People of Africa: Asante (Ashanti)

August 25, 2015

Asante (Ashanti) History Much of the modern nation of Ghana was dominated from the late 17th through the late 19th century by a state known as Asante. Asante was the largest and most powerful of a series of states formed in the forest region of southern Ghana by people known as the Akan. Among the factors leading the Akan to form states, perhaps the most important was that they were…


Slavery Myths and Facts

August 4, 2015

Slavery Fact Sheets Geography 1. Enslaved Africans came primarily from a region stretching from the Senegal River in northern Africa to Angola in the South. 2. Europeans divided this stretch of land into five coasts: Upper Guinea Coast: The area delineated by the Senegal and Gambia Rivers Ivory (or Kwa Kwa or Windward) Coast:Central Liberia Lower Guinea Coast: Divided into the Gold Coast on the west (Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana),…


Africa before Slavery

August 3, 2015

 Africa’s History did not start with Slavery It takes more than a horrifying transatlantic voyage chained in the filthy hold of a slave ship to erase someone’s culture – Maya Angelou Africa’s history did not begin in slavery, and despite the peculiarity, horror, and duration of enslavement of Africans, slavery occupies a minor time-frame. Beyond cotton fields and civil rights in the 120,000 years of African history (0.5% of African…


Facts about the Slave Trade and Slavery

August 2, 2015

SLAVE TRADE The level of slave exports grew from about 36,000 a year during the early 18th century to almost 80,000 a year during the 1780s. The Angolan region of west-central Africa made up slightly more than half of all Africans sent to the Americas and a quarter of imports to British North America. Approximately 11,863,000 Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, with a death rate during the Middle Passage…


Emancipation Day

breaking chain - Emancipation Day
August 1, 2015

INTRODUCTION The history of the New World since Columbus re-discovered it is one of conquest, pillage, exploitation and forced migration of a people. For more than three centuries millions of people were forcibly transported from their homes in Africa, across the perilous Atlantic Ocean to the New World, where they were forced to labour on sugar plantations for the rest of their lives. This enslavement of a people continued until…


Henry Louis Gates is Wrong about African Involvement in the Slave Trade

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante
July 31, 2015

Over the past twenty-five years I have had various exchanges, some quite useful and productive, with Henry Louis Gates. We have shared a couple of public meetings and dinners during conferences, book signings, and the like. However, we have rarely agreed on Black Studies, Black History, Afrocentricity, Black Nationalism, or the slave trade. The essay on slavery and reparations in the New York Times (April 23, 2010) caused me to…


Ashanti Empire / Asante Kingdom (18th to late 19th century)

Ashanti map
July 31, 2015

The Ashanti Empire was a pre-colonial West African state that emerged in the 17th century in what is now Ghana. The Ashanti or Asante were an ethnic subgroup of the Akan-speaking people, and were composed of small chiefdoms.   The Ashanti established their state around Kumasi in the late 1600s, shortly after their first encounter with Europeans. In some ways the Empire grew out of the wars and dislocations caused…


Forget the snub in Ethiopia – the slave trade files that tell Africa ‘sorry, you are on your own’

slave trade in Africa
July 20, 2015

This week rich nations slapped down a push for their multinationals to rightfully pay tax. The reason is in plain sight, and goes back centuries. THE inscription on the bronze statue reads: “Erected by the citizens of Bristol and memorial to one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.” The 18-foot pedestal in Bristol, the United Kingdom’s eighth most populous city, is in honour of Edward Colston,…