco and Moorish civilization in Spain, black civilizations of pre-colombian America or first Asian civilizations, etc. We move from surprises to surprises, and it is obvious to wonder why… in what name we have been deprived from the knowledge of such glorious past. Why did Westerners (since it is about them) stole our memory and our ancestors?
It is important to know that the forgery of African history started on the occasion of the European slave trade. When Europeans arrived in Africa to start their 400-year-terrorist actions, they already knew Africans very well. For 781 years, we had occupied Spain, Portugal, Sicily through the Black Berbers of Maghreb also knwon as Moors or Saracens. And our Ancestors, with the Arabs, built the most important civilization in Europe which was, by then, entangled into poverty and Middle-Age retardation.
When the Portugese stepped in Africa which was certainly the richest continent in the world, the Moors were almost defeated in Europe. Therefore, Europeans knew our abilities through that beautiful civilization we had left. They had the occasion to attest our high level of intelligence by witnessing and describing the magnificent civilizations they found in Africa and which they were going to destroy. So, from the European view, Black man’s inferiority was not lying on any historical fact. The whole myth of the inferior Black man with no civilization was consequently invented out of nothing.
Actually, slavery led to racism. While fleeing from North Africans both Black and White who were better armed, Europeans ran towards sub-Saharan Africans which were without strong defense and therefore ideally perceived for slavery ventures in America. But how to explain to the world the direct and indirect death and deportation of 400 to 600 million people? It was improper to say that those who were put into slavery were wearing silk and velvet and knew how to rule prosperous empires.
No. Perceiving them as sub-humans and mentally retarded beings was necessary so that those involved in the most outrageous crime of all time could freely fulfill their criminal instinct. This is how the concept of inferior and illogical Black man came out.
Destroying a people’s image is prior to their extermination. This preliminary was implemented in every genocide in history. For a people’s extinction to become acceptable, it is important to kill them culturally and psychologically. It is impossible to commit genocide against people of worth. Africans’ history therefore has been destroyed to justify slavery.
Our culture became a folklore, our languages became dialects, our kings became bloodthirsty slave traders, our ancestral religion became witchcraft or paganism. All the writings about our civilizations and all the work dedicated to restore their memory ended up being ostracized.
But right before colonization, the most scandalous forgery of our history was carried out : the whitening of the Egyptian civilization. In the middle of the 19th century, there was a huge interest for the pharaonic civilization whose hieroglyphs had just been decoded. But the official purpose of colonization which was a civilizing assignment on wild people, one could not say that humankind civilizers were going to be civilized, that one was going to civilize the very people who had erected the most important civilization of antiquity, the most significant of human history.
Western Egyptology is therefore born to undermine and whiten the Egyptian civilization. Today, Blacks are still seen as useless people, as the floorcloth of humankind. Poverty and retardation in which the West have put us is partly responsible for our disastrous image but the alleged lack of achievement, our skin color linked to the christian curse and our culture related to evil disbelief according to Islam are completing our destruction. The forgery of Black history is the indispensable condition to the continuous exploitation of Blacks wherever they are.
You are incapable of managing a currency, you have never done it. So the Franc CFA which cuts off 50% of your annual revenue is imposed to you. You are unable to understand the worth of your natural resources and benefit from it. Therefore, we are taking over your coltan, your uranium, your crude oil and your diamonds. You are incapable of farming your land, so we shall take 80% of your land in South Africa. You have never built a strong State and are unable to rule it. As a consequence, we shall impose you a ruler and a political system.
Cheikh Anta Diop said : « Cultural imperialism is the safety screw of economic imperialism. Destroying the foundations of the first one leads to the cancellation of the second one. » The impressive energy deployed by the West to annihilate our memory enables it to use our wealth and perpetuate the white supremacy myth which is dear to the white man. We need to hold on a moment, meditate and understand the seriousness of such action, the mind-blowing cruelty inside someone to be able to snatch 1.1 billion people from their families. What kind of creature is capable of such awful thing? As if someone trespassed your house and set all your photos on fire. And on the top of it, you are being mocked because you don’t have any photo album.
It has been the same methods since the slave trade : emptying Africans of their soul to turn them into puppets. As Africans who were enslaved were baptized before leaving the continent, as they were whipped once in America for them to change their names, today again everything is put in place to kill our identity. The black memory destruction is for us, the most unacceptable thing that the West has ever done to Africa. Because all nations or almost all have gone through tough moments, almost all of them have overcome them because they were carrying on their historical path. They knew who they were, their origin and where they had to move on. Depriving us from that, assures that we may never stand up again. Therefore, restoring the historical African consciousness, giving back to Blacks their pedestal in history means leading Africa to be born again from her ashes.
Every Black woman or Black man who comprehends their past, who accepts to move from the status of eternal slave to that of the humanity civilizer ends up being a complete and normal human being, perfectly aware of their abilities, aware that they can erect towers, build dams, write Constitutions. They get rid of the pathological instinct of subordination towards the Westerner or the Arab. They become proud and no more submissive. They are proud of their languages, their accent and their culture. Briefly, they end up feeling what the Chinese or the Europeans feel as well. They are encouraged by their ancestors to achieve « the impossible ».
“What makes the so-called negro unable to stand on his own two feet? He has no self-confidence. He has no pride in his own race. Because the white man destroyed your and mine past. Destroyed our knowledge of our culture. And by having destroyed it, now we don’t know if we have any achievements, any accomplishments. And as long as you can be convinced that you have never done anything you will never do anything.” Malcom X
By : Lisapo ya Kama © (All rights reserved. Any copying or translation of the text of this article is strictly forbbiden without the written approval of Lisapo ya Kama)