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"choices" note to Kanye West

kpr37May 5, 2018, 4:20:57 AM
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K-K-Kanye West darling of the "alt-right" at the moment, has been invited to visit Nigeria by Shehu Sani, a member of the "All Progressive Congress", the ruling party in Nigeria. As one should historically be very wary of Greeks bearing gifts, one should well examine progressives of any stripe peddling a narrative, wanting to 'inform" you.

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) A Nigerian senator has invited American rapper Kanye West to visit slave ports in Africa for an education on the slave trade.

Kanye West is facing immense criticism following his remarks during an interview with TMZ live this week in Los Angeles, where he said the slave trade was a "choice".

The musician opened up about his mental health, his family, and his art during the show. He also said this about slavery, "When you hear about slavery for 400 years ... For 400 years? That sounds like a choice.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/04/africa/nigeria-lawmaker-kanye-west/index.html

I believe that this is truly a gift, a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the truly horrific trans-Atlantic and localized indigenous slave trade of the area. (pre-colonial and post-colonial)

I'm hopeful he will take to heart on this trip, the true meaning of the Thomas Sowell quote that he, Mr. West recently posted on Twitter. As it is, in my opinion, an apt companion for his journey of intellectual discovery.

“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.”

https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/6584506-it-takes-considerable-knowledge-just-to-realize-the-extent-of

Now, what may we be ignorant about regarding Nigeria? Where to start? I've studied West Africa, particularly Nigeria for twenty years and yet still discover the depths of my own ignorance on a semi-regular basis.

Who knows of the terrible "choice" made in Georgia in 1803 by enslaved Igbo?

Igbo Landing is a historic site at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia. In 1803 one of the largest mass suicides of enslaved people took place when Igbo captives from what is now Nigeria were taken to the Georgia coast. In May 1803, the Igbo and other West African captives arrived in Savannah, Georgia, on the slave ship the Wanderer. They were purchased for an average of $100 each by slave merchants John Couper and Thomas Spalding to be resold to plantations on nearby St. Simons Island. The chained slaves were packed under deck of a coastal vessel, the York, which would take them to St. Simons. During the voyage, approximately 75 Igbo slaves rose in rebellion, took control of the ship, drowned their captors, and in the process caused the grounding of the ship in Dunbar Creek.

The sequence of events that occurred next remains unclear. It is known only that the Igbo marched ashore, singing, led by their high chief. Then at his direction, they walked into the marshy waters of Dunbar Creek, committing mass suicide.

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/igbo-landing-mass-suicide-1803

How many know the percentage of enslaved Africans from this area that were brought to America? Nigeria and America have deep and everlasting ties few acknowledge or are even remotely aware of.

The Igbo and Yoruba peoples from the Bights of Benin and Biafra compromised roughly one-third of all enslaved Africans transported to the Americas. Professor Childs examines how the transatlantic slave trade during the 18th and 19th centuries brought about the formation of a common identity in Africa among the Yoruba and Igbo peoples, and how their culture was both transferred and transformed in the Americas.

https://barnard.edu/events/trans-atlantic-slave-trade-its-effect-igbo-yoruba-cultures

Bringing us to Olaudah Equiano the first Nigerian abolitionist.

Olaudah Equiano, whose father was an Ibo chief, was born in 1745 in what is now Southern Nigeria. At the age of 11 years, Olaudah was captured by African slave traders and sold into bondage in the New World. Equiano, given the name Gustavus Vassa by one of his many owners, was forced to serve several masters, among them a Virginia plantation owner, a British Naval officer, and a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania merchant. While a slave to the naval officer Equiano traveled between four continents. These global experiences within the Atlantic Slave Trade allowed Equiano to produce the most popular and vivid slave narrative of his era.

By 1777 at the age of 32, Equiano, after having mastered reading, writing and arithmetic, purchased his freedom. He settled in England, befriended Granville Sharp, the first prominent British abolitionist, and soon became a leader of the emerging anti-slavery movement. Equiano presented one of the first petitions to the British Parliament calling for the abolition of slavery.

Equiano married an Englishwoman, Susanna Cullen, in 1792. The couple had two daughters, one of whom survived to inherit her father’s estate. Olaudah Equiano died in 1797, ten years before the slave trade was abolished and 36 years before Parliament outlawed slavery throughout the British Empire.

http://www.blackpast.org/gah/equiano-olaudah-1745-1797

First, for the purposes of this article the word Benin, as used is not the post-colonial nation-state of Benin (the ancient kingdom of Dahomey/ Fon peoples) but the area around Benin city Nigeria ( Edo peoples).

