The white supremacist domestic terrorist who targeted and assassinated three black people at the Dollar General store in Jacksonville, Florida, this past Saturday was a 21-year-old man named, Ryan Christopher Palmeter.
Palmeter, who was wearing a tactical vest, was armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun. According to Reuters: the suspect was caught on video shooting Angela Michelle Carr, a 52-year-old woman, in her car outside the Dollar General (DG.N) , a U.S. discount chain.
He then entered the store where he shot and killed 19-year-old Anolt Joseph “AJ” Laguerre Jr and Jerrald De’Shaun Gallion, 29. He would later use his handgun to kill himself.
According to Sheriff T.K. Waters , says that the shooter left several manifestos behind for the media, where he detailed his hatred for black people. Palmeter, who lived with his parents in a suburb of Jacksonville, Florida, also left behind a will and a suicide note.
In a statement, the FBI said they will be investigating the targeted killings as a hate crime:
“The FBI Jacksonville Field Office is coordinating with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida on the tragic shooting in Jacksonville, Florida. The FBI has opened a federal civil rights investigation and we will pursue this incident as a hate crime. The FBI will bring every resource to bear in this investigation. As this is an ongoing matter, we are not able to provide additional information at this time”.
Yaa Asantewaa was born in 1840 in Besease (a town in central Ghana), she was the daughter of a man named Kwaku Ampoma and a woman named Ata Po. Her brother was a man named Afrane Panin, he would become a chief of the people in a local community called Edweso. As she entered womanhood, she grew crops on her land and would enter into a polygamous marriage, (which was not uncommon for regal or wealthy men) with a man from the Asante captiol city of Kumasi.
During the rule of her brother, Yaa Asantewaa witnessed the Asante Kingdom (formerly the Asante Empire), go through a major decline. Which was the result of it’s five year civil war (1883-1888), and the Asante’s long on-and-off bloody conflict with the British Empire. After the death of her brother in 1894, Asantewaa utilized her power and influence as Queen Mother to nominate her grandson as Ejisuhene (King/chief of Ejisu, a city near the Asante capitol city of Kumasi). In 1896, Yaa Asantewaa became regent of the Ejisu-Juaben district, after the British exiled her grandson, the Asante King, Prempeh l and several other nobles and government officials to the Seychelles Islands. Sir Frederick Mitchell Hodgson, who was the British governor-general of the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana), demanded the Golden Stool . which was and is believed by traditionalist to hold the soul of the Asante kingdom. The demeaning demand by the British led to a secret meeting with the highest remaining Asante officials. In the meeting there was a disagreement on rather or not to give the Golden Stool (the physical representation of the soul of the Asante Kingdom) to centuries-old enemy the British, for their exiled Asante officials and nobels. During the meeting Yaa Asantewaa stood up and gave a speech to the members of the Asante council:
How can a proud and brave people like the Asante sit back and look while whitemen took away their king and chiefs, and humiliated them with a demand for the Golden Stool. The Golden Stool only means money to the whitemen; they have searched and dug everywhere for it. I shall not pay one predwan to the governor. If you, the chiefs of Asante, are going to behave like cowards and not fight, you should exchange your loincloths for my undergarments (Montu mo danta mma me na monnye me tam).
To add seriousness and dramatic affect to her words, Asantewaa picked up a rifle and fired it in front of the other council members. Yaa Asantewaa would be chosen by one of the regional kings of the Asante kingdom to be a leader/commander of an Asante battalion. She would lead an armed-force of 5,000 men in war against the British empire
WAR AND AFTERMATH
In March of 1900, the Asante laid siege to a British fort at Kumasi, where the British sought refuge. After several months more months of back-and-forth conflict, the British governor of the Gold Coast would send an elite, well-trained and equipped force of 1400 soldiers to put down the African rebellion. Yaa Asantewaa and about fifteen of her most trusted advisors and confidants would be captured by the British and exiled to Seychelles. Yaa Asantewaa’s military defeat would mark the end of the series of wars between the Asante and the British, which took place from 1823 to 1900. In January of 1902, the British would annexe the territory of the Asante empire, and made it a protectorate of the British crown. On October 17, 1921, Nana Yaa Asantewaa died in exile on the Seychelles Islands. Three years later, on December 17, 1924, King Prempeh l and other members of the Asante royal court were allowed to return to Asante (at the time a British colony). Prempeh l, would make sure that the remains of his grandmother, Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa received a proper royal burial. A little over 30 years after her death, her dream of an Asante independent of British colonial rule would be achieved when the Asante kingdom (now-part of the Republic of Ghana), won its independence on March 6, 1957. Ghana would be the first sub-saharan African nation to accomplish this feat.
