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Black History Month 2017 |OT| - Peeking over Hidden Fences

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theignoramus

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Benin City, originally known as Edo, was once the capital of a pre-colonial African empire located in what is now southern Nigeria. The Benin empire was one of the oldest and most highly developed states in west Africa, dating back to the 11th century.

The Guinness Book of Records (1974 edition) described the walls of Benin City and its surrounding kingdom as the world’s largest earthworks carried out prior to the mechanical era. According to estimates by the New Scientist’s Fred Pearce, Benin City’s walls were at one point “four times longer than the Great Wall of China, and consumed a hundred times more material than the Great Pyramid of Cheops”.

Situated on a plain, Benin City was enclosed by massive walls in the south and deep ditches in the north. Beyond the city walls, numerous further walls were erected that separated the surroundings of the capital into around 500 distinct villages.

Benin City was also one of the first cities to have a semblance of street lighting. Huge metal lamps, many feet high, were built and placed around the city, especially near the king’s palace. Fuelled by palm oil, their burning wicks were lit at night to provide illumination for traffic to and from the palace.


When the Portuguese first “discovered” the city in 1485, they were stunned to find this vast kingdom made of hundreds of interlocked cities and villages in the middle of the African jungle. They called it the “Great City of Benin”, at a time when there were hardly any other places in Africa the Europeans acknowledged as a city. Indeed, they classified Benin City as one of the most beautiful and best planned cities in the world.

In 1691, the Portuguese ship captain Lourenco Pinto observed: “Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon; all the streets run straight and as far as the eye can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king, which is richly decorated and has fine columns. The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors to their houses.”

Benin City’s planning and design was done according to careful rules of symmetry, proportionality and repetition now known as fractal design. The mathematician Ron Eglash, author of African Fractals – which examines the patterns underpinning architecture, art and design in many parts of Africa – notes that the city and its surrounding villages were purposely laid out to form perfect fractals, with similar shapes repeated in the rooms of each house, and the house itself, and the clusters of houses in the village in mathematically predictable patterns.

As he puts it: “When Europeans first came to Africa, they considered the architecture very disorganised and thus primitive. It never occurred to them that the Africans might have been using a form of mathematics that they hadn’t even discovered yet.”

Now, however, the great Benin City is lost to history. Its decline began in the 15th century, sparked by internal conflicts linked to the increasing European intrusion and slavery trade at the borders of the Benin empire.

Then in 1897, the city was destroyed by British soldiers – looted, blown up and burnt to the ground.

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/mar/18/story-of-cities-5-benin-city-edo-nigeria-mighty-medieval-capital-lost-without-trace
 
Feb 11, 2014
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Houston, Tx
From a famous poet

"You gotta war on drugs
Well every other day a nigga dies
You showed yours, now let me show you mine
Bring the six o'clock news
And let me walk 'em in my shoes
Through what you call the inner city
And what I call the blues
I'm broke here, and I ain't wainting on a call
From a resturaunt to bust tables
When Petie's got a job
Making 35 a week and all he do is run the streets
This nikka always caked up
Chromed out and draped up
Constantly telling me we need to get this paper
I'm getting skinny and it's he who get my weight up
Straight up
And plus I'm tired of missing meals"
 

theignoramus

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Pics of the 761st Tank Battalion, nicknamed the Black Panthers, a majority Black unit that gained notoriety kicking Nazi behinds in WW2.





 

Imm0rt4l

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Today's #NotableNegro is Alice Allison Dunnigan. She was the first black female journalist to receive White House press credentials, and the first black journalist to embed with a presidential candidate (during Truman's 1948 campaign.)

Eisenhower never answered her questions during his first term. She frequently reported on congressional hearings where blacks were referred to as "niggers," paid her own cross-country travel when embedded with Truman and was forced to sit in the servants section while covering Senator Robert Taft's funeral.

In 1961, she was named educational consultant to JFK's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity.

H/t
Jamal Jordan of Vice
 

theignoramus

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Pics from Ethiopia's Lalibela rock hewn churches, carved right out of the rock in 13th century AD.

UNESCO said:
In a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia, some 645 km from Addis Ababa, eleven medieval monolithic churches were carved out of rock. Their building is attributed to King Lalibela who set out to construct in the 12th century a ‘New Jerusalem’, after Muslim conquests halted Christian pilgrimages to the holy Land. Lalibela flourished after the decline of the Aksum Empire.

The churches were not constructed in a traditional way but rather were hewn from the living rock of monolithic blocks. These blocks were further chiselled out, forming doors, windows, columns, various floors, roofs etc. This gigantic work was further completed with an extensive system of drainage ditches, trenches and ceremonial passages, some with openings to hermit caves and catacombs.











 

lightskintwin

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Despite her light skin and features which could allow her to "pass" into white society in the early 1900's where she could've benefitted as an actress, she refused and claimed her Negro heritage.