The people of the south-east were heavily preyed upon by slave traders from the north and along the coast. Forced to abandon their settlements and move into the forests to evade their captors, the struggles of the Igbo peoples were preserved in long epics, memorised and passed down the generations.

Colonial period

In the 15th century, Benin began to trade with the Portuguese, selling slaves and acquiring spices, firearms, the art of writing and the Christian religion. By the 18th century, the British had displaced the Portuguese as leaders of the slave trade. A century later, in 1807, the missionaries’ campaign against slavery had gained support, leading the British parliament to ban the slave trade. The navy began to patrol the coast, arresting slavers and settling captured slaves (most of them Nigerians) in the resettlement colony of Sierra Leone. Several missionaries in Nigeria were themselves freed Nigerian slaves who had converted to Christianity in Sierra Leone. The missionaries introduced quinine to control malaria, a new trade in palm oil also began, and the economies of southern Nigeria became increasingly powerful. Steamboats took this new culture up-river and into the forests.

In the early 19th century, there was upheaval in the north, as Fulani emirs declared a jihad (holy war) against the Hausa state of Gobir and created a new empire with city states, a common religious and judicial system and Qur’anic schools. The Muslim empire spread rapidly.

http://thecommonwealth.org/our-member-countries/nigeria/history

From the Harriet Tubman Institute.

Slaves in Kano are categorised into two classes:

bayin gida(domestic slaves) and bayin aiki

(farmyard slaves). Bayin gida were also referred to as “trusted” slaves that have earned the trust of their master either through hard work, obedience or bravery at the battlefield. These slaves

are mostly found among the royal households as identified by Imam Imoru in the table below:

Bayin aiki on the other hand are the slaves that were

recently captured and enslaved and have very little or no

knowledge of their status in the society. They are mostly

being considered first-generation slaves.

http://www.tubmaninstitute.ca/sites/default/files/file/Hamza_Ibrahim_2005.pdf

At a time when coastal West Africa was responding to the growth of legitimate trade, the Sokoto Caliphate was experiencing dramatic expansion in the plantation sector. Plantations (gandu, rinji, tungazi), which used slaves captured by the Caliphate armies, were established near all the major towns and were particularly important around Sokoto, Kano, Zaria and other capitals. Plantation development originated with the policies of Muhammad Bello, first Caliph and successor to Uthman dan Fodio, who was concerned with the consolidation and defence of the empire.

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-african-history/article/plantations-in-the-economy-of-the-sokoto-caliphate/9722C361E92B3B5671C2B96D79B2590A

Another notable Islamic slave society was that of the Sokoto caliphate formed by Hausas in sub-Saharan Africa (northern Nigeria and Cameroon) in the 19th century. At least half the population was enslaved. That was only the most notable of the Fulani jihad states of the western and central Sudan, where between 1750 and 1900 from one- to two-thirds of the entire population consisted of slaves.In Islamic Ghana, between 1076 and 1600, about a third of the population were slaves. The same was true among other early states of the western Sudan, including Mali (1200–1500), Segou (1720–1861), and Songhai (1464–1720). It should be noted that slavery was prominent in Ghana and Mali, and presumably elsewhere in Africa in areas for which information is not available, long before the beginnings of the transatlantic slave trade. The population of the notorious slave-trading state of the central Sudan, Ouidah (Whydah), was half-slave in the 19th century. It was about a third in Kanem (1600–1800) and perhaps 40 percent in Bornu (1580–1890). Most slaves probably were acquired by raiding neighbouring peoples, but others entered slavery because of criminal convictions or defaulting on debts (often not their own); subsequently, many of those people were sold into the international slave trade.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/slavery-sociology

In the following article Professor Emeritus Jere L. Bacharach, a specialist in Medieval Middle Eastern history, describes the little known saga of one of the largest groups of persons of African descent in the region, military slaves. These enslaved men, utilized for centuries in the Muslim world, had no counterpart in Europe or the Americas

http://www.blackpast.org/perspectives/african-military-slaves-muslim-middle-east

An attempted coup d'état by the general of the cavalry in 1817 backfired when the cavalry itself revolted and pledged its allegiance to the Sokoto Caliphate. The cavalry was largely composed of Muslim slaves from farther north, and they saw in the jihad a justification for rebellion. In the 1820s, Oyo had been torn asunder, and the defeated king and the warlords of the Oyo Mesi retreated south to form new cities, including Ibadan, where they carried on their resistance to the caliphate and fought among themselves as well.

http://countrystudies.us/nigeria/9.htm

They fought on the side of those who enslaved them. That as well was a choice.

kpr37 with a pagan's perspective.

As Kanye said, "love to all".

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