pussyandbullshit
Fatima Massaquoi, the African Princess Who Stood Unafraid Among Nazis
Her autobiography is a one-of-a-kind perspective of an educated, empowered, world-traveling daughter of a royal family, which no one wanted to publish until now.
By Jenee Desmond-Harris
Between 1939 and 1946, Fatima Massaquoi penned one of the earliest known autobiographies by an African woman. But few outside of Liberian circles were aware of it until this week, when Palgrave McMillian published The Autobiography of an African Princess, edited by two historians and the author’s daughter.
The book follows Massaquoi, born the daughter of the King of Gallinas of Southern Sierra Leone in 1904, to Liberia, Nazi Germany and the segregated American South, where she wrote her memoirs while enrolled at Tennessee’s Fisk University.
She died in 1978, and her story could have died with her.  [Continue reading complete article at The Root.]

Fatima Massaquoi, the African Princess Who Stood Unafraid Among Nazis

Her autobiography is a one-of-a-kind perspective of an educated, empowered, world-traveling daughter of a royal family, which no one wanted to publish until now.

By Jenee Desmond-Harris

Between 1939 and 1946, Fatima Massaquoi penned one of the earliest known autobiographies by an African woman. But few outside of Liberian circles were aware of it until this week, when Palgrave McMillian published The Autobiography of an African Princess, edited by two historians and the author’s daughter.

The book follows Massaquoi, born the daughter of the King of Gallinas of Southern Sierra Leone in 1904, to Liberia, Nazi Germany and the segregated American South, where she wrote her memoirs while enrolled at Tennessee’s Fisk University.

She died in 1978, and her story could have died with her.  [Continue reading complete article at The Root.]

afrofuturistaffair

For better or for worse, I am often spoken of as the first African-American science fiction writer. But I wear that originary label as uneasily as any writer has worn the label of science fiction itself. Among the ranks of what is often referred to as proto-science fiction, there are a number of black writers. M. P. Shiel, whose Purple Cloud and Lord of the Sea are still read, was a Creole with some African ancestry. Black leader Martin Delany (1812–1885—alas, no relation) wrote his single and highly imaginative novel, still to be found on the shelves of Barnes & Noble today, Blake, or The Huts of America (1857), about an imagined successful slave revolt in Cuba and the American South—which is about as close to an sf-style alternate history novel as you can get. Other black writers whose work certainly borders on science fiction include Sutton E. Griggs and his novel Imperio Imperium (1899) in which an African-American secret society conspires to found a separate black state by taking over Texas, and Edward Johnson, who, following Bellamy’s example in Looking Backward (1888), wrote Light Ahead for the Negro (1904), telling of a black man transported into a socialist United States in the far future.

via afrofuturistaffair

diasporicroots
                          Precolonial East African City States
From the approximately 1000 to 1500 AD, a number of city-states on the eastern coast of Africa participated in an international trade network and became cosmopolitan Islamic cultural centers. The major autonomous, but symbiotic, city-states stretched over 1,500 miles from Mogadishu (in modern day Somalia) in the north to Sofala (in modern Mozambique) in the south and included Mombasa, Gedi, Pate, Lamu, Malindi, Zanzibar, and Kilwa.  
Each of these cities evolved from agricultural villages that produced goods on a small scale.  Over time, these villages intensified their small-scale agricultural economies to create surpluses for trading.  This shift also changed the structure of the society of these villages as more wealth created an elite merchant class. The new prosperity elevated some agricultural villages into towns and cities, while others were founded to capitalize on the opportunities sparked by the growing Indian Ocean trade.
These city-states also exported natural resources.  Local merchants gathered ivory from the south, gold from the western interior and frankincense and myrrh from northern Africa. Kilwa, Pate, and Mogadishu also developed a local textile industry while Kilwa and Mogadishu extracted copper from nearby mines. All of the states produced pottery.  Ironworking had evolved in East Africa before the rise of the city states.  They improved the process and produced iron objects for trade as well as local use.
Archaeology studies provide evidence that the city states carried on a flourishing long distance trade with Persia, India, and China.  Coins from these states have been found in each of the African city states.  Also found were examples of pottery from Persia and Arabia, Chinese qing bai, and Cizhou wares as well as kohl sticks, glass beads, bronze mirrors, and objects of rock crystal reflect the China trade. Other wares from Indonesia, dating back to the 13th century, indicate that Southeast Asia was also part of the East African city state commercial world.
By 1350 all of the city-states had converted to Islam partly because of commercial advantages but also because of the large scale Shirazi (Persian) immigration to the area.  Although the name suggests that most immigrants came from Shiraz in southern Persia, in fact they migrated from a number of locals stretching from the Arabian Peninsula to what is now Pakistan.  Many of these families had long established trading relationships and often brought substantial wealth which placed them at the head of the local merchant class.  The new ruling elite gradually homogenized the immigrant and indigenous African communities and in the process created the distinctive Swahili culture and language that extended from Mogadishu to Sofala.
By the end of the14th century, architecture of the city-states followed similar styles and construction techniques, especially in the domestic structures and tombs.  Coral stone and concrete mosques also developed in the city-states.  The architecture also reflected a luxurious lifestyle for the merchant class and a complex economy with varying levels of craftsmanship and expertise.
Portuguese and Dutch dominance of the Indian Ocean trade after 1500 led to the decline of the city states.  Many of them such as Sofala and Kilwa became outposts of European colonial authority.  The lack of an integrated political system ultimately rendered the city-states unprepared for the militarily well-equipped Portuguese and Dutch.  Also the growth of powerful interior states such as Buganda reduced the trading influence of these city-states in the interior.  