Nana Yaa asantewaa is a revered figure in the history of Asante and Ghana, for her role as a strong and empowering woman, who confronted European domination and oppression. She is remembered in this Asante song:
Koo koo hin kooYaa Asantewaa ee!Obaa basiaOgyina apremo ano ee!Waye be egyaeNa Wabo mmode(“Yaa AsantewaaThe woman who fights before cannonsYou have accomplished great thingsYou have done well”)
A week-long centenary celebration was held in her honor in Ghana in 2000, to acknowledge her accomplishments as Queen Mother and her role as a freeddom fighter against British imperialism.
Taharqa was a Pharaoh of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt and a Qore (King) of the Nile Kingdom to the south, Kush (Nubia). He was the son of Pharaoh Piye, the ancient Nubian king who conquered Egypt and created the 25th Dynasty of Egypt. Taharqa was also the cousin of Pharaoh Shebitku, whom he succeeded as Pharaoh.
Pharaoh Taharqa’s time on the throne is estimated to be between the time period of 690 BC to 664 BC. Although Taharqa’s united Kushite/Egyptian empire was in constant bloody conflict with Assyrians (early on in his reign, Pharaoh Taharqa supported Palestine ’s resistance against King Sennacherib of Assyria), the time of his reign also saw a flourishing renaissance in Kushite/Egyptian civilization. Pharaoh Taharqa and the other Pharaohs of the 25th Dynasty resuscitated Nile Valley culture, religion, architecture and arts. It is believed that Pharaoh Taharqa and the 25th Dynasty helped restore the Egyptian society, culture and architecture to that of its glory days of the Old, Middle and New Kingdom levels. Pharaoh Taharqa would build new temples and restored old Temples to their previous glory. The 25th Dynasty also saw massive construction of new pyramids, especially in the Kush/Nubia region (modern-day Sudan).
TAHARQA IN THE BIBLE
Many scholars believe that Pharaoh that Pharaoh Taharqa is the Ethiopian (Kush/Nubian) known in the bible as “Tirhakah”. The King who waged war against Sennacherib, who was king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, during the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah (2 Kings 19:9; Isaiah 37:9).
Shaka KaSenzangakhona, (better-known-as Shaka Zulu), was born in July of 1787 in Mthethwa Paramountcy (sometimes called the Mthethwa Empire). He was the son of Senzangakhona Kajama (who was a chief of the Zulu clan). Because he was viewed by some as an illegitimate son to Sebzangakhona Kajama (because his parents were of the same clan), Shaka spent much of his adolescents in the community of his mother. There he joined an Ibutho Iempi, which was a militia unit, where he would be under the command of Dingiswayo, (king of the Kingdom of Mthethwa).
As Shaka gained experience in warfare and his knowledge in military strategy grew, Shaka used his new found skills to improve the military system of the Ibutho. Knowing that warfare is also about building alliances, Shaka used the support and influence of the empire of Mthethwa to form necessary alliances with neighboring kingdoms and tribes to combat the powerful Ndwandwe nation (which consisted of a people who spoke the Bantu Nguni language). When possible Shaka preferred to use diplomacy rather than combat to the death, but he wasn’t opposed to ordering political assassinations when required.
THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING
When Shaka’s father,Senzanakhona died in 1816, Shaka’s younger half-brother Sigujana (who was seen by some people as a more legitimate heir),became the new chieftain of the Zulu clan. Dingiswayo, Shaka’s mentor would use this time of slight succession uncertainty to put his prized pupil on the throne. Dingiswayo, would give Shaka a military brigade, which he would use to perform a fairly peaceful and relatively bloodless coup d’etat on the Zulu chiefdom. However, in the military takeover of Zululand, Shaka would have his younger half-brother, Sigujana put to death. As chief of the Zulu clan, Shaka would still remain an important leader in the imperial army of Mthethwa. Shaka’s mentor and emperor of the Mthethwa empire, Dingiswayo would die in battle in 1817, at the hands of Zwide Kalnaga, who was the King of the Ndwandwe (Nxumalo) Kingdom. When the empire of Mthethwa was defeated, it would collapse, Shaka would seize the opportunity to fill the power vacuum, by reuniting and unifying the scattered people of Mthethwa and other regional chiefdoms. In the Zulu-Ndwandwe war (1817-19), Zwide and his army would be defeated. However, Zwide and most of his army would live to fight another battle and it wouldn’t be until 1825 that Shaka and Zwide would meet again on the battlefield, near the village of Pongola. Shaka would be the victor on that day. As Shaka’s reputation and respect in his Zulu tribe grew, he was able to encourage his people (who he transformed to be a Spartan-like people), to conquer rival surrounding tribes, that along with uniting with friendly tribes, he was able to transform the Zulu clan, into the Zulu Kingdom, which was rapidly becoming the Zulu empire
DEATH AND LEGACY
In 1828, sadly Shaka’s ultimate demise would not come at the hands of a rival African king like his mentor Dingiswayo, a soldier or European imperialist, rather he would be assassinated by his family. It is believed that his half-brothers, Dingane and Mhlangana and a third co-conspirator. Most likely it was because Shaka began to be seen by some as a tyrant-like leader with erratic behavior, it also could of been simple jealousy or sibling rivalry (seeing as Shaka also gained the throne by having a sibling killed). His half-brother, Dingane would assume leadership of the Zulu nation, and he would have Shaka loyalist purged from the government of the Zulu empire. Shaka is still seen by many as a legendary African leader within South Africa and in the African diaspora. There have been movies, books and articles made about his life, and there is even an aquatic theme park on Durban Beach named Ushaka Marine World and King Shaka International Airport at La Mercy.
