BLACK HISTORY 🌍 SPOTLIGHT: MENILEK THE II-THE AFRICAN 👑 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.

For more information on King Menelik, please use this link

For even more information, use this link

Slave Owner Statue TakenDown By Protesters

United Nations: Give them Reparations (revised study)

United Nations

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

“Reparations is defined as paying some type of monetary compensation for people who have been wronged.”

A United Nations panel of human rights activist asked the United States government to give reparations to the African-American community, who are the descendants of Black Slaves in America.

The reparation-payments would be intended to repair some of the damage done to the African-American community, through various forms of oppression, which includes:

1. Slavery
2. Black Codes.
3. Jim Crow.
4. Sundown Towns.
5. Lynchings.
6. Redlining.
7. The millions of dollars stolen from former Black slaves, by White bankers, and federal officials at the Freedman Bank, during the reconstruction era.
8. Race riots and the destruction of Black towns like Rosewood, and Greenwood, (popularly known as Black Wallstreet), which was a freedom colony in Tulsa.
9. Domestic White supremacy terrorism via the KKK and other White hate groups.
10. Police brutality and mass-incarceration, which disproportionately affect the African-American community, at a much higher rate the rest of the nation’s population. Even though most Black people are in jail and prison for non-violent drug offenses, White and Black people consume drugs at about the same rates, which means White drug addicts are more likely to get rehab and no jail time, while Blacks are more likely to go to prison.

11. The 13th amendment, which permitted prison inmates (who were and are disproportionately Black), to be used legally as slave labor.

12. Historical and present miseducation by a poorly built and broken school system.

13. Housing and mortgage discrimination.

14. The FBI’s (Counter-Intelligence Program) Cointelpro, using illegal tactics to sabotage the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. Even going as far as assisting local police departments in assassinating their leaders, like Fred Hampton, who was the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.

Mireille Fanon Mendes-France, the chairwoman of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent Committee, compared the many incidents of police killings of unarmed Black men to racially motivated lynchings that occurred in the southern region of the United States, during the height of (racial segregation) Jim Crow.

Mendes-France, the daughter of (Martinican writer, revolutionary and philosopher) Frantz Fanon, did not believe individual checks should be given to the descendants of the victims of American slavery and Jim Crow. Rather, she recommended money be spent on programs that could improve the lives of Black Americans educationally, environmentally, and socioeconomically, something akin to a Marshall Plan for the Black community, which could be used economically rebuild the Black community, the same way the United States’ Marshall Plan rebuilt Western Europe after World War 2.

And for the naysayers who believe this could never happen, there is precedence for the United States giving reparations to American citizens:

1. In 1971 ,Alaskan Natives were given one billion dollars and over 40 million acres of land as reparations.

2. In 1980, the Klamath people of Oregon, received over $80 million dollars in reparations.

3. In 1985, the Sioux tribe of South Dakota, received over $100 million dollars in reparations.

4. In 1985, the Seminole people of Florida, received over $12 million dollars in reparations.

5. n 1985, the Chippewas of Wisconsin received over $30 million dollars in reparations.

6. 1986, the Ottawa people in Michigan, received over $30 million dollars in reparations.

Note: the 1866 Indian Treaty between the United states and the five Civilized Tribes-the Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Cherokee and the Chickasaw: The Five Civilized Tribes, owned Black slaves and fought for the confederacy against the Union Army to maintain Black slavery in America. After the war, the Five civilized Tribes, continued to maintain Black slavery on their land, even after the South lost the Civil War. Eventually forcing the North to come into their Indian territory to free the Black slaves. The 1866 Indian Treaty, the United States signed with the tribes, required them to free their slaves, and stated the legal obligations the tribes had to their Black Freemen and Black Indians. Not surprisingly, when the tribes started to receive federal benefits, like money and casinos, they kicked many of the Black Indians and Freedmen out of their tribes.

7. In 1990, Japanese Americans, who were placed in internment camps during World War 2, received over one and a half billion dollars in reparations.

8. In 2015, President Barack Obama’s administration earmarked $12 million dollars in reparations to be distributed to elderly holocaust survivors.
9. The JUST ACT : Justice for Uncompensated Survivors Today (just) Act, which was passed Congress, requires money, property, land and other valuables stolen from Jewish people during the holocaust to be returned the people, their heirs, or Jewish organizations.

To this day, African-Americans still have not received one-single cent for the economic, political and social terrorism that has been inflicted on the African-American people through centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, etc. this is a absolute shame, when you think about the fact that many slave owners who stayed loyal to the Union received reparations for the slaves they freed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Quote on Reparations in 1968:

“At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress our government was giving away million of acres of land in the West and Midwest, which meant it was willing to undergird its White peasants from Europe with an economic floor.

But, not only did they give them land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms. Not only that, today, many of these people are receiving federal subsidies not to farm, and they are the very people telling the Black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.

And this is what we are faced with, and this is the reality. Now, when we come to Washington in this campaign, we are coming to get our check.”

For the people who slavery happened too long ago, Sylvester Magee, who was born around 1841 and died in 1971, was allegedly the last living former slave. Not only that, but the end of the Civil War (1865) and the beginning of the Holocaust (1941) were only about 76 years apart.

For additional information use the link below:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.pbs.org/newshour/amp/nation/reparations-african-americans-un