Historically, have African nations had a higher proportion of coups than nations on other continents?

Historically, have African nations had a higher proportion of coups than nations on other continents?

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The president of the Central African Republic was recently ousted by rebel forces. According to atlanticwire there have been over 40 coups in the past 60 years. Do African nations have a higher propensity for coups?

I would say yes, that is a very unstable continent and coups very common:

Coups d'état are common in Africa; between 1952 and 2000, thirty-three countries experienced 85 such depositions. from Wikipedia

Just for example the Guine Bissau experiences 3 coups in the last 10 years:2003,2009,2012: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13443186

Coups are like business as usual in West Africa.


Historically, South American countries have been more likely to experience coups and coup attempts than African ones.

This conclusion takes into account the different number of countries for each continent and their various independence dates. Only by restricting the data to exclude all coups before the early 1970s can one say that African countries, on average, have experienced more coups.

If the media has created the impression that African countries have been more prone to coups, this is understandable in that news organizations' main focus tends to be the recent past.


Problems in arriving at estimates

Making a direct comparison between continents and countries is problematic for a number of reasons, foremost amongst which are:

  1. some countries have existed far longer than others
  2. continents do not have the same number of countries (and definitions of continents vary)(1)
  3. different data sets cover different periods (unsurprising to given point 1 above)
  4. the definition of what a coup is may vary according to the source, and sources don't always give a definition
  5. data sets / sources mostly cover one continent or region.(2) Given point 4 above, this makes comparisons problematic.

Creating a basis for comparison

As South American countries have existed, on average, much longer than African ones, simply counting the number of coups per continent does not make for a fair comparison. Most of the coups in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay (among others) occurred before most African countries had achieved independence.

On the second point, as there are currently 54 African countries (this number has changed radically over the past 50 years) but only 12 South American ones, totaling the number of coups also doesn't really tell us anything.

To counteract these differences, I have looked at the average number of coups per country per year (or per 10 years to reduce the number of decimal points).

It is also necessary to use a source which covers both continents using the same criteria. The calculations which follow are thus mostly based on data compiled for the article Global instances of coups from 1950 to 2010: A new dataset by Jonathan M Powell & Clayton L Thyne.(3) This data set has since been updated to 2015 and has the most up-to-date comprehensive data readily available.

Propensity for Coups in South America and Africa

Starting with the big picture for 1950 to 2010, Powell and Thyne state:

Coups have been most common in Africa and the Americas (36.5% and 31.9%, respectively). Asia and the Middle East have experienced 13.1% and 15.8% of total global coups, respectively. Europe has experienced by far the fewest number of coup attempts: 2.6%.

In numbers (for the longer period 1950 to 2015), there were 198 coups in Africa against 105 for South America.(4) If we add on pre-1950 coups listed in Wikipedia(5) and the article Regimes, Competition, and Military Coups in Latin America, the numbers are much more even (it's hard to tell exactly due to the different definitions used). However, as noted above, these figures take no account of continent size or dates of independence and thus do not answer the question "Do African nations have a higher propensity for coups?"

The calculations below show the frequency with which countries in South America and Africa experience coups.

1950 to 2015 (Historical period: 65 years)

  • South America: 1.3 coups & coup attempts per ten years
  • Africa: 0.79 coups & coup attempts per ten years

1960 to 2015 (Historical period: 55 years).

  • South America: 1.03 coups & coup attempts per ten years (0.48 successful)
  • Africa: 0.73 coups & coup attempts per ten years (0.36 successful)

1970 to 2015 (Historical period: 45 years).

  • South America: 0.8 coups & coup attempts per ten years
  • Africa: 0.79 coups & coup attempts per ten years

In short, the longer the time period under consideration, the worse it looks for South America (and the above data doesn't even include the 1930s, the worst decade for the continent). This is because South America experienced its worst decades for coups earlier than Africa, where the 1990s were especially bad.

There are, of course, a multitude of other factors which could be taken into consideration. For example, coups are more likely to occur in countries where political institutions are not yet deeply embedded; Africa is particularly disadvantaged in this respect, but this broaching on causes of coups, a complex question outside the scope of this post.

Countries experiencing the most coups and coup attempts

Despite the different definitions of a coup / coup attempt used by various researchers, there is a general consensus that Bolivia has had the most coups & coup attempts.

For the period 1950 to 2015, Powell & Thyne's data produces the following list of top coup countries:

  • 23 Bolvia (11 successful)
  • 20 Argentina (7 successful)
  • 14 Sudan (5 successful)
  • 13 Haiti (9 successful)
  • 13 Venezuela (0 successful)(6)
  • 12 Thailand (8 successful)
  • 12 Iraq (6 successful)

For the period 1900 to 2006, Fabrice Lehoucq and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán found the top Latin American successful coup countries to be:

  • 19 Bolivia
  • 16 Ecuador, Paraguay
  • 13 Honduras
  • 11 Argentina


(1) See Wikipedia, Continents

(2) Most data sets use Latin America rather than South America.

(3) Powell and Thyne go into some detail on how authors preceding them have defined coups and adopt what they call "a middle ground" for their own definition, which is "illegal and overt attempts by the military or other elites within the state apparatus to unseat the sitting executive." See Powell & Thyne for details.

(4) Of the 457 coup attempts recorded worldwide (1950 - 2010), 49.6% were successful while 50.4% failed. The percentages are almost the same for both the African and South American continents. There are significant variations between countries, though. Coup leaders in Burkina Faso (Africa) seem particularly adept at coups, succeeding on almost every occasion. Their Zambian counterparts, on the other hand, clearly haven't got the hang of it - all three attempts have failed.

(5) Wikipedia's criteria seem very inconsistent, probably a reflection of multiple editors.

(6) Powell & Thyne, without specifically saying why, classify the events in Venezuela in January 1958 as an attempt, possibly because the President fled despite "having the support of an important sector of the armed forces."

Other sources

Burkina Faso profile - Timeline

The World's capital of Coups?

Everything you should know about the 200 coups that have taken place in Africa

Chronological List of African Independence

Fabrice Lehoucq and Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Breaking Out of the Coup Trap: Political Competition and Military Coups in Latin America

Are Military Coups Going Out of Style?

No, that varies per country.

I live in Thailand, where coups are pretty much the standard way to change governments. Since 1932 when Thailand became a democracy the country has had 25 general elections and 19 military coups.

I've lived in the country since 1994. We've had 3 military coups and 2 civilian coup attempts since I arrived in 1994.

In other nations children watch the weather forecast and hope the school will be closed due to severe winter weather. In Thailand children watch the news and hope the school is closed because of a coup.

Poverty in Africa

Poverty in Africa is the lack of provision to satisfy the basic human needs of certain people in Africa. African nations typically fall toward the bottom of any list measuring small size economic activity, such as income per capita or GDP per capita, despite a wealth of natural resources. In 2009, 22 of 24 nations identified as having "Low Human Development" on the United Nations' (UN) Human Development Index were in Sub-Saharan Africa. [1] In 2006, 34 of the 50 nations on the UN list of least developed countries were in Africa. [2] In many nations, GDP per capita is less than US$5200 per year, with the vast majority of the population living on much less (according to World Bank data, by 2016 the island nation of Seychelles was the only African country with a GDP per capita above US$10,000 per year [3] ). In addition, Africa's share of income has been consistently dropping over the past century by any measure. In 1820, the average European worker earned about three times what the average African did. Now, the average European earns twenty times what the average African does. [4] Although GDP per capita incomes in Africa have also been steadily growing, measures are still far better in other parts of the world.

3 thoughts on &ldquo 14 African Countries Forced By France To Pay Colonial Tax For The Benefits Of Slavery And Colonization &rdquo

I love your page, however I miss the sources of your information. I will love to write a term paper about this topic. Could you please give me the sources of this information? Thank you so much.

Yazınız için sizi tebrik ederim. Bu maddeleri dünyanın bilmesi gerekiyordu. Fransa artık öz kaynaklarına dönmelidir. Çalışıp ticaretini geliştirmelidir. Başka ülkelere saygısı olmalı, onları sömürmeyi bırakmalıdır.


There is the continued dependence of African nations on foreign aid. African nations are constantly running to world powers to beg for aids so that their countries do not derail.

Also, as a result of the underdevelopment of Africa, African nations rely on foreign countries for technological advancements.

Brain drain/Brain gain. Due to the underdevelopment of Africa, the brightest minds in Africa are constantly on the move seeking pastures greener in other lands.

The high incidence of underdevelopment of Africa is tied to underdevelopment. If Africa were as developed as other lands such as Europe, the poverty level will be much lower than it is today.

Widespread corruption and lack of accountability are results of the underdevelopment of Africa.

About dustyk103

99 Responses to Blacks invaded and enslaved Europeans long before Europeans enslaved Africans

Hey number one , this article is racist as hell. Number two take your head out the gutter . “Africans” enslaved their own people correct , Then the “White”people decides to come make an agreement with us. “We give you 20 oz of corn for 5 familes” we say yes . This is were us as people are fooled. The white people come in and INVADE our land steal our land and leave our people famished , fooled , and FUCKED. Bring us over too a land were we have no rights throw us a Religion , and a bag to pick cotton. No one asked for this I feel my ancestors screaming from the grave everyday

Number one – when you label facts and history as “racist” you are promoting stupidity, hate, and ignorance.

Number two – I’m surprised you have some grasp of slavery after that opening, but at least you’re not completely ignorant so there is hope for you.

Slavery has and does exist at all levels of all societies and cultures. It is principly either enslavement of conquered enemies or criminals. It is a mistake to label colonization and organization of indigenous peoples as slavery. Every third world country that has been colonized or engaged in trade with advanced civilizations has benefited.

Lastly, the reason so many Africans are starving today is not because of white man, but because of Islam.

As for crying over your ancestors I feel sorry for you. I know I have ancestors some of whom were slaves, some were criminals, and some were conquerors and I feel neither sorry or guilty for them because I am not them. They’re dead and I don’t give a crap about how they lived their lives. How I live my life is all that matters. I may suffer in life because of the sins of my fathers, but God will not Judge me based on the sins of my ancestors.

“the reason so many Africans are starving today is not because of white man, but because of Islam.”

Tell me how it’s Islam fault that Europeans came to Africa and invaded africa? You white people came, robbed and raped our home then starting pointing fingers at a religion.
Africa is like this because of white people and that’s it. Accept that your ancestors committed a sin against humanity.

So what the fuck did African Moors have to do with the Indigenous American Negroes that were enslaved here on their own fucking land. Now you research that shit. Your dumb asses think the because we share skin tone , melanin that we are the same people. We are NOT. Africans don’t claim us. If they did they would advocate for us. Who came looking for us if we were stolen, where is the outcry when the police kill one of us. Where is the love for their supposed Haitian brothers and sisters in this current time of need. They are foreigners just like everyone else, Native Americans included. There is a reason they cannot call themselves indigenous, because admittedly they crossed over from Asia, that makes them native and have no more claim to the America then any other invading virus. Tonto, the crying Indian and Johnny Depp were not the people Columbus ran into, De Soto, Cortez or Verrazzano. Now research that? 10 million Africans shoved into the bottom of a ship for 4 months over frigid rough Atlantic waters, shitting and pissing on themselves, laying in sickness, vomit, menstrual cycles. Where did they keep the water for these people, who cleaned up after them, how do you eat slacked like firewood. And last but not least where are the fucking ships. Not a plank, stern, sail, anything. Just some shackle or chain off the coast of East Africa. Not even West Africa where we were supposed to have come from. GTFOH.

Irrational anger aside your point can be taken up in the fact that none of it has anything to do with anything. No one alive in America today has ever owned or advocated for slavery, and no one alive in America today has ever been a slave or subjected to abuse as a slave. So quit complaining about what happened to someone else in the past and be responsible for yourself today. If anyone of Africa descent believes they are in America unfairly they have no right to claim they are owed any recompense because hundreds of thousands of white people died fighting so they could be free. If any want to be compensated for their ancestors being sold off into slavery by their chieftains two hundred years ago then they can have it in the form of a one way ticket back to Africa!

Are Slavic my ancestors were enslaved by Africans for 10,000 years and my people are actually indigenous to America and also indigenous to Siberia are DNA can’t be tracked back to Asia North or South America only United States Canada and Siberia 9000 years so I do feel people’s complaint but I can honestly say I have never went to sleep so I’m not going to be guilted I have the right to America and my people did conquer the other tribes that came into our homelands you might want to look up tartaria Empire and territory it’s a hidden history that nobody’s taught but I know it because I happened to be royal blood

Negroes are not indigenous to America all black people are indigenous to Africa and Native Americans are actually indigenous to Asia I’m indigenous to America and I may have white skin but I’m not of European descent I actually have ancestors you can find in caves buried All Over America from Brazil all the way up to Alaska to Canada red hair blue and gray eyes they were giants look it up

You really need to spend a lot more time studying races, ancient cultures, and migrations before you think anyone is native to the Americas or that blacks are only in Africa.

