A 14th Century Account on Africa

Listen Siblings, I come in peace,

“They do not interfere with the property of the white man who dies in their country even though it may consist of great wealth” — Ibn Battuta on our ancestors

Today’s article discusses our pre-colonial past. This excerpt is taken from Ibn Battuta’s travels and explains what he saw amongst our people. This is a reminder as to what we were and why you should be building African Blood Siblings Community Centers.  We are naturally moral and divine.

A 14th Century Account on Africa
With Comments by Onitaset Kumat

“AN ACCOUNT OF WHAT I FOUND GOOD AMONGST THE BLACKS AND OF WHAT I DISLIKED

Amongst their good qualities is the small amount of injustice amongst them, for of all people they are the furthest from it.  Their sultan does not forgive anyone in any matter to do with injustice.  Among these qualities there is also the prevalence of peace in their country, the traveller [sic] is not afraid in it nor is he who lives there in fear of the thief or of the robber by violence.  They do not interfere with the property of the white man who dies in their country even though it may consist of great wealth, but rather they entrust it to the hand of someone dependable among the white men until it is taken by the rightful claimant.

Another of the good habits amongst them is the way they meticulously observe the times of the prayers and attendance at them, so also it is with regard to their congregational services and their beating of their children to instill these things in them.

When it is Friday, if a man does not come early to the mosque he will not find a place to pray because of the numbers of the crowd.  It is their custom for every man to send his boy with his prayer mat.  He spreads it for him in a place commensurate with his position and keeps the place until he comes to the mosque.  Their prayer-mats are made of the leaves of a tree like a date palm but it bears no fruit.

Amongst their good qualities is their putting on of good white clothes on Friday.  If a man among them has nothing except a tattered shirt, he washes and cleans it and attends the Friday prayer in it.  Another of their good qualities is their concern for learning the sublime Qur’an by heart.  They make fetters for their children when they appear on their part to be falling short in their learning of it by heart, and they are not taken off from them till they do learn by heart.  I went in to visit the qadi on an ‘Id day and his children were tied up.  I said to him, ‘Why do you not release them?’  He said, ‘I shall not do so until they learn the Qur’an by heart.”  One day I passed by a handsome youth from them dressed in fine clothes and on his feet was a heavy chain.   I said to the man who was with me, “What has this youth done–has he killed someone?”   The youth heard my remark and laughed.   It was told me, “He has been chained so that he will learn the Qur’an by heart.”

Among the bad things which they do–their serving women, slave women and little daughters appear before people naked, exposing their private parts.  I used to see many of them in this state in Ramadan, for it was the custom of the farariyya [commanders] to break the fast in the sultan’s house.  Everyone of them has his food carried in to him by twenty or more of his slave girls and they are naked, every one.  Also among their bad customs is the way women will go in the presence of the sultan naked, without any covering; and the nakedness of the sultan’s daughters–on the night of the twenty-seventh of Ramadan, I saw about a hundred slave girls coming out of his palace with food, with them were two of his daughters, they had full breasts and no clothes on.  Another of their bad customs is their putting of dust and ashes on their heads as a sign of respect.   And another is the laughing matter I mentioned of their poetic recitals.  And another is that many of them eat animals not ritually slaughtered, and dogs and donkeys.”

