Whats with all the racism geared twords African history?

Nov 2018
84
West Covina
IME three reasons
1-Misinformation and sterotypes
2-Bigotry
3-Reaction to Afro centrism
Theres also the fact that up til the 1970s african archeology was rife with eurocentric racism they tried to attribute ever africa culture to some outside group They tried to claim that southern nigerian brass bronza and metallurgy was tje result of some long lost greek colony because they thought africans were developed enough to make such art work
Leo Frobenius - Wikipedia

Hamites - Wikipedia
It was easier for them to believe in alantis than africans making these heads or any of the detailed bronzes

Bronze Head from Ife - Wikipedia

Archaeology of Igbo-Ukwu - Wikipedia
 

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Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,760
Theres also the fact that up til the 1970s african archeology was rife with eurocentric racism they tried to attribute ever africa culture to some outside group They tried to claim that southern nigerian brass bronza and metallurgy was tje result of some long lost greek colony because they thought africans were developed enough to make such art work
Leo Frobenius - Wikipedia

Hamites - Wikipedia
It was easier for them to believe in alantis than africans making these heads or any of the detailed bronzes

Bronze Head from Ife - Wikipedia

Archaeology of Igbo-Ukwu - Wikipedia
Yeah, well, you get a mixed bag with that as well. Leo Forbenius, of the German Super-Diffusionist school of anthropology (with Gräbner et al, Grafton Elliot-Smith was the Great British Name in that downright barmy school, and barmier than the rest), also thought he had evidence that Atlantis was real...

Otoh his contemporary the Berlin anthropologist Felix von Luschan immediately identified the Benin bronzes as distinctly and unhesitatingly native African in origin, no bloody outsiders needed to be assumed. (And von Luschan eschewed using the concept of "race" as unscientific. And pulled stats about black communities in the US south as having lower rates of children born out of wedlock than Bavarians (that was for a book by another anthropologist, Karl Helm, "Arier, Wilde, Juden", which was a general attack on racial stereotyping). He was active in international societies for the liberation of non-western colonies, though in fairness he probably saw that also as a way of directly attacking the UK, France and US, right and proper for a good German. But it's the same German anthropological tradition that Franz Boas represented in the US. Of course someone like the Austrian aristocrat von Luschan was roundly attacked for being "a Jew" by the other side.)

Part of the problem with European anthropology in the 19th c was that it was political battlefield. If you select the obvious racists as representative of it, you get one kind of story of course.

But what to do with their adversaries who argued the opposite? That situation of being in two-minds was there already in the first issue of the journal of the German Anthropological Society, founded in 1866, where the Austrian anatomist Karl von Rokitansky (a hero figure in the history of pathological anatomy) first published a piece arguing for European racial supremacy, only to have it counterbalanced by a piece by the Swiss anatomist Hermann Schaafhausen (first to publish the Neanderthal find scientifically) specifically stating that Europeans had "keine grössere innere Vorzüglichkeit", no inherent greater excellence, than any other race.
 
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Nov 2018
84
West Covina
Yeah, well, you get a mixed bag with that as well. Leo Forbenius, of the German Super-Diffusionist school of anthropology (with Gräbner et al, Grafton Elliot-Smith was the Great British Name in that downright barmy school, and barmier than the rest), also thought he had evidence that Atlantis was real...

Otoh his contemporary the Berlin anthropologist Felix von Luschan immediately identified the Benin bronzes as distinctly and unhesitatingly native African in origin, no bloody outsiders needed to be assumed. (And von Luschan eschewed using the concept of "race" as unscientific. And pulled stats about black communities in the US south as having lower rates of children born out of wedlock than Bavarians (that was for a book by another anthropologist, Karl Helm, "Arier, Wilde, Juden", which was a general attack on racial stereotyping). He was active in international societies for the liberation of non-western colonies, though in fairness he probably saw that also as a way of directly attacking the UK, France and US, right and proper for a good German. But it's the same German anthropological tradition that Franz Boas represented in the US. Of course someone like the Austrian aristocrat von Luschan was roundly attacked for being "a Jew" by the other side.)

Part of the problem with European anthropology in the 19th c was that it was political battlefield. If you select the obvious racists as representative of it, you get one kind of story of course.

But what to do with their adversaries who argued the opposite? That situation of being in two-minds was there already in the first issue of the journal of the German Anthropological Society, founded in 1866, where the Austrian anatomist Karl von Rokitansky (a hero figure in the history of pathological anatomy) first published a piece arguing for European racial supremacy, only to have it counterbalanced by a piece by the Swiss anatomist Hermann Schaafhausen (first to publish the Neanderthal find scientifically) specifically stating that Europeans had "keine grössere innere Vorzüglichkeit", no inherent greater excellence, than any other race.
Problem overall is that lots of the actual archeology done wasn't reliable many artifacts were looted solded off or destroyed to suit a political narrative like in Zimbabwe
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,760
Its more of a problem within the wider internet than its is here but on here specifically

Water supply and aqueducts
You got one dedicated racist, who got a whoop of support from a single poster once, in that thread.

Yes, these kinds of boards allow some VERY robust interactions, with people with all KINDS of views on just about everything. And if you post ion African history that will draw the attentions precisely of dedicated racists towards Africa and Africans.

One question is if you are really gauging that kind of negative attention correctly? Not that it's not racist (it is), but how prevalent you think it is?

