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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: AFRICAN WARRIOR QUEEN YAA ASANTEWAA OF THE ASANTE EMPIRE!๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ

Warrior Queen ๐Ÿ‘ธ๐ŸฟYaa Asantawaa

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

ORIGINS

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.

Painting: The War of the Golden Stool, also known as the Yaa Asantewaa War

WAR READY

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:

Painting: Yaa Asantawaa giving a speech.

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.

HER LEGACY

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.

Statue of Yaa Asantewaa outside of a museum destroyed by fire.
The Burnt remains of the Yaa Asantewaa Museum
Posters calling for the Yaa Asantewaa Museum to be rebuilt.

EXTERNAL EDUCATION RESOURCES

Click for Links โ†’



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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: PHARAOH TAHARQA-THE BIBLICAL “TIRHAKAH” KING OF ETHIOPIA (KUSH/NUBIA) โค๏ธ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š

By:Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare


EARLY LIFE

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.

HIS REIGN

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 โ€™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).

ANCIENT ARTIFACTS OF PHARAOH TAHARQA

The Shrine of Taharqa, Ashmolean Museum
Taharqa (left) embracing Horus (Re-Horakhty) on the Kawa shrine
King Taharqa and the gods of Thebes. Standing on the left, he offers “a white loaf” to his father Amun-Re, who is accompanied by Mut, Khonsu and Montu, Kawa shrine.



Taharqa in the Temple of Mut
Taharqa and the gods of Gematen (the Temple of Kawa). He makes an offering to the ram-headed god Amun-Re. Kawa shrine.
Stele commemorating the death of an Apis bull enthroned in “Year 26 of Taharqa”. Found in the Serapeum of Saqqara, Saqqara. Louvre Museum.


Chapel of Taharqa and Shepenwepet in Karnak
Taharqa’s kiosk. Karnak Temple




Taharqa before the god Amun in Gebel Barkal (Sudan), in Temple of Mut, Jebel Barkal


Taharqa under a sphinx, British Museum
Shabti of King Taharqa
Relief of Taharqa on the shrine

External Resources

Britannica article on Taharqa

Wikipedia article on Taharqa



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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: CATHAY WILLIAMS-THE BLACK AMERICAN JOAN OF ARC โค๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’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.

External Education Resources



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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: HANNIBAL BARCA-THE AFRICAN GENERAL WHO PUT THE ROMAN EMPIRE ON THE BRINK OF DESTRUCTION!๐ŸŒโœŠ๐Ÿฟ

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

Hannibal Barca was born in Carthage, (modern-day Tunisia, North Africa) in 247 BC. He was the son of Hamilcar Barca, who was a highly respected Carthaginian general, and one of the leaders in the first Punic War with the Roman Republic. His brothers Hasdrubal and Mago Barca and his brother-in-law Hasdrubal The Fair, were all commanders in the Carthaginian Military.

The Warrior

Even though Carthage loss the the first Punic War, the Carthaginians and Hannibal were not a submissive people and what they may have loss in the first Punic War, they started to win back in the punic peace, when they started to reclaim their loss territory. The second Punic war started in 218 BC, when Hannibal and his army attacked Saguntum (modern-day Spain), which was an ally of Rome. Hannibal then brought the war to Rome’s Italy territory, when he marched his army and African war elephants out of Africa and into Southern Europe, by crossing the Alps. Hannibal used his brilliant military mind to out strategize his opponents and exploit their weaknesses. For the first several years of his military campaign against the Romans, he achieved many victories, including the battle of Trebia, The Battle of Cannae and the Battle of Lake Trasimene. Hannibal and his forces would eventually take control of most of Southern Italy, and would hold on to it for about a decade and a half. Unfortunately, for Hannibal, he was unable to put the final nail in the Roman Republic’s coffin because for the most part the Roman military, which was led by Fabius Maximus, refused to have a head-to-head battle with their African rivals. Instead they used what is now called the “Fabian Strategy”, which is war of attrition. While Hannibal and his men were busy occupying Southern Italy, Roman general Scipio Africanus, saw that as an opportunity to invade Northern Africa. Once Hannibal discovered their new strategy, he immediately returned to Carthage and would eventually be defeated by Scipio Africanus at the Battle of Zama.

