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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: THE AFRICAN SAMURAI-YASUKE

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By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Origins

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Yasuke is believed by some scholars to of come from the Yao people of modern-day Mozambique. Therefore some believe his name Yasuke derived from “Yao-Suke”, suke being a Japanese suffix added to a male name, so Yasuke most likely meant a man of Yao origin. There are varying accounts saying he could of been Ethiopian, or Sudanses, but no one knows for sure.

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ARRIVAL IN JAPAN

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It is documented that when Yasuke arrived in Japan in 1579, he was in the service of an Italian Jesuit Missionary named, Alessandro Valignano, who was appointed by the society of Jesus (Jesuits), to inspect their missions in East Africa, South and East Asia. For the Japanese who encountered him, it would of been their first time seeing a Black man. The Jesuits later reported when Yauke was taken to Oda Nobunaga, head of the powerful Oda clan (a man some scholars of Japanese history credit as being one of the first unifers of Japan), the Daimyo (feudal lord) thought that Yasuke had been painted with black ink and ordered Yasuke to remove his clothes from the waist up and demanded he scrub his skin to attempt to remove what he assumed was black ink painted on his skin. Reportedly when Nobunaga realized that Yasuke was not wearing ink, but instead was a Black man, he became fascinted with the African, and praised him for his strength and demeanor. It has been written that Nobunaga’s nephew gave Yasuke some money after their first meeting to help him on his journey.

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BLACK SAMURAI

On May 1581, Yasuke left for a trip with some other Christians to go to the Echizen province. There they would meet with regional warlords Shibata Katsuie,Hashiba Hidekatsu and Hashiba Hidekatsu. When Yasuke and his fellow Christian missionaries returned to Kyoto (the former capitol of Japan) on May 30, at some point afterwards Yasuke entered into the service of Nobunaga. Nobunaga would also give Yasuke his own residence , a ceremonial katana and would make him his weapons bearer. In the Battle of Tenmokuzan, Nobunaga led his forces (which included Yasuke) into armed conflict and ultimately victory against the Takeda clan. On June 1582, Nobunaga was attacked by the army of Akechi Mitsuhide. Yasuke was present at the time of the attack and he fought with valor against Akechi’s forces, but ultimately Nobunaga forces would be overwhelmed and Nobunaga would be forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide). After the death of Nobunaga, Yasuke visited Nobunaga’s son and heir apparent Oda Nobutada, who at the time was in the process of rallying forces at Nijo castle. Yasuke fought bravely alongside Nobutada’s forces, but was ulimately captured. When Yasuke was brought to Akechi, the warlord reportedly made racist comments about Yasuke being an animal and not Japanese, therefore he stated that Yasuke shouldn’t be killed, but rather taken to the Christian church in Kyoto. His ultimate fate is unkown and there is no more written about him after this time.

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT:KING OSEI TUTU I: THE FATHER OF THE ASANTE EMPIRE

OseiTutuI
By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Young King

Osei Tutu I was born in what is modern-day Ghana in 1660. When Osei Tutu I inherited the title of Kumasihene (king of Kumasi). Tutu would use this new influence to get the other Akan city-states to unite against the regional African hegemonic power,who were also an Akan people known as the Denkyira.

GOLDEN STOOL

golden stool pic 1

Osei Tutu I and his traditional African priest Okomfo Anokye motivated many Akan city-states to unite because of a traditional African belief that the Golden Stool came form heaven and held the soul of the new Asante kingdom.

Golden stool pic 2

Once unified of what was the newly formed Asante kingdom, of which Osei Tutu I was now the new the Asantehene (Asante king), Tutu and his new forces would go on to defeat the the Denkyira, and then they would use the pincer formation to turn the new kingdom into a West African Empire. This was achieved by welcoming small African kingdoms who were willing to join the Asante confederation and by conquering other West African city-states who refused to submit to the power of the Asante empire. By 1701 the European powers on the coast of Ghana began take notice of the military brillance and growing power of the Asante.