The religiosity mentioned is a sign of Orientalism or Contractualism (the ethics of contracts.)  It’s a dangerous reality, for these same pre-colonial devout Muslims, though African, readily enslaved our ancestors due the corruption of their ethics as here displayed.  However, the tale of their dearth of injustices bodes well for the cause of enforcing Originalism or Restorism (our ethics).  Thereby, many things are disagreeable and many things are agreeable.  Ibn Battuta is arguably the most well-traveled person up to his time.  As an “Arab” he had a cultural bias against Black Africans.  Nevertheless, he openly admitted that Black Africans were the most ethical, despite their adaptation then of the Islamic faith–which in fairness to Ibn Battuta’s historical knowledge may have seemed a ‘good’ thing.  Elsewhere in his book he mentions the story of Iwalatan, where married people still have single and attractive friends.  This offends the Muslim visitor, especially after the man secure with his wife talking with an attractive man jeers Arabic women for being less trustworthy.  This shows how Africans used to live with comfortable and advanced, civilized ways of thinking.  The “platonic relationship” while seemingly basic, was the more proper and progressive road than the Arabs were willing to follow.  Of course, dallying thereon is unnecessary.  This is merely a historical lesson.  The book which I quoted is “Ibn Battuta in Black Africa” as written by Said Hamdun and Noel King.  It is enlightening in it being a record of pre-colonial Africa.

To wit, here is the excerpt dealing with Iwalatan, as taken from this website: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1354-ibnbattuta.html and www.sammustafa.com/Resources/Battuta.pdf

“My stay at Iwalatan lasted about fifty days; and I was shown honour and entertained by its inhabitants. It is an excessively hot place, and boasts a few small date-palms, in the shade of which they sow watermelons. Its water comes from underground waterbeds at that point, and there is plenty of mutton to be had. The garments of its inhabitants, most of whom belong to the Massufa tribe, are of fine Egyptian fabrics.

Their women are of surpassing beauty, and are shown more respect than the men. The state of affairs amongst these people is indeed extraordinary. Their men show no signs of jealousy whatever; no one claims descent from his father, but on the contrary from his mother’s brother. A person’s heirs are his sister’s sons, not his own sons. This is a thing which I have seen nowhere in the world except among the Indians of Malabar. But those are heathens; these people are Muslims, punctilious in observing the hours of prayer, studying books of law, and memorizing the Koran. Yet their women show no bashfulness before men and do not veil themselves, though they are assiduous in attending the prayers. Any man who wishes to marry one of them may do so, but they do not travel with their husbands, and even if one desired to do so her family would not allow her to go.

The women there have “friends” and “companions” amongst the men outside their own families, and the men in the same way have “companions” amongst the women of other families. A man may go into his house and find his wife entertaining her “companion” but he takes no objection to it. One day at Iwalatan I went into the qadi’s house, after asking his permission to enter, and found with him a young woman of remarkable beauty. When I saw her I was shocked and turned to go out, but she laughed at me, instead of being overcome by shame, and the qadi said to me “Why are you going out? She is my companion.” I was amazed at their conduct, for he was a theologian and a pilgrim [to Mecca] to boot. I was told that he had asked the sultan’s permission to make the pilgrimage that year with his “companion”–whether this one or not I cannot say–but the sultan would not grant it.

. . .

One day I visited Abu Muhammad Yandakan, a man of the Massufa tribe.  I found him sitting on a mat, and in the middle of his house was a bed with a canopy.  On it was a woman and with her a man, and the two were having a conversation.  I said to him:  “Who is this woman?”   He replied:  “She is my wife.”  I said: “What is the relationship of the man to her?”  He replied: “He is her friend.”  I said:  “Do you accept this, after you have lived in our country and known the matters of the Holy Law?”

He said to me:  “Women’s companionship with men in our country is honorable and takes place in a good way;  there is no suspicion about it.  They are not like the women in your
country.”
I was astonished at his thoughtless answer and I went away from him and did not visit him after this.  Though he invited me many times, I did not respond.”

We create African Blood Siblings Community Centers to restore ourselves to organizers for Truth and Justice.  Join.

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An Pan-African Nationalist Critique on “Freedom Writers”

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“Man, know thyself … and thou shalt know the gods.”KMT Proverb

The following is a critique on a popular film that gained public approval despite the clear flaw.  “Freedom Writers” is the story of a woman who wanted to take the “tribalism” out of African people by what looks like ‘vaccination’ style.  Subscribe, share, love.