Post War Life

After the Second Punic War with the Romans, Hannibal decided to run for political office and was elected “Sufet”, which in modern-day terms would be the equivalent of a chief magistrate. Hannibal would use his political power to enact financial reforms to raise money to pay war reparations to the Romans. The reforms were so unpopular with the wealthy aristocrats in Carthage and Roman, that Hannibal decided to go into self-imposed exile. One of the places he lived while in exile was the Seleucid Empire, there he became a military advisor to Antiochus III The Great, during his military campaign against Rome. When Antiochus was defeated at the battle of Magnesia, Hannibal once more was forced to go into exile. Hannibal would eventually travel to the Kingdom of Armenia, where he sought sanctuary, there he would be betrayed to the Romans. Instead of allowing himself to be a prisoner of the Romans, he committed Suicide by poisoning.

For Additional information use this link

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT:โœŠ๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŒ DENMARK VESEY

Black History Spotlight:Denmark Vesey

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Early Life

Denmark Vesey is believed to of been born in 1767 in St.Thomas,West Indies. He was the slave of captain Vesey,who was a slave trader and planter from Charleston, South Carolina. He spent at least two decades sailing with his slave master.

Freedom

In 1800 Vesey was able to purchase his freedom from his master, after he allegedly won a local lottery. Vesey would go into the trade of carpentry, and would become relatively successful.

Legacy

In 1818 Vesey would become a powerful speaker and preacher, he would travel to slave plantations in his local area. Vesey would preach to his fellow black people, (who were suffering horribly in forced bondage), that they would fight for and gain their liberation like the ancient Israelites of the Holy Bible. Vesey, Allegedly held meetings at his home, where he would also collect firearms and other weapons that he intended to use to arm 9000 black people in South Carolina. Unfortunately, Vesey would be betrayed like Jesus Christ, by some of his own people that he intended to free, when some black slaves fearful of white retribution, informed the white authorities. Vesey, would defend himself well in court, but would ultimately be sentenced by a white supremacist jury to be hanged to death. 35 other blacks would be sentenced to hang too, and 35 others would be sold to brutal (even by American standards) West Indian plantations. If not for the betrayal of a few black Judas’s, his rebellion would of been the largest slave revolt in U.S. history. The white fear that was caused because of the failed revolt caused harsher and more punitive laws to be passed to control and dominate black people. In Hampton Park in Charleston, South Carolina, there is a statue dedicated to the memory and legacy of the black freedom fighter.

For more information on Demark Vesey, please use this link

For even more information on Denmark Vesey, please use this 2nd link

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13-YEAR-OLD BOY CREATES FACE-MASKS TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS

13-YEAR-OLD BOY CREATES FACE-MASKS TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM THE CORONAVIRUS

Black Child Inventor

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Charles Randolph, a 13-year-old boy decided to use his time-off from school to something extremely productive, that he believes could possibly save the lives of many people in his community.

When the youth was at his Falls Church, Virginia, home, he came-up with the idea to use his parents’ 3D printer to make face-masks. According to the Atlanta Black Star, Randolph Said: he figured the DIY masks could provide protection to his ailing uncle and others as the highly transmissible virus continues to spread.

โ€œI saw in the news that high-risk patients, people with existing diseases like heart problems and asthma โ€” I thought this would help him.โ€

He said of his relative, whoโ€™s in Atlanta awaiting a heart transplant.

When he is not in school or inventing something for the public good, Randolph says:

โ€œMy mom has me on a super strict schedule,โ€ he told local station WJLA. โ€œItโ€™s not the best thing in the world, but two hours of homework every day, donโ€™t enjoy that often, but you know.โ€

Even though the masks are not perfect, in fact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the only masks it reccomends to use to prevent Coronavirus is the N95 masks. The young inventor still believes his masks can help many people stay healthy in the global pandemic.

It may not be 100 percent of a filtration system, but it works.”

The teen said.

For more information please use this link:

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: ELIZABETH FREEMAN (THE BLACK WOMAN WHO ENDED SLAVERY IN MASSACHUSETTS)

BY: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Elizabeth Freeman (also known as Bett or Mumbett), was born a slave in 1744 in colonial America ( Claverack, Province of New York).
As a young child-slave at her master John Ashley’s house in Massachusetts , Freeman would sometimes overhear discussions about possible American freedom from the British. Those discussions combined with her own desire to be free, gave Freeman even more inspiration to run away from her brutal masters.

When the American Revolutionary War was finally won by America, Freeman believed that she should also be free. Freeman and her abolitionist lawyer Theodore Sedgwick, would sue the Ashley family for her freedom.