"You see I'm a mighty proud gal and I can't for the life of me, find any valid reason why anyone should lie about their origin or anything else for that matter. Frankly, I do not ascribe to the stupid theory of white supremacy and to try to hide the fact that I am a Negro for economic or any other reasons, if I do I would be agreeing to be a Negro makes me inferior and that I have swallowed whole hog all of the propaganda dished out by our fascist-minded white citizens."
 

lightskintwin

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Don't forget "I Am Not Your Negro" opens today.

Box Office update:

The Oscar-nominated feature documentary I Am Not Your Negro is posting the weekend’s best theater average with an estimated $13K and a three-day of $560K at 43 sites. The Magnolia released pic directed by Raoul Peck envisions late author and social critic James Baldwin’s unfinished book Remember This House. The docu analyzes race in America using Baldwin’s words, and connects black history from the Civil Rights through #BlackLivesMatter.
 

EdibleKnife

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WolfTime

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I have a question to any historian?


Was there any African Empire at its peak that could of been able to match Rome at its peak around the time i always been interesting in this? I think the closest is what Meroe?
 

EdibleKnife

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I have a question to any historian?


Was there any African Empire at its peak that could of been able to match Rome at its peak around the time i always been interesting in this? I think the closest is what Meroe?

Funny you should ask that. I recently stumbled across this article called Four Great African Empires That Astonished The World. I've been picking through it slowly myself but it might just be what you're looking for.
 
Aug 9, 2013
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Despite her light skin and features which could allow her to "pass" into white society in the early 1900's where she could've benefitted as an actress, she refused and claimed her Negro heritage.

"You see I'm a mighty proud gal and I can't for the life of me, find any valid reason why anyone should lie about their origin or anything else for that matter. Frankly, I do not ascribe to the stupid theory of white supremacy and to try to hide the fact that I am a Negro for economic or any other reasons, if I do I would be agreeing to be a Negro makes me inferior and that I have swallowed whole hog all of the propaganda dished out by our fascist-minded white citizens."

Strong sista there. First time hearing about her. Thanks for the knowledge.
 

lightskintwin

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Strong sista there. First time hearing about her. Thanks for the knowledge.

To give greater context to why her decision was important during her era when the phenomenon of "Passing" was occurring.
The 1920s in the United States was a period marked by considerable anxiety and discussion over the crossing of racial boundaries, the so-called "color line" between blacks and whites, exacerbated by the Great Migration.in which hundreds of thousands of blacks left the rural south for northern and midwestern cities, where, together with new waves of immigrants, they changed the social makeup. The practice of persons crossing the color line and attempting to claim recognition in another racial group different from the one they were believed to belong to was known as "passing" even when it was based on a person's ancestry. As many African Americans had European ancestry in varying proportions, some appeared visibly European. The US history of slavery as a racial caste and the imposition of the one-drop rule in the early 20th century were used by whites to try to harden racial lines that were more fluid in history; at any time, the concept of race was "historically contingent. Although the exact numbers of people who passed are, for obvious reasons, not known, many estimates were made at the time. The sociologist Charles S. Johnson (1893–1956) calculated that 355,000 blacks had passed between 1900 and 1920.
 

theignoramus

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I have a question to any historian?


Was there any African Empire at its peak that could of been able to match Rome at its peak around the time i always been interesting in this? I think the closest is what Meroe?
This motherfucker.....
 

theignoramus

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That is fucking amazing! Do you know any other articles or places I can go to find medieval African history? The places that aren't just going to paint the historical time period as a nigga in a loincloth on the Savannah with a wooden spear fighting lions.
Easiest place to start is the UNESCO World Heritage website




Located on two islands close to each other just off the Tanzanian coast about 300km south of Dar es Salaam are the remains of two port cites, Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara. The larger, Kilwa Kisiwani, was occupied from the 9th to the 19th century and reached its peak of prosperity in the13th and 14th centuries. In 1331-1332, the great traveler, Ibn Battouta made a stop here and described Kilwa as one of the most beautiful cities of the world.
Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara were Swahili trading cities and their prosperity was based on control of Indian Ocean trade with Arabia, India and China, particularly between the 13th and 16th centuries,
when gold and ivory from the hinterland was traded for silver, carnelians, perfumes, Persian faience and Chinese porcelain. Kilwa Kisiwani minted its own currency in the 11th to 14th centuries. In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a fort on Kilwa Kisiwani and the decline of the two islands began.
The remains of Kilwa Kisiwani cover much of the island with many parts of the city still unexcavated. The substantial standing ruins, built of coral and lime mortar, include the Great Mosque constructed in the 11th century and considerably enlarged in the 13th century, and roofed entirely with domes and vaults, some decorated with embedded Chinese porcelain; the palace Husuni Kubwa built between c1310 and 1333 with its large octagonal bathing pool; Husuni Ndogo, numerous mosques, the Gereza (prison) constructed on the ruins of the Portuguese fort and an entire urban complex with houses, public squares, burial grounds, etc.
The ruins of Songo Mnara, at the northern end of the island, consist of the remains of five mosques, a palace complex, and some thirty-three domestic dwellings constructed of coral stones and wood within enclosing walls.