Sources:Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, The history of African Cities South of the Sahara: from the Origins to Colonization (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005);  Philip D. Curtin, African History: from Earliest Times to Independence (London: Longman, 1995); Chapurukha M. Kusimba, The Rise and Fall of Swahili States (London and New Delhi: AltaMira, 1999).

                          Precolonial East African City States

From the approximately 1000 to 1500 AD, a number of city-states on the eastern coast of Africa participated in an international trade network and became cosmopolitan Islamic cultural centers. The major autonomous, but symbiotic, city-states stretched over 1,500 miles from Mogadishu (in modern day Somalia) in the north to Sofala (in modern Mozambique) in the south and included Mombasa, Gedi, Pate, Lamu, Malindi, Zanzibar, and Kilwa.  

Each of these cities evolved from agricultural villages that produced goods on a small scale.  Over time, these villages intensified their small-scale agricultural economies to create surpluses for trading.  This shift also changed the structure of the society of these villages as more wealth created an elite merchant class. The new prosperity elevated some agricultural villages into towns and cities, while others were founded to capitalize on the opportunities sparked by the growing Indian Ocean trade.

These city-states also exported natural resources.  Local merchants gathered ivory from the south, gold from the western interior and frankincense and myrrh from northern Africa. Kilwa, Pate, and Mogadishu also developed a local textile industry while Kilwa and Mogadishu extracted copper from nearby mines. All of the states produced pottery.  Ironworking had evolved in East Africa before the rise of the city states.  They improved the process and produced iron objects for trade as well as local use.

Archaeology studies provide evidence that the city states carried on a flourishing long distance trade with Persia, India, and China.  Coins from these states have been found in each of the African city states.  Also found were examples of pottery from Persia and Arabia, Chinese qing bai, and Cizhou wares as well as kohl sticks, glass beads, bronze mirrors, and objects of rock crystal reflect the China trade. Other wares from Indonesia, dating back to the 13th century, indicate that Southeast Asia was also part of the East African city state commercial world.

By 1350 all of the city-states had converted to Islam partly because of commercial advantages but also because of the large scale Shirazi (Persian) immigration to the area.  Although the name suggests that most immigrants came from Shiraz in southern Persia, in fact they migrated from a number of locals stretching from the Arabian Peninsula to what is now Pakistan.  Many of these families had long established trading relationships and often brought substantial wealth which placed them at the head of the local merchant class.  The new ruling elite gradually homogenized the immigrant and indigenous African communities and in the process created the distinctive Swahili culture and language that extended from Mogadishu to Sofala.

By the end of the14th century, architecture of the city-states followed similar styles and construction techniques, especially in the domestic structures and tombs.  Coral stone and concrete mosques also developed in the city-states.  The architecture also reflected a luxurious lifestyle for the merchant class and a complex economy with varying levels of craftsmanship and expertise.

Portuguese and Dutch dominance of the Indian Ocean trade after 1500 led to the decline of the city states.  Many of them such as Sofala and Kilwa became outposts of European colonial authority.  The lack of an integrated political system ultimately rendered the city-states unprepared for the militarily well-equipped Portuguese and Dutch.  Also the growth of powerful interior states such as Buganda reduced the trading influence of these city-states in the interior.  

Sources:
Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, The history of African Cities South of the Sahara: from the Origins to Colonization (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005);  Philip D. Curtin, African History: from Earliest Times to Independence (London: Longman, 1995); Chapurukha M. Kusimba, The Rise and Fall of Swahili States (London and New Delhi: AltaMira, 1999).

diasporicroots
1644 map  of Africa Made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638).

