Posts Tagged ‘Ashanti’

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‪#‎LetmetellYouSomethin‬ I started this as an IG post but realized quickly that it was #toomuchforthegram it’s a topic I’ve addressed before but it deserves, requires even, further and continued appreciation.
This first image is an ‪‎Asante‬ (‪Ashanti‬) Goldsmith and his young apprentice in 1891 (5 years before they were successfully invaded and destroyed by the British(they’d tried several times b4)).
I bet they stuntin with those fly hats on too 😛 Anyway
‪metalurgy‬ and advanced ‪‎ceramics‬ in ‪‎West Africa‬ go back at least 2,000years (see ‪‎Nok‬ culture in by ‎Nigeria‬). Images like this are intriguing and empowering to me. To glimpse a world where ‪‎Black people‬ were‪ Independent‬ and largely controlled the world around them.
– Now I say largely because in this region, contact with ‪‎Europeans‬ goes back to the 1470s. Many ‪‎Akan‬ states fought for dominance of coastal trade, trade (that ultimately became disproportionately dictated by Europeans but that’s another post).

My point is this. Knowing ones history can be empowering. And despite what some might tell you, it’s nooot really hidden(anymore) ‪‎marginalized‬‪, ‎downplayed‬, undervalued‬ still ‪‎distorted‬ even. But, we have at least a good 40 yrs of serious ‪ African American‬ and African Studies scholarship to be thankful for. We don’t need the ‪‎myths‬ and ‪‎pseudohistory‬ of ‪Farrakhan‬(who is by the way if u somehow missed this, a proud ‪‎scientologist‬ now yea idk how tf that works) information is out there. Books, articles, Wikipedia.
I heard Louis make the most asinine claim in his sermon defending his new involvement with scientology. He said essentially that the fact that enslaved men allowed their women to be raped because they were so striped of their identities and manhood. What?! You don’t think many resisted, men and women. You don’t think at the same time many suffered silently knowing how futile their resistance was. How ignorant and disrespectful is that. He’s essentially saying you people are nothing and know nothing, and there for you need my Mythology to be whole. But we know how strong our ancestors were. We know their history and the cultures they forged, and we know the many ways they resisted. We don’t need crazy, ignorant Black supremacist myths.

I am not a ‪‎Moor‬ I know their history it’s a fascinating part of African and world history but I can’t dig the Mythology. I know my people. I know how the Fante grew rich selling my ancestors. I know how ‪‎Nzinga‬ fought to stop the‪ ‎Portuguese‬ from expanding the ‪‎slave trade‬ in ‪‎Angola‬ and ‪Mbundu‬.
I know how our ‪‎diasporic‬ cousins in ‪Brazil‬ play a unique and dangerous game to African rhythms interwoven with the powerful kicks of the ‪Ngolo‬.
I try to stay calm when someone tries to replace my real history with something like Hebrew Israelites those so-called Black Israelites that would paint ALL of African peoples as what? Descendants of one group? There’s cultural and genetic evidence that a hebrew people migrated all the way to South Africa (see Lemba people) but that’s one small group (that they probably don’t even know about).

So what I’m saying is learn. Don’t just latch onto myths and ideologies.

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Next photo: Asante Hunter/Soldier 1883
This man’s image has been in my head since reading The Healers 2yrs ago. Among the Asante images I downloaded in order to more clearly picture the world Armah was describing. To add definition. Detail to a stories often painted with too broad a stroke.
I grew up very much interested in Egypt but have you heard of Sundiata? Ife?Nok? there’s More to African than Egypt.
Just as there’s more to world history than “Western” history. It seems many well meaning people encourage learning about Africa but do so in a limited and distorted way. It’s like there’s more of an agenda to situate oneself as superior (by association with Ancient Egypt, The Moorish Empire or and Ancient African Hebrew tribe) rather than a genuine passion to learn the long, complex and intriguing history of African peoples.

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There’s a dismissal in there, intended or not. It says there’s little(or nothing) to know about Africa outside of Egypt (or the Moorish Empire etc). I appreciate the beautifully complex and tragic story Armah painted in Healers. My heart broke when the Gatlin guns gave the British entry into the impenetrable walls of Asante.

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I was there, up north Cape Coast and saw the amazingly imperfect world they’d built for themselves. These stories are worth telling. Myths about biblical tribes are a pointless waste of time.

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Many who study actual Africa history may fall victim to romanticization. I once did. Better to romanticize history than dwell in falsehoods.

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I saw more of the Akan States in The Healers and these rare photographs than I did studying abroad there.
They razed the royal palace and other structures. Sad story perhaps. But empowering to know. palace and other structures. Sad story perhaps. But empowering to know.

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“Bantama “Ayakeseho” Place of the Great Brass vessel. The Ayekese sat in front of two trees entrance to mausoleum – Presumably 1896.
If I  recall correctly, the head of a British general was said to be kept here correct me if I’m wrong #AfricanScholars.

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Of course the British couldn’t handle this sort of humiliation and quickly destroyed this and many other structures.
We’re inundated with images, historical and mythological, of Western greatness. From story books and cartoons to major motion pictures, TV shows and video games. While our stories are left in the dark.

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Thankfully history isn’t hidden or lost as some would have you believe, it’s just unpopular. Almost every American has the Internet. Read a book or three. What do you want to know about? Ask me, I’ll recommend a few
#YoumustLearn

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