Your a disgusting cave beast. You owe us everything. We black took you out of those caves in europe and taught you cave beast how to take a bath. We all know how you betrayed us. Your a savage and we should have slaughted your kind the moment you left those caves in Europe !

You’re an example of the sickness in the leftist mind. How deluded you are to think that somehow Africans made Europeans civilized. How delusional you are to think that civilization came from Africa and wasn’t introduced to it by Europeans. And how vile is your opinion of your fellow man that you think anyone owes you anything when you owe everything to everyone else or you’d be in Africa still chucking spears at rabbits praying your warlord didn’t decide to slice you up. Grow up.

Ten Million hahaha how many came to the USA? How many were captured by Americans?How many Africans were captured by white people, NONE! Your african Brothers captured you and sold you becase YOU WERE ENIMIES AND THEY SOLD YOU OUT! Rude awaikening here dude, you are African Moor you came from Africa, your blood line is African Moors. You radided my ancestors countries and held it for 900 years. You raped the women, took them for wives, Mauled the men and beheaded them. Terror for 900 years its your fault.
I was not born till the sixties but every thing that has happened to the black people in America is suppose to be my fault. And everything that the Moors did is your fault, So there you go tit-for-tat. Maybe your thinking should change along the lines of, “Alain Locke”. He invisioned us as getting along with Blacks forgiving and whites understanding the new Negro hence the title of his book. Thats what the rennasance was about, taking all the cultures and your curse, or in your case your blessing. Every thing is for a reason in life, it just is. Ever thought what if? Think about it! The Renaissance rushed on to Harlem like hundreds of kids going to a carnival all of them after one ice cream cone. It was significant, tremendous and everyone wanted that Ice cream. Harlem was the fastest-growing black community in the country. The Great Migration brought Africans Americans to Harlem, bottle-necking to compression the strengths, ideas, and expressions of hundreds of different African cultures spewing out into northern Manhattan creating we call the Harlem Renaissance. Alain Locke and Langston Hughes each in their way looked at the Harlem Renaissance as an opportunity for the multicultural black African people to come to the melting pot of black Harlem and evolve and form a new culture, The New Black African American culture. This culture would not only advance but advance in unison with white America. Alain Locke and Langston Hughes believe that through diversity The New Black African culture can coexist with white America and successfully.
But no people like you want to dwell on that past, stir that pot and cri HAVOC, when the only enemy is your own undoing.

The Other IT Guy (@TheOther_IT_guy) says:

Colonization was nothing more than institutionalized slavery. Why do I say this? It allowed the colonists access to “free” factors of production i.e. land and labour, at the very real expense of the natives. Violence and deception was used to achieve this. Much was hidden from the populations in the home countries, many of whom would have recognized it for what it was blatant exploitation. It was often relabeled as indentured labour, to give it a veneer of legitimacy. Any benefits accrued could have been achieved just as easily by mutually beneficial trade without the horrors of the colonial project.

Your assertion about blacks enslaving whites in Europe is conveniently skewed to fit your bias. The Moors enslaved everybody, they were equal opportunity slavers. The European slaves were NOT sent to Africa but to the Arab world. That was where the demand was. Their conquest of Europe was driven by Islam and their slave trade should also be seen in the context of war booty. It was sanctioned by the religious fundamentalism driving the Islamic expansion in the same way that colonization was justified by the notion of a civilizing mission and a “White man’s burden”.

You should “give a crap” about those who came before you because they set you up either way for failure or success. A lot of old money can be traced to obscene profits made from slaving or from slave labour. The influence and power delivered by that wealth cannot disappear simply because the ancestors are long dead and buried. It endures. As you say, God will not judge you by the sins of your ancestors. Neither should you judge Africans now by the sins of the Moors, who are similarly, long gone from this world. That would very much be your own sin, and God will certainly judge you for that.

Amazingly you understand and assert exactly what I am trying to exemplify by bringing up this subject. Slavery was committed by virtually EVERYONE throughout history. It is still being exercised today in the Third World countries and the Middle East, but the leftists deny this. It is exercised in civilized countries to criminals. It is partially exerted through unions. But my largest point is that the descendants of slavers are not guilty of slavery or responsible for the sins of their fathers. Who in this country is holding the children of Mafia crime lords who profited from stealing, raping, and murdering for the wealth they are now using? If they are building a business and people are profiting from the work then great! But if they are using their wealth to corrupt the government through graft and cronyism to profit themselves then they are no different than their father. My point here being that each person is held responsible for their own actions. Whereas this entire narrative of white privilege and guilt is not about making restitution, but about deadbeats, criminals, and thieves attempting to use false guilt to extort good people. I judge no one by the sins of their parents or ancestors and ask nothing of anyone. I only point out the absurdity and the unrighteousness of those who do just that.

Umm those white people wasn’t part of the Willie Lynch project under the Moors. The Willie Lynch project took away Africans ability to think for themselves, have morals, self-identity, personality, etc, When you strip a large group of people of those such things you for over 400 years, although not every African was affected by it, that has a toll on a whole race because no they This notion that Whites shouldn’t feel guilty may have some truth to it yet 400 years of oppression of a whole race has a tremendous affect on the future African American generation due to the Willie Lynch project. Africa was on top well before Europe thrived as a economy and like any other dynasty they fell off. Now Whites was slaves to Africans along time ago but that was so long ago to the point its hard to look up and gather more info like we can about slavery 400 years ago! Muslims treated their slaves the way the quaran said and that was treat them and teach them how to be human beings, That’s why you hear Africans say we taught Europeans how to read, cook, do math, bath all that! With that being sad you argument about how African Americans shouldn’t feel bad about their ancestors being slaves or hold slavery accountable for their current situation is very absurd on the basis that the past builds the future, now should we keep using slavery as a crutch no not at all we are in a different time era to where any race can thrive and prosper as a formidable person of society yet white folks still feel inferior to us and if you cant see that you’re the part of the ones that feel like that. For you to say you don’t give a shit about what your ancestors did during their lifetime shows signs of deeper personal issues you may have that you have to deal with but of you’ll deny that you have any mental or social issues. I feel for a white person to take the time out to argue the fact that slavery has no effect on African Americans says that you’re lowkey racist and in denial about it most definitely all slavery is bad but like I said before those white slaves under the Moors was treat waaaay better than Black slaves by Europeans. Please respond back with a better argument than the one you posted in 2017 because I love to argue and I have a answer for everything SO IM READY!!

The one dynasty that never died off like they “all did” is the jews. Jus saying..

The Moor’s were invading others and taking slaves.

But there were also, a lot of Abdominals from Africa/or Americas(I believe Life started in the Americas) established across the Globe Such as the Czars in Russia, King James etc., most names in History at that time were Moors/Black people.

What’s strange is, All that Caucasian’s claim they accomplished in history was actually the Moor’s /Black people! I am not sure at what point…maybe late as 1800 to 1900 Historical events were switched across the globe from black to white.

We/Moors/Black people established the federation in Americas/The Republican’s party and I believe the term Reconstruction in History is when We/Moors may have been over thrown. That part I am still trying to put together in History.

Oh, and honestly I don’t believe We/my Ancestors became enslaved….the term Slave was White Slavic’s which are the people that were enslaved not the Blacks!

And the Letter/request sent to Lincoln were White Slavic’s requesting to be freed and
I have heard I believe with a slip of the tongue that civil rights were for Whites. I never understood that.

Oh, another thought why know one seems to remember but, my research of Historical figures in time are Black…. one must really dig to find the original people because they have all been whitewashed/turned into White people. Weird!

I think the misguided history you have been taught has got you extremely confused. If anyone can be rightly accused of falsely taking credit for the achievements of others it is Islamists. They claim to have carried civilization through the Dark Ages because they conquered Roman territories where Roman descendants continued to advance culture even under the boot of Islam. This eventually died out as Islamism became more inculcated into society leaving them the backwards nations they are today. Africans remained a stone age culture into the colonial era. Colonialism is what educated Africa. It is unfortunate that the Islamists chose to use that education to learn weaponry and modern warfare by which to slaughter their countrymen. What black people do you believe were white washed for their great achievements and advances in history?

I agree with you Deahjanique. I told my friends white people are sociopaths. I am right. Dustyk103 you are mad. You see their psychi. Crazy as hell. white privilege at its finest

Spoken like an ignorant fool who rejects all facts for your own racist delusions.

No one took shit from you. Every different people tried to conquer and and take slaves. That’s the point. And people talking shit on only white people while people of every color still commit atrocities , but only whites get the blame. That’s the point. You can hate me, doesn’t mean you got shit on me

actually black muslim moors enslaved parts of Europe for 800 years. Black africans in 2020 still have slaves today. Black africans also cut the arms/legs off albinos, imprison gay men and burn immigrants and etc

The Moors were a combination of black & Arab Muslim people. They invaded Sicily in 800AD, enslaved the men, raped the women, & plundered their natural resources. This took place long bf blacks were enslaved in the US. I want reparations.

Anunnaki is the creator of the white race so you can understand why they are so ungrateful we civilized these cave dwelling beast taught them how to wash their flea ass this is what we get for ever trying to help these creatures from hell.

Yeah, but what about the slavery?

-A very proud Cave Dweller

“In 711, troops mostly formed by Moors from North Africa led the Umayyad conquest of Hispania.”

That’s 711 AD, if you were wondering. Romans built baths long before that (Some as early as 264 BC) and generally brought their culture and technology where they conquered. The Cantabaran Wars ended in 19 BC. They also brought their Thermae (Roman Baths) to Briton when they conquered the southern lands in 50BC. The reason why you think the white Europeans as beasts is probably the portrayal of the Visigoths (who looked nothing like ‘Cavemen’. They had metalworking and art.), (Indo?)Germanic tribes of the southern Three Gauls, occupied the land before the Moorish invasion through political marriages and the Romans succeeding the territory to them.

So no, the Moors didn’t “taught them how to wash their flea ass”. They had access to the technology and were in contact with a culture that utilized it centuries before the Moors were “trying to help these creatures from hell.”

Ugh, and stop attributing pagan culture to ‘hell’, ‘demons’ and ‘devils’. Their gods had names and they had their own fairytales too.

HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah let me guess Jesus is fake but Anunnaki is REAL! GTFOH. Oh yeah did you know the actual characteristics of Caucasians isn’t based on skin color? Oh shit that’s right it included light, medium, and dark skinned people…….Oh shit here comes the knowledge it had to do with physical characteristics I would use bigger words but that is taking away from your chance to go and research it….Yeah some of those claiming to look down on Us Caucasians just might actually be descendants of these swine…….HAHAHA

Well, White/Caucasian was a term used for status…no one was tripping on skin color until around the 1900.

And no, the so called “Swine” would be the Descendant’s of Africans not the other way around….((snickering))!!

Translation…Black Africans raped and murdered Neanderthals out of existence, and are just now lamenting their own progeny.

Zondervan’s Compact Bible Dictionary: Ham – The youngest son of Noah, born probably about 96 years before the Flood and one of eight persons to live through the Flood. He became the progenitor of the dark races not the NEGROES, but the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Libyans and Canaanites.

The so called Black people in America, you Caucasians love to call Africans Americans, aren’t Africans at all.

I agree with ALMOST everything everyone has said with the exception of “Those who believe white people owe something to colored people are suffering from the sins of envy and greed. No one owes you anything. If you want your life to be better, then try getting a job and working to make it better rather than blaming others for your shortcomings.” But at the end of the day the author is correct. This new generation cannot deflect and project old behaviors from generations before us. That would mean negate the concepts of Change, mental evolution and personal truths. I’m a melting pot of several ethnic backgrounds although I appear “african american”, but at the end of the day, none of it matters when you have Trump and Clinton running a cornball race, poor people of every class and race in America and a clear and obvious need for Love as individuals and collective communities across the World. LOVE. LOVE YOUR SELF, AND LOVE WHAT GOD HAS DONE ON THIS BEAUTIFUL EARTH FROM THE SMALLEST TO THE GREATEST DESPITE MANS DESTRUCTION AND LACK OF APPRECIATION OF IT. IGNORANCE, ANIMALISTIC AND PRIMAL BEHVIORS

oh, and its nice to know that someone besides (us) is learning our history…..

I disagree with the part about reparations towards the end. Millions of African American SLAVES WORKED WITHOUT PAY. African Americans SHOULD get reparations- this has nothing to do with greed. It’s a matter of principle. Native Americans, Arabs and Jews get reparations. Reparations are FREE MONEY and I don’t see any difference between getting them and GRANTS. Grants are free and you don’t have to pay those back.

