What exactly did blacks achieve in history? Today, whites are being compelled to learn “Black History Year-Round” on the grounds that Africans are the “original source” of “all human achievements” and key players in the making of Western civilization. These curricular instructions are coming along as the population of Africa explodes and millions of aggressive blacks are encouraged by our globalist elites to make Europe and North America their new homelands. The rewriting of history will intensify to the nth degree as blacks become the “new Europeans” and “equity” mandates become the law in higher education.
Playing with the phrase “WE WUZ KINGS” is fun. But as a fair-minded person, I want a book that will make the strongest case possible for the historical legacy of blacks. This is why I chose John Reader’s Africa: A Biography of the Continent (1999). This 700+ page book promises us a refutation of the “western imagery” that Africa is the “dark continent…inherently more barbaric and less civilized than the rest of the world.” Yet, once you read past the announcements into its detailed contents, the actual findings tell us that African culture barely stood above mud houses and towns, bananas and cattle, stone murals and tribes. Slavery was a “permanent feature” of African history.
I took a few African history courses as an undergraduate. Their focus was on the Atlantic slave trade, European colonization, and the African struggle for independence. John Reader offers a sweeping historical narrative. He describes himself as a “white Anglo-Saxon male” who has lived many years in Africa and loves Africans. His book has been widely praised. Hard as he tries to bring out the achievements of Africans, however, the record is too strongly set against his wishes. My “Eurocentric” view of this continent was actually reinforced by his book. Black Africa, which excludes Egypt and the Semitic and Berber areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea, did not engender an indigenous civilization of its own: no architectural monuments, no cities, no scientists, no philosophers, no literary works, and not even a great historical leader.
Reader opens up with homilies about how “humanity evolved in Africa,” how “we hold everything in common,” and even how “such achievements [as going] to the moon” were made possible “by virtue of talents which had evolved in Africa”. But this is a serious book. As much as he wants to say that Aksum, which peaked in the fourth and fifth centuries AD, was a true “indigenous” African civilization (which would be, in his words, the “only” such civilization with “Africa’s only indigenous written script”) he soon admits that “external influences” (on the development of Aksum) “were important, perhaps even vital”. “Indigenous” merely means that this civilization had a character of its own even though “it was the fact of being so close to the Red Sea…that enabled Aksum to develop as it did”. “The Aksumites could exploit the Red Sea trading complex while remaining culturally independent” (208).
We hear about “the large buildings, the tombs, sculptures and altars, the elaborate stone carving, the metal work, and the use of writing” at Aksum, but in reality this “civilization” was a city that covered an area of only about 75 hectares with 20,000 inhabitants at its peak in 500 AD. Once it “was isolated from the Red Sea trade…within a few generations Aksum and its satellite communities were reduced to loose clusters of villages.” “By AD 800 Aksum had almost ceased to exist” (219). Reader does not mention a single literary achievement or a single work of art. Nothing.
Niger Delta in Mali
If it can “be argued that without foreign influence the Aksumite state could never have been formed,” what can it be argued about all the other cultures in Africa’s history which were indeed “wholly indigenous”? Well, Reader is compelled to admit that the “indigenous” culture of “Djenne Djenno” (250 BC-900 AD ), the next “large archeological site” in Africa’s history, located in the Niger delta in Mali, saw “no evidence of a hierarchical social system and centralized control, no monumental architecture, no citadel” (225). Here “excavations have revealed evidence of urbanization that spans 1,600 years without a break” (225). But soon Reader says of the “most prominent architectural feature at this site that “certainly it was not monumental” (235). One finds “specialized craft skills…pottery…delicately patterned…abundant quantifies of iron” indicating “knowledge and skill to smelt…a well organized trade system”. However: “The people who inhabited the inland Niger delta left no monumental public architecture, extravagant burials, or incised tablets praising kings and recording feats or conquests” (236).
The absence of “tablets recording feats or conquests” means that this culture was devoid of writing and historical consciousness. In fact, no culture in Africa developed a sense of history before Europeans taught them how to think historically. Since this Africa was lacking in written documents, European historians had to become experts in paleontology, archeology, linguistics, anthropology, and oral literature. To this day, almost all the foremost experts on African history are white.
|White Woman who blogs about her ‘family affair’ with the people of Djenne Djenno|
The Great Lakes Region
Jared Diamond’s argument that the developmental lag of Africa relative to the other continents was due to her lack of domesticable plants and animals is now widely accepted. It carries some truth — albeit it fails to explain why Africa remains the most impoverished area of the world, and the most dependent on foreign knowhow, despite its abundant mineral resources for modern industrial development. Diamond exaggerates the obstacles to agricultural development in Africa. Africa always enjoyed a lot of nutritious root crops, including high yielding bananas and plantains introduced from south-east Asia more than 2000 years ago, as well as cattle, camels, horses, and other domesticated animals long before Europeans arrived. Cattle herding was a major activity by AD 1000 in the Great Lakes region.
Bananas and plantains are an excellent source of energy, they are also relatively easy to cultivate requiring small amounts of labor. As Reader notes, “such east of cultivation has enabled generations of African farmers and their families to subsist upon the banana. A young man wishing to establish a household for himself and wife would clear up to about one hectare of vacant land and plant it with banana rootstocks, from which several stems would soon sprout. In ten or eighteen months each stem would be bearing fruit and he was then set up for life” (300).