In 1781, the case would go to trial and eventually, the Massachusetts supreme court would side with Freeman, claiming slavery was against the Massachusetts Constitution. That decision would Utimately, end slavery in the state of Massachusetts altogether. Freeman would be awarded 30 shillings as compensation for her labor.

All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

– Massachusetts Constitution, Article 1.For additional information use the links below:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Freemanhttps://www.amazon.com/100-African-Americans-Shaped-American-History/dp/0912517182/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?keywords=100+african+americans+who+shaped+american+history&qid=1579168192&sprefix=100+afr&sr=8-2

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BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: THE FORMER SLAVE CALLIE HOUSE AND HER FIGHT FOR REPARATIONS

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Callie House was born a slave in Rutherford, County, not too far from Nashville, Tennessee . House would get married at the young age of 22. Callie and her husband William House would have six children together, but only 5 of those children would survive. After Callie’s husband William House died, she would financially support herself and her family by being a washerwoman.

Later in life, House and a man named Isaiah H. Dickerson would travel through the former Confederate states that formerly sanctioned the ownership of them and their fellow Black people to gain support for the National Ex-Slave Mutual Relief, Bounty and Pension Association (MRB&PA).

They would have their gatherings in Black churches, because that was one of the only places Black people could somewhat safely come together without being threatened and harrassed by the White supremacist public.

The objective of the organization, which at its peak had hundreds of thousands of members was to provide compensation, mutual aid and to assist in burial costs of those Black people who were formerly enslaved.

The Federal Post Office Department, despite not having any proof would often accuse reparation organizations like the MRB&PA of committing fraud against its members in an effort to discredit the movement and sabotage their progress.

The Department of Justice would open an investigation on the MRB&PA, and they would eventually be forbidden from sending mail or money orders. In 1901, Dickerson would be found guilty of “swindling”, but the conviction would eventually be overturned. When Dickerson died in 1909, House would become the sole-leader of the MRB&PA. Despite interference and harrassment by the federal government and the Post Office Department the MRB&PA would go on for a while. Eventually though, trumped-up charges or not the Federal government would convict House in 1918, effectively ending the MRB&PA and their fight for reparations.

House would die in 1928 at the age of 66 or 67.

Years later her courage would be remembered and honored when in 2015 the African American and Diaspora Program at Vanderbilt University renamed their research center the Callie House Research Center for the Study of Black Cultures and Politics.

For additional information use the link below:

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

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TENNESSEE GOVERNOR BILL LEE SIGNED A PROCLAMATION GIVING WHITE SUPREMACIST CONFEDERATE, KKK LEADER HIS OWN HOLIDAY

By: Leon Kwasi Kuntuo-Asare

Tennessee governor, Bill Lee signed a proclamation that declared July 13, as Nathan Bedford Forest Day.

Who was Nathan Bedford Forest you ask? Well, he was a treacherous and treasonous American who betrayed his country to fight for the treasonous Confederate army.

He was also a slave trader, the first Grand Wizard of the KKK, and he was responsible for the Fort Pillow Massacre, which occurred after the Battle of Fort Pillow, when General Forest and his troops massacred Black Union soldiers and their White officers, who were attempting to surrender at the time.

According to CBS NEWS:

According to the Tennessee code, the governor must declare January 19 as โ€œRobert E. Lee Dayโ€; February 12 as โ€œAbraham Lincoln Dayโ€; March 15 as โ€œAndrew Jackson Dayโ€; June 3 as โ€œMemorial or Confederate Decoration Dayโ€; July 13 as โ€œNathan Bedford Forrest Dayโ€; and November 11, as โ€œVeteransโ€™ Day.โ€

โ€œI signed the bill because the law requires that I do that and I havenโ€™t looked at changing that law,โ€ Lee said Thursday.

That being said there have been governors in the past who refused to sign proclamations, like Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, who refused to sign a proclamation for the book “This Blessed Earth: A Year in the Life of an American Family Farm,” which is about farming and family because he believed the author and journalist Ted Genoways, was too critical of President Donald Trump.

For additional information use the links below:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.theroot.com/tennessee-gov-declares-day-honoring-slave-trader-and-e-1836335192/amp

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

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/424354-gop-nebraska-governor-refuses-to-sign-proclamation-honoring-author-who%3famp

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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/