15 Things You Did Not Know about the History of Black People in London before 1948
By Charmaine Simpson, December 2012
The presence of Africans in England dates back to at least the Roman period when African soldiers who served as part of the Roman army were stationed at Hadrian’s Wall during the 2nd century CE. Septimus Severus, the emperor who was born in Libya, spent his last three years in Britain before he died in York in 211 CE.
I will present 15 facts aimed at raising the level of knowledge, and uncovering the hidden histories, of people of African and Caribbean descent who have contributed to London before 1948.
1. The earliest known [public] record of a Black person living in London is of “Cornelius a Blackamoor” whose burial on 2nd March 1593 was recorded in the parish register at St Margaret’s Church in Lee. Continue reading →
White [r]acists have been funding black activists’ ‘Back to Africa’ movements
By Keisha N. Blain, 2016
One man’s GoFundMe dares racists to put their money where their mouth is
In a new twist on the age old racist call to “go back to Africa,” a black man in Indiana just created a GoFundMe page daring racists to cover his travel expenses to the continent. “If you want me to go back to Africa,” Larry Mitchell says, “I will gladly go.” Telling white racists to “put their money where their mouth is,” Mitchell called on members of the [Klan] and anyone else who shared their views to submit a donation.
It sounds like a stunt (and according to Mitchell it started as one), but for many years this kind of move was a real political strategy employed by black activists. Continue reading →
THE MEMOIRS OF ABD-ALLAH AL-GHADEMISI OF KANO, 1903-1908. PART I: THE BRITISH CONQUEST OF KANO
By MUHAMMAD SANI UMAR AND JOHN HUNWICK, in: Sudanic Africa, 7, 1996, 61-96
These native servants are the quintessence of loyalty, and devotion, and as time goes on, I am to find out that without them Nigeria would have been untenable by the white man. – F.P. Crozier, Five Years Hard, London 1932, 72-3.
Some time in 1902 a young man named Abd-Allah arrived in Kano, ‘from the north’, presumably from Ghadames. We know nothing of the circumstances of his arrival, or of his ancestry. The document translated below is currently our only source of information on him. In it he describes himself as a ‘student’, but it is not clear in what sense he uses that term. There is no indication that he came to Kano to study, but we know that some years later he was acting as a clerk for his paternal uncles in Kano, who were evidently merchants.Continue reading →
Origin myths among the Hausa claim that their founder, Bayajidda, came from the east in an effort to escape his father. He eventually came to Gaya, where he employed some blacksmiths to fashion a knife for him. With his knife he proceeded to Daura where he freed the people from the oppresive nature of a sacred snake who guarded their well and prevented them from getting water six days out of the week. The queen of Daura gave herself in marriage to Bayajidda to show her appreciation. She gave birth to seven healthy sons, each of whom ruled the seven city states that make up Hausaland. Continue reading →
Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire
By Drusilla Dunjee Houston, 1926 [Edited]
This is a pioneering, long-lost, work of Afrocentric history. Drusilla Dunjee Houston, (1876-1941) was a teacher, journalist and self-taught historian. Houston undertook a life-long quest to discover African history from an African-American perspective. However, at the time that Houston wrote, history was viewed through a Eurocentric perspective.
CHAPTER II. OLD ETHIOPIA–ITS PEOPLE.
The Greeks looked to old Ethiopia and called the Upper Nile the common cradle of mankind. Toward the rich luxury of this region they looked for the “Garden of Eden.” From these people of the Upper Nile arose the oldest traditions and rites and from them sprang the first colonies and arts of antiquity. The Greeks also said that Egyptians derived their civilization and religion from Ethiopia. “Egyptian religion was not an original conception, for three thousand years ago she had lost all true sense of its real meaning among even the priesthood.” Continue reading →
Alternative Titles: Great Colombia, Republic of Colombia, Republic of Gran Colombia
Gran Colombia, formal name Republic of Colombia, a short-lived republic (1819–30) formerly the Viceroyalty of New Granada, including roughly the modern nations of Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, and Ecuador.
In the context of their war for independence from Spain, revolutionary forces in northern South America, led by Simón Bolívar, in 1819 laid the basis for a regular government at a congress in Angostura (now Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela).
Their republic was definitely organized at the Congress of Cúcuta in 1821. Before then the government had been military and highly centralized with direct executive power exercised by regional vice presidents while President Bolívar was campaigning. Continue reading →