Blacks Had No History Before Slavery?

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Closed
Apr 2015
405
Sri Lanka
To add on to this. Historians rarely know the truth, but most of the time just have to assume probabilities and likelyhood. And it's very likely that every civilization, be it advanced or not, to have philosophers who didn't write down their work or had it destroyed. So assuming these things says very little.

What makes historical philosophy interesting is not that it was contucted, but its content. If there is no content, there is little value. Such is the early history of SS Africa. Unless you interpret rock paintings a philosophy in any way.
I could not have said it better.
 

Caesarmagnus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,636
Australia
I just want to re-emphasise- I do not approve of the title of the thread, and I do not go as far as Savior does. This is not a racial thing certainly.

However, I've seen in other threads posters on this board make some frankly absurd claims about pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. I never thought I would see the day when sub-Saharan Africa was compared to Ancient Rome in terms of development, but I saw some posters make exactly that argument in another thread on this subject... and that's simply absurd. Sub-Saharan Africa was way behind places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, etc. Some places hadn't even developed the wheel when colonisation started, and even the high end civilisations like Nubia were nowhere even close to where Ancient Rome had been thousands of years earlier.
 
Apr 2015
405
Sri Lanka
Since my point about arts was disputed, I would like our readers to have a look at Sigriya caves in Sri Lanka a UNESCO WH Site. It was built some 1600 years ago and some of paintings are still there despite damp climate of this place.



Not as great as Roman paintings but still very impressive coming from 400 CEs. I would be extremely delighted to see something similar from Sub Saharan Africa before 1500 CE.
 
Apr 2015
405
Sri Lanka
I just want to re-emphasise- I do not approve of the title of the thread, and I do not go as far as Savior does. This is not a racial thing certainly.

However, I've seen in other threads posters on this board make some frankly absurd claims about pre-colonial sub-Saharan Africa. I never thought I would see the day when sub-Saharan Africa was compared to Ancient Rome in terms of development, but I saw some posters make exactly that argument in another thread on this subject... and that's simply absurd. Sub-Saharan Africa was way behind places like Europe, Asia, the Middle East, etc. Some places hadn't even developed the wheel when colonisation started, and even the high end civilisations like Nubia were nowhere even close to where Ancient Rome had been thousands of years earlier.
No this is not racial, it is geographical. No crops like wheat, rice, maize, sugarcane, cotton, pulses there. No animals like cows, horses or even elephants domesticated. Add to this the fact that arable land was so less and you get what I am saying.

Europe or Asia would have remained same if such conditions existed there. Remember that Sweden too was very primitive before Christianisation and Europeanisation.
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,346
Coastal Florida
While I'm cautious in seeming to defend the more radical views espoused by Savior, I have to balk at this. You can't argue stuff might have existed by lack of evidence to the contrary. Nobody can prove a negative. If you want to prove stuff existed, you need to prove it.
The oldest pieces of literature in the world contain theories of creation as well as explanations of the natural world and other aspects of reality in terms of the operations of various gods. Do you seriously think no theories like this existed prior to the invention of writing and it was all invented wholesale only after it could be written down? That doesn't make logical sense. Further, we know this isn't so because we are aware of cultures whose philosophical beliefs on such topics became known before those cultures started writing them down (i.e. Native Americans). It's simply not a stretch at all to assert philosophical beliefs, in the abstract, were ubiquitous among humanity long before and regardless of when written records started.
 
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dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,346
Coastal Florida
That's it. Also, experience of other Eurasian societies tell us that this 'philosophy might have existed' thing is incorrect. Philosophy only exists when there is a great elite class that has time and resources to ponder over deep questions-metaphysical and material alike. Greece did not have philosophy in 2000 BC, Sri Lanka did not have it till 300 BCs and Sub Saharan Africa did not have this till 1500 ADs. We have a Buddhist philosopher Buddhaghosa in fifth century, the genius wrote extensive commentaries on Buddha discourses. I dare say that Sub Saharan Africa put together can not match him even in volume of his works( all philosophies are subjective) till 1500 AD.
That's complete nonsense. Theories of creation and explanations of the natural world are philosophical beliefs and they certainly predate recorded history.
 
