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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: WARRIOR KING SHAKA kASENZANGAKHONA (SHAKA ZULU) β™₯οΈπŸ’›πŸ’š

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

EARLY LIFE

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).

WARRIOR’s LIFE

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.

for additional information use link

Britannica article on Shaka Zulu

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: CATHAY WILLIAMS-THE BLACK AMERICAN JOAN OF ARC β€πŸ’›πŸ’š

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

EARLY LIFE

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.

Soldier’s Life

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.

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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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AMERICA’S LAST SLAVE DIED IN 1971

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

With all the talk about reparations for the descendants of American slaves currently going on around the country, anti-reparation people would have you believe that slavery was so long ago, it wasn’t.

The last surviving person born a slave in the antebellum south was a man named, John Magee. Magee was born in North Carolina in 1841.
Magee’s parents Jeanette and Ephraim were slaves on the J.J. Shanks plantation.

Magee told people that before the Civil War he was sold to a plantation owner by the name of Hugh Magee, at a slave market in Enterprise, Mississippi.

Some say that Magee was later sold to Victory Steen, who ran a slave plantation near Florence, Mississippi. Magee would claim that in 1863 he escaped the bondage of the Steen plantation and enlisted in the Union Army, reportedly he was part of an assault on Vicksburg in Mississippi.

Magee would later get wounded at both Vicksburg and Champion Hill. After the end of the war, Magee returned to his life, but this time as a “free man”, he would begin farming near Columbia, Mississippi with a White mam named, Tom Mix.

In the early 1990’s, Magee would move to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, before later returning to Columbia, Mississippi, to work for a sawmill operator named, Richard Davis. Magee, was trusted and respected enough to supervise the mill when, Davis was away.

Magee would die on October 15, 1971.

For additional information use the link below:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sylvester_Magee

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FINALLY GIVEN THEIR RIGHTFUL RESPECT

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

During War War 2, the Women’s Army Corps 6888 Central Postal Directory Battalion made military history when over 800 Black women had the unenviable task of sorting through millions of letters and packages for millions of American soldiers fighting against the Nazis.

According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History: the women tackled the parcels in England in February 1945. They later sailed to France where they continued sorting through the piles of mail.

This past Memorial Day, the unit was finally given it’s long overdue respect, when it and its surviving members were honored in a Memorial Day parade in Washington, D.C., this past Monday.

For additional information use the link below:

https://atlantablackstar.com/2019/05/29/all-black-womens-army-battalion-receives-long-overdue-recognition-more-than-seven-decades-after-service/