One of the most decorative and popular of all early   maps of Africa, from the “golden age” of Dutch  mapmaking. First issued  in 1630, the map was reprinted many times between 1631  and 1667,  appearing in Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish editions of   Blaeu’s atlases. The maps and atlases of the Blaeu family business,  carried on  after Willem’s death by sons Cornelis and Joan, marked the  epitome of fine  engraving and coloring, elaborate cartouches and  pictorial detail, and fine  calligraphy—the most magnificent work of its  type ever produced.

In the format called carte à figures,  this  map contains  views of the major cities  and trading  ports of Africa at the time: Tangier and Ceuta (Morocco),  Tunis (Tunisia),  Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Mozambique (seaport of  Mozambique), Elmina  (Ghana, and Grand Canary (Canary  Islands) Side panels depict costumed people from areas visited along  the coasts. The interior is decorated with  exotic animals (lions,  elephants, ostriches), which were (and still are) a  major source of  fascination for the public. The Nile (today’s White Nile) is  shown  flowing from the Ptolemaic lakes of Zaire and Zaflan. Flying fish and   strange sea creatures cavort in the oceans, and the sailing ships all  bear  Dutch flags. Coastal names are engraved inward to give a clear,  sharp outline  to the continent.

Probably the most interesting cartographic  feature is  the identification of specific large territories or  kingdoms, which have been  outlined in color, including a huge Abyssinia  (Ethiopia)  and Monomotapa (all of southern Africa). But  these seem to  reflect a European sense of nationhood—something presumed and   projected upon a virtually unexplored canvas—more than the actual  experience of  traders and explorers, who would continue to report on  hundreds of smaller  ethnic enclaves and political fiefdoms during the  next 250 years

Interestingly note how Africa was perceived by the Early explorers no negative connotations.

Click here for A closer look.

1644 map  of Africa Made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638).

One of the most decorative and popular of all early maps of Africa, from the “golden age” of Dutch mapmaking. First issued in 1630, the map was reprinted many times between 1631 and 1667, appearing in Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish editions of Blaeu’s atlases. The maps and atlases of the Blaeu family business, carried on after Willem’s death by sons Cornelis and Joan, marked the epitome of fine engraving and coloring, elaborate cartouches and pictorial detail, and fine calligraphy—the most magnificent work of its type ever produced.

In the format called carte à figures, this  map contains  views of the major cities and trading ports of Africa at the time: Tangier and Ceuta (Morocco), Tunis (Tunisia), Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Mozambique (seaport of Mozambique), Elmina (Ghana, and Grand Canary (Canary Islands) Side panels depict costumed people from areas visited along the coasts. The interior is decorated with exotic animals (lions, elephants, ostriches), which were (and still are) a major source of fascination for the public. The Nile (today’s White Nile) is shown flowing from the Ptolemaic lakes of Zaire and Zaflan. Flying fish and strange sea creatures cavort in the oceans, and the sailing ships all bear Dutch flags. Coastal names are engraved inward to give a clear, sharp outline to the continent.

Probably the most interesting cartographic feature is the identification of specific large territories or kingdoms, which have been outlined in color, including a huge Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Monomotapa (all of southern Africa). But these seem to reflect a European sense of nationhood—something presumed and projected upon a virtually unexplored canvas—more than the actual experience of traders and explorers, who would continue to report on hundreds of smaller ethnic enclaves and political fiefdoms during the next 250 years

Interestingly note how Africa was perceived by the Early explorers no negative connotations.

Click here for A closer look.

schomburgcenter

On this day, 50 years ago, Frantz Fanon passed away. A psychiatrist, Pan-Africanist, writer, and revolutionary, he was born in Martinique in 1925. In 1952 he published Black Skin, White Masks, which exposed the negative effects of colonization on the mental state of subjugated peoples.

via schomburgcenter

image

diasporicroots
 Map ofAfrica - Frederick Herman Moll  (London, 1710)



One of the most decorative Maps of Africa after 1700.

This is a map of Africa in 1710 before and whilst Europe was in the  process of dismembering African states and reshaping them into the   majority of Artificial states we now know as African Countries.

Notice:

Africans defined their land by their own standards, governed and dictated by themselves for THEIR own development.
Europeans did not know that much about Africa (Shame on them). 


Map of
Africa - Frederick Herman Moll  (London, 1710)

One of the most decorative Maps of Africa after 1700.

