All Roads Lead Back to AFRICA! We Call Africa the "Motherland"​ Because It's the Birthplace of the Human Race

Elizabeth Leiba
I didn't learn the indisputable fact that Africa is the CRADLE of Civilization until I was in HIGH SCHOOL!

Looking back at it, and with the knowledge I have as an educator, I shouldn't be surprised. This part of the history of humankind is often overlooked. But it has been proven again and again. With this being the case, why don't we learn more about African history?

There is something inherently wrong with the philosophy that Black history began with slavery because we know that although slavery is an ancient practice and it was not a foreign concept in Africa, European colonizers who arrived on the continent encountered advanced civilizations. They DID NOT arrive to a continent full of slaves. That's simply untrue and a distortion of the facts. They ENSLAVED the people they found there. They encountered KINGDOMS with mining, planned cities, sewerage systems, architectural masterpieces. music, arithmetic, and oral literature.

Let's STOP saying slavery was practiced everywhere. Let's STOP saying American slavery is being demonized. Anyone who has picked up the Old Testament of the Bible knows that slavery is an ancient practice. HOWEVER, the slavery that was practiced in Africa and other parts of the world was based on the enslaved being prisoners of war or to pay debts. It WAS NOT based on the color of people's skin and was not in perpetuity and inherited like American slavery.

Let's STOP saying, "Africans sold each other into slavery!" Like the "Black-on-Black" argument this line of reasoning seeks to paint a particularly insidious, harmful, and toxic narrative about the nature of the relationships Black people have with each other. For more on why this is such a dangerous practice, I encourage reading the work of Dr. Joy DeGruy. Her book titled Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome is particularly enlightening.

The image of Africa as an advance civilization prior to the arrival of Europeans runs totally counter to the image many of us were taught in school. But THAT is the accurate picture of pre-colonial Africa. This is another reason why I am so committed to the study of African history and culture. I know how much learning this ONE small fact in high school changed my outlook about myself, my ancestry and my potential.

My subscription-based Black History & Culture Academy offers several courses on African history, literature and culture. And I will continue to add courses about the beauty and richness of African culture because it's important to understand that Black history DOESN'T begin with slavery.