Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why do we study ancient Black History?

Why do we study ancient Black History? We study it because it explains where and what we were, and what we can do to make the world a better place today.

Amos Wilson, in the Falsification of Afrikan consciousness: Eurocentric history, psychiatry and the politics of white Supremacy (New York: Afrikan World Inforsystems, 1993), discussed how the lack of real awareness of Black history can cause mental problems. Wilson wrote that "When we permit another people to name and define, we permit another people to gain dominion and control over us" (p.22).

Dr. Wilson adds that "We must recognize the intimate relationship between culture history and personality. If we do not know our history then we do not know our personality" (p.23).

This led Dr. Wilson to declare: "History is used to intimidate African people and make them feel inferior and cultureless" (p.27

Many people of African descent are separated from their true history because they fail to realize that Eurocentrists write history to maintain the status quo, to day this purpose is white supremacy. Dr. Wilson, maintains that "The European writing of history is in tandem with everything else European and its purpose is ultimately the same: to maintain European power and domination" (p.25).

The best way to maintain this domination is to encourage African people to concentrate on slavery and the West African kingdoms because this period relates to the expansion of the European. If you read official history text, except for the kingdom of Meroe, Blacks did not have any great civilizations until the raise of the West African kingdoms and the Muslim domination of the Indian Ocean.

We are encouraged to study this period because it corresponds to the period when the Europeans began to expand. This fits in with the myth that Europeans have always ruled the world. This is a myth, Black Muslims in Spain and Portugal ruled much of these countries until 1492. In addition, Africa did not come under the domination of European powers until 1899, and for a considerable period after this date European powers were trying to militarily pacify Africa.

Although Europeans were not ruling much of the world until the 20th century, History text makes it appear that this hegemony existed much earlier. It is this myth making done through the writing of history by Europeans that has encouraged feelings of inferiority among many people of African descent. To fight this myth, and create an intact mental structure that promotes positive attributions within African people demands that you accurately study your history from an Afrocentric perspective.

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