May 2013
143
Sweden
That's it. Also, experience of other Eurasian societies tell us that this 'philosophy might have existed' thing is incorrect. Philosophy only exists when there is a great elite class that has time and resources to ponder over deep questions-metaphysical and material alike. Greece did not have philosophy in 2000 BC, Sri Lanka did not have it till 300 BCs and Sub Saharan Africa did not have this till 1500 ADs. We have a Buddhist philosopher Buddhaghosa in fifth century, the genius wrote extensive commentaries on Buddha discourses. I dare say that Sub Saharan Africa put together can not match him even in volume of his works( all philosophies are subjective) till 1500 AD.
But this is no certainty. Having an upper class can also mean litteracy. Just because the rich could write things down doesn't mean that poor people didn't conduct philosophy. Religion itself can stand as a proof of this, being a somewhat primitive way of philosophy.
 

dreamregent

Ad Honorem
Feb 2013
4,346
Coastal Florida
Since my point about arts was disputed, I would like our readers to have a look at Sigriya caves in Sri Lanka a UNESCO WH Site. It was built some 1600 years ago and some of paintings are still there despite damp climate of this place.



Not as great as Roman paintings but still very impressive coming from 400 CEs. I would be extremely delighted to see something similar from Sub Saharan Africa before 1500 CE.
The Dabous Giraffe petroglyph is probably over 7000 years old and is a masterpiece that easily matches any other of more recent vintage. Perceptions of art are necessarily subjective but your ideas about the artistic abilities of Africans seem rather out of place.

 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,638
Benin City, Nigeria
I'll just hijack this thread with a quick question: since most of the posters in this thread are knowledgeable with subsaharan African history, could you recommend me some books on the subject?
Considering I know next to nothing of African history.
This wasn't addressed to me, but I can make some recommendations. My interests lie more toward West African history rather than East or South African history but perhaps other posters can supply you with other resources dealing with other parts of Africa that are not covered much by the list below:

General:

Graham Connah - African Civilizations: An Archaeological Perspective
Ann B. Stahl - African Archaeology: A Critical Introduction
Basil Davidson - African Civilization Revisited: From Antiquity to Modern Times
Toyin Falola - Africa, Vol.1: African History Before 1885
Elizabeth Isichei - A History of African Societies to 1870
Basil Davidson - The Lost Cities of Africa
Robert O. Collins - Documents from the African Past
Richard Hull - African Cities and Towns before the European Conquest
Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch - The History Of African Cities South Of The Sahara
The Cambridge History of Africa series
UNESCO General History of Africa series

West Africa:

Jacob F. Ade Ajayi, Michael Crowder - History of West Africa, Vol. 1 & 2
Basil Davidson - A History of West Africa, 1000-1800
Emmanuel K. Akyeampong - Themes in West Africa's History
Adu Boahen, Jacob F. Ade Ajayi - Topics in West African History
Robert O. Collins - Western African History
Nehemia Levtzion - Ancient Ghana and Mali
J. F. P. Hopkins, Nehemia Levtzion - Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History
Christopher Wise - Timbuktu Chronicles 1493-1599, Ta'rikh al Fattash
John O. Hunwick - Timbuktu and the Songhay Empire: Al-Sa'Di's Ta'Rikh Al-Sudan Down to 1613 and Other Contemporary Documents
E.W. Bovill - The Golden Trade of the Moors: West African Kingdoms in the Fourteenth Century
Ivor Wilks - Forests of Gold: Essays on the Akan and the Kingdom of Asante
Robin Law - The Oyo Empire
A.F.C. Ryder - Benin and the Europeans
Peter M. Roese, Dmitri M. Bondarenko - A Popular History of Benin

Central Africa:

Jan Vansina - Paths in the Rainforests: Toward a History of Political Tradition in Equatorial Africa
Jan Vansina - Kingdoms of the Savanna
Jan Vansina - How Societies Are Born: Governance in West Central Africa before 1600
Anne Hilton - The Kingdom of Kongo
Robert O. Collins - Central and South African History

East Africa:

D.W. Phillipson - Ancient Ethiopia: Aksum, Its Predecessors and Successors
D.W. Phillipson - Foundations of an African Civilisation

Sudan (although saharan, rather than "subsaharan" Africa):

Timothy Kendall - Kerma and the Kingdom of Kush, 2500-1500 B.C.: The Archaeological Discovery of an Ancient Nubian Empire
Marjorie Fisher, Peter Lacovara, Sue D'Auria, Salima Ikram - Ancient Nubia: African Kingdoms on the Nile
David Edwards - The Nubian Past
Laszlo Torok - The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization
David O'Connor - Ancient Nubia: Egypt's Rival in Africa
Derek Welsby - Medieval Kingdoms of Nubia: Pagans, Christians and Muslims in the Middle Nile


If there is a particular culture and time period you are especially interested in, let me know as there may be something I've read on it that I can recommend.
 

Lawnmowerman

Ad Honorem
Mar 2010
9,842
The Dabous Giraffe petroglyph is probably over 7000 years old and is a masterpiece that easily matches any other of more recent vintage. Perceptions of art are necessarily subjective but your ideas about the artistic abilities of Africans seem rather out of place.

Unfortunately it is not in sub-Saharan Africa
 
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