The cultivation of plantains and bananas “rose to distinctive heights of achievement” in the Great Lakes region between AD 800 and 1300. “Increased productivity raised birth rates of successful communities and attracted hungry inhabitants from the less successful; surplus production was sold along the local trade network” (302-05). Moreover, the “high productivity of the Great Lakes grasslands enabled people to maximize the potential of cattle”. “The Great Lakes Region was perhaps the largest, most richly endowed, most developed and most densely populated of indigenous agricultural systems in Africa” (308).
|Burundi people in the Great Lakes region|
Sounds great, what about the rise of civilizations in this region? At this point in Reader’s book I expected to encounter, finally, a major cultural center in Africa with indigenous origins. But this is all Reader tells us: “archeological sites in Uganda attest to the early development of specialized pastoralism in the Great Lakes region…numerous fragments of pottery and a substantial number of grindstones.” “There are remains of a smelting industry…and rich-ore deposits nearby. Many hundreds if not several thousands of people lived at Nutsi from the eleventh to the fourteenth or fifteenth centuries AD”. “At Bigo…massive ditchworks and ramparts enclose 300 hectares of land that backs on to a papyrus swamp…Some of the ditches were dug five metres into the bedrock, their overall length exceeds ten kilometres” (307).
None of these archeological finds qualify as “civilizational”. They bespeak of simple farming communities with some buildings made of stones.
Could this be the one region where a civilization finally emerged in Africa? Reader tells us this region, the high savanna grasslands extending from Zimbabwe in the north, and southwards to the natal coast of South Africa, was really propitious for cattle raising, “producing high quantities of forage that cattle find highly attractive” (313). Unlike the pastoralists of the Sahel or the Great Lakes region, the pastoralists of Southern Africa could exploit the meat of the cattle more effectively rather than just the milk. This allowed for the development of a widespread and intensive beef-producing economy, leading to the emergence of “Great Zimbabwe” built between AD 1275 and 1550. “At its greatest extent,” says Reader, “Great Zimbabwe covered an expanse of seventy-eight hectares”.
|“Great Zimbabwe”: the greatest civilization built by Africans.|
During the fourteenth century, the massive outer wall stood at 244 metres long, 5 metres thick and 10 metres high. This outer wall is “the largest single structure of comparable age in sub-Saharan Africa”. But then Reader adds that “Great Zimbabwe is not well built: the stones were not selected and laid with consideration for their relative sizes…Even the amount of labour required was not excessive.”
It really was not a civilization: “at the time of its pre-eminence in the fifteenth century, at least 11,000 and possibly as many as 18,000 people are said to have lived at Great Zimbabwe” (321). Reader is not even sure it was a city, and ends by saying that “this was urban living at its most basic and unhealthy”.
African Slave Traders
Reader is an old-fashioned liberal who still abides by the protocols of Western scholarship, truth and respect for the sources. This is why I chose his book. We will see shortly, however, that Reader’s leftism does come through when he deals with Western colonization and white settlers.
On the slave trade he remains objective. Slavery was not imposed on Africa by Europeans. Rather, Europeans made us of the opportunities afforded by the fact that slavery had long been “a widespread and entrenched feature of African society” (391). “Between 30 and 60 percent of the entire population were slaves during historical times…The number of people enslaved in Africa far exceeded the number taken from the continent by the slave trade” (291). Africans conducted slave-raids on behalf of European interlopers…they sold their brothers, cousins, their neighbours…slaves were a commonplace feature of African society” (393). When whites abolished the slave trade in the early 1800s, “African enslavement actually increased” thereafter into the 20th century (406).
White Settlers, European imperialism, and Independence
The last third of the book is about these subjects. Reader makes the usual accusations against European imperialism and white settlers. He is not untruthful. Africans did suffer. The developmental gap between Europeans and Africans was humiliating. One cannot but be amazed at how easily a few colonialists took over this huge continent, drawing national boundaries everywhere and creating the nation states you see on a map today. Reader refuses to describe the first functionally modern and literate societies created in Africa: Rhodesia and South Africa. At least he is forthright about how “the dreams of Africa becoming a continent of peaceful democratic states quickly evaporated” as soon as blacks gained independence. “More than seventy coups occurred in the first thirty years of independence” (663). He goes over the “killings on the scale of genocide” that occurred in Rwanda in the mid 1990s. “The scale and brutality are horrifying: rape, torture, unspeakably cruel murder; mothers forced to watch their children die before being killed themselves; children forced to kill their families. Mutilations were common, and macabre ritual was evident” (677).
|Africans celebrating the end of white rule in Rhodesia|
He closes the book with words in awe of Nelson Mandela, how he emerged from prison “unbowed by the oppression and indignities of the white regime”. “He and South Africa offer hope for all humanity” (682). We know how the “rainbow” in South Africa has turned out. We know too that Mandela’s party, the African National Congress, is super corrupt, living off what whites created and from foreign investments — unlike the white farmers who built a great nation and should have seceded as a people rather than signing their own death sentence by accepting black majority rule.
This is a historical preamble to what’s awaiting the entire white world as millions of Africans are welcomed by our globohomo elites. Reader notes that “between 1950 and 1990, the total population of Africa multiplied threefold, from 200 million to 600 million”. This was just the beginning. The current population of Africa is 1,365,470,616 as of Tuesday, April 13, 2021. This is a very young population. And this population knows that whites hate themselves, love blackness, and want to diversify their nations. In 2017 it was estimated that 30 million “new Europeans” were set to arrive by 2027. The Canadian government has indicated it wants to make full use of the population explosion in Nigeria by granting direct citizenship to millions of students.
This demographic reality will be the most important world historical legacy of this continent. Get ready. Either whites overcome their childish guilt over black underdevelopment and chaos, or their white civilization, the only civilization with a glorious and meaningful history, is doomed to fall to the black man.