Pharaoh Narmer (believed by many experts of Egyptology to be the same pharaoh known as Menes). He was a Pharaoh in the early dynastic period of Egypt. He inherited the ancient African crown from protodynastic pharaoh Ka (also known as Sekhen).
He is believed by Egyptologists to of been the founder of the first dynasty of the kingdom of Egypt. He was the first pharaoh of the then newly united kingdom of Egypt, when he united upper and lower Egypt.
It is believed by many Egyptologists and scholars on Egyptian history that his reign began somewhere around 3100 BC. However, some theories say his reign on the throne may of started in 3273 BC or even 2987 BC.
Cathay Williams was ironically born in Independence, Missouri, sometime around September 1844. She was the daughter of a Black freedman and an enslaved Black woman, therefore making her a slave. Williams worked as a house slave on the Johnson plantation, which was located on the edges of Jefferson City, Missouri, until the early phases of the civil war, when Union troops occupied Jefferson City in 1861 and captured enslaved Black people, who were then labeled as “contraband” and forced to serve as soldiers or military support staff.
Some people claim that Cathay Willaims may have served in the Battle of Pea Ridge and the Red River campaign. Women weren’t allowed to participate in combat service, so historians believe she may have enlisted as a man under the name of Finis Cathay. As Finis Cathay she would of enlisted in the 32nd Missouri infantry in 1862 and would have particpated in many vital campaigns, including: The Siege of Vicksburg and Sherman’s March to the Sea, before fighting to force Joseph E. Johnston’s Confederate army surrender in North Carolina. On November 15, 1866 Williams would again sign-up for military service. This time under the name of William Cathay (since women were still prohibited from combat military service). Williams would be assigned to the 38th United States Infantry regiment (Buffalo Soldiers). Unfortunately, soon after her enlistment (or better yet re-enlistment), Williams would contract smallpox. After she recovered, she rejoined her unit, but would have to be repeatedly hospitalized, possibly due to the effects caused by small pox, combined with the extreme heat of the New Mexico desert, where her team was posted. Eventually, the post surgeon would discover her “feminine secret”, and informed her post commander. This led to her being discharged by the United States Army, by her commanding officer, Captain Charles E. Clarke, on October 14, 1868.
Post Military Life
In Fort Union, New Mexico, Williams would be employed as a cook. Williams would eventually move to Pueblo, Colorado and would get married. The marriage wouldn’t last long, her untrustworthy husband would steal her money and several of her horses. She would have him arrested and then moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where she worked as seamstress, and may have even owned a boarding house. Sometime around late 1889 or early 1890, Williams would enter a hospital, there she would attempt to physically recover from her bad heath issues she was suffering from at the time (her exact illness is unknown). In June of 1891, Williams would apply for disability pension because of her past military service. At the time there was a precedent for granting a military pension to a woman soldier. By 1816 Anna Maria Lane, Mary Hayes McCauley (better-known-As Molly Pitcher) and Deborah Sampson all received pensions for their service in the American Revolutionary War of Independence. Despite her military service, and the fact that she suffered from neuralgia,diabetes and had toes amputated and had to walk with a crutch; despite her injuries and health issues, Williams would be denied disability payments. It is believed that Williams died sometime around 1893 (shortly after being denied a military pension for her service). Her exact resting place is unknown.
Sunni Ali (sometimes spelled Sonni Ali), was born in Ali Kolon. Ali’s regal reign would last about 28 years (1464-1492). Ali was the 15th ruler of the medieval West African Sunni dynasty and the first ruler of the Songhai empire.
Under the command of emperor Sunni Ali, a plethora of regions and cities were conquered and then fortified, like Timbuktu, and Djenne. The newly captured territories would be subjected to Ali’s repressive policies. Timbuktu had their scholars targeted and in some cases, they were expelled from the city, particularly those scholars associated with the Taureg people (an ethnic Berber people) from the Sankore region. Under his authority a massive naval fleet that traveled through the Niger River was organized. Ali’s fleet was sucessful in winning him territories that formerly belonged to the Mali Empire and the Empire of Ghana.
According to some researchers Ali died on November 6, 1492. Some Muslim scholars believed Ali drowned while crossing the Niger River, while others believe that he was killed by his sister’s son, Askia Muhammad Ture. Ali’s son, Sunni Baru would take the throne formerly held by his imperial minded father. However, Baru would be successful challenged for the throne by, Askia, because Baru was not believed to of been a devoted Muslim, therefore not a moral leader of a predominantly Muslim country.