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  • The Middle Passage

    Refers to the transatlantic movement of enslaved Africans to different parts of the Americas after 1492, influencing all parts of the Atlantic world & creating the African Diaspora
    Between 1500-1860 approximately 12 million people are known to have left the shores of Africa


    A new philosophy pioneered by Molefi Asante.
    also referred to as centeredness or location. The ultimate goal of Africa centricity is the liberation of African people from the grips of Eurocentrism. It's an attempt to recapture and reconstruct the cultural, social, economical, political, and spiritual well-being of African American people.

    Olaudah Equiano

    was brought to America via the Middle Passage from a village in Africa named Essaka at the age of eleven. This has recently been refuted as many scholars today who posit that he was born in South Carolina

    Nat Turner


    Kawaida Theory

    Molefei Asante

    The Willie Lynch Letter

    Lynch is rumored to have been brought from West Indies to the James River banks to instruct slave holders in how to put down slave insurrections and control those enslaved
    Highlighted connection to King James Bible via location
    Been in print since 1979, popularized in the 1990s
    Debate whether its authentic or hoax
    Discuss economic cost of lynchings, insurrections, fires,& runaways

    University of Sankore

    Muslim school in Timbuktu
    One of the three major centers of learning located in timbuctu, mali and west africa

    Sojourner Truth

    Liberated in 1827
    Ain't I a Woman (1851)
    Seen as model of Black Feminism
    Argued for women's rights
    Akron, Ohio
    "I have as much muscle as a man and can do as much work."
    Religious appeal


    Begin in early 8th century, at its apex most advanced African civilization (its destruction paved the way for Transatlantic Slave trade)
    Africans-1st to foster the university ideal (art, literature, sciences)
    Sunni Ali-captured other cities including Timbuktu & Jenne Askia Mohammed-similar Mecca
    Great contributions to learning


    The master would take the strongest male and breed them with a female. forced sex o produce good stock. they would be forced to have sex with alot of women at the hands of the slave master "brute" .

    David Walker

    Black abolitionist who called for the immediate emancipation of slaves; wrote the "Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World."- called for a bloody end to white supremacy; believed that the only way to end slavery was for slaves to physically revolt.

    Chattel Slavery

    Slavery existed through human history in various forms not based on race/color
    Prior to 16th century slaveholders and those enslaved often of same nationality/race
    Portugal took the lead in the ST however England & US emerged as its principal benefactors/leaders

    King Mansa Musa

    Famous Hajj to Mecca, distributes gold causing in inflation, brings home Muslim scholars

    triangular slave trade

    A practice, primarily during the eighteenth century, in which European ships, transported slaves from Africa to Caribbean islands, molasses from the Caribbean to Europe, and trade goods from Europe to Africa.

    Trans-atlantic slave trade

    Slaves being sold by Africans and sent to America and resources like sugar, tobacco, rice, lumber, and silver being extracted and sent back to Europe for manufacturing. Europe traded goods--usually weapons--to the African slave traders for the slaves to take to the New World.

    Melville Herskovits -Myth of the Negro Past (1958

    Myth of the Negro past is principal support of race prejudge in this country
    African cultural patterns evident in families before, during and after slavery
    Study tries to dispel five myths

    African American Studies

    Variety of terms used: Black Studies, Africana Studies (more global), African Caribbean Studies, Diaspora Studies "a field of study that systematically treats the past and present experiences, characteristics, achievements, issues, and problems of Black citizens of the United States who are of African origin and background

    the purpose of african american studies

    Purpose is to expand & impart knowledge through scholarly research, theoretical inquiry, and policy analysis. Must include a critical eye and the goal of educational and social improvement.

    The exaggerated american

    African Americans are seen as individually striving to become Americans. They become more American than European/White Americans.
    Efforts to proved their equality, first to enlist
    Anti-immigration views

    The Invisible Man approach

    African Americans were viewed as a "footnote" to American History
    African Americans not wholly involved or active in American landscape
    Ex: speak of slavery as a system with no discussion of the lives of those involved

    The Pathological Approach

    African American History became the "sick" part of American History
    Tendency to glaze over as it is too painful

    The Catastrophic Approach

    African Americans are being constantly victimized. There is an overemphasis on suffering.
    See Black history as a series of struggles omitting any achievements


    A popular approach, usually paraded every February, that examines what African Americans have achieved.
    Offered as a solution to the 'invisible man"
    "Overemphasis" on the greats in order to combat the omission

    Hidden History of Africa

    ly Africans didn't define themselves as continents but as a region. The nile river stretches 4,000 feet into africa . it was the 1st cultural highway. Egypt was created and maintained by (black) africans. 1st show of european intelligence was the illiad and the oddessey. Egypt was old and tired went through 24 dynasties. The pharoahs in the south were NUBIA. 3,000 years nubia ruled and was the 25th dynasty egyptians .