What makes anyone entitled to get something for nothing? Slaves didn’t receive a salary, but they received housing, food, and medical care for which their masters paid. Just because they didn’t have the freedom to leave employment doesn’t make them entitled to anything, and it certainly doesn’t make their descendants who now can enjoy all the freedoms of this great country entitled to living for free. But Democrats are giving them housing and food and luxury goods for them to be their voter slaves.

As for grants, they are not free nor are they entitlements. They are earned. Students receive grants for academic achievement from hard work.

Your racist rant is basely…it’s ok for hundreds of Europeans and Jews to get grants and land subsidizes from the US government to set up their families estate’s but Africans who built this country..their descendants get nothing…you better be lucky all the US government has to dish out is a couple of welfare dollars to these descendants of slaves and not the billions of dollars they owe Africa for war crimes against humanity and their American born babies.

The descendants of Africans in America who are getting nothing are those who believe that Democrats will give them wealth for sitting on their behinds and just getting out to vote every four years. Blacks in America today have every opportunity for education and rising in the business world. Just because most choose to join gangs, do drugs, gang bang hos, and wage war on whitey is not the fault of America. To say they get nothing is an outright lie when there are men like Dr. Ben Carson, Gen. Colin Powell, and CEO Herman Cain who have risen to the top of professions in America.

Confessions of a White Supremacist
Joanna CruickshankABC Religion and Ethics29 Jun 2017

One of the many limitations of modern white culture is our lack of frameworks within which to take responsibility for our own complicity in structural injustice.CREDIT: STOCKBYTE / GETTY IMAGES
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By: Joanna Cruickshank is Senior Lecturer in History at Deakin University, where she works on the history of race and religion in Australia and the British Empire.
With all the public figures currently rushing to exonerate themselves from racism, it seems appropriate to nail my colours to the mast. Here it is: I am a white supremacist.
It might be hard for my fellow white people to tell. After all, I don’t wear a white hood or sport a swastika tattoo. I’m the very model of a modern white liberal, involved in a range of social justice projects.
My social media stream is full of outrage about Don Dale, Trump and racist Southern Baptists. I grew up in Asia. My child goes to a very multicultural school.
I have Aboriginal friends! I listen to podcasts hosted by people of colour! I’m a woman!
And yet – I am a white supremacist. I’m a white supremacist because I live in a world in which, for two centuries, a racial hierarchy that gave power to white people has been one of the primary frameworks for justifying oppression.
I live in a nation that developed its wealth and established its political structures on the principle that white sovereignty, white law and white culture were superior to those of Aboriginal people. The earliest laws of Australia asserted that the wellbeing of white families mattered more than that of Asian and Pacific Islander peoples.
The entangled, global nature of these injustices is often missed. In her recent project on the legacies of British slave-ownership, the eminent imperial historian Catherine Hall has followed the trail of the 20 million pounds paid by the British government as compensation when slavery was outlawed in the British Empire in 1833. This compensation was paid not to those black people who had been torn from home and family, enslaved and brutalized, but to their white owners. As Hall’s research shows, many of those compensated went on to invest these proceeds of evil in the Australian colonies, buying land that the Crown had taken from Aboriginal people. Thus, the abolition of slavery, seen with some justification as a moral victory, served to reinforce white power across the globe.
It is significant that the more formal ideological systems of white supremacy – “scientific” racism, social Darwinism and eugenics – were developed primarily in the wake of these crimes, rather than motivating them. European culture, like many cultures, had long-held notions of superiority. Yet it was not these notions that primarily drove the slave trade and imperialism instead, old ideas were increasingly developed, formalized and couched in the powerful languages of science and theology in order to create justifications for rapacious greed and oppression.
Countless laws, policies and white cultural norms – whether “progressive” or “conservative” – have perpetuated these assumptions since then. In Australia, immigration law and policy explicitly sought to exclude people on the basis of the color of their skin. Aboriginal people were actively marginalized from society and from political power. Innovative Australian social policies, like maternity allowances, excluded Aboriginal and Asian mothers. Unions fought against the employment of anyone who wasn’t white. For generations, Australian schools taught white children that their culture was superior to all others and that Aboriginal people were “primitive” and had no connection to the land.
The results of this are evident, not only in the broad structures of our society, but in the most minor details of my life. I sing a national anthem that proclaims Australians to be “young and free,” directly excluding the ancient nations of this land and their people – people who, for most of the century this anthem has been sung, have been anything but free. I work in institutions and walk on streets named after men who authored the White Australia policy. I watch television and movies where white people portray almost all of the heroes, while people of color play the feisty friend, the wise-cracking sidekick, the super-strong villain or the treacherous terrorist. If I watched sport more often, I would see players of different races, but almost all white managers and coaches.
All of this means that deeply embedded in my mind are assumptions about the relationship between skin color and the fundamental role and characteristics of a person. Political and intellectual power is associated with whiteness in my mind, and so that connection seems natural to me. In my workplace, if a panel or committee or reading list consisted solely of white people I would be slow to notice, though I would notice immediately, and protest, if a panel or committee or reading list in my workplace was dominated by men. If you were to talk about a “strategic person,” an “intellectual” or a “powerful person” – I would automatically imagine a white person.
People of color, are a different story. Because I am a nice middle class white woman, undoubtedly some part of me believes they are there for me to help. Or perhaps, they are there to show me how to understand suffering, how to have faith, how to dance, how to feel. Or perhaps, to assist me in tackling racism – to explain it to me, again and again, and to give me the solutions to combat it.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, but such thinking, which may seem harmless or even complimentary, continues to position people of color as existing primarily for and in relation to me. No doubt, people of color around me could point to many more examples of the way my words and actions reflect and perpetuate white supremacy. I am working to change this, but I would never suggest that I have somehow overcome it.
I do not say any of this either to indulge in self-flagellation or to suggest that such beliefs and behavior are somehow less abhorrent because they are so widespread. However, the irony is that twenty years of anti-racist education and policies seem to have stigmatized racism without substantially addressing its causes and cure. For white people, being accused of racism seems a far more devastating matter than the suffering experienced by those whom racism actually impacts. Thus, the first reaction of a public figure who has obviously displayed their embeddedness within white supremacist patterns of thought and behavior is defensiveness. “This is not who I am,” Red Symons assured his listeners after deploying a range of racist tropes. I disagree. This is who you are. And this is who I am.
Such defensiveness suggests to me that one of the many limitations of modern white culture is our lack of frameworks within which to take responsibility for our own complicity in structural injustice. Our identity and our social advantages are deeply rooted in notions of our own moral superiority. The term “white fragility” accurately describes our tendency to crumble when our harmful behavior is called out, so that our own feelings rather than the experience of the oppressed remains our focus.
The tools of pop psychology and self-help offer little assistance in confronting collective and systemic evil. We will need to look elsewhere for resources and wisdom on how to move forward. We can consider the work of the Japanese philosopher Tanabe Hajime who developed a rigorous approach to national metanoesis or repentance in the wake of the Japanese embrace of militarism in the Second World War. We can look to mechanisms of “transitional justice” such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions developed in the wake of apartheid, which seek to move entire societies forward where deep injustices have occurred. Aboriginal people have shared with us the Yolgnu model of makarrata, or agreement after deep struggle, which finds parallels in European traditions of treaty.
Judaeo-Christian scriptures and history also contain models of corporate repentance and restitution. These have occasionally been drawn upon in Australian history. In 1838, when the Governor of New South Wales called a national day of fasting and humiliation, in response to widespread drought, preachers across the colony exhorted colonists to turn from their sins. For John Dunmore Lang, a prominent and infamously combative Presbyterian preacher, the first sin of the colony was the treatment of Aboriginal people:
“Not only have we despoiled them of their land and given them in exchange European vice and European disease in every foul and fatal form, but the blood of hundreds, nay thousands of their number … still stains the hands of many of the inhabitants of the land.”
Yet Lang’s powerful call for colonists to repent of their participation in and complicity with such sins was blunted by his view that colonization could somehow occur without recourse to such evils.
In drawing on models like these, therefore, within our own history and that of others, we need to be clear that the patterns of white supremacy will assert themselves – in us individually and in our culture. The temptation is always to priorities white feelings – our own concern to feel good about ourselves – over the actual rights and wellbeing of people of color. Only structural change that overturns the historic assumptions and patterns of white supremacy can truly subvert that.
Yet for white people, unless we do the ongoing work of educating ourselves, critiquing our assumptions, recognizing our complicity and, in religious language, repenting of our white supremacy, we will continue perpetuating that which we are so desperate to deny.
Joanna Cruickshank is Senior Lecturer in History at Deakin University, where she works on the history of race and religion in Australia and the British Empire.

This article has no strong foundation and is a poor attempt to pardon the crimes against humanity done to Africans by way of colonialism, enslavement, and genocide. The writer needs extreme teaching of humanity.

This is a myopic response that focuses only on a small segment of history while ignoring the rest. It also ignores the vast benefits Africans have enjoyed under colonialism that brought them peace, farming, medicine, and government. Yes, there were some who abused the stone age natives, but for the most part Africans have gained a thousand fold more than they lost.

Your grammar should be a war crime.

No strong Foundation? Try history. You know, that boring topic we’re forced to read so we don’t make the same mistakes of our forefathers. Most people have access to many accounts of history today and we are even coming up with some new archeological finds that makes the ‘First Nations” title be another falsity. We weren’t from India nor were we the first peoples of North America, even according to the accounts of the Western Coast tribes just to let you know.

This article isn’t trying to pardon the horrors inflicted upon any people, but rather point out the facts related to the arguments provided by many who tow this line of oppression. Sure, newer generations still feel the effects of past generation’s trauma, especially if you look at it from a physiological standpoint, but it also has impact in a socio-economic sense. Most humans self-medicate and make poor decisions when traumatized. These actions CAN become habits learned by their offspring, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Currently, ALL people within North America (Thanks free market) have the opportunity to rise from the very bottom to the top, if they choose to work as hard as they have to. Some people have to work harder than others because of the choices of their parents, but if we all could choose what life we are born into, the rich would be driven poor by all the miracle births they would be having. Not to mention that trust-fund babies have gone broke due to poor decisions and fiscal planning.

If the current descendants of the eastern and western African slaves want to point fingers, they can point it at the ANCESTORS of the current generation of White/Spanish European descendants, but also the African/Arab slave traders who initially took the slaves and sold them to the Europeans.

People also seem to forget that 300-400 thousand men of the Union lost their lives freeing said slaves against the Confederacy. Also on that topic, not all Confederates were slave owners and some were even apathetic (because it was a cultural norm) or against slavery. General R. E. Lee even tried to establish a contract for the eventual release of the slaves tied to the estate left to him. Some people just didn’t like the political leanings of the Union and you know how the saying goes ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Most descendants of the white Europeans didn’t come from the nobility, aristocracy and religious leaders who all made the initial decision to bring slaves with them to the New World.

Sure, ‘My people’ may have a bit of a bone to pick with the White European settlers, but I don’t. My wife, a White-European/Slavic descendant has done nothing of the sort to me personally. In fact, I’m certain her ancestors came here after all that mess. Should I cast aside a perfectly well-intentioned and compassionate human being because of what MAY have been her ancestors killed (both on purpose and inadvertently) plenty of mine (Although, other tribes killed a lot of my ancestors too) and made crap deals they couldn’t understand? BECAUSE OF SKIN COLOUR? That’s what’s happening right now on the extremes of both sides of this debate. We have legal segregation again on some campuses!

Also, the reason why a Treaty even exists in the first place is because there were Native American tribes who allied with the various colonies of Europe. You had some natives fighting alongside the French, British, The Revolutionaries and the Spanish. Hell, some tribes even engaged in a little slavery themselves (Thankfully not mine). Everybody seemed to crap on everybody.

Sorry, even my ancestors would know (and mine did, evidenced by their want to ‘share the land’) that’s bullshit and THAT (racism, yes, one can be racist towards Caucasians) has no strong foundation. As the next generations just out of the bullshit of the Mid 1900’s, we have an opportunity to show the rest of the meatbags on this planet how to love each other for our differences and take pride in our respective cultures, despite history telling us otherwise.

If you made it this far, thank you for your time. I am not Right-wing, or am I left. I’m just a carbon-based life-form stuck on this rock with a bunch of lunatics.

