Precolonial Africa Had Food Security

I get the impression that many people didn’t know about Africa prior to colonialism. They knew almost nothing of the people, of the land and of the vegetation and of the mineral resources. So they accept whatever was told them by western explorers who skewed the history of Africa to justify the exploitation of the continent. The colonialists claim that they brought “civilization” to Africa. That, they did Africans a favour by transporting some to the Americas etc. How is putting people in chains and whipping them a favour? The indigenous African was free and happy in his little hut before slave trade and slavery.

Today the world speaks of food security in Africa but none seem to know precolonial Africa had food security. Our ancestors had huge barns full of yams and maize and they had livestock as well. Each man, woman and sometimes child had their own farm, so nutritious food was available year round. They never asked for foreign aid or grants or loans. 

Today the world speaks of technology and inventiveness but Africa had indigenous inventions such as the kente weaving loom, gold weighs, farming implements or the marimba etc. These were invented more than 1000 years before colonialism. The inventors did not see any prototype from Europe. I’m not even sure Europe had those inventions at the time. 

The world speaks of eco houses as a symbol of civility and refinement but our ancestors lived in eco houses (made of clay, bamboo and straw) long before the word “eco” was invented. How then can European colonizers say they brought civilization to Africa? They brought slavery. Today when I see international government organisations and charities claiming to teach Africans how to build houses, farm, trade or make fabric, I say to my own heart what happened to us? I think the real colonialisation of Africa began after “independence.”

Finally, some may ask: “So what’s the way forward?” There is no way forward except the European way. The only other way is to go backward and select a traditional African development model, compatible with what indigenous Africans already know and practice.

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Definition of Black

Concerning my second poetry book (“Blackman’s Sorrow and Other Poetry”), which is available on Amazon and other online book stores, someone asked me what I meant by “Blackman.” He was of the view that Africans in the Diaspora consider it offensive to be refered to as “Black.” In America, it’s African American, in Britain it’s Black British. In France, French African (I think). In China or Korea, I will assume it’s African Chinese or African Korean. All this is hogwash. If you’re Black (irrespective of nationality or mother tongue etc.) you’re African. period. You carry a powerful genetic design unique to Africa.

Now concerning the book, by “Black” I do not mean literal or absolute black. I haven’t seen anyone as black as charcoal as yet. All humans with darker skin pigmentation – from light to dark brown are collectively called “Black”. It’s not derogatory. It’s descriptive. “Negro” is different. Negro carries with it the memories of the brutality of slavery. I do understand that it can hurt the feelings but that’s all it is – feelings. The word “Ghetto” originated with the Jews but do you hear any Jew complaining about it?

The point is, I don’t think if people stopped calling African Americans “Black” or “negro,” they will have equal rights and justice and progress. Black People should rise above trifles (name calling etc) and focus on the pertinent realities of their existence. Also, let’s learn from experience. Black professors and teachers should get out there and help educate black communities. Only then can the dream of equality, justice and black progress begin to take shape. It begins with education.

What is culture?

Wordweb dictionary defines culture as the “attitudes and behaviours that are characteristic of a particular social group.” I think this is a very straightforward definition but are the said attitudes and behaviours acquired or genetic? Also, is culture based on reason? Is it dictated by nature, since every culture evolved differently depending on the geographic location of a people? Is “deity” also a product of culture?

Since abnormal behaviour is behaviour that does not conform to the culture of one’s society, we would be correct to label one as “normal” if one woke up tomorrow morning and saw every neighbour walking backwards, and also immediately starts walking backward. That’s probably the new “normal.”

So in a society what is right is what is done by the majority not necessarily what is “good,” reasonable or sound. I think the advancement of a culture directly reflects how accommodating its actors are of reason. Now my last question to the reader: Do humans have a definite, eternal or unchanging nature? If so, what is this nature? I want to be enlightened.

Perfect Face

Reminds me of figure drawing class.

Where we are taught to draw the face

With an oval line – making an egg shape.

The pointed part becomes the chin.

Later we add the ears, eyes, lips, hair etc.

She has that perfect egg shaped face.

More perfect than Tyra Banks.

She should be easy to draw.

Observations in Social Anthropology 

Maybe I’m wrong but I think it is inappropriate for a woman to raise a boy or a man to raise a girl. Only a man can raise a boy to become a man (socio-culturally) and vice versa. Of course the consequences of dysfunctional parenting are not always life threatening but they do, to a greater or lesser extent, affect the evolution of the child’s emotions and consciousness. 

A boy who lives with his mother throughout his childhood and growing up may, depending on numerous other factors, have trouble behaving in a way that’s typical of men. In short he may acquire too much femininity. The inverse applies to a girl but this situation is not always the case. The interesting thing about human societies is that relationships are more fluid. Humans are extremely social and social ties can be formed under almost any circumstances. There are aunties, nieces, friends, neighbours, teachers etc. who also shape a person’s behaviour should he or she lose one or both parents.  

I suspect that people who are anatomically or biologically one gender but identify with the opposite or people who have gender ambiguity may have suffered some parental dysfunction at an early stage in their lives. Unless biologically and anatomically they are ambiguous. A functioning society is a like mirror, it helps humanize us. One will never know who one is until one shows themselves to the “mirror.” Happy Weekend.