    The African Past (Before European Domination

    Myth that Africa has no history or civilization
    Human development began in Africa (Nile River, Tanzania, Lucy)
    Africans were among the 1st builders of civilization
    Mastered numerous skills and trades such as agriculture, animal domestication, iron-smelting, tool-making, wood/stone-works

    Ancient Ethiopia ( Nile River Civilizations)

    Abyssinia, Kush, Nubia, "Land of Punt"
    World's 1st civilization-believed to be the location of human creation/evolution
    At height, included N. Somalia, Djibouti, S. Egypt, E. Sudan, Yemen, W. Saudi Arabia including other areas in W. Asia & India
    Ethiopia- "Greek word for burnt face"

    Ancient Ethiopia

    Founding of one of the 1st Christian kingdoms
    Agricultural base
    System of feudalism with clear class demarcations (landlords & peasants)
    No transition to capitalism

    Ancient Kemet/ Egypt

    Given the advanced civilization of Kemet (3200-30 BC) endless attempts to "whiten" Kemet and/or remove it from the continent of Africa denying the role of African people in its construction
    After 7th century Arab & Turkish colonization

    The sphinx

    the image of Pharaoh with the head of a Black/Nubian man Chephren (Builder of the 2nd pyramid) over the body of a lion facing the East; riddle of human life

    Peoples of Ancient Kemet/ Egypt

    Ancient Egyptians were of mixed blood, however mostly described by others and depicted themselves as "Black" or reddish -brown with Negroid features
    Whites in ancient tombs are thought to be "slaves" (indentured servants) presented to African kings as gifts
    Massive migration of Ethiopians (Nubians) c 1700-1500 BC African influence, 8th century- Ethiopia ruled Egypt for the next century

    Ancient "Egyptians

    writing with alphabet
    Invention of the calendar
    Contributions to math & science
    Aided by Kush, Nubia, Ethiopia

    Ancient Kingdom of Ghana

    At its height, territory expanded Mali, Guinea, Gambia, Senegal and some of Mauritania
    Agriculture & commerce; Gold principal commodity but diversified
    Craftsmen (goldsmiths, blacksmiths, iron workers, carpenters, etc...)
    Invaded by Muslim sect in 1062; power declined in 1240


    Dates by to 7th century but strongest organized state by AD 1235 (= Western European)
    Embraced Islam, but masses retained traditional beliefs
    King Sundiata Mansa Musa I
    In 1324, Historical Pilgrimage to Mecca through Egypt (7,000 +, 12 tons of gold by 80 camels)
    1st time Black Sudanese King traveled from Western African through Egypt to Mecca

    African Presence in the Americas before Columbus

    Carbon-dating sculptures, maps, letters & diaries of explores suggests extensive African contact
    Olmecs Civilization
    Developed many things culturally and religiously that were later used by the Mayans and Aztecs and many other cultures
    Believed to be related to the Mende of West Africa
    Influence of the Moors in the Discovery of America

    uniquely african

    Culture- total way of life; connected primarily to spiritual beliefs
    Death & life seen as a cycle/continuation
    Music, art, & dance were key forms of expression
    Drums & percussion

    Overview of African Spirituality/Religion Systems

    Dominance of spirituality as evidence in music, art, structures
    Early inception of Christianity and Islam
    Focus on the ideal rather than physical world; non-scientific or metaphysical way of interpreting life
    Prior to European invasion, religion dominated African cultures akin to other pre-feudal societies


    need for control ; survival techniques ( suicides , starvation, revolts / uprising)

    poor stock

    inferiority; little or no selectivity of families (took anyone)

    no culture

    separation of families


    invalidation of every african , superiority over the other ethnocentric approach

    middle passage

    A largest single migration of people before the mid-19th century
    More Africans crossed the Atlantic than Europeans
    Consideration of gender: more females of African descent than European females; more males overall

    Willie lynch

    Full- proof method of controlling slaves for at least 300 years
    Psychological tactic
    Intelligence, size, sex, age, status, size of planation
    Requires love only for slaveholder

    divide & conquer

    Proposed to control slaves for next 300 years
    Outlined differences: use fear, envy, & distrust for control purposes
    Differences based on age, color, intelligence, size, sex, status, attitudes....etc
    Old v. young, female v. male, light v. dark

    horse analogy

    Breaking of the Black male
    Cant not be kept in nature state; dangerous and may kill you
    Keep the body, take the mind
    Female: most important factor for good economics; responsible for the training of offspring
    Role reversal in gender rearing
    Female independence, boys mentally dependent and weak but physically strong (counter to African tradition)
    Remove language and education

    Phillis Wheatley

    Phillis Wheatley was brought from Gambia, West Africa to America at around the age of seven where she became the enslaved domestic of John and Susanna Wheatley who taught her to read and write.Public couldn't believe domestic slave had the artistic & intellectual capacity to create poetry. Brought before Court of law to determine authenticity
    of writings.

    Equiano's thoughts

    Thought that the white men were cannibals and believed that they could perform magic to make the vessel (ship) move and stop. He also elaborates about the punishment, namely floggings, that a slave would receive if he or she did not eat, which he suggests he personally endured. He speaks of the poor sanitation and hygiene aboard the ship.

    Impacts of the transatlantic slave trade

    Arbitrarily kidnapped/little selectivity
    Over time association of slave status and African heritage
    Slaves were largely held by those of a different ethnicity
    Extremely restricted access to freedom

    defining african american studies

    Defend against racism , and any other injustices, but especially african american . Teach and publish black studies , social theory, and analysis , criticism , historiogrphy and to reference work of pioneering black scholars. generate new knowledge and research. preserve the value of scholarly known history. African american studies is about renaming self in the world of knowledge and human relations.

    Black Studies Directors' Seminar

    Part of collective effort to articulate and operationalize for academic investigation what we meant by "Black Experience"
    Four goals
    To defend (legitimize) against racism& intellectual chauvinism; fundamental right of all people especially African Americans
    To disseminate (teach & publish)
    Generate knowledge (new research)
    To preserve the acknowledged value rare/classical texts & maintain a rich heritage of African peoples & their descendants

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