Please address the horrendous genocides committed by Africans. No you won’t because you are uninformed and will blame white people

WOWZA. holy crap.. you are so so ignorant.. I am white as snow,, Italian…and you have serious indoctrination I am going to assume you are so right wing southern faux Christian… I am going to address your bullshit about going to get a job dumbass… First you think only blacks are on welfare. I can show you the whole area (unfortunately live in presently) that most all are white and on drugs and babies having babies.. yeah my dumbass white neighbor brood a kid and had a baby while doing heroin ,loser if there ever was one.. and had not you done your US HISTORY you would understand how much RELIGION has done more harm than good.. Your good book inspired a book on how slavery is justified and there were plenty of BLACK Slaves and don’t start your bullshit about they sold their own people. it was the Islamic moors who sold the Africans so do your homework.. and WELFARE , lets talk about that… because many whites use that system since they too don’t work.. yeah look at the stats… is on the scale of things very little spending goes to it overall.. DUH the military industrial complex (which hey conservatives love a good war against the wrong group of religious people) use trillions a dollars a day to kill innocent people. But let me tell you something you boob…when the dollar collapses under Trump (not that its his fault its years/decades of boobs like you who voted for a corrupt system) and WW3 happens you will be begging for bread crumbs… So good luck with that. Judging by your inane post you appear to be of a lower income status (educated , upper middle class people) would never spew out such stupidity….

Thank you for your response. I always appreciate the opportunity to correct the misconceptions of fools who believe calling me names because they make false assumptions and display their own ignorance makes them somehow moral and socially superior beings.

I never said only blacks are on welfare, but are represented disproportionately to their population as they are in crime.
The Bible does not condone or justify slavery, and the Moors were blacks who took whites as slaves, not sold other Africans as slaves, which you would know if you had bothered to read the article or any history.
The remainder of your rant about Trump and WWIII is as silly as such claims were about Reagan, while ignoring the very real actions of Obama to light the fuse in the Middle East and launch the renewed Jihad as he weakened America thus setting the stage for the next world war.

However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way. (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)

If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)

When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11 NLT)

When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT

Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)


You copy and paste all of this about ancient slaves and ask me if I read the Bible? Did you bother to read this little article? If you had then you might realize of what I speak. And if you had read anything else I wrote on the subject then you might understand that America is the exception in all of history to abolish slavery at the cost of American’s own blood. It is very true that slavery is still being practiced today in the Middle East by Moslems, in Africa by African warlords, in Asia by oriental socialists, in Europe by the globalist elites, in South America by drug lords, and in America by Democrats. Nothing like importing cheap labor as illegal alien welfare voter slaves to replace working citizens to drive wages down and dilute their rights.

The Trump administration could hit the president’s white working-class base where it hurts—threatening to make welfare cuts.

The majority of people who receive welfare checks are white working-class Americans, many of whom voted for Trump based on the pledge they would be better off financially under him.

But the president said last month he would be looking “very strongly” at welfare reform after suggesting that some people were unfairly abusing the system.

“That’s becoming a very big subject and people are taking advantage of the system and other people aren’t receiving what they need to live, and we think it’s very unfair to them,” Trump said in October.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on Monday that details of the administration’s plans to overhaul welfare would be released at the beginning of next year, stressing that Trump was particularly interested in the topic.

“This is something that the president has a great deal of interest in and I think you can count on probably the first part of next year seeing more specifics and details come out on that,” she said on Monday, Reuters reported.

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Earlier this year, Washington D.C.-based think tank Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a study on welfare that shows tax credits and government assistance benefitted 6.2 million white Americans without a degree in 2014, compared with 2.8 million black Americans and 2.4 million Hispanic Americans without a degree.

The president has not gone into further details on who he thinks is exploiting welfare exactly, but any cuts to welfare benefits will hit the more than 6 million working-class white people the think tank says relies on such checks.

Exit polls show that working-class people voted for Trump in droves, and it is unlikely the president will continue to find himself popular among any demographic whose budget he slashes.

BY RYAN SIT ON 1/12/18 AT 3:53 PM

President Donald Trump was apparently unaware that not all—in fact, the vast majority—of welfare beneficiaries are not black as recently as last March, according to a new report.
In the spring of 2017, the newly elected president met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus. During that meeting, one of the members mentioned to Trump that welfare reform would be detrimental to her constituents— adding, “Not all of whom are black,” according to NBC News.
The president was incredulous. “Really? Then what are they?”
Statistically speaking, they were probably white.
In fact, whites are the biggest beneficiaries when it comes to government safety-net programs like the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, commonly referred to as welfare.
White people without a college degree ages 18 to 64 are the largest class of adults lifted out of poverty by such programs, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The think tank’s 2017 report stated that 6.2 million working-age whites were lifted above the poverty line in 2014 compared to 2.8 million blacks and 2.4 million Hispanics.
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When it comes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP—the initiative formerly known as food stamps—the numbers look similar.
Related: Trump says Haiti is not a “shithole,” just “very poor and troubled”
Just over 40 percent of SNAP recipients are white. Another 25.7 percent are black, 10.3 percent are Hispanic, 2.1 percent are Asian and 1.2 percent are Native American, according to a 2015 Department of Agriculture report.
Despite Trump’s newly gleaned information, welfare reform remains one of his top goals for 2018. His administration and Congressional Republicans are looking to overhaul federal safety-net programs like SNAP, Medicaid and housing benefits.
News of Trump’s welfare comment arrived as he’s dealing with the backlash of reportedly calling African countries a “shithole” during a bipartisan meeting on immigration Thursday. Trump has denied using such language.

Definitely black. First, a white guy wouldn’t refer to his neighbor as, “my dumbass white neighbor”. Second, “You big dummy!”. Third, you say, “But let me tell you something you boob…when the dollar collapses under Trump (not that its his fault its years/decades of boobs like you who voted for a corrupt system) and WW3 happens you will be begging for bread crumbs… So good luck with that. Judging by your inane post you appear to be of a lower income status (educated, upper middle class people) would never spew out such stupidity….”. Are you seriously calling people stupid after this foolery that you call an argument.

Dave, you seem so sure that “Definitely black. First, a white guy wouldn’t refer to his neighbor as, “my dumbass white neighbor”.”Second, “You big dummy!”. Third, you say, “But let me tell you something you boob…”

Well, there are Caucasians with low IQ. There are always exceptions to the rule (your statement not even being a rule).

“Judging by your inane post you appear to be of a lower income status (educated, upper middle class people) would never spew out such stupidity….”.

I grew up in a low income family, I just enjoyed reading. Again, you seems so sure of your perspective of the human experience, but I doubt what you say is absolute truth.

Also, ‘…’ is not a substitute for a comma! I only know because I too used it until I realized it was useless unless writing script for a comic.

Now I am not defending this lunatic OP, but damn, you are not helping in the argument.

oh no african muslims enslaved whites! TIME TO PLAY THE VICTIM ROLE LIKE BLACKS TO GAIN SYMPATHY! nobody can play the victim role of slavery, since slavery happened AMONG EVERY RACE! something you failed to mention. yeah, yeah, slavery was bad. we get it. but why no mention europeans enslaving each other long before african muslims enslaved whites? greeks, romans, fanks, visogoths, scandanavians, baltics, germanics, all had enslaved whites long before afican muslims did.

Obviously you didn’t bother to read the article.


And you ignorance is becoming more profound. WordPress publishes on Greenwich Mean Time.

I always appreciate the opportunity to correct the misconceptions of fools who believe calling me names

but yet you are calling other people names like calling them “fools” yeah. tell me how that isnt hypocrisy.

Calling people ‘a big dooty head’ is name calling when you have no intelligent adult response. Giving a person their earned label for speaking stupidly or acting the fool is not. Your narrow perception is that of a fool.

All the racist black people who came to rant and rave.. lmfao. Proud of being pathetic..

Berlin Conference (1884-85)
In the second half of the nineteenth century, after more than four centuries of contact, the European powers finally laid claim to virtually all of Africa. Parts of the continent had been “explored,” but now representatives of European governments and rulers arrived to create or expand African spheres of influence for their patrons. Competition was intense. Spheres of influence began to crowd each other. It was time for negotiation, and in late 1884 a conference was convened in Berlin to sort things out. This conference laid the groundwork for the now familiar politico-geographical map of Africa.
In November 1884, the imperial chancellor and architect of the German Empire, Otto von Bismarck, convened a conference of 14 states (including the United States) to settle the political partitioning of Africa. Bismarck wanted not only to expand German spheres of influence in Africa but also to play off Germany’s colonial rivals against one another to the Germans’ advantage. Of these fourteen nations, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Portugal were the major players in the conference, controlling most of colonial Africa at the time.
The Berlin Conference was Africa’s undoing in more ways than one. The colonial powers superimposed their domains on the African Continent. By the time Africa regained its independence after the late 1950s, the realm had acquired a legacy of political fragmentation that could neither be eliminated nor made to operate satisfactorily. The African politico-geographical map is thus a permanent liability that resulted from the three months of ignorant, greedy acquisitiveness during a period when Europe’s search for minerals and markets had become insatiable.
The French dominated most of West Africa, and the British East and Southern Africa. The Belgians acquired the vast territory that became The Congo. The Germans held four colonies, one in each of the realm’s regions. The Portuguese held a small colony in West Africa and two large ones in Southern Africa.
After colonial rule was firmly established in Africa, the only change in possessions came after World War I. Germany’s four colonies were placed under the League of Nations, which established a mandate system for other colonizers to administer the territories.
The Congo Free State, conceived as a “neutral” zone to be run by an international association in the interest of bringing science, civilization, and Christianity to the indigenes, received the Berlin Conference’s blessings. Belgium’s King Leopold II (far left) soon took control, reaping fabulous personal profits through the sale of land and development rights. Scandalously little was reinvested in schools like the one shown here.
The Congo Free State, conceived as a “neutral” zone to be run by an international association in the interest of bringing science, civilization, and Christianity to the indigenes, received the Berlin Conference’s blessings. Belgium’s King Leopold II (far left) soon took control, reaping fabulous personal profits through the sale of land and development rights. Scandalously little was reinvested in schools.

Result of Colonization:
The European colonial powers shared one objective in their African colonies: exploitation. But in the way they governed their dependencies, they reflected their differences. Some colonial powers were themselves democracies (the United Kingdom and France) others were dictatorships (Portugal, Spain). The British established a system of indirect rule over much of their domain, leaving indigenous power structure in place and making local rulers representatives of the British Crown. This was unthinkable in the Portuguese colonies, where harsh, direct control was the rule. The French sought to create culturally assimilated elites what would represent French ideals in the colonies.
In the Belgian Congo, however, King Leopold II, who had financed the expeditions that staked Belgium’s claim in Berlin, embarked on a campaign of ruthless exploitation. His enforcers mobilized almost the entire Congolese populations to gather rubber, kill elephants for their ivory, and build public works to improve export routes. For failing to meet production quotes, entire communities were massacred. Killing and maiming became routine in a colony in which horror was the only common denominator. After the impact of the slave trade, King Leopold’s reign of terror was Africa’s most severe demographic disaster. By the time it ended, after a growing outcry around the world, as many as 10 million Congolese had been murdered. In 1908 the Belgium government, administrators, and the Roman Catholic Church each pursued their sometimes-competing interest. But no one thought to change the name of the colonial capital: it was Leopoldville until the Belgian Congo achieved independence in 1960.

de Blij, H. J., & Muller, P. O. (2003). Geography: Realms, regions and concepts (11th ed., pp. 298-300). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

African History Europe History
The Berlin Conference of 1884–85 (The General Act of the Berlin Conference)
February 26, 2014 admin 0 Comment

The Berlin Conference of 1884–85, also known as the Congo Conference (German: Kongokonferenz) or West Africa Conference (Westafrika-Konferenz), regulated European colonisation and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period, and coincided with Germany’s sudden emergence as an imperial power. Called for by Portugal and organized by Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of Germany, its outcome, the General Act of the Berlin Conference, can be seen as the formalization of the Scramble for Africa. The conference ushered in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, while simultaneously eliminating most existing forms of African autonomy and self-governance.
Early history of the Berlin Conference
Prior to the conference, European diplomacy treated African indigenous people in the same manner as the New World natives. By the mid-19th century, Africa was considered disputed territory ripe for exploration, trade, and settlement. With the exception of trading posts along the coasts, the continent was essentially ignored. This changed as a result of King Leopold of Belgium’s desire for glory.
In 1878, King Léopold II of Belgium, who had previously founded the International African Society in 1876, invited Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and “civilizing” the continent. In 1878, the International Congo Society was also formed, with more economic goals, but still closely related to the former society. Léopold secretly bought off the foreign investors in the Congo Society, which was turned to imperialistic goals, with the African Society serving primarily as a philanthropic front.
From 1878 to 1885, Stanley returned to the Congo, this time not as a reporter, but as an envoy from Léopold with the secret mission to organize what would become known as the Congo Free State. French intelligence had discovered Leopold’s plans, and France was quickly engaging in its own colonial exploration. French naval officer Pierre de Brazza was dispatched to central Africa, traveled into the western Congo basin, and raised the French flag over the newly founded Brazzaville in 1881, in what is currently the Republic of Congo. Finally, Portugal, which already had a long, but essentially abandoned colonial Empire in the area through the mostly defunct proxy state Kongo Empire, also claimed the area due to old treaties with its old proxy, the Kingdom of Spain, and the Roman Catholic Church. It quickly made a treaty with its old ally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 26 February 1884 to block off the Congo Society’s access to the Atlantic.
By the early 1880s, due to diplomatic maneuvers, subsequent colonial exploration, and recognition of Africa’s abundance of valuable resources such as gold, timber, land, markets and labour power, European interest in Africa had increased dramatically. Stanley’s charting of the Congo River Basin (1874–77) removed the last bit of terra incognita from European maps of the continent, thereby delineating the rough areas of British, Portuguese, French, and Belgian control. The powers raced to push these rough boundaries to their furthest limits and eliminating any potential local minor powers which might prove troublesome to European competitive diplomacy.