Death OF THE KING

In 1717, Osei Tutu I would be killed in a war of conquest against the Akyem. He was allegedly shot by a sharpshooter who was hiding in the forest. He died crossing the River Pra.

LEGACY

Asante Flag

Osei Kofi Tutu I with his loyal priest and advisor, Okomfo Anokye, united several Akan city-states to form the Asante kingdom, which later became the Asante empire.

Osei on thrown

Osei Tutu II, currently sits on the thrown of Asante (Golden Stool), and even though like the Queen of England, his role is more ceremonial than political, the Asantehene is still one of the most powerful, respected and influntial people in Ghana today. The Asante kingdom is alive and well today in the Asante region of Ghana, even thougn it has shrunk in size since the birth of modern-day Ghana, the territory of Asante is still slightly larger than the nation of Israel and it’s influence is felt all over the nation of Ghana and is respected all over the world, especially within the African diaspora .

Osei II at ceremony

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BLACK HISTORY ๐ŸŒ SPOTLIGHT: MENILEK THE II-THE AFRICAN ๐Ÿ‘‘ EMPEROR WHO DEFEATED THE ITALIANS AND PREVENTED EUROPEAN COLONIZATION OF ETHIOPIA

Black History SPOTLIGHT:Ethiopian Emperor Menilek II

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

Menilek II, was born Sahle Mariam on August 17, 1844, in Ankober, Shewa, Ethiopia. His father was a man known as Haile Malakot (also spelled Melekot), he was the king (Negus) of the Shewa region of Ethiopia, which at the time was a semi-independent kingdom within the empire of Ethiopia. It is traditionally believed that his forefathers traced their royal lineage to the Solomonid line of Ethiopian emperors (Ethiopian emperors who claim they can trace their royal roots to Menilek I, the sone of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba), who ruled the Empire of Ethiopia for centuries.

Later In Life

Before his death in 1855, Negus Haile Malakot, named his son (now-called Menilek), as heir to the throne of kingdom of Shewa. However, when Malakot died, Menelik was taken into custody by Emperor Tewodros II, who had just conquered Shewa. Despite the fact that he was technically the prisoner of the Ethiopian emperor, he was treated kind of like a step-son to the Emperor and was even offered the emperor’s daughter (Al Tash Tewodros) as a wife, which he accepted. Around the same time Menilek was taken as a prisoner, his uncle was giving the titles of Shum and Meridazmach (which loosely translates to colonel) in the Shewa area. Menilek’s uncle would rebel against the emperor, and he would be replaced by a non-royal, named Bezabeh, who eventually also rebelled against the emperor’s rule and named himself Negus of Shewa. This outraged the royals of Shewa,and the ones that were imprisoned in the city of Magdala, helped Menelik escape to claim the crown of Shewa. By leaving, he was forced to leave his wife, which infuriated the emperor, who had several nobles and other hostages beaten to death. When Menelik returned to Shewa, Bezabeh attempted to raise an army to fight Menelik, but he was not successful, and the Shewan people stood in full-support of Menelik, who they saw as the rightful king of Shewa. Once back in Shewa, he still refused to lay claim to the throne of the empire of Ethiopia, because he didn’t want to make a power play for the throne,and because he didn’t want to go to war against the man who raised him like a son. In the meantime, Tewodros’ military came into armed conflict in 1866 with the British, which eventually led to Tewodros committing suicide after his defeat. Instead of making a move to take the imperial throne, Menelik decided it was much wiser to grow his powerbase. In his time away, a man named Yohannes IV was crowned emperor of Ethiopia in 1871.