This is a map of Africa in 1710 before and whilst Europe was in the process of dismembering African states and reshaping them into the  majority of Artificial states we now know as African Countries.

Notice:

  • Africans defined their land by their own standards, governed and dictated by themselves for THEIR own development.
  • Europeans did not know that much about Africa (Shame on them). 
diasporicroots

The Fate of Blacks in Nazi Germany

*Peace to the Blacks, Jews, Gypsies and Gays who were murdered in Nazi Concentration Camps. And blessings to the kind german citizens who helped hide and protect them.

So much of our history is lost to us because we often don’t write the history books, don’t film the documentaries, or don’t pass the accounts down from generation to generation.

One documentary now touring the film festival circuit, telling us to ”Always Remember” is “Black Survivors of the Holocaust” (1997). Outside the U.S., the film is entitled “Hitler’s Forgotten Victims” (Afro-Wisdom Productions) . It codifies another dimension to the “Never Forget “Holocaust story—our dimension.

Did you know that in the 1920’s, there were 24,000 Blacks living in Germany? Here’s how it happened, and how many of them were eventually caught unawares by the events of the Holocaust.

Like most West European nations, Germany established colonies in Africa in the late 1800’s in what later became Togo, Cameroon, Namibia, and Tanzania. German genetic experiments began there, most notably involving prisoners taken from the 1904 Heroro Massacre that left 60,000 Africans dead, following a 4-year revolt against German colonization.

After the shellacking Germany received in World War I, it was stripped of its African colonies in 1918.

As a spoil of war, the French were allowed to occupy Germany in the Rhineland—a bitter piece of real estate that has gone back and, forth between the two nations for centuries. The French willfully deployed their own colonized African soldiers as the occupying force.

Germans viewed this as the final insult of World War I, and, soon thereafter, 92% of them voted in the Nazi party.Hundreds of the African Rhineland-based soldiers intermarried with German women and raised their children as Black Germans. In Mein Kampf, Hitler wrote about his plans for these “Rhineland Bastards”. When he came to power, one of his first directives was aimed at these mixed-race children. Underscoring Hitler’s obsession with racial purity, by 1937, every identified mixed-race child in the Rhineland had been forcibly sterilized, in order to prevent further “race polluting”, as Hitler termed it.

Hans Hauck, a Black Holocaust survivor and a victim of Hitler’s mandatory sterilization program, explained in the film “Hitler’s Forgotten Victims” that, when he was forced to undergo sterilization as a teenager, he was given no anesthetic. Once he received his sterilization certificate, he was “free to go”, so long as he agreed to have no sexual relations whatsoever with Germans. Although most Black Germans attempted to escape their fatherland, heading for France where people like Josephine Baker were steadily aiding and supporting the French Underground, many still encountered problems elsewhere. Nations shut their doors to Germans, including the Black ones.

Some Black Germans were able to eke out a living during Hitler’s reign of terror by performing in Vaudeville shows, but many Blacks, steadfast in their belief that they were German first, Black second, opted to remain in Germany. Some fought with the Nazis (a few even became Lutwaffe pilots)! Unfortunately, many Black Germans were arrested, charged with treason, and shipped in cattle cars to concentration camps. Often these trains were so packed with people and (equipped with no bathroom facilities or food), that, after the four-day journey, box car doors were opened to piles of the dead and dying.

Once inside the concentration camps, Blacks were given the worst jobs conceivable. Some Black American soldiers, who were captured and held as prisoners of war, recounted that, while they were being starved and forced into dangerous labor (violating the Geneva Convention), they were still better off than Black German concentration camp detainees, who were forced to do the unthinkable-man the crematoriums and work in labs where genetic experiments were being conducted. As a final sacrifice, these Blacks were killed every three months so that they would never be able to reveal the inner workings of the “Final Solution”. In every story of Black oppression, no matter how we were enslaved, shackled, or beaten, we always found a way to survive and to rescue others.

As a case in point, consider Johnny Voste, a Belgian resistance fighter who
was arrested in 1942 for alleged sabotage and then shipped to Dachau. One of his jobs was stacking vitamin crates.Risking his own life, he distributed hundreds of vitamins to camp detainees, which saved the lives of many who were starving, weak, and ill—conditions exacerbated by extreme vitamin deficiencies. His motto was ”No, you can’t have my life; I will fight for it.”

According to Essex University’s Delroy Constantine- Simms, there were Black Germans who resisted Nazi Germany, such as Lari Gilges, who founded the Northwest Rann—an organization of entertainers that fought the Nazis in his home town of Dusseldorf—and who was murdered by the SS in 1933, the year that Hitler came into power.