The islands of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara bear exceptional testimony to the expansion of Swahili coastal culture, the lslamisation of East Africa and the extraordinarily extensive and prosperous Indian Ocean trade from the medieval period up to the modern era.




 

lightskintwin

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Mar 3, 2016
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PBS's The Birth of a Movement is available for free streaming until March 9th.
http://www.pbs.org/video/2365936844/

Here are the trailer and synopsis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HE0IXvKUEHE

In 1915, African American newspaper editor and activist William S. Trotter waged a battle against D.W. Griffith's notoriously Ku Klux Klan-friendly blockbuster The Birth of a Nation, which unleashed a fight still raging today about race relations and representation, and the power and influence of Hollywood. The Birth of a Movement features Spike Lee, Reginald Hudlin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and DJ Spooky (who created a new score and remix of the Griffith film), as well as numerous clips from the technically groundbreaking but racially astounding epic.
 

lightskintwin

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Mar 3, 2016
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That is fucking amazing! Do you know any other articles or places I can go to find medieval African history? The places that aren't just going to paint the historical time period as a nigga in a loincloth on the Savannah with a wooden spear fighting lions.

PBS will be doing a 6-hour series on Africa's Greatest Civilizations starting on Feb. 27

Here's the trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V1pkjclP9I

I already made a thread and will update it once it gets started here.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1335040&highlight=africa
 

Alandrus

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Jun 30, 2016
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PBS will be doing a 6-hour series on Africa's Greatest Civilizations starting on Feb. 27

Here's the trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-V1pkjclP9I

I already made a thread and will update it once it gets started here.
http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1335040&highlight=africa

That has be excited. Great trailer. Do you know if there will be anywhere to watch it online?



Thanks for that URL. I've been clicking over the map and reading up. I never thought I'd become one of those "I want to go back to Africa" guys. I really want to see some of these places though.
 
Nov 17, 2005
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Despite her light skin and features which could allow her to "pass" into white society in the early 1900's where she could've benefitted as an actress, she refused and claimed her Negro heritage.

"You see I'm a mighty proud gal and I can't for the life of me, find any valid reason why anyone should lie about their origin or anything else for that matter. Frankly, I do not ascribe to the stupid theory of white supremacy and to try to hide the fact that I am a Negro for economic or any other reasons, if I do I would be agreeing to be a Negro makes me inferior and that I have swallowed whole hog all of the propaganda dished out by our fascist-minded white citizens."

What a hero.
 

theignoramus

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Citadelle Laferrière-Haiti
UNESCO said:
On 1 January 1804, after fourteen years of struggle by the island’s black slaves against the colonists, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, the principal leader of the revolution, proclaimed the independent Republic of Haiti. The “Emperor” Dessalines immediately entrusted to one of his generals, Henri Christophe, the task of constructing an immense fortress on the Pic Laferrière, to protect the young republic.
Both military installation and political manifesto, the Citadelle Henry, constructed to a height of 970 m, is one of the best examples of the art of military engineering of the early 19th century. The plans are the work of the Haitian Henry Barré, but it is probable that General Christophe played the preponderant role in their formulation. The Citadelle Henry, covering an area of about one hectare, is a vast quadrilateral comprising four buildings protected by four flanking towers built around a central courtyard, and forming on several levels a bastioned front of batteries and barracks. The projecting masses, remarkably articulated to allow an integrated use of artillery capabilities, an elaborate system of water supply and cisterns, and colossal defensive walls render the citadel impregnable. It can shelter a garrison of 2000 men, or 5000 if necessary.




http://www.citadellelaferriere.com said:
The fortress was built for enabling the king to use the so-called scorched earth tactics, i.e. in case of French attack the surrounding territory would be burnt in fire and the local population, the army and the king would find shelter in the unconquerable Citadelle.

This massive stone construction was outfitted with 365 cannons of varying size and an enormous stockpile of cannon balls that still can be found in different corners of the Citadelle even today. The cannons were obtained from different monarchs. Today the iron and bronze cannons are still pointing out of the Citadelle’s windows and the visitors of the Citadelle can still see the royal crests of famous European monarchs of 18th century on the cannons.

The creators of the Citadelle Laferrière had very creative approach to its appearance. This is not a box-shaped boring construction, but an embodiment of unlimited human imagination. Depending from the angle the Citadelle has different shapes. If the visitors are approaching it by the main trail, leading to the top of the mountain, Citadelle’s appearance resembles the prow of a great stone ship jutting out of the mountain.

The fortress has an angular structure, thanks to which its appearance has different forms based on the viewer’s location. Some of the angles have protective character and were designed to deviate the enemy’s cannonballs. This mountaintop fortress includes fortification walls, large storages of food and water, royal mansions, dungeons, bathing quarters, etc. Most of the parts of the fortress have no roofs.








 
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