France moved to occupy Tunisia, one of the last of the Barbary Pirate states under the pretext of another Islamic terror and piracy incident. French claims by Pierre de Brazza were quickly solidified with French taking control of today’s Republic of the Congo in 1881 and also Guinea in 1884. This, in turn, partly convinced Italy to become part of the Triple Alliance, thereby upsetting Bismarck’s carefully laid plans with Italy and forcing Germany to become involved. In 1882, realizing the geopolitical extent of Portuguese control on the coasts, but seeing penetration by France eastward across Central Africa toward Ethiopia, the Nile, and the Suez Canal, Britain saw its vital trade route through Egypt and its Indian Empire threatened.
Under the pretext of the collapsed Egyptian financing and a subsequent riot which saw hundreds of Europeans and British subjects murdered or injured, the United Kingdom intervened in nominally Ottoman Egypt, which, in turn, ruled over the Sudan and what would later become British Somaliland.
Owing to the upsetting of Bismarck’s carefully laid balance of power in European politics caused by Leopold’s gamble and subsequent European race for colonies, Germany felt compelled to act and started launching expeditions of its own which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe this brewing conflict, King Leopold II was able to convince France and Germany that common trade in Africa was in the best interests of all three countries. Under support from the British and the initiative of Portugal, Otto von Bismarck, German Chancellor, called on representatives of Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia,Spain, Sweden-Norway (union until 1905), the Ottoman Empire, and the United States to take part in the Berlin Conference to work out policy. However, the United States did not actually participate in the conference both because it had an inability to take part in territorial expeditions as well as a sense of not giving the conference further legitimacy.
General Act
The General Act fixed the following points:
 To gain public acceptance a primary point of the conference was the ending of slavery by Black and Islamic powers. Thus, an international prohibition of the slave trade throughout their respected spheres was signed by the European members. It was primarily because of this point that Joseph Conrad sarcastically referred to the conference as “the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs” in his novella Heart of Darkness.
 The Congo Free State was confirmed as private property of the Congo Society thereby ensuring that Leopold’s promises to keep the country open to all European investment was retained. Thus the territory of today’s Democratic Republic of the Congo, some two million square kilometers, was made essentially the property of Léopold II (but later would eventually become a Belgian colony).
 The 14 signatory powers would have free trade throughout the Congo Basin as well as Lake Niassa and east of this in an area south of 5° N.
 The Niger River and Congo River were made free for ship traffic.
 A Principle of Effectivity (see below) was introduced to stop powers setting up colonies in name only.
 Any fresh act of taking possession of any portion of the African coast would have to be notified by the power taking possession, or assuming a protectorate, to the other signatory powers.
 Which regions each European power had an exclusive right to “pursue” the legal ownership of land (legal in the eyes of the other European powers). :44
The first reference in an international act to the obligations attaching to “spheres of influence” is contained in the Berlin Act.
Principle of Effective Occupation
The principle of effective occupation stated that powers could acquire rights over colonial lands only if they actually possessed them: in other words, if they had treaties with local leaders, if they flew their flag there, and if they established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order. The colonial power could also make use of the colony economically. This principle became important not only as a basis for the European powers to acquire territorial sovereignty in Africa, but also for determining the limits of their respective overseas possessions, as effective occupation served in some instances as a criterion for settling disputes over the boundaries between colonies. However, as the Berlin Act was limited in its scope to the lands on the African coast, there were numerous instances where European powers claimed rights over lands in the interior without demonstrating the requirement of effective occupation articulated in Article 35 of the Final Act.
At the Berlin Conference of 1885, the scope of the Principle of Effective Occupation was heavily contested between Germany and France. The Germans, who were new to the continent of Africa, believed that as far as the extension of power in Africa was concerned, no colonial power should have any legal right to a territory, unless he exercised strong and effective political control. Since Germany was a late comer to the continent and was unlikely to gain any possessions, it had an interest in embarrassing the other European powers on the continent and forcing them to give up their possessions if they could not have a strong political presence. On the other side of the debate was Britain who had large territorial possessions on the continent and was interested in keeping these territories while minimizing it’s responsibilities and administrative costs. In the end, the British view prevailed. The disinclination to rule what the Europeans had conquered is visible throughout the protocols of the Berlin Conference, but especially in The Principle of Effective Occupation. All that a European power had to do was establish some kind of base on the coast and then it was free to expand inward. The Europeans did not believe that the rules of occupation demanded European Hegemony on the ground. In fact, the Belgians originally wanted to include that “effective occupation” required provisions that “cause peace to be administered”, however that amendment was struck out of the final document. This principle, along with others that were written at the Conference allowed the Europeans to conquer Africa while doing as little as possible to control it. The Principle of Effective Occupation did not apply so much to the hinterlands of Africa at the time of the conference. This gave rise to “hinterland theory” which basically gave any colonial power with coastal territory the right to claim political influence over an indefinite amount of inland territory. Since Africa was irregularly shaped, this theory caused problems and was later rejected.

 Portugal – Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the “Pink Map” (also called the “Rose-Colored Map”), in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (land that later became Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.) All of the countries attending the conference, except for the United Kingdom, endorsed Portugal’s ambitions. A little more than five years later, in 1890, the British government, in breach of the Treaty of Windsor (and of the Treaty of Berlin itself[citation needed]), issued an ultimatum demanding that the Portuguese withdraw from the disputed area.
 France – Britain: A line running from Say in Niger to Baroua, on the north-east coast of Lake Chad determined what part belonged to whom. France would own territory to the north of this line, and the United Kingdom would own territory to the south of it. The Nile Basin would be British, with the French taking the basin of Lake Chad. Furthermore, between the 11th and 15th degrees latitude, the border would pass between Ouaddaï, which would be French, andDarfur in Sudan, to be British. In reality, a no man’s land 200 kilometres wide was put in place between the 21st and 23rd meridians.
 France – Germany: The area to the north of a line formed by the intersection of the 14th meridian and Miltou was designated French, that to the south being German.
 Britain – Germany: The separation came in the form of a line passing through Yola, on the Benoué, Dikoa, going up to the extremity of Lake Chad.
 France – Italy: Italy was to own what lies north of a line from the intersection of the Tropic of Cancer and the 17th meridian to the intersection of the 15th parallel and 21st meridian.
The conference provided an opportunity to both channel latent European hostilities towards one another outward, provide new areas for helping the European powers expand in the face of rising American, Russian, and Japanese interests, and form constructive dialogue for limiting future hostilities. For Africans, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence was regained after World War II, it was in the form of fragmented states.
The Scramble for Africa sped up after the Conference, since even within areas designated as their sphere of influence, the European powers still had to take possession under the Principle of Effectivity. In central Africa in particular, expeditions were dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties, using force if necessary, as for example in the case of Msiri, King of Katanga, in 1891. Bedouin and Berber ruled states in the Sahara and Sub-Sahara were overrun by the French in several wars by the beginning of World War I. The British moved up from South Africa and down from Egypt conquering Arabic states such as the Mahdist State and theSultanate of Zanzibar and, (having already defeated the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa, in 1879), moving on to subdue and dismantle the independent Afrikaanerrepublics of Transvaal and Orange Free State.
Within a few years, Africa was at least nominally divided up south of the Sahara. By 1895, the only independent states were:
 Liberia, founded with the support of the United States for returned slaves
 Abyssinia (Ethiopia), the only free native state, which fended off Italian invasion from Eritrea in what is known as the First Italo-Abyssinian War of 1889-1896.
 Majeerteen Sultanate, The Sultanate was founded in the early 18th century, it was annexed by Italy in the 20th century.
 Sultanate of Hobyo, the Sultanate was carved out of the former Majeerteen Sultanate and ruled northern Somalia until the 20th century, when it was conquered by Italy.
The following states lost their independence to the British Empire roughly a decade after (see below for more information):
 Orange Free State, a Boer republic founded by Dutch settlers
 South African Republic (Transvaal), also a Boer republic
By 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control. The large part of the Sahara was French, while after the quelling of the Mahdi rebellionand the ending of the Fashoda crisis, the Sudan remained firmly under joint British–Egyptian rulership with Egypt being under British occupation before becoming aBritish protectorate in 1914.
The Boer republics were conquered by the United Kingdom in the Boer war from 1899 to 1902. Morocco was divided between the French and Spanish in 1911, and Libya was conquered by Italy in 1912. The official British annexation of Egypt in 1914 ended the colonial division of Africa. Germany was defeated.

More Comments:

Lambert Lamont Vandergrift - 5/3/2010

All that history was nice but that was the beginning of a holicost that still exisist's to this day you people always try to justify & reason why your past lazy acestors to death so what africans played a part is that suppose to justifie 600years of slavery 1400's to 1900's what about the race roits of 1921in tulsa or the first coup in wilmington N.C. and all 31 one sided race routs in this country and the government drug influence in our nieghborhoods hoover, oliver north freed from slavery into poverty the same thing is happening today look at all the hate of a black pres every one's joining the klan yes turn the criminal into the victim you cowards african americans have the biggest case of crimes agianst humanities on th U.S. but as long as black entertainment,and lack of our history in this country from 1400 to 1900 is revealed we will stay blind

Rod Jones - 8/20/2008

As an educator, I tried to fine The African Trade video with no success. (I called the History Channel and e-mailed the BBC to request access to the video). I find it compelling that it was shown only once and that no organization, either here or in Britain wanted to acknowledge it or present it again. The agenda driven presentation of the slavery issue should be an embarrassment to any scholar or educational institution with integrity and, yet, so few seem to want to deal with it honestly. I am delighted to find your analysis which fills in the holes left by a hopelessly politically correct portrayal by our schools and the media. Please inform me how I can get a video or dvd of The African Trade.

Wojtek (Voytec) Z. Wacowski - 8/16/2007

I am the webmaster of Amistad America website referenced in your article. I wold like to contact Mr. Stern directly via email. Please contact with me:
[email protected]

Tim Matthewson - 8/16/2007

Following the abolition of the international slave trade, African state persisted in their desire to sell slaves to the slave trade. Trying to understand this phase is a key to understanding the earlier phase because it shows that West African states were trying to rid themselves of an unwanted part of the populations -- people who had been defeated in war, people who had fallen into debt bondage, criminals and the dregs of society, who could find no place in African societies. Europeans shipped such classes of persons off to Australia, New Zealand, Georgia and other distant spots far away from the homeland of England where they might produce (as indentured servants) products salable on the home market, rather than building prisons for them and housing them in penal institutions. From this perspective, the African slave trade seem a logical response to the troublesome question, face by most societies at some time, of what to do with troublesome and unproductive classes of masterless persons.

Sheldon M. Stern - 8/14/2007

The full article, cited in the footnotes, addresses all these issues (esp. the trans-Saharan slave trade).

Sudha Shenoy - 8/14/2007

1. The article, written by an American for fellow-Americans, naturally assumes that the Atlantic slave trade is the beginning & the end of it all. Therefore the trans-Saharan slave trade is, quite properly, not mentioned at all. The latter, however,began in Roman times, & contd long after the Atlantic slave trade ended. The Saharan trade was extended & amplified into the Atlantic trade, & then returned to its long-term level, after 1810 or so. The Anti-Slavery Society in London has much material on this.

2. As for the silly passage in the textbook: there _are_ no such things as 'Africans' there _are_ only 'Songhai', 'Krio', & all the various other groups found throughout the African continent. To end wars, an ideology which promoted peace was needed. This emerged to some extent in the late 19th century.

Similarly, with the refs to wars amongst the Spanish, Italians, French, English, etc. Lumping everyone together -- regardless of language, culture, etc. -- as 'Europeans', is how _Americans_ struggle to make sense of these non-Americans. Wars ended when an ideology of peace took over, after 1945.

