I’m going to keep this post really short and sweet.
Growing up in America’s education system we all heard how important it was to learn. We all heard the saying knowledge is power and that knowledge is the key to success. So much so, it’s almost played out.
Moreover, as a black man growing up in America’s education system I was told that I should value education even more so than my white brothers and sisters because of the ugly history of American slavery.
I can’t tell you how many times I was told that my ancestors were illiterate and that I came from a land of darkness that was largely uncivilized and undeveloped.
I remember having arguments in high school with my white peers about the legacy of slavery only to have them admit that slavery was horrible but at least it brought the descendants of slaves to America instead of Africa. As if Africa was the bottom of the bottom.
At that time, not knowing any better, I found myself agreeing with that belief. The belief that Africa was nothing and contributed nothing to the so-called civilized world.
It wasn’t until a few years ago I started to understand how white supremacy actually works in the western world, and how integrated it is in all of our institutions.
It wasn’t until about a year ago when I fully realized how white supremacy had shaped my own life and beliefs. That some, if not most, of the things I was “taught” and held to be true, came out of a racist institution and/or mindset. After all, like it or not, we’re all products of our environment, and the American “environment” if you will, is a racialist environment.
Related Piece: The American Racial Caste System
Slavers knew early on that if we truly knew our history, slavery wouldn’t have been possible. Moreover, they understood that for slavery to flourish (as if did for centuries) black history had to be erased, and what couldn’t be erased must be whitewashed.
Related Piece: Slaves Are Prohibited to Read and Write by Law
Now that I know this, I’ve begun to look at black history with a new set of eyes.
I quickly realized that our history on this planet didn’t begin 400 years ago with the Transatlantic Slave Trade, but stretched back thousands & thousands of years ago. That the Transatlantic Slave Trade wasn’t the starting block for black life on this planet, but more so the first of many horrific hurdles black folks had to clear in this unfair world.
I quickly learned that Africa is the mother of ALL civilizations. That my ancestors weren’t some barbaric, illiterate savages living in huts, but were kings and queens who had mastered the arts of science and mathematics long before the the Romans or the Greeks even came on the scene.
Through this newfound knowledge, I can truly say I’ve found the key to the shackles of the slave mentality that has plagued the black community for centuries and continues to plague us till this day.
I recently wrote a piece, My Youtube Playlist of Knowledge.
In that piece, you’ll find a section dedicated to African History. I highly suggest checking out that piece if you’d like more information about the prestigious history of Africa.
I said I wanted to keep this piece short and sweet so I’m going to end things with a small list of books I recently order that help shine a light on the buried history of Africa.
These books hold history and information slavers never wanted us to learn. These same books hold history and information you’ll never learn in a Western educational school system regardless of the educational level.
Let this reading list be one of the many keys you use to unshackle the chains on your conscious that so many have tried to maintain either through ignorance or whitewashed propaganda.
Black History Reading List
When We Ruled: The Ancient and Mediaeval History of Black Civilisations | Amazon Description: In twenty-two chapters, When We Ruled examines the nature of what we call Black history; critically surveying the often-shoddy documentation of that history. Importantly, it focuses upon African civilization in the Valley of the Nile and analyzes the key historical phases of Ancient Egypt – critical exercises for any professed scholar of African history and vital pieces of Africa’s legacy
Africa: Mother of Western Civilization (African-American Heritage Series) | Amazon Description: In lecture/essay format, Dr. Ben identifies and corrects myths about the inferiority and primitiveness of the indigenous African peoples and their descendants.
Black Man of the Nile | Amazon Description: In a masterful and unique manner, Dr. Ben uses Black Man of the Nile to challenge and expose “Europeanized” African history.
The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality | Amazon Description: Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.
They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America (Journal of African Civilizations) | Amazon Discprtion: They Came Before Columbus reveals a compelling, dramatic, and superbly detailed documentation of the presence and legacy of Africans in ancient America. Examining navigation and shipbuilding; cultural analogies between Native Americans and Africans; the transportation of plants, animals, and textiles between the continents; and the diaries, journals, and oral accounts of the explorers themselves, Ivan Van Sertima builds a pyramid of evidence to support his claim of an African presence in the New World centuries before Columbus. Combining impressive scholarship with a novelist’s gift for storytelling, Van Sertima re-creates some of the most powerful scenes of human history: the launching of the great ships of Mali in 1310 (two hundred master boats and two hundred supply boats), the sea expedition of the Mandingo king in 1311, and many others. In They Came Before Columbus, we see clearly the unmistakable face and handprint of black Africans in pre-Columbian America, and their overwhelming impact on the civilizations they encountered.
Stolen Legacy: Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy | Amazon Description: In this bold and uncompromising book, George G. M. James argues that the “Greek philosophy” in which nearly all of Western culture has its roots actually originated in ancient Egypt. Drawing on careful historical research and a radical rethinking of the conventional narrative of Greek history, James asserts that our celebration of the ancient Greeks as the creators of Western civilization and philosophy is misattributed. In fact, he argues, our praise rightfully belongs to the people of Africa. Furthermore, this massive intellectual and cultural theft has helped lend credence to the damaging notion that the entire continent of Africa has contributed nothing to world civilization. James explorers documented connections between celebrated Greek philosophers and the influence of Egyptian thought, proposing other possible links between northern Africa and Greece as well. An important book for understanding the history of philosophy, culture, and race in the modern world, Stolen Legacy is not to be missed.
The Teachings of Ptahhotep: The Oldest Book in the World | Amazon Description: Originally published as “The Instruction of Ptah-Hotep” and also as “The Maxims of Ptahhotep,” the work is believed by some scholars to be the oldest book in the world. Authorship is attributed to Ptahhotep, a vizier under King Isesi of the Egyptian Fifth Dynasty (ca. 2414-2375 BC). It is a collection of maxims and advice in the sebayt (“teaching”) genre on human relations and are provided as instruction for his son. The work survives today in papyrus copies, including the Prisse Papyrus which dates from the Middle Kingdom and is on display at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.