The miseducation of America
Growing up in Greenville, I had the opportunity to attend what may be considered a “nyeusi shule”, which means black school in Swahili. The all African-American preschool/kindergarten taught me some very important lessons about knowledge-of-self.
Those life lessons would be valuable weapons in an arsenal needed to liberate my mind from a system that would prefer to label me less than the descendant of kings and queens that I am. I learned very early that my history did not begin with slavery, but was interrupted by slavery. I learned that the first universities of the world were in Northern Africa, and that all that invaded the continent tried to destroy or hide any evidence of the advanced civilizations and cultures.
Study the true history of Spain, Italy, Germany, and even Russia and you will find that African Muslims brought those civilizations out of the Dark Ages. Education was such a part of the African DNA that it was against the law for enslaved Africans to have a book in their hands, yet alone know how to read it.
The concept of knowledge-of-self allowed me to witness contributions from people that resembled me. For example, without African ingenuity, Columbus would not have made it to the so-called Americas.
Truth be told, Africans were in the so-called America’s before Columbus. What proof do I have? Read the journals of many explorers and see the entries that illustrate the presence of Africans. Look at the various archeological finds that show an African presence.
The beautiful thing is not that Africans arrived before Europeans, but that Africans lived in peace with their new world brothers and sisters. No disease or hatred planted a seed of genocide.
Black History can coexist with other histories. But truth has to be the common denominator. Accepting the truth of African contributions does not mean you are advocating hatred. It means you are advocating that all have contributed value to humanity.
Black History cannot be captured in one month, because Black History is World History. There are many in positions of influence that feel that all contributions to civilization came from those of European descent.
If I had 365 days to submit articles on Africans’ contributions to the world, I still would be short on time. It is by design to hide the truth of history and only showcase his story. This helps to perpetuate the fallacy of racial superiority.
If you believe you come from nothing, you will believe you are nothing. Black History does not begin with American enslavement of the African. Africans in America are more than the limited narratives in the few pages tucked away in the third grade history books. Africans in America and the world are not only a part of history, but are still making history.
(Rev. Steven L. Evans is a pastor and lives in Clinton.)