An African Critique on “Freedom Writers”
By Onitaset Kumat

Perhaps two weeks ago, I had watched the film “Freedom Writers” on television.  The film shows the necessity of Blacks adopting a philosophy and the extent of how our lack thereof destroys us.  The film starts off when a young White woman decides to teach inner-city high-school students because her father was a “Civil Rights activist” and she wanted to help “minorities.”  The class that she gets has one White student and a handful of Asians, Africans and Americans (Latinos) who self-segregate within the classroom.  As it were, each non-White student has had some involvement with gang life and casualties resulting from a violent tribalism that developed after the formerly gifted school was racially integrated despite being removed from the experiences of the ‘minorities.’  This teacher, coming upon the violent tribalism, related to the students the story of the European Jew’s oppression by Nazis and this changed their ways and made them integrate.  Now, this shows two things: the malleability of children and the ignorance of our children and society.  The malleability comes from the fact that despite their gang life, these children turn around by seeing a more worse ‘gang.’  The ignorance comes from the fact that the Africans at least should have been informed of themselves rather than the experience of the European Jews which, by and by, wasn’t particularly awkward at the time of their oppression.  To wit, the European Jew’s Holocaust was absurd in only two regards: it was targeted against a pale people and it was very mechanized; concentration camps were used against the Kenyans and human experimentation, the Indians.   Beside that, many people were completely, not partially, genocided.  “Freedom Writers” sends a disturbing image where people of African descent gain the delusion that European Jews were worst treated never mind that Africans had been lowered from the highest position of the world to the lowest and have had many, many times worse oppression than the Jews.  No one is more politically, economically or culturally oppressed, yet Whites are teaching people of African descent to pity the European Jews and we are pitying them.  It’s disgusting.  We should retake our schools lest we will be mislead to poor causes removed, antedated and wrongheaded!  In the meantime, help build African Blood Siblings Community Centers; from there you can organize your Community.

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Political Strategy for the Congo

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“Peace is the fruit of activity, not of sleep.”KMT Proverb

There is a strange silence on nearly all of the injustices affecting our people, but we have no reason to contribute thusly.  There is a stranger lack of strategy in addressing these injustices.  The ABS actively works against this.

Below is not only the tragedy of the Congo.  Below are certain strategies that we should undertake.  This is another reason to build an African Blood Siblings Community Center.  Saving those women who are raped by 40 men for years on end or these boys who are killed for the work they put in is why you build to organize your Community.

Political Strategy for the Congo
By Onitaset Kumat

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4473700036349997790#

Above is a link to a documentary named “Blood Coltan.”  It was produced in 2008 but presents a picture of an ongoing conflict (in the Congo) and a way of life for many of our continental Africans.  To summarize the display, “Capitalism” is shown: The people are given huge debts, through which their means of survival are by transporting resources according to the fixed prices of Europeans.  It’s a system of permanent debt enforced by violence.  For the last five-hundred years, this is how most all Africans live and die, diaspora or continental, when interacting with Europeans.

By Ethics we ought fight back.  But in fighting back there are many such ways.  One way is violently, another, however, is usurping the European role.  Labour is not only forced through violence, but through being the only means of survival.  Thereby, we diaspora Africans ought organize to ‘make the survival’ of continental Africans easier.  Early on we observe how from the miners to the collectors, coltan is very cheap, following which is a simple processing which makes it ready for sale.  We as wealthier Africans can pay the miners higher than the collectors and if organized sell the coltan more expensively and better even process it for our own cellphones, cutting out all non-Africans and benefiting ourselves.  That route should be explored.  Yet another route is buying the fertile land in the Congo and giving the miners employment as lucrative farmers.  Then there’s no need for them to mine, we can get cheap foods and eventually the mining business will be defunct but in our control.  Naturally, these solutions attract the violence of rebel groups through Europeans, something we need to understand.  But if we provide ‘rebels’ with a way of life, they too will turn over.  Then it’s a matter of the Europeans brazenly coming themselves to fight for our enslavement.  We have just resentment against them.  In the documentary it is revealed how much the women are raped, sometimes forty men on one woman for years.  This is an ugly slavery like that which we have experienced.  We will be just to rise up!

