By BO Staff Writer
From discussions with the #BLF26 comrades during the prison visit on 19 July 2016
Theme 1: Precolonial Africa
The myth that Africa has contributed nothing to world civilisation must be debunked. Africa is indeed both the cradle of civilisation and the cradle of humanity.
Points for discussion:
1. Indicate the interrelatedness of African nations in precolonial Africa.
2. Point out that ancient Egypt was in fact a distinct African nation and to this end was not in any way a part of Asia or Europe.
3. Call for a total reconceptualization of the role that African people have historically played in and their contribution to ancient civilization on a global scale.
4. Look at the humanities and social sciences from an African perspective to reassess the African past and to challenge Western scholarship regarding Africa.
5. Rebut the allegation of Egypt being a white nation and in this respect indicate its southern African roots.
6. Show how via Egyptian civilization, Africa’s has made tremendous contributions to world culture and civilization.
7. Indicate that African history is indeed the basis of world history.
8. Point out that the earliest and greatest Ethiopian culture had already bloomed and taken hold of the civilized world for over four and a half centuries before:
a. Alexander the Great was sweeping the civilized world with his series of conquests “from Chaeronia to Gaza, from Babylon to Cabul”
b. The first Aryan conquerors were learning the principles of war and government from Aristotle the philosopher.
c. The time Athens was laying the basis for white civilization.
9. Indicate that Ethiopia via conquering Egypt had founded the XXVth (25th) Dynasty.
10. Mention how for one and a half century the central seat of civilization was held by the “ancestors of the modern Negro” which was maintained and defended against the Persian and Assyrian Empires of the East.
11. Point out that at the time when Ethiopia led the civilized world culturally, the first European (Grecian) Olympiad was still to take place – that Rome was not even on the map.
12. Indicate that only after sixteen centuries of Ethiopia leading the world civilization that Charlemagne ruled in Europe and Egbert became the first King in England.
13. Also point out that it was after 23 centuries of Ethiopia leading world civilization that Roman Catholic Europe ended the Great Schism (ending the period of the antipopes), followed by the European conquest of America and so on.
14. Indicate that the general problem confronting African history is how to link and consolidate via research th e many fragments of this history into a singular ancient era and point of origin so as to reestablish continuity in Africa. The exercise must take into account “the union of the history of Ethiopian and Egyptian societies with the rest of Africa.”
15. At the end of this exercise it must be clear “that (ancient) Ghana rose in the interior (West Africa) of the continent at the moment of Egyptian decline, just as the Western European empires were born with the decline of Rome.”
16. Indicate that history cannot be confined by the “limits of ethnic group, nation, or culture” that “both the Greek and the Roman histories are Egyptian because the entire Mediterranean was civilized Egypt; and Egypt in turn borrowed from other parts of Africa, especially Ethiopia.”
17. Point out that Africa entered the Mediterranean world mainly via Greece, which itself was under the influence of Africa – that Africa was first invaded by Greece via Herodotus. This invasion was “peaceful and scholarly”. Also over a whole century prior to this, Egypt lost its sovereignty. Thus began the period of foreign control of Egypt.
18. Point out that in the 3d century B.C, the Greek scientist Archimedes did advanced studies in Egypt. Upon his return to Greece he “invented” a mechanical device called the endless screw that Egyptians had been using for centuries in “machines used for drainage and irrigation, and also in some types of high-speed tools. It can also be applied for handling light, loose materials such as grain, sand, and ashes.”
19. Indicate that philosophy, arts and sciences were willed to civilisation by North Africa, not by Greece. The rich legacy of Africa was appropriated by the Greeks. Furthermore, “Aristotle of Stagira, Thales of Miletus, Pythagoras of Samos, Diodorus of Sicily, Plato and Strabo” were all initiated in Ancient Egypt, from a very young age until adulthood”. They later “claimed all the theories and theorems, formulas and axioms they learned in Ancient Egypt for themselves”. To this end “most Greek and Roman students of Africa committed plagiarism by signing their names on their African teachers writings, inventions,creations and productions”. Hence, “we now have: “Theorem of Pythagoras”, “Thales’Axiom” among many illegal appropriations of the African sciences of geometry, mathematics, architecture, rhetoric and philosophy”. These sciences were “invented and implemented in the heart of Africa, thousands of years before the Greeks and Romans came into existence as a distinct race!”
Still on Theme 1: Pre-colonial Africa
Considerations on the question of power
What do we make of the history of Africa up to the eve of white colonization? What was the structure of the social hierarchy that characterized this period? How did feudalism, which existed in some parts of pre colonial Africa, manifest in terms if it’s structural logic? Did the ruling African elite have institutional and structural power? How do we conceptualize the fact that (as pointed out by Kwame Nkrumah in “African Socialism Revisited) “before colonisation … Africans were prepared to sell, often for no more than thirty pieces of silver, fellow tribesmen and even members of the same “extended family” and clan”? How is this located in the trajectory of slavery of blacks up until it’s manifestation in neo colonialism and neo liberalism?
In this context how do we understand the communalism that characterized African societies in different periods of history? What lessons does it hold both structurally and spiritually? Is it worthy of elaboration towards a fully responsive system? What were the shortcomings, if any, of the traditional African society founded on egalitarianism? The lesson interrogated the idea of a revolutionary impulse in the traditional African society urging full elaboration in a dialectical way?
Sources see following links: