Why does so much of Africa's history have to revolve around race?

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Jun 2013
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Seriously, no one ever questions the race or color of ancient European and Asian civilizations like Greece, Rome, the Near East. Little question of race of the originators of the Incan, Mayan, Aztec empires,etc.

But for much of Africa's history, discussions seem to constantly revolve around who the people were. I've found that African revisionists can pretty much spin every.single.african.civilization.on.the.planet around in a circle and try to rationalize it as a foreign creation. The usual suspects being Europeans, Arabs, Persians, even the ancient Phoenicians! I've even found people who tell me that the Nubians weren't black or "African", despite the art and written scripts they left behind.

I'm a huge African history buff, and pretty much every history forum I've frequented has people arguing about the race of African empires and their origins. Many of these societies had written languages so the lack of it isn't an issue.

Does it make anyone here depressed? It depresses the hell out of me, especially as anyone who challenges these revisionists are labelled afrocentrists and subject to scorn. Just reading about discussions on Ancient Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, the horn of africa, the mali and songhai/ghana empires,etc,etc it's odd that I find so much of it. And if people can't find a way to knock it down as of being of foreign origins they say it's primitive in comparison to Asian and European civilizations and constructs.

People here always complain about Afrocentrists but I think we need to be aware of a very real and OLD threat to all of African history: revisionism.
 
Jun 2013
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south of the mediteranean
Aside from the northern and northeastern civilizations there is pretty much no race problem to be spoken of (at least to my knowledge).

All of the kingdoms and empires of the central, western, eastern, and southern africa have not been questioned in terms of race.
 

Salah

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Oct 2009
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It depends on who's telling the story. Race wouldn't be a big issue to somebody from Africa writing about African history. But in the English language, most history is written by Europeans and Americans, or from a Euro-American perspective. And race has been a big deal to them for the past five or six centuries.
 

PM96

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Feb 2012
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I don't think there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians are genetically different from the modern Egyptians.
 
Jun 2013
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Aside from the northern and northeastern civilizations there is pretty much no race problem to be spoken of (at least to my knowledge).

All of the kingdoms and empires of the central, western, eastern, and southern africa have not been questioned in terms of race.
Northern Africa is to be included imo, people are ignorant enough to think non-blacks there are foreigners from another land, or that the blacks there originally came as slaves, both sides are full of lies.

You'd be surprised about the rest of Africa, people question the origin of the garamantes, the swahili civilization, great zimbabwe, Abyssinia, Somalia, Nubia, The West African kingdoms of mali, the songhai, ghana,etc. Just the other day in a thread some people widely believe East Africans to be wholly Caucasian.


People have questioned all of these, I am seriously not kidding you. There's actually a book published claiming Indonesians built Great Zimbabwe, some people would rather aliens have built it instead of Africans. Another idiot says Arabs built the Sahelian cities of Timbuktu, Jenne, Gao. That the swahili and somali civilizations were biproducts of persian and arab traders and conquerers,etc, rather than indigenous developments.

Why can't African history be just that? African, not black, brown or white, but African. It has to be questioned, torn apart, and refashioned in a way that is acceptable to the eurocentric masses of this world.
 
Jun 2013
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I don't think there is evidence that the ancient Egyptians are genetically different from the modern Egyptians.
I don't remember claiming otherwise. Ancient Egypt was probably the world's first cosmopolitan society, in terms of peoples and conquerors all across the ancient world settling in it, but its origins lay in Africa. People seem to think that only means black, and that any non-black presence must be of foreign origin.

I don't care if the ancient Egyptians were yellow, green, black, brown or purple.
 
Jun 2013
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It depends on who's telling the story. Race wouldn't be a big issue to somebody from Africa writing about African history. But in the English language, most history is written by Europeans and Americans, or from a Euro-American perspective. And race has been a big deal to them for the past five or six centuries.
Since ancient times actually, the Arabs referred to the continent of Africa(and sudan specifically) as land of the blacks, the ancient greeks called it Ethiopia(land of people with burnt faces). In contrast, the ancient Egyptians called Nubia the land of gold, or the land of the bow. Seems to me that they've always been obsessed with race, Africans don't seem to really care as much.
 

Ichon

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Mar 2013
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Maybe you are focused on Africa and didn't notice the also very common disputes of White Asians, Aryan Indians, Iranian Aryans, Turkish diaspora, Semetic Arabs or Arab Semites... the list is pretty long actually and usually pointless but anyone who is arguing that Nubians weren't black seems a suspect racist to me simply due to the overwhelming evidence. Some of the other things can be debated because of lack of evidence but not that... of course Egyptians and Nubians aren't necessarily the same people but where and when upper Egypt or lower Egypt was more important can be debated.
 
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mansamusa

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,308
Seriously, no one ever questions the race or color of ancient European and Asian civilizations like Greece, Rome, the Near East. Little question of race of the originators of the Incan, Mayan, Aztec empires,etc.

But for much of Africa's history, discussions seem to constantly revolve around who the people were. I've found that African revisionists can pretty much spin every.single.african.civilization.on.the.planet around in a circle and try to rationalize it as a foreign creation. The usual suspects being Europeans, Arabs, Persians, even the ancient Phoenicians! I've even found people who tell me that the Nubians weren't black or "African", despite the art and written scripts they left behind.

I'm a huge African history buff, and pretty much every history forum I've frequented has people arguing about the race of African empires and their origins. Many of these societies had written languages so the lack of it isn't an issue.

Does it make anyone here depressed? It depresses the hell out of me, especially as anyone who challenges these revisionists are labelled afrocentrists and subject to scorn. Just reading about discussions on Ancient Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, the horn of africa, the mali and songhai/ghana empires,etc,etc it's odd that I find so much of it. And if people can't find a way to knock it down as of being of foreign origins they say it's primitive in comparison to Asian and European civilizations and constructs.

People here always complain about Afrocentrists but I think we need to be aware of a very real and OLD threat to all of African history: revisionism.
The racializing of African history is a psychological necessity. Read Chinua Acebe's image of Africa.
 
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mansamusa

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Mar 2012
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From Chinua Achebe's critique of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness:

'As I said earlier Conrad did not originate the image of Africa which we find in his book. It was and is the dominant image of Africa in the Western imagination and Conrad merely brought the peculiar gifts of his own mind to bear on it. For reasons which can certainly use close psychological inquiry the West seems to suffer deep anxieties about the precariousness of its civilization and to have a need for conkstant reassurance by comparison with Africa. If Europe, advancing in civilization, could cast a backward glance periodically at Africa trapped in primordial barbarity it could say with faith and feeling: There go I but for the grace of God. Africa is to Europe as the picture is to Dorian Gray -- a carrier onto whom the master unloads his physical and moral deformities so that he may go forward, erect and immaculate. Consequently Africa is something to be avoided just as the picture has to be hidden away to safeguard the man's jeopardous integrity. Keep away from Africa, or else! Mr. Kurtz of Heart of Darkness should have heeded that warning and the prowling horror in his heart would have kept its place, chained to its lair. But he foolishly exposed himself to the wild irresistible allure of the jungle and lo! the darkness found him out.'
http://historum.com/art-cultural-history/54659-chinua-achebe-dies.html


In regards to history Eurocentric historians are constantly projecting colonial history when European dominance begun, way back into ancient history. However Ancient history in the Mediterranean world is essentially African/Egyptian history. Ancient Egypt temporally occupies most of Ancient history and is the oldest most prestigious and consistent aspect of Ancient history for the Mediterranean region----(Africa, Middle East, Southern Europe). Hence the reason all the denials and confusion of Ancient Egypt being really African or black. Blacks in colonial history are synonymous with slavery and inferior race and in the attempt to project recent colonial history unto Ancient history the racialist poison and nightmare begins.

But this idea of a civilized Europe and barbaric Africa stretching back to Ancient history is truth turned upside down. In a matter of fact Classic Ancient civilization was bought to an end by the very ancestors of modern Western Europe. The Germanic nomadic tribes. It turns out there is no difference between the Roman image of a barbarian and Hitler's image of the super race. The most commonly cited date for the decline of Rome is 429, when the Vandals invaded N. Africa, cutting Rome off from its most lucrative tax base.

And ancient Egypt is most definitely an African civilization which sprung essentially from Nubia and is racially and culturally closer to Nubia, than any other Ancient Culture. Here is an old thread I begun on the topic:

http://historum.com/ancient-history/42205-idea-europe-ancient-world.html
 
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