The Man Who Would Become Emperor

Menelik

On March 10, 1889, emperor Yohannes IV was killed in a war in Sudan, in the Battle of Gallabat. It is claimed that in his last words, he declared his son, Dejazmach Mengesha Yohannes, to be his successor on the throne. Menelik took issue with that and declared himself emperor of Ethiopia. To gain support, he claimed that his male lineage was traced directly to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, and therefore he was the rightful emperor. In the end the nobles agreed with him and his claim to the crown. On November 3, 1889, Menelik was crowned emperor of Ethiopia. Before Menelik’s reign, Ethiopia had faced generations of war within its own borders, and had large scale slavery, of which Menelik helped to end, when he unified his new empire. Prior to the reign of Menelik II, Ethiopia did not have a permanent capitol, instead it had a traveling encampment, so he founded the capitol city of Addis Ababa. The name for the new city was given by his new wife, Empress Taytu Betul, the name Addis Ababa translates to “new flower”.

Ready For War

After failure to agree to a treaty with Italy, knowing the Italians would invade to try to colonize Ethiopia, Menelik informed the nobility to prepare for war. Italian general Oreste Baratieri, believed that the Ethiopians only had about 30,000 men ready to fight; his racist beliefs also led him to believe that the Black Ethiopians were African barbarians, that would be easily defeated by the White Italians. What the Italians didn’t realize is that the Ethiopians, who had recently purchased weapons from the French, and were better armed and better trained than them. The two armies fought many skirmishes, but on March 1, 1896, the two nations met in Adwa, in a deciding battle, the Ethiopians would ultimately be victorious. The Ethiopians and the Italians would eventually sign a treaty that recognized the sovereignty of the Empire of Ethiopia.

End of His Life

On October 27, 1909, Menelik II, had a massive stroke and was unable to rule and had to abdicate the throne, he would die on December 12, 1913.

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: TARIQ IBN ZIYAD-THE MOOR WHO CONQUERED SPAIN

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

EARLY LIFE


Tariq Ibn-Ziyad was a Berber general from where is now Morocco in North West Africa. He was a mawla (which translate to lord or guardian) of Musa Ibn Nusayr, who was the Umayyad governor of Ifriqiya (which consisted of parts of Tunisia,Libya and Algeria) . After Tangier was conquered between 710-711, Musa Ibn Nasayr put Ibn-Ziyad in control of the Tangier area.


The Conquerer


later in 711, Ibn-Ziyad and his army (which consisted of Berbers and new coverts to the Islamic Faith), landed on the Iberian Peninsula (the region of Spain and Portugal). Ibn-Ziyad and his army disembarked at a base of a mountain that would later be known as the Rock of Gibraltar (Gibraltar translates to mountain of Tariq). Tariq Ibn-Ziyad’s army included about 7000 Berber horsemen, additional men sent by Musa Ibn Nusayr, and some locals, who were rivals of the Spanish ruler, Roderic, the Visigothic king in Hispania. On July 19, King Roderic and his men would finally be defeated at the Battle of Guadalete. After the defeat of the visigoth king, Ibn-Ziyad divided his army and they would continue to conquer cities like Cordoba, Granada, Toledo, and Guadalajara, among others. Eventually culminating with Ibn-Ziyad controlling Spain, and making him its de facto ruler, for about a year before Musa Ibn Nasayr arrived.


Later In Life


In 714 Umayyad Caliph Al-Walid the ruler of the Umayyad Caliphate (Islamic state which controlled much of North Africa and the Middle East) ordered Tariq Ibn-Ziyad and Musa Ibn Nasayr to Damascus, Syria, where they would spend the rest of their lives, some say this was because of jealousy and fear of the power that Ibn-Ziyad and Ibn Nasayr had displayed when Ibn-Ziyad conquered Spain with the assistance of Ibn Nasayr.
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BLACK BACKLASH IN CHINA

Black Backlash in ChinaLeon Kwasi Kuntuo-AsareA possible law being implemented in China, apparently brought out the true racist and anti-black feelings of many Chinese people online. The law if passed would make it a little easier for highly-educated and successful people in the science, engineering and technology sectors to gain permanent resident status or get a Green CardRacist and angry Chinese men with an apparent sexual inferiority complex stated:โ€œwith men vowing to defend Chinese women from immigrants, notably from Africa,โ€ according to the Economist.Here are some of the tweets that were posted:

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65 PEOPLE IN NIGERIA WERE KILLED IN SUSPECTED TERRORIST ATTACK BY BOKO HARAM

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

This past weekend in the northern Nigeria, 65 people were killed in a terrorist attack that occurred during a funeral.

