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February 26th, 2014

One Month of Black History is Not Enough!



Lillie Howard

I received my monthly newsletter from the Schomburg Center and this very profound statement was made by the director Khalil Gibran Muhammad: "How long will the rich history and significant contributions of black people be relegated to the margins? Too often, our children see merely a few posters of black inventors and political trailblazers on their classroom walls. In February they learn about a handful of important names like Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. If we wait for someone else to share our stories, our culture and our history, we could be waiting forever! Although we know that our triumphs, sacrifices and creativity are central to American democracy, our children still learn this: that our history is a side note that belongs to the shortest month of the year!" I am in total agreement with this statement therefore I want to share some information with you that probably most of us have never seen or heard.

1) Black people are the Original people of the planet. DNA evidence proves that all humans today came from a group of Blacks who traveled and settled the globe 50,000 years ago. 2) All of the elements of civilization first began in Africa, including religion, art, science, government, mining, writing, music, mathematics, architecture, engineering, and agriculture. 3) Before Greece, Rome or Europe was ever established, there were multiple Black civilizations throughout the world, already thousands of years old. 4) Blacks started compulsory education. Even ancient Egypt learned to read, and education was made mandatory by the Moors, while 90% of Europe was illiterate, including the royalty. 5) Blacks started libraries. The ancient Egyptians created paper about 4000 BC, which made library storage easier. Over 700,000 books were in the libraries of Egypt before Homer, the father of Western literature, was even born. 6) The earliest mathematical device found to date is the Lebombo bone of southern Africa. It is about 37,000 years old and appears to be a lunar calendar. 7) Black people even pioneered fishing and sailing. 90,000 year old harpoons and other tools found in northeastern Zaire. Even before that, Blacks traveled the seas to populate the Pacific Islands. 8) Blacks started astronomy. Ruins of a 300 BC astronomical observatory were found at Namoratunga in Kenya. A stone observatory over 5,000 years old was found west of Egypt. 9) Black people were the first to engage in mining. A 43,000 year old hematite mine was found in Swaziland at Bomvu Ridge. 10) Black people were the first to develop agriculture. There are 12,000 year old tools and evidence of crop cultivation in Egypt’s Western Desert. Other agricultural sites in Egypt have been dated to 18,000 BC. 11) Blacks developed the first economic systems. Cowrie shells are brightly colored shells that served as one of the earliest forms of money in ancient Africa, predating gold coins (which were also developed by Blacks). 12) Blacks developed the first writing. The Egyptians were among the earliest people to use ink, reed pens, and brushes for writing. The Sumerians, known as the "Black heads" also developed early writing. 13) Blacks created the first art. In caves throughout the world, there are beautiful paintings on the wall from 10,000 to 100,000 years old, created by early Blacks. Scientists have found 70,000 year old jewelry in Africa. 14) Blacks developed the first clothing. The earliest known cultivation of plant fibers used to weave cloth in Africa occurred over 30,000 years ago. These clothes were often loose-fitting (baggy) and brightly colored. 15) Blacks developed the first laws and legal systems. The oldest recorded legal system in history was drawn up by King Menes of Egypt about 5,000 years ago. 16) Blacks created the first the first music. Not only were prehistoric caves modified for acoustics (the first concert halls), but scientists have found flutes and other instruments over 40,000 years old at Black settlements. 17) Blacks built the first buildings. Throughout the world, the earliest clay and stone buildings have been linked to Black builders. Scientists have even found mobile homes (made from wood) near Egypt from 30,000 years ago. 18) Black people even ended up in unexpected places. Asians, South Americans and even the Inuit (or "Eskimos") began as dark-skinned people. Early European accounts described Blacks as the first inhabitants of Europe. 19) Blacks also reached the Americas before Columbus. Because of the ancient Olmecs and the slave trade, everything from Mexican food to Mexican music has deep roots in West Africa. The song "La Bamba" can be traced back to the Bamba district of Angola.

There’s nothing new under the sun. Most modern techniques, cultural practices and ideas can be traced back to ancient origins. And when you go back to the original of all things, you find Black people. (This information was obtained from Supreme Design Publishing’s 365 Days Of History, Little-Known Facts Of The Global Black Experience From Prehistory To The Present 2011 WALL CALENDAR)

WOW! As I was writing this column my son telephoned me and told me to turn on The African Channel(87) because they were showing a program about President Obama and his family’s visit to GHANA! WOW! The timing of receiving this phone call at this particular point and time was mind-blowing! There are definitely no coincidences! ONE MONTH IS DEFINITELY NOT ENOUGH! This is Lillie’s Point Of View!


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