Celebrating our Stateless African Heritage!
In this video, I will suggest a slightly different way of looking at African history. I am a Panafricanist and I understand the importance of our people know...

In this video, I will suggest a slightly different way of looking at African history. I am a Panafricanist and I understand the importance of our people knowing our history. As Marcus Garvey said - a people without knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots.

When we think of African history, we usually think of kingdoms and Empires. In one sense, this has been a necessary response to lies that we have been told by non-Africans. Other people have told us (and themselves) that before they came along, Africans were “savages.” They claim we were swinging on trees and living in caves. They have told us that we did not have any so-called civilisation. This is of course false, and it is important to debunk this myth. Many of our fine scholars such as Cheikh Anta Diop have done amazing work in this area. The fact is that existence of kingdoms goes back several 000’s years in Africa. The very earliest states were in Africa, in the Nile Valley. We can speak of the the Kingdoms of Kush and Kemet, Axum, Makuria, Mali, Songhay, Ghana, Kongo, Ashanti, etc.

However, by focusing so much on kingdoms to counteract this lie - I think that we have swallowed another, more subtle kind of lie. This is the idea that societies with centralised and hierarchical political power structures - such as monarchies - are more advanced and noble than those with decentralised, horizontal power structures.

@mkulima
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This is AMAZING. As someone whose history is a stateless society, I found this very relevant. Importantly, its focus on decentralized structure is even more powerful as a basis of challenging both former African empires that took from the peasants to sustain hereditary lineages + colonial invaders who forced states on stateless societies. Really liked this video.

@mvuvi
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I did not know Nilotes were running away from Cushitic centralized states. TIL.

mtumishi
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However, by focusing so much on kingdoms to counteract this lie - I think that we have swallowed another, more subtle kind of lie. This is the idea that societies with centralised and hierarchical political power structures - such as monarchies - are more advanced and noble than those with decentralised, horizontal power structures.

This is so important.

Mwalimu
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One point the video made which I found interesting is the idea that statelessness was not just a pre-state stage, but in some cases a post-state state by design. These are communities that had lived under empires and revolted against centralized power. Statelessness by design.

James C Scott was also making almost the same argument here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Art_of_Not_Being_Governed

@mvuvi
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https://www.cornell.edu/video/james-scott-the-art-of-not-being-governed

For two thousand years, the peoples residing in Zomia – the mountainous region that stretches from the Central Highlands of Vietnam to northeastern India – have fled the organized state societies in the valleys. Far from being ‘remnants’ left behind by civilizing societies, they are “barbarians by choice”, peoples who have deliberately put distance between themselves and lowland, state-centers.

A space to discuss general stuff relating to Africa.

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