Friday, 29 July 2011

The Maroon Cultures, what do you know about them?

Its interesting how much of Black history we have not been taught and have to find out for ourselves. I've recently been reading about the Maroon cultures in the Americas and I'm surprised to learn of the extent of the sustained and meaningful black resistance to the indignity and cruelty of African slavery.

These histories are by far more culturally relevant to me than the history of the Habsburgs of Europe, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Kaisers and other such European lore that I was made to write exams about, or the Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare and Keats that I was force-fed as a schoolboy in West-Africa all those years ago. It is shocking how much of our true history is unknown to many of us.

The resistance put up by these heroic peoples is much too important to our sense of self-worth and to our pride and dignity as a people and I think it is almost criminal that it has been allowed to remain suppressed for so long.

I expect to be doing a more detailed piece on this soon, detailing the achievements of these brave African peoples, who resisted oppression and fought back, successfully in many cases. Please seek out information concerning this important part of the history of our people, if you can. Peace..

3 comments:

Mimi said...

Yes. You are right. The first time I learned a map of Africa was in my first year of University in the United States. It was where I learned most of what I know about the real history of African people.

My O Level history in Zimbabwe covered most of world war one and two, you know, German Tanks freezing in Russia and all. I learned everything there was to know about the cold war etc, and not in how it related to the funding of our struggles against colonialism. Infact, we never learned about colonisation since all our teachers were white descendants of missionaries and colonisers, and it would have been too divisive to discuss such things in the classrooms that were about 50 percent white and 50 percent black.

We did learn about the Bushmen, San and Khoi people and even some history up until about Mzilikazi/Lobengula/ Shaka Zulu era.... and then nothing more. Very sad and interesting. Some people have different experiences.

Anengiyefa said...

Its really interesting, @Mimi. And it cannot but anger me that its still ongoing. African children are still being taught at school that the source of the River Niger, along which their ancestors have lived, traded and died for centuries, was discovered by an Englishman. Isn't that funny? Oh, but of course the Englishman had guides who showed him the way, lol. How ridiculous is that!

That they would think that we ought to know more about Count Otto von Bismarck than we know about our own great ancestors beggars belief! And I still don't think that enough Africans are protesting against this yet, in an Africa where people still boast that they've travelled to Hong Kong and Mexico, when they don't even know where Malawi or Lesotho are on the map of their own continent.

CodLiverOil said...

I know, I only heard of the account of the maroons about a decade ago. The Jamaicans have a reputation of not tolerating "nonsense" from anyone.

Maybe this is where it came from. They are a strong people.

I used to be ashamed of this whole slavery episode. But it has come to be portrayed as the defining moment for black peoples, which I don't think it is. There was life before, after and during slavery.
If you check out the history of many peoples slavery was part of their history also. You only need check the history of the some of the European peoples and those of Western and Central Asia and you will see.



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But once I read of the revolt in Haiti and later Jamaica, I felt somewhat better. Although things were bad for them, they didn't lose hope and emancipated themselves.