That happened this past Saturday at a burial ceremony in the Nganzai district, which is near the Borno state capitol of Maiduguri.

Reportedly, 21 people were killed in the initial attack, and 44 were killed when local villagers attempted to capture the terrorist.

For additional information use the link below:

https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2019/07/28/africa/boko-haram-attack-nigeria/index.html

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POACHERS GETS POACHED BY ANIMALS

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

It would seem that the hunter got hunted, killed and then eaten. Apparently, the poacher entered the Kruger National Park in South Africa illegally to attempt to poach an African rhino for its horn, which are very valuable on the black market in certain parts of Asian.

According to a report by the BBC:

“Kruger National Park has an ongoing problem with poaching and there remains a strong demand for rhino horn in Asian countries.”

Reportedly while trying to snipe a rhino, and in the commotion he was trampled by an African elephant, and and then was eaten by lions. Authorities only recovered his skull and some remains of his trousers.

According to the same article by the BBC:

“On Saturday, Hong Kong airport authorities seized the biggest haul of rhino horn in five years, valued at $2.1m (ยฃ1.6m).”

For additional information use the link below:

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-47843999?ns_campaign=bbcnews&ocid=socialflow_twitter&ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter

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Blacks Forced To Leave Beach In South Africa

By: Leon kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

In an act that seemed reminiscent to its apartheid past, guards on a beach in Cape Town, South Africa , ordered its Black residents to leave, which caused protests to erupt in Clifton 4th Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Cape Town.

According to the BBC private guards, hired by local residents ordered all Black people to leave the area.

CapeTown mayor, Dan Plato, would later say in a statement “We will not allow any private organizations to limit access to our public spaces,โ€ and the guards “had no authority to ask anyone to leave Clifton beach”.

According to the Sun, CapeTown Deputy Police Minister, Bongani Mkongi, claimed the police would โ€œgo hard on the security company”.

According to many South African activists, these illegal apartheid era-racism is not uncommon.

According to The Grio, Chumane Maxwele, a local activist involved in the protest, claimed often security guards are instructed not to allow Black people onto the beaches.

For additional information use link below:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thegrio.com/2018/12/30/beachgoing-while-black-in-south-africa-blacks-ordered-to-leave-waterfront-because-racism/amp/

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STATUE OF GANDHI WAS REMOVED FROM A UNIVERSITY IN GHANA BECAUSE OF HIS PAST RACIST REMARKS ABOUT BLACK AFRICANS…

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

A statue of the late Indian independence leader, Mahatma Gandhi was removed from the campus of University of Ghana, earlier last week after a backlash from student activists.

To many people, this may sound a little confusing to hear that student activists would demand that a statue of one of the world’s most famous peaceful protestors and activists be removed from campus grounds.

But to the people who knew of Gandhi’s racist history in apartheid South Africa, including the students who petitioned to have his statue removed, there was no doubt that they had to get the statue of the man who referred to Black Africans as “Savages” and “Kaffir” ( a South African version of the n-word) removed from school grounds.

According to the Washington Post:

Gandhiโ€™s Indian empowerment argument, critics said in a petition to remove the statue, appeared to be that the British colonial government treated Indians a โ€œlittle better, if at all, than the savages or the Natives of Africa.โ€ He spoke of the โ€œhalf-heathen Nativeโ€ and said that treating Indians like Africans would โ€œdegrade us.โ€ The sole occupation of โ€œrawโ€ natives is hunting, he said and their โ€œsole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.โ€

The Ghana University petition cited other protests against โ€” and removal of โ€” tributes to historical but controversial figures at universities around the globe, including the former slave-owning Royall family at Harvard University and apartheid founder Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town.

For additional information use the link below:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/world/2018/12/15/after-petition-called-gandhi-racist-his-statue-was-removed-university-ghana/