Jason Blake Keuter - 8/13/2007

the above site is an article on mauritania's recent law criminalizing slaveholding. I can hear the comments now about there being a big difference between the more personalized slavery that was the historic norm and the uniquely barbaric, capitalist plantation slavery, but such criticism is ahistorical - even as regards American slavery, which is thought of almost exclusively in its antebellum phase. This phase (arguably the most socially disruptive phase, characterized by territorial expansion)is actually atypical of American slavery. The slave trade itself shares much in common with this phase, in terms of its impact on slaves (breaking up of families mainly) and the post- cotton gin phase of American SLavery in many ways is like a revival of the slave trade, only limited to within the continental U.S. Many of the distinctions made between the "upper South" which sold slaves and the "lower south" which bought slaves might better be thought of as old south and frontier south. slaves were being bought for new cotton plantations and sold from upper south societies that had recently given serious contemplation to manumission.

I appreciate this article and recommend Peter Kolchin's American Slavery for a more nuanced and detailed look at the institution of slavery in AMerica.

French-speaking African countries and their capital

Algeria Algiers
Benin Porto-Novo
Burkina Faso Ouagadougou
Burundi Bujumbura
Cameroon Yaoundé
Central African Republic Bangui
Chad N’Djamena
Comoros Moroni
Congo Brazzaville Brazzaville
Congo Kinshasa Kinshasa
Côte d’Ivoire Yamoussoukro
Djibouti Djibouti
Equatorial Guinea Malabo
Gabon Libreville
Guinea (Conakry) Conakry
Madagascar Antananarivo
Mali Bamako
Mauritania Nouakchott
Mauritius Port Louis
Morocco Rabat
Niger Niamey
Rwanda Kigali
Senegal Dakar
Seychelles Victoria
Togo Lomé
Tunisia Tunis


The change from hunting and gathering to agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution was a watershed in world history. The societies that first made the change to agriculture are believed to have lived in the Middle East around 10,000 BCE. Agriculture was introduced into Europe by migrating farmers from the Middle East. [13] According to the demic diffusion model, these Middle Eastern farmers either replaced or interbred with the local hunter-gather populations that had been living in Europe since the Out of Africa migration. [14]

It has been suggested that the first Middle Eastern farmers reflected North African influences. [15] There have been suggestions that some genetic lineages found in the Middle East arrived there during this period. [16] The first agricultural societies in the Middle East are generally thought to have emerged after, and perhaps from, the Natufian culture between 12,000 and 10,000 BCE. The latter group was widely semi-sedentary even before the introduction of agriculture. An important migration from North Africa across the Sinai also appears to have occurred before the formation of the Natufian. [ citation needed ] .

In historical times, there has been a period of north African influence in southern Europe, especially western-southern Iberia and parts of southern Italy (namely Sicily), during various Muslim conquests. The genetic effect of this period on modern European populations is the subject of discussion (see below). In more recent history, the peoples of Europe and Africa came into contact during the exploration and colonization of Africa and as a consequence of the Atlantic slave trade. [2]

Defining African admixture

Generally, markers and lineages used to characterize African admixture are those that are believed to be specific to Africa. There are also DNA polymorphisms that are shared between populations native to Europe, West Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa, such as the y-chromosomal haplogroup E1b1b and the mitochondrial haplogroup M1. [2]

With regard to the paternal haplogroup E1b1b and maternal haplogroup M1, derivatives of these clades have been observed in prehistoric human fossils excavated at the Ifri n'Amr or Moussa site in Morocco, which have been radiocarbon-dated to the Early Neolithic period (ca. 5,000 BC). Ancient DNA analysis of these specimens indicates that they carried paternal haplotypes related to the E1b1b1b1a (E-M81) subclade and the maternal haplogroups U6a and M1, all of which are frequent among present-day communities in the Maghreb. These ancient individuals also bore an autochthonous Maghrebi genomic component that peaks among modern Berbers, indicating that they were ancestral to populations in the area. Additionally, fossils excavated at the Kelif el Boroud site near Rabat were found to carry the broadly-distributed paternal haplogroup T-M184 as well as the maternal haplogroups K1, T2 and X2, the latter of which were common mtDNA lineages in Neolithic Europe and Anatolia. These ancient individuals likewise bore the Berber-associated Maghrebi genomic component. This altogether indicates that the Late Neolithic Kelif el Boroud inhabitants were ancestral to contemporary populations in the area, but also likely experienced gene flow from Europe. [17]

Other lineages that are now found in Africa and Europe may have a common origin in Asia (e.g. Y haplogroups R1, and some paternal haplogroup T and U subclades). One subclade of haplogroup U, namely U6a1, is known to have expanded from northern and eastern Africa back into Europe [18] [19] even though haplogroup U6 is considered to have originated in the Middle East. Other lineages are known to have moved from Europe directly into Africa, for example mitochondrial haplogroups H1 and H3. [20] Such bidirectional migrations between Africa and Eurasia complicate the task of defining admixture.

One proposed example of Holocene gene flow from North Africa to Europe, via the Middle East, is thought to be E1b1b, which is thought to have emerged about 40,000 years ago in north-east Africa, and branches of it are thought to have migrated to the Middle East by 14,000 years ago during the late Pleistocene period. [21] [16] [22]

Entering the late mesolithic Natufian culture, the E1b1b1a2 (E-V13) subclade has been associated with the spread of farming from the Middle East into Europe either during or just before the Neolithic transition. E1b1b1 lineages are found throughout Europe but are distributed along a south-to-north cline, with an E1b1b1a mode in the Balkans. [1] [23] [24] [a] [b]

In separate migrations, E lineages in the form of the E1b1b1b subclade appear to have entered Europe from Northwest Africa into Iberia. In a sample of European males, Cruciani et al. observed haplogroup E at a frequency of 7.2%. The timing of this movement has been given widely varying estimates. [25]

In much of Europe, frequencies of E lineages are very low, usually less than 1%. For example, Cruciani et al. (2004) report such lineages at 2% in southern Portugal, 4% in northern Portugal, 2.9% in Istanbul, and 4.3% among Turkish Cypriots. E1b1a is closely related to E1b1b, the most frequent clade in Europe. E lineages that are not E1b1a or E1b1b could therefore reflect either a recent expansion associated with E1b1a or ancient population movements associated with E1b1b. For example, haplogroup E1a lineages have been detected in Portugal (5/553 = 1%), [26] among Italians in Calabria (1/80=1.3%), and among Albanians in Calabria (2/68=2.9%). [23] According to a study by Gonçalves et al. (2005), the distribution of haplogroup E1a lineages in Portugal was independent of the distribution of the younger and more ubiquitous E1b1a. The authors suggest that this distribution is consistent with a prehistoric migration from Africa to Iberia, possibly alongside mtDNA haplogroup U6.

Haplogroups A and B are thought to have been the predominant haplogroups in central and southern Africa prior to the Bantu Expansion. Currently these haplogroups are less common than E lineages. In a sample of 5,000 African men, haplogroup A had a frequency of 5%. Haplogroup A has rare occurrences in Europe, but recently the haplogroup was detected in seven indigenous British males with the same Yorkshire surname. [27]

The subclade E3b1 (probably originating in northeastern Africa) has a wide distribution in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. This haplogroup, in Italy, is represented by E-M78, E-M123 and E-M81 (Figure 3) [28] and reaches a frequency of 8% in northern and central Italy and slightly higher, 11%, in the south of that country. [28]
It has also been argued that the European distribution of E3b1 is compatible with the Neolithic demic diffusion of agriculture thus, two subclades—E3b1a-M78 and E3b1c-M123—present a higher occurrence in Anatolia, the Balkans, and the Italian peninsula. Another subclade, E3b1b-M81 is associated with Berber populations and is commonly found in regions that have had historical gene flow with northern Africa, such as the Iberian Peninsula, the Canary Islands, and Sicily. [28]

North African Y-DNA E-M81 was found at a total of 41.1% among "pasiegos" from Cantabria, Spain. That is the highest frequency observed in Europe to date. [1] In Sardinians, Sub-Saharan Y-DNA lineages A1b1b2b and E1a1 were found at a total of 1.0% (A1b1b2b 0.5% / E1a1 0.5%). [29]

In Majorcans, Sub-Saharan Y-DNA lineage E-V38 was found at a total of 3.2% (2/62). [30]

Sub-Saharan Y-DNA lineages E3a, E1, BC*, (xE3), and E3* are found between 1 and 5% in Portugal, Valencia, Majorca, Cantabria, Málaga, Seville, and Galicia (Spain). [31] [32]

Haplogroup L lineages are relatively infrequent (1% or less) throughout Europe with the exception of Iberia (Spain and Portugal), where frequencies as high as 22% have been reported, and some regions of Southern Italy, where frequencies as high as 2% and 3% have been found. According to a study in 2012 by Cerezo et al., about 65% of the European L lineages most likely arrived in rather recent historical times (Romanization period, Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily, Atlantic slave trade) and about 35% of L mtDNAs form European-specific subclades, revealing that there was gene flow from Sub-Saharan Africa toward Europe as early as 11,000 years ago. [33]

Map (in the link) showing the distribution of Sub-Saharan mtDNA (shown in red) in Europe
Map is From Cerezo et al. 2012 [33]
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela
Iberia (Spain & Portugal) having the highest amount and strongest concentration of Sub-Saharan mtDNA in Europe.

In Iberia the mean frequency of haplogroup L lineages reaches 3.83% the frequency is higher in Portugal (5.83%) than in Spain (2.9% average), and without parallel in the rest of Europe. In both countries, frequencies vary widely between regions, but with increased frequencies observed for Madeira (insular Portugal), southern Portugal, Córdoba (southern Spain), Huelva (southern Spain), Canary Islands (insular Spain), Extremadura (western Spain) and Leon (western Spain). [3] In the Autonomous regions of Portugal (i.e. Madeira and the Azores), L haplogroups constituted about 13% of the lineages in Madeira, significantly more than in the Azores. [34] In the Canary Islands, frequencies have been reported at 6.6%. [34] Regarding Iberia, current debates are concerned with whether these lineages are associated with prehistoric migrations, the Islamic occupation of Iberia, or the slave trade. Pereira, Prata & Amorim (2000) suggested that African lineages in Iberia were predominantly the result of the Atlantic slave trade. González et al. (2003) revealed that most of the L lineages in Iberia matched Northwest African L lineages rather than contemporary Sub-Saharan L lineages. The authors suggest that this pattern indicates that most of the Sub-Saharan L lineages entered Iberia in prehistoric times rather than during the slave trade. According to Pereira et al. (2005), the Sub-Saharan lineages found in Iberia matched lineages from diverse regions in Africa. They suggest this pattern is more compatible with a recent arrival of these lineages after slave trading began in the 15th century. According to the study, alternative scenarios that invoke much older and demographically more significant introductions (González et al. (2003)) or that claim a substantial role of the Roman and/or Islamic periods on the introduction of Sub-Saharan lineages seem unlikely. Casas et al. (2006) extracted DNA from human remains that were exhumed from old burial sites in Al-Andalus, Spain. The remains date to between the 12th and 13th centuries. The frequency of Sub-Saharan lineages detected in the medieval samples was 14.6% and 8.3% in the present population of Priego de Cordoba. The authors suggest the Muslim occupation and prehistoric migrations before the Muslim occupation would have been the source of these lineages. The highest frequencies of Sub-Saharan lineages found so far in Europe were observed by Álvarez et al. (2010) in the comarca of Sayago (18.2%) which is, according to the authors, "comparable to that described for the South of Portugal". [10] [35]

In Italy, haplogroup L lineages are present at lower frequencies than in Iberia—between —between 2% and 3%— and are detected only in certain regions: Latium, Volterra, [36] Basilicata, and Sicily. [37]

In eastern Europe, haplogroup L lineages are present at very low frequencies. Though a high diversity of African mtDNA lineages have been detected, few lineages have accumulated enough mutations in Europe to form monophyletic clusters. Malyarchuk & Czarny (2005) detected only two monophyletic clusters, L1b and L3b, in Russians, with an estimated age no greater than 6,500 years. Malyarchuk et al. (2008) identified African L1b, L2a, L3b, L3d and M1 clades in Slavic populations at low frequencies. L1b, L3b and L3d had matches with West African populations, indicating that these lineages probably entered Europe through Iberia. One lineage, L2a1a, appeared to be much older, indicating that it may have entered Europe in prehistoric times. This clade was possibly related to L2a1 clades identified in ten individuals of Ashkenazi heritage from France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Russia. L2a lineages are widespread throughout Africa as a result, the origins of this lineage are uncertain. [38]

Haplogroup M1 is also found in Europe at low frequencies. In a study by González et al. (2007), haplogroup M1 had a frequency of 0.3%. The origins of haplogroup M1 have yet to be conclusively established.