Especially if you seem to possibly connect it to history in ways that look dangerously close to essentialising racism as a representative of, well, loads of things?
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,760
Problem overall is that lots of the actual archeology done wasn't reliable many artifacts were looted solded off or destroyed to suit a political narrative like in Zimbabwe
And you can and should to take that up with the likes of Cecil Rhodes.

But then there appears a question how representative Rhodes was? Not saying he wasn't. Just saying that context matters and there is a need to specify what, who and who someone like Rhodes was representive.

Partly to work out what and who he did NOT represent.
 
Nov 2018
84
West Covina
You got one dedicated racist, who got a whoop of support from a single poster once, in that thread.

Yes, these kinds of boards allow some VERY robust interactions, with people with all KINDS of views on just about everything. And if you post ion African history that will draw the attentions precisely of dedicated racists towards Africa and Africans.

One question is if you are really gauging that kind of negative attention correctly? Not that it's racist, but how prevalent you think it is?

Especially if you seem to possibly connect it to history in ways that look dangerously close to essentialising racism as a representative of, well, loads of things?
I'm using that as more of a example of the type you see african history channels not the We Wuz kangs stuff often seem to draw in the worse this board far better than litterally any other history board its not /his/ levels of horrible
 
Jun 2017
2,969
Connecticut
Theres also the fact that up til the 1970s african archeology was rife with eurocentric racism they tried to attribute ever africa culture to some outside group They tried to claim that southern nigerian brass bronza and metallurgy was tje result of some long lost greek colony because they thought africans were developed enough to make such art work
Leo Frobenius - Wikipedia

Hamites - Wikipedia
It was easier for them to believe in alantis than africans making these heads or any of the detailed bronzes

Bronze Head from Ife - Wikipedia

Archaeology of Igbo-Ukwu - Wikipedia
Important to note that prior to the last few centuries Europe particularly that of the coasts were extremely less developed and sophisticated by western standards, take out the last several hundred years and non coastal European history looks far more similar to that of non coastal Africa. History is largely Mediterranean centric whether it be the African coast, European coast or Levant coast and it's more accurate to view the old world in context of the land surrounding a lake than continents. Europe isn't a real continent and Greece was never considered part of the West until it became convenient for it to be, Africa wasn't a real continent either until a man made hole in the ground made it so less than 200 years ago. Africa like the land to the north had it's most dominant civs on or near the coasts as well.

Now that being said I don't know the details of this case. I do know Greeks made colonies far and wide, also know that most people(including Middle Age Europeans who took hundreds of years to build their largest buildings) were not able to replicate much classic techniques and that skepticism might come from racism or might be based on actual inferences that were true of Westerners as well(the Renaissance for example is based entirely on the notion that classical knowledge had been lost to the West prior to that imaginary era). Nigeria is somewhat close to belt of Africa that was classically civilized(North Africa, Egypt and Nubia) so would make sense though West Africa's main moment came later during the Mali empire and I would be more likely to believe it was from that era. I would think the bias that people didn't know certain techniques until contact with others who had such techniques was a reasonable inference or theory, but I can see how it can be interpreted as being founded in racism given it's nature and maybe the assumption such techniques were exclusive is in itself racist? However regardless of where the Nigerians got or learned that technique from they were still able to use it and techniques and practices are spread across the world. I'd say though that this idea(not assuming anyone else's good or bad motives) isn't very Eurocentric so much as Greco centric and the assumption seems based on the common theme that Greeks created culture and gave mankind knowledge(a bias that even effects and is attributed to Americans with for example our system of government) . That assumption is false(though it's the Romans not the Greeks so not sure it it matters) and this could be too but I'm not really sure.
 
Sep 2014
941
Texas
here's the biggest problem with history in general....so much of it was written from the England is better nonsense. Seriously, this permeates everything. When the person writing the history is saying we civilized the world, everyone else plays catch up. I wrote a factual detailed Timeline for the Horse, and the people who gave me the most trouble were English. I used facts and dates...it was time line with beautiful graphics...and I even had one woman who supports the Fell Pony ask me to remove my link from a group because I actually listed the detailed history of this breed. And don't get me started on the Arabian. (I just read an article on the Opium Wars...high point of British history no doubt)

People need to approach African history fresh and honestly. I am not an expert or even familiar with most of it. But I know enough to know when someone is pushing an agenda.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
14,032
Navan, Ireland
here's the biggest problem with history in general....so much of it was written from the England is better nonsense. Seriously, this permeates everything.........................
How ironic casual racism on a thread complaining of ,effectively, racism.

.................People need to approach African history fresh and honestly. I am not an expert or even familiar with most of it. But I know enough to know when someone is pushing an agenda.
It appears you need to practice what you preach.
 
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JpO

Jan 2019
53
Norway
here's the biggest problem with history in general....so much of it was written from the England is better nonsense. Seriously, this permeates everything. When the person writing the history is saying we civilized the world, everyone else plays catch up. I wrote a factual detailed Timeline for the Horse, and the people who gave me the most trouble were English. I used facts and dates...it was time line with beautiful graphics...and I even had one woman who supports the Fell Pony ask me to remove my link from a group because I actually listed the detailed history of this breed. And don't get me started on the Arabian. (I just read an article on the Opium Wars...high point of British history no doubt)

People need to approach African history fresh and honestly. I am not an expert or even familiar with most of it. But I know enough to know when someone is pushing an agenda.
The only reason you know about Africa is because of British explorers such as Thomas Edward Bowdich, Mungo Park, David Livingstone, etc... and British historians like Basil Davidson and Kevin Shillington. You don't know what you are talking about.