It is often said that Europeans brought Christianity to Africa. Not so, says Akinyi Princess of K’Orinda-Yimbo. “Jerusalem long lost or not, Christianity is Afro-Orient, not European. Christianity was thriving in the Horn of Africa in the 1st century, before this religion had really taken root anywhere in Europe,” she writes, adding “from as early as the Carolingian period – 7th to 8th century – African warriors were fighting in Europe under the banner of the lion, the shield and the half moon in order to bring the ‘true faith’, Christianity or Islam, to Europe Europeans at the time were in the majority heathen and did everything in their power to remain heathen. Because Christ came from their corner of the world, [Africans] had embraced Christianity at a time when the religion was struggling to take root in Greece and Rome.” Welcome to Black History Month 2008.
As usual, the African Diaspora in Britain will organise various events throughout October to mark the occasion. This year, New African celebrates Black History Month with a special package, staring here with an extract from Akinyi Princess’ excellent book, Darkest Europe and Africa’s Nightmare published earlier this year. In this extract, she focuses on a section of the African past which is too often swept under the carpet.
Other articles in the package include “The Greek philosophers who came to Africa to study”, “The 25th anniversary of the American invasion of Grenada”, and “Another black history month in November if Obama wins the American presidency”. It is not the usual fare, so please sit back and enjoy … and we wish you a happy Black History Month.
Africa is always used as the barometer of the whole of humankind to uplift anybody who might think that his/her lot is rotten – because this lot is always portrayed as “better than that of the African”. That African of the Western media who makes you feel good because you are not at the bottom of the human ladder, like him.
That African whose – if you trust the cameraman and his lighting – ash-grey or blue-black naked feet are covered with crawling maggots, which he/she is shaking off the fish-heads drying in the sun. The fish filets have of course been exported as Victoria tilapia to richer tables abroad. This is taken for granted even by the Africans themselves, not only the Westerners, as the natural order of things. If the African lets himself get so dehumanised, then it is his own fault. If he believes that poverty and misery are his condition, well then, he is welcome to it.
Remember the humanitarian Gilbert Murray’s blatant assertion: “There is in the world a hierarchy of races … those nations which eat more, claim more, and get higher wages, will direct and rule the others, and the lower work of the world will tend in the long run to be done by lower breeds of men. This much we of the ruling colour will no doubt accept as obvious.”
From the beginning of the 13th century, a certain Wolfram von Eschenbach of Germany created the image of the so-called noble Moor as a knight full of virtues, courage and a ripe fruit of faithfulness. With such famous institutions of learning like Timbuktu, the Moor’s education was touted to be beyond any other; pure and brave in battle he was, too. No other knight before him was so gentle for he knew no injustice, according to von Eschenbach. In Peter Martin’s book, Schwarze Teufel, edle Mohren, the author delves into a few details about this Africa’s and African’s light hidden under a bushel by the calculating West.