A 2015 study found that a prehistoric episode would be the main contributor to the sub-Saharan presence in Mediterranean Europe. [9]

Frequencies of haplogroup L lineages

Country Region Number tested Study %
Italy Countrywide 583 Brisighelli et al. (2012) 1.20% [39]
Italy Countrywide 865 Boattini et al. (2013) 0.00% [40]
Italy Countrywide 240 Babalini et al. (2005) 0.40% [41]
Italy Tuscany 322 Achilli et al. (2007) 1.86%
Italy Tuscany 49 Plaza et al. (2003) 2.00%
Italy Latium 138 Achilli et al. (2007) 2.90%
Italy Marche 813 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.98%
Italy Central Italy 83 Plaza et al. (2003) 1.20%
Italy Lombardy 177 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Piedmont 169 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Sardinia 258 Pardo et al. (2012) 0.40%
Italy Sardinia 73 Plaza et al. (2003) 2.80%
Italy Sardinia 85 Sanna et al. (2011) 0.00%
Italy Sardinia (Ogliastra) 475 Fraumene C et al. (2003) 0.00% [42]
Italy Sardinia 96 Morelli et al. (1999) 0.00%
Italy Campania (South Italy) 313 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.32%
Italy Basilicata (South Italy) 92 Ottoni et al. (2009) 2.20%
Italy Apulia & Calabria (South Italy) 226 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Southern Italy 115 Sarno et al. (2014) 0.00%
Italy Southern Italy 37 Plaza et al. (2003) 8.10%
Italy Sicily 106 Cali et al. (2003) 0.94%
Italy Sicily 105 Achilli et al. (2007) 1.90%
Italy Sicily 169 Plaza et al. (2003) 0.60%
Italy Sicily 198 Sarno et al. (2014) 1.01%
Italy Sicily 465 Romano et al. (2013) 0.65% [43]
South Iberia Spain & Portugal 310 Casas et al. (2006) 7.40%
Spain Countrywide 312 Álvarez et al. (2007) 2.90%
Spain Central Spain 50 Plaza et al. (2003) 4.00%
Spain North-West Spain 216 Achilli et al. (2007) 3.70%
Spain Galicia 92 Pereira et al. (2005) 3.30%
Spain Zamora 214 Álvarez et al. (2010) 4.70%
Spain Sayago 33 Álvarez et al. (2010) 18.18%
Spain Cordoba 108 Casas et al. (2006) 8.30%
Spain Huelva 135 Hernandez et al. (2014) 5.70%
Spain Catalonia 101 Álvarez-Iglesias et al. (2009) 2.97%
Spain Balearic Islands 231 Picornell et al. (2005) 2.20%
Spain Canary Islands 300 Brehm et al. (2003) 6.60%
Portugal Countrywide 594 Achilli et al. (2007) 6.90%
Portugal Countrywide 1429 Barral-Arca et al. (2016) 6.16%
Portugal Countrywide 549 Pereira et al. (2005) 5.83%
Portugal North 100 Pereira et al. (2010) 5.00%
Portugal Center 82 Pereira et al. (2010) 9.70%
Portugal Center 82 Plaza et al. (2003) 6.10%
Portugal South 195 Brehm et al. (2003) 11.30%
Portugal South 303 Achilli et al. (2007) 10.80%
Portugal Coruche 160 Pereira et al. (2010) 8.70%
Portugal Pias 75 Pereira et al. (2010) 3.90%
Portugal Alcácer do Sal 50 Pereira et al. (2010) 22.00%
Portugal Azores 179 Brehm et al. (2003) 3.40%
Portugal Madeira 155 Brehm et al. (2003) 12.90%
Portugal Madeira 153 Fernandes et al. (2006) 12.40%
Greece Crete 202 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.99%
Cyprus Cyprus 91 Irwin et al. (2008) 3.30%

A similar study by Auton et al. (2009)—which also contains an admixture analysis chart but no cluster membership coefficients—shows little to no Sub-Saharan African influence in a wide array of European samples, i.e. Albanians, Austrians, Belgians, Bosnians, Bulgarians, Croatians, Cypriots, Czechs, Danes, Finns, Frenchmen, Germans, Greeks, Hungarians, Irish, Italians, Kosovars, Lithuanians, Latvians, Macedonians, Netherlanders, Norwegians, Poles, Portuguese, Romanians, Russians, Scots, Serbians, Slovaks, Slovenians, Spaniards, Swedes, Swiss (German, French and Italian), Ukrainians, subjects of the United Kingdom, and Yugoslavians. [44]

Haplogroup U6, to which a North African origin has been attributed (Rando et al. 1998), is largely distributed among Mozabites (28.2%) and Mauritanians (20%). In other northwest Africans, the frequency of U6 ranges from 4.2% in Tunisians to 8% in Moroccan Arabs (Plaza et al. 2003). In Europe, U6 is most common in Spain and Portugal. [45] [46]

Frequencies of haplogroup U6 lineages

Country Region Number tested Study %
Italy Countrywide 583 Brisighelli et al. (2012) 0.8%
Italy Mainland 411 Plaza et al. (2003) 0.0%
Italy Countrywide 865 Boattini et al. (2013) 0.35%
Italy Sicily 169 Plaza et al. (2003) 0.6%
Italy Sicily 106 Maca-Meyer et al. (2003) 0.94%
Italy Lazio 52 Babalini et al. (2005) 5.8% [41]
Italy Abruzzo (Molise) 73 Babalini et al. (2005) 0% [41]
Italy Campania 48 Babalini et al. (2005) 0% [41]
Italy Volterra (Tuscany) 114 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Murlo (Tuscany) 86 Achilli et al. (2007) 1.20%
Italy Casentino (Tuscany) 122 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.80%
Italy Sicily 105 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.95%
Italy Latium 138 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Lombardy 177 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Piedmont 169 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.00%
Italy Marche 813 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.25%
Italy Campania 313 Achilli et al. (2007) 1.28%
Italy Apulia-Calabria 226 Achilli et al. (2007) 1.33%
Italy Sardinia 370 Achilli et al. (2007) 0.27%
Spain Central Spain 50 Plaza et al. (2003) 2.0%
Spain Galicia 103 Plaza et al. (2003) 1.9%
Spain Galicia 135 Maca-Meyer et al. (2003) 2.2%
Spain Catalonia 118 Maca-Meyer et al. (2003) 1.6%
Spain Huelva 135 Hernandez et al. (2014) 8.8%
Spain Maragatos 49 Maca-Meyer et al. (2003) 8.1%
Spain Canary Islands 300 Brehm et al. (2003) 14.0%
Portugal Countrywide 54 Plaza et al. (2003) 5.6%
Portugal North Portugal 184 Maca-Meyer et al. (2003) 4.3%
Portugal Central Portugal 161 Brehm et al. (2003) 1.9%
Portugal Madeira 155 Brehm et al. (2003) 3.9%
Portugal Madeira 153 Fernandes et al. (2006) 3.3%
Iberia Spain & Portugal 887 Plaza et al. (2003) 1.8%
  • A 2009 study by Auton et al. found a north–south cline of HapMap Yoruba haplotypes (YRI) in Europe. The study determined that southern and southwestern subpopulations had the highest proportion of YRI. This distribution is indicative of recurrent gene flow into Europe from the southwest and the Middle East. The authors suggest that the haplotype sharing between Europe and the YRI are suggestive of gene flow from Africa, albeit from West Africa and not necessarily North Africa. [44]
  • A 2007 study conducted at Penn State University found low levels of African admixture(2.8-10%) that were distributed along a north–south cline. The authors suggest that the distribution of this African admixture mirrors the distribution of haplogroup E3b-M35(E1b1b). [c][48]
  • A principal component analysis of data from the Human Genome Diversity Project by Reich et al. detected a west-to-east gradient of Bantu-related ancestry across Eurasia. The authors suggest that after the Out of Africa migration, there was most likely a later Bantu-related gene flow into Europe. [49]
  • The most recent study regarding African admixture in Iberian populations was conducted in April 2013 using genome-wide SNP data for over 2,000 individuals."Southwestern European populations averaged between 4% and 20% of their genomes assigned to a Northwest African ancestral cluster, whereas this value did not exceed 2% in southeastern European populations". However, contrary to past autosomal studies and to what is inferred from Y-chromosome and mitochondrial haplotype frequencies (see below), it does not detect significant levels of Sub-Saharan ancestry in any European population outside the Canary Islands. [8]
  • A panel of 52 SNPs was genotyped in 435 Italian individuals according to Sánchez et al. [50] in order to estimate the proportion of ancestry from a three-way differentiation: Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Asia. The study indicated an autosomal basal proportion of Sub-Saharan ancestry that is higher (9.2%, on average) than other central or northern European populations (1.5%, on average). The amount of African ancestry in Italians is however more comparable to (but slightly higher than) the average in other Mediterranean countries (7.1%). [28] In northwestern Spain and in Portugal, Sub-Saharan autosomal ancestry is on average 7.1%. [28]
  • A 2015 study found that a prehistoric episode would be the main contributor to the sub-Saharan presence in Mediterranean Europe and Iberia: [9]
  • Measures of genetic distance between Europe and Sub-Saharan are generally smaller than genetic distances between Africa and other continental populations. Cavalli-Sforza states that the relatively short genetic distance is likely due to prehistoric admixture. [51]
  • A 2011 study by Moorjani et al. found that many southern Europeans have inherited 1%–3% Sub-Saharan ancestry (3.2% in Portugal, 2.9% in Sardinia, 2.7% in southern Italy, 2.4% in Spain and 1.1% in northern Italy), although the percentages were lower (ranging from 0.2% in Sardinia and northern Italy to 2.1% in Portugal) when reanalyzed with the 'STRUCTURE' statistical model. An average mixture date of around 55 generations/1100 years ago was given, "consistent with North African gene flow at the end of the Roman Empire and subsequent Arab migrations". [4]
  • An autosomal study in 2011 found an average Northwest African influence of about 17% in Canary Islanders, with a wide interindividual variation ranging from 0% to 96%. According to the authors, the substantial Northwest African ancestry found for Canary Islanders supports the idea that, despite the aggressive conquest by the Spanish in the 15th century and the subsequent immigration, genetic footprints of the first settlers of the Canary Islands persist in the current inhabitants. Paralleling mtDNA findings, the largest average Northwest African contribution was found for the samples from La Gomera. [52]

GM immunoglobulin allotypes

Further studies have shown that the presence of haplotype GM*1,17 23' 5* in southern Europe. This haplotype is considered a genetic marker of Sub-Saharan Africa, where it shows frequencies of about 80%. [53] Whereas, in non-Mediterranean European populations, that value is about 0.3%, in Spain the average figure for this African haplotype is nearly eight times greater (though still at a low level) at 2.4%, and it shows a peak at 4.5% in Galicia. [54] Values of around 4% have also been found in Huelva and in the Aran valley in the Pyrenees. [55] According to Calderón et al. 2007, although some researchers have associated African traces in Iberia to Islamic conquest, the presence of GM*1,17 23' 5* haplotype in Iberia may in fact be due to more ancient processes as well as more recent ones through the introduction of genes from black slaves from Africa. [54]
In Sicily the North African haplotype Gm 5*117 ranges from 1.56% at Valledolmo to 5.5% at Alia. [56] The hypothesis is that the presence of this haplotype suggests past contacts with people from North Africa. The introduction of African markers could be due to the Phoenician colonization at the end of the second millennium B.C. or to the more recent Arab conquest (8th–9th centuries A.D.).

The migration of farmers from the Middle East into Europe is believed to have significantly influenced the genetic profile of present-day Europeans. Some recent studies have focused on corroborating current genetic data with the archeological evidence from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. [25] The Natufian culture, which existed about 12,000 years ago, has been the subject of various archeological investigations, as it is generally believed to be the source of the European and North African Neolithic.

According to a hypothesis stated by Bar-Yosef (1987), the Natufian culture emerged from the mixing of two Stone Age cultures: (1) the Kebaran, a culture indigenous to the Levant, and (2) the Mushabian, a culture introduced into the Levant from North Africa. It is suggested that the Mushabian culture originated in Africa, given that archeological sites with Mushabian industries in the Nile Valley predate those in the Levant. The Mushabians would have then moved into the Sinai from the Nile Delta bringing with them their technologies. Bar-Yosef (1987) states: "the population overflow from Northeast Africa played a definite role in the establishment of the Natufian adaptation, which in turn led to the emergence of agriculture as a new subsistence system".

A study by Brace et al. (2006) analysed human remains from the Natufian culture. According to the study, there is evidence of Sub-Saharan influences in the Natufian samples. They argue that these influences would have been diluted by the interbreeding of the Neolithic farmers from the Near East with the indigenous foragers in Europe. Ricaut & Waelkens (2008) associate the Sub-Saharan influences detected in the Natufian samples with the migration of E1b1b lineages from Northeast Africa to the Levant and then into Europe.

