OPINION: Black History Month Shortchanges Us

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portrait_hannibal_barca1

I touched on this before, but my main problem with the concept of Black history month is that it’s too American. Tossing Dr. King, W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Rosa Parks at me is all well and good, but if I didn’t know any better—and if I were younger, I might not—it would be easy for me to assume that Black history started on these shores. This goes back to my earlier point about intelligent Black people which, since some difficulty with my meaning in using the term ‘intelligent’ arose, I’ll define intelligence now as simply ‘problem solving’ ability.

But I think that by containing the idea of Black history to Black American history, credit is backhandedly given to our slave masters for our very origin as a people. Clearly, we weren’t anything or anybody over in Africa. We were ‘made’ so to speak, when we got here.

It takes a historian with the patience of Job to unearth any facts about our West African roots, so thorough a job has been done on erasing that history by Africa’s European colonizers. You might not know that there is plenteous evidence to support the claim that West Africans were here in this hemisphere as well as all across the globe way back when Europeans still believed that the world was flat.

You almost might never have heard of Hannibal—no, not Lecter—the Carthaginian (North African) general that conquered most of southern Europe using southern Europeans to do most of his fighting. This was sort of like the way that the Buffalo soldiers were used, but in reverse.

Now, you might have heard of the exploits of Hannibal, depending on how big a Quentin Tarantino fan you are and if you’re familiar with Dennis Hopper’s famous death scene in the movie True Romance. But Tarantino’s script never went as far as to name the great man.

It’s astonishing to consider, but world history would be irrevocably different if at any time during Hannibal’s 8 year occupation outside the gates of Rome he had decided to bash the gates down and simply conquer the joint.

Think about it; only one disciple of Christ’s gospel is recorded to have traveled into Europe; that was Paul, the one that didn’t even known Jesus personally and also the one that went to Rome. This suggests that the other disciples were busy in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Now, imagine how different the world would be today if we had been the ones with the bibles and the guns.

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