Little information remains about the numbers of Black Germans held in the camps or killed under the Nazi regime. Some victims of the Nazi sterilization project and Black survivors of the Holocaust are still alive and telling their story in films such as “Black Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust”, but they must also speak out for justice, not just history. Unlike Jews (in Israel and in Germany), Black Germans receive no war reparations because their German citizenship was revoked (even though they were German-born) . The only pension they get is from those of us who are willing to tell the world their stories and continue their battle for recognition and compensation.

After the war, scores of Blacks who had somehow managed to survive the Nazi regime, were rounded up and tried as war criminals. Talk about the final insult! There are thousands of Black Holocaust stories, from the triangle trade, to slavery in America, to the gas ovens in Germany.

We often shy away from hearing about our historical past because so much of it is painful; however, we are in this struggle together for rights, dignity, and, yes, reparations for wrongs done to us through the centuries. We need to always remember so that we can take steps to ensure that these atrocities never happen again.

Written by A. Tolbert, III

Wooden Mosque in Wünsdorf, Germany

From the website for Philip Scheffner’s film, The Halfmoon Files
During the first World War the Ottoman Empire becomes Germany’s ally. Islam becomes an important strategic weapon against France, England and Russia. „Jihad“ – the holy war – becomes a part of German war strategy. In November 1914, Jihad was declared in Constantinople. Muslim soldiers from the British, French and Russian armies were called upon to change sides and to enter the war together with the Ottoman Empire and its German ally against the enemies of Islam. As part of the Jihad strategy, captured Muslim prisoners were interned with Indian and North African soldiers of the French and British armies in special camps. These so called “colonial soldiers” were instigated to uprisings against their colonial rulers. Through the endorsement of their respective religious practices, the soldiers interned in the special camps were induced to defect. On 13th July 1915, the first mosque, for the express purpose of religious practice, was inaugurated on German soil. The mosque was located on the premises of the so-called Halfmoon camp. A special camp for Muslim prisoners-of-war and colonial soldiers. As it occured, that the propaganda was rather successless, the camps however faced a growing interest of scientists. The detained “exotic” prisoners of war became objects of different scientific research projects. One such project was the recording of languages, carried out by the “Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission”. This commission was founded in 1915 and comprised of over 30 scientists from the fields of linguistics, musicology and anthropology. The aim of the commission was to systematically record the different languages and the music of all those interned in the German prisoner of war camps. Under the technical direction of Wilhelm Doegen, 1650 recordings of languages were made. The recordings form the basic stock of the Berlin Sound Archive, today located at the Humboldt-University Berlin. These recordings are the starting point for the project “THE HALFMOON FILES”.
http://www.halfmoonfiles.de/index.php

Wooden Mosque in Wünsdorf, Germany

From the website for Philip Scheffner’s film, The Halfmoon Files

During the first World War the Ottoman Empire becomes Germany’s ally. Islam becomes an important strategic weapon against France, England and Russia. „Jihad“ – the holy war – becomes a part of German war strategy. In November 1914, Jihad was declared in Constantinople. Muslim soldiers from the British, French and Russian armies were called upon to change sides and to enter the war together with the Ottoman Empire and its German ally against the enemies of Islam. As part of the Jihad strategy, captured Muslim prisoners were interned with Indian and North African soldiers of the French and British armies in special camps. These so called “colonial soldiers” were instigated to uprisings against their colonial rulers. Through the endorsement of their respective religious practices, the soldiers interned in the special camps were induced to defect. On 13th July 1915, the first mosque, for the express purpose of religious practice, was inaugurated on German soil. The mosque was located on the premises of the so-called Halfmoon camp. A special camp for Muslim prisoners-of-war and colonial soldiers. As it occured, that the propaganda was rather successless, the camps however faced a growing interest of scientists. The detained “exotic” prisoners of war became objects of different scientific research projects. One such project was the recording of languages, carried out by the “Royal Prussian Phonographic Commission”. This commission was founded in 1915 and comprised of over 30 scientists from the fields of linguistics, musicology and anthropology. The aim of the commission was to systematically record the different languages and the music of all those interned in the German prisoner of war camps. Under the technical direction of Wilhelm Doegen, 1650 recordings of languages were made. The recordings form the basic stock of the Berlin Sound Archive, today located at the Humboldt-University Berlin. These recordings are the starting point for the project “THE HALFMOON FILES”.

http://www.halfmoonfiles.de/index.php