According to the most recent ancient DNA analyses conducted by Lazaridis et al. (2016) on Natufian skeletal remains from present-day northern Israel, the Natufians in fact shared no evident genetic affinity to sub-Saharan Africans. The authors also state that they were unable to test for affinity in the Natufians to early North African populations using present-day North Africans as a reference because present-day North Africans owe most of their ancestry to back-migration from Eurasia. [22] [57] The Natufians carried the Y-DNA (paternal) haplogroups E1b1b1b2(xE1b1b1b2a,E1b1b1b2b) (2/5 40%), CT (2/5 40%), and E1b1(xE1b1a1,E1b1b1b1) (1/5 20%). [22] [58] In terms of autosomal DNA, these Natufians carried around 50% of the Basal Eurasian (BE) and 50% of Western Eurasian Unknown Hunter Gather (UHG) components. However, they were slightly distinct from the northern Anatolian populations that contributed to the peopling of Europe, who had higher Western Hunter-Gatherer (WHG) inferred ancestry. Natufians were strongly genetically differentiated [59] from Neolithic Iranian farmers from the Zagros Mountains, who were a mix of Basal Eurasians (up to 62%) and Ancient North Eurasians (ANE). This might suggest that different strains of Basal Eurasians contributed to Natufians and Zagros farmers, [60] [61] [62] as both Natufians and Zagros farmers descended from different populations of local hunter gatherers. Mating between Natufians, other Neolithic Levantines, Caucasus Hunter Gatherers (CHG), Anatolian and Iranian farmers is believed to have decreased genetic variability among later populations in the Middle East. The scientists suggest that the Levantine early farmers may have spread southward into East Africa, bringing along Western Eurasian and Basal Eurasian ancestral components separate from that which would arrive later in North Africa.

The Mushabian industry is now known to have originated in the Levant from the previous lithic industries of the region of Lake Lisan. [63] The Mushabian industry was originally thought to have originated in Africa because the microburin technique was not yet known to be much older in the eastern Levant. [64] Currently there is no known industry to connect with the African migration that occurred 14,700 years ago, [1] but it no doubt caused a population expansion in the Negev and Sinai which would not have accommodated an increase in population with the meager resources of a steppe/desert climate. [15] Since all of the known cultures in the Levant at the time of the migration originated in the Levant and an archaeological culture cannot be associated with it, there must have been assimilation into a Levantine culture at the onset, most likely the Ramonian which was present in the Sinai 14,700 years ago. [65]

Like the other peoples of the great Eurasian plains, the (presumed) White Zhou were a nomadic tribe, they lived to the west of the Shang kingdom. Due to their nomadic ways, they learned how to work with people of different races and cultures. After a time, they settled in the Wei River valley, where they became vassals of the Shang. The Zhou eventually became stronger than the Shang, and in about 1040 B.C, they defeated the Shang in war. Part of their success apparently came about because of their ability to gain the allegiance of disaffected Shang city-states. The Shang had also been weakened by constant warfare with an unknown people to the north. After their victory, the Zhou built their capital in Xi'an.

Quote: "The Shang had also been weakened by constant warfare with an unknown people to the north".

From the quote above, the natural question to ask is were those unknown people, the African Grimaldi, who we know inhabited the area north of what is now Mongolia, (mal'ta Siberia).

The answer is, we don't know. So far, material has not become available which would allow speculation, one way or the other. We must be mindful that the Chinese government does not disseminate information of this kind. And that they, like their European counterparts, are not anxious to acknowledge the part played by Africans in their development and history.

Traditional Chinese history says that the Zhou were able to defeat the Shang, because the Shang had degenerated morally. Part of this belief may have been propagandized by the Zhou themselves, they were proponents of the Mandate of Heaven. The Zhou used this idea to validate their takeover and subsequent ruling of the former Shang kingdom. The Mandate of Heaven says that Heaven places the mandate to rule, on any family, that is morally worthy of the responsibility. And the only way to know if the Mandate of Heaven has been removed from the ruling family, is if they are overthrown. So if the ruler is overthrown, then the victors had the Mandate of Heaven. In other words, if you win, then god must be on your side, and wanted it that way perfect victors logic.

Never Colonized?

There are a handful of countries that were not subsumed by the juggernaut of Western colonization, including Turkey, Iran, China, and Japan. In addition, the countries with longer histories or higher levels of development before 1500 tend to have been colonized later, or not at all. Characteristics that drove whether or not a country was colonized by the West appear to be how difficult it is to reach them, the relative navigation distance from northwestern Europe, and the lack of a safe overland passage to landlocked countries. In Africa, those countries arguably included Liberia and Ethiopia.

Considering it essential to the success of their economies, the imperialistic European nations avoided the outright colonization of Liberia and Ethiopia—the only two African countries they considered viable players in the trade-based world economy. However, in return for their apparent “independence,” Liberia and Ethiopia were forced to give up territory, agree to differing degrees of European economic control, and become participants in European spheres of influence.

Nation, Tribe and Ethnic Group in Africa

Progressive, Africans argue that tribalism is one of the most disruptive influences confronting newly independent sub-Saharan African states. Tribalism, they argue, is the basis for hatred between peoples within a country as well as between countries. If African states are to take their rightful place in the world, progressive Africans believe, tribalism must be destroyed. There is little evidence, however, that tribal identity is on the wane, even among the most progressive elements within the newly created states. Furthermore, there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that post-independence efforts to eliminate tribal identities may have contributed significantly to Africa's catastrophic problems.

What accounts for the resiliancy of cultural identity in the face of the efforts to eliminate it? The answer to this question is at the heart of our understanding such topics as famines, refugee crises and the numerous coups d'etats and seccessionist movements that plague contemporary, sub-Saharn Africa. The very terms that are used to describe oneself or others in Africa - nation, nationality, tribe, ethnic group - are highly charged and skillfully manipulated by friends and foes alike.

In Africa, "state" is the least politically charged, and therefore, perhaps the best term to describe countries, the largest political unit that people recognize. Even "state," however, is not a term that all peoples of Africa would use to describe accurately the political system of which they find themselves a part. Members of numerous, culturally distinct groups in Ethiopia, for example, insist that they were conquered and never allowed to choose to join the country (many of these groups do not even officially recognize Ethiopia as a legitimate political entity). Therefore, they insist, until they have equal representation in the central government and the freedom to choose their political affiliation, Ethiopia is more accurately referred to as an "empire."

Conquered groups in Ethiopia prefer to be called "nations" following the original meaning of the term which meant persons closely associated with each other by common descent, language or history. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, such groups "form a race or people, usually organized as a separate political state and occupying a definite territory."

The Ethiopian government, which is overwhelmingly dominated by Amhara, a minority group accounting for less than 15% of the country's population, refers to other groups in the country as nationalities, a term which they use derogatorally to imply that such groups have narrow, cultural interest which must, one day, give way to allegiance to the central state.

The Amhara, like many other distinct cultural groups that dominate African countries, have attempted to create a "nation" in their own image. Ethiopia is a "nation," Amhara is the "national" language, and Amharic values are the basis of the legal, political and educational systems other "national" values and languages must be eliminated.

The Oromo, 60% of Ethiopia's population, with a different language, culture, religion and history, do not accept their lot within the empire. They, as well as other groups within Ethiopia, see the Amhara-dominated government as an illegitimate, colonial government similar to the government of South Africa. Africans, too, can be colonizers, they insist, and it is racism that prevents Westerners from seeing this. The official position of the Oromo Liberation Front is that the Oromo must become independent of Ethiopia in order to determine the possibility of them joining a confederation of equal nations in the Horn of Africa. Their main concerns are land rights and political and cultural autonomy.

Tribe Versus Ethnic Group

During the colonial period, "tribe" was used to identify specific cultural and political groups in much the same way as "nation" is defined above. Tribes had relatively little power outside their own group during the colonial period. Furthermore, for generations, Africans were taught the Western notion of the tribe as a primitive social and political system to be abandoned with civilization. Today, with few exceptions - notably South Africa, "tribe" is now avoided except when describing small, isolated societies that have little involvement with the central government. In practical terms, tribe has come to imply groups that are affected by the policies and programs of central states but have little or no involvement in their design. Thus, "tribe," unless being used to condemn a people's self-interest, is used to describe groups that have local autonomy because they are small, isolated or have few resources of value which interest the central state. In essence, tribe now refers to the powerless. The various groups which are today collectively known as the "Bushmen" are perhaps the best example.

Bushmen do not refer to themselves as either a tribe or Bushmen. This is a term used by outsiders to describe them. Indeed, people who study different groups of Bushmen insist that they represent a wide variation of cultural and linguistic groups, perhaps even more than one could find in all of Europe. Often such groups do not have a name for themselves, only for neighboring groups and the names given them by neighboring groups are pejorative. Yet, they are the ones that have been used by colonists throughout the world for centuries (for more on this issue, see "Letters to the Editor," this issue). Hence, because these people lived in the bush, they were called Bushmen. The use of "tribe" for small isolated groups is a way to reinforce the notion that larger groups are "progressive," becoming "civilized."

"Ethnic group," in contrast to "tribe," refers to larger, culturally distinct groups that recognize the legitimacy of the central state and compete with other culturally distinct groups for control of a share of the benefits that accrue from manipulating or dominating central governments. Most African peoples, at the time of independence, were thought to be in the process of becoming ethnic groups and living in plural societies where cultural differences would be accepted. This has not happened.

After independence, sub-Saharan African countries were expected to develop political systems styled after Western democracies. It was assumed that ideology and class alliances would counter the potentially harmful effects of tribalism. In fact, however, it quickly became apparent that the political parties which were formed in most new states rarely represented more than one or two cultural groups. As different parties came to power, they ruled with their own group's interests coming first. Plural societies did not develop. In an attempt to create the appearance of political unity, dominant groups began to ban, or make unconstitutional, other political parties. As a result, secessionist movements, one-party states and military governments became the norm. Today, of the more than forty sub-Saharan governments, only five allow opposition parties, the rest are divided equally between one party states and military dictatorships.

The importance of the domination of most African states by one or two groups only becomes obvious as one examines the impact of government programs. Most African countries have state or district divisions that reflect cultural distinctions. All government monies are distributed to these entities and all revenues are collected from them. By examining the per capita expenditures and receipts by district one can develop a clear understanding of the relative power held by each group. Looking more closely at which districts receive development projects, credit, roads, communications networks, public health facilities, and schools completes the picture. In Africa, administrative units often are as cultural specific as political parties. Discrepancies between regions are often thought to result from "differential development" rates. It's simpler than that they result from institutionalized discrimination.

Some African states have invested considerable sums on public education in the belief that it would eventually eliminate racial prejudice most commonly referred to as tribalism. But, education imparts values and ideas - usually those of the dominant group - thereby reinforcing feelings of superiority or inferiority depending on the relationship of one's group to the central government. Education alienated many people from their own cultures, and at the same time, created unrealistic expectations of the state. Kenya, for example, is teeming with educated people who cannot find jobs but who no longer know how or are willing to farm.

New African states made people dissatisfied with their own cultures while at the same time growing bureaucracies filled capital cities and attracted large amounts of consumer goods. Rural people began to flock to the cities. It is no wonder that the urbanization rate for the continent has increased so dramatically in the last 25 years.

Perhaps the most important reason that African states attack cultural identity is that the existence of separate or distinct societies poses threats to the centralization of power and control of resources. In some cases groups have been allowed to continue to practice certain cultural or religious beliefs if they agree to renounce their political and economic autonomy. However, as the power of states grows or is threatened, the rights of distinct cultural groups are curtailed even further.

The groups that dominate the state and its resources also control the benefits accrued from recognition by other states - foreign assistance, investments, weapons, alliances. During periods of economic prosperity they rarely share assets equally with the dominated groups. During periods of economic austerity, such discrimination frequently accelerates into persecution, as dominant groups attempt to maintain their own economic, political and social positions. As a result of persecution and discrimination, Africa has produced half of the world's refugee population. As a result of policies aimed at generating foreign exchange, African states have reorganized agriculture in order to generate cash crops for export. Africans in many drought-affected countries, now starving in unprecedented numbers, are not allowed to grow food crops. The foreign exchange generated from cash crops is most often used for funding development projects which benefit the politically dominant groups in the country, importing luxury consumer goods or purchasing weapons with which dominant groups maintain power.

Strong Identity - A Hope for the Future

Africans believed that the development of strong states after independence would improve their lives as well as the status of their countries in the world. It has probably done neither. While the new states demanded allegiance, which often meant the abandonment of long-standing social and political systems, little was returned from the central government to local areas. While governments promised a number of services, they have rarely delivered them. As a result of global recession and declining revenues, African governments can no longer fulfill such promises even if inclined to do so. At this point in history, many Africans are beginning to ask if a decentralization of power within African states and a renewed local emphasis on self-sufficiency might not be a better way to feed the people on the continent, strengthen the cultural identities of diverse peoples, reduce urbanization, reduce social conflict, reduce the foreign deficit, and diffuse the interest of superpowers in the region.

Article copyright Cultural Survival, Inc.


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