The first step is building an African Blood Siblings Community Center.  You need to take responsibility for your inaction and start building to organize the above solutions.

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What inspired Toussaint L’Ouverture?

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in Peace,

“If the Master teaches what is error, the disciple’s submission is slavery; if he teaches truth, this submission is ennoblement.”KMT Proverb

Though Abbe Raynald is a European, a sworn enemy of African people, his writing is an intriguing poison.  Superficial in its support for the African cause, it would be no surprise if this simple paragraph contributed to the demise of Toussaint L’Ouverture, the great General of the African Revolution in Haiti.  Cunning is the best word to describe it.

What inspired Toussaint L’Ouverture?
By Onitaset Kumat

The French abolitionist Abbe Raynald wrote:

“Already there are established two colonies of fugitive Negroes, whom treaties and power protect from assault. Those lightnings announce the thunder. A courageous chief only is wanted. Where is he, that great man whom Nature owes to her vexed, oppressed and tormented children? Where is he? He will appear, doubt it not; he will come forth and raise the sacred standard of liberty. This venerable goal will gather around him the companions of his misfortune. More impetuous than the torrents, they will everywhere leave the indelible traces of their just resentment. Everywhere people will bless the name of the hero who shall have reestablished the rights of the human race; everywhere will they raise trophies in his honor.”

Toussaint L’Ouverture, the most popular general of the African Revolution in Haiti or the Haitian Revolution, frequently read these words before he became a general.  These words are deeper than a superficial reading will allow.  Firstly, the words emphasize a racial and ethical self-determination.  It speaks on European oppression on African people and how [a] ‘justice’ is for Africans to overthrow this arrangement.  They also importantly point out that protection from assault resulted from these Maroon towns.  Recall, Abbe Raynald is a European man.  As such, it seems that this espouses the universality of ethics.  However, it showcases how ‘classical’ education promotes Original ethics; and more subliminally how ‘ethics’ can be confused.  Nevertheless, as a philosopher, and as ABS showcases, Abbe Raynald ultimately maintained Occidentalism: Namely he puts tribalism in the fore, only claiming his tribe as ‘the oppressed.’  This is a commonality with many African self-described revolutionaries.

Beyond this, we also see how his words emphasize the power of words.  For though there are “ethics,” today we live in a world where these ethics are unknown.  So to speak, besides from ABS’ efforts, there is little discussion regarding ethics; and only ABS promotes the idea of ‘racial ethics.‘  On the power of words, not only do we see the value in expressing ethics, because Toussaint was mobilized, but the value of ethics is also seen, because Haiti was ultimately liberated.

Finally, there’s the notion of ‘destiny.’  Can it be said that Abbe Raynald was destined to write those words and Toussaint was destined to read those words, who knows?  But how would history differ if either party neglected their roles?  Truthfully, it’s not necessary to proclaim either necessary for today’s order.  There were some two-hundred rebellions against enslavement in the U.S. alone, and at the point of Raynald’s writing there were, as he points out, two Maroon towns, and, of course, Bouckman and many unnamed Haitians rebelled before Toussaint did, .  Still, the notion of destiny is important.  For my part, I feel pointed to Socrates’ words and as such I can relate to the notion of destiny since I find my greatest work to be my completion of Socrates’ argument: a rediscovery of our ancestral voice.

All in all, the point needs to be made.  Ultimately, Toussaint’s ethics betrayed him.  He was an Occidentalist in many respects and he was assassinated for it.  Still, we learn how important it is to be a positive force in this Universe.  African Blood Siblings Community Centers are the establishments for you to inject positivity into your Community.  Do not pass up the opportunity to foster the better tomorrow.  Do not pass up “destiny.”

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