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There is very little documentation about the African enslavement in the Arab world. Most documentation and research

focuses on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but until the turn of the 19th Century, Arab slave traders dealt

in a lucrative business in African slaves from the Congo, Rwanda, and particularly East Africa



Books by Chinweizu


 The West and the Rest of Us (1975) / Decolonising the African Mind (1987) / Voices from Twentieth-century Africa (1988)


Invocations and Admonitions (1986); Energy Crisis and Other Poems (1978); Anatomy of Female Power (1990)


 Towards the Decolonization of African Literature (1980).


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Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man's Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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Books by Kola Boof  


Nile River Woman (Poems, Feb. 10, 2004)  / Long Train to the Redeeming Sin-Stories About African Women (April 6, 2004)

 Flesh and the Devil: A Novel (May 11, 2004)  /   Diary of a Lost Girl (2007)

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Qaddafi apologizes for Arab slave trade

By Sallie Pisch


CAIRO: Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi apologized for the slave trade on behalf of Arabs at the second Afro-Arab summit in Libya on Sunday. It may be the first time an Arab leader has admitted—much less apologized for—enslaving Africans.

While completely unprecedented, the statement falls in line with Qaddafi’s decade-long policy of aligning himself with African nations.

“I regret the behavior of the Arabs… They brought African children to North Africa, they made them slaves, they sold them like animals, and they took them as slaves and traded them in a shameful way. I regret and I am ashamed when we remember these practices. I apologize for this,” Qaddafi was quoted as saying.

A number of African leaders, including Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, were in attendance at the summit which covered topics ranging from the Palestinian issue to Sudanese separation.

Gaddafi continued his statement by saying, “Today we are embarrassed and shocked by these outrageous practices of rich Arabs who had treated their fellow Africans with contempt and condescension.” Gaddafi’s statement was broad, leaving a time reference open for debate.

There is very little documentation about the African enslavement in the Arab world. Most documentation and research focuses on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, but until the turn of the 19th Century, Arab slave traders dealt in a lucrative business in African slaves from the Congo, Rwanda, and particularly East Africa. In the middle of the ninth century, a revolt of the Zanj, African slaves held in modern-day Iraq, lasted for nearly fifteen years.

The Arab slave trade was also excuse used by Europeans, including King Leopold II of Belgium, to move into Africa during the age of European colonization.

There is some documentation of Arab enslavement up until the mid-1900s. According to a report by the United Nations in 1957, as much as 20% of the population of Saudi Arabia consisted of slaves. The report listed the worth of a girl under 5 years of age to be between 200-400 British pounds on the Jeddah slave market, while a man under 40 averaged 150 British pounds.

It is plausible that Gaddafi’s statements referenced modern enslavement by Arabs, from the era of European colonization to the present day. “We should now recognize this issue, denounce it vigorously and place it in its true dimension,” Ghaddafi said in his statement.

In September, UK Channel 4 released a film version of the story of a Nubian woman named Mende Nazer. The film, titled I Am Slave, tells the true story of a girl who was abducted from the Nuba mountains and was eventually sold into domestic servitude with an Arab family in London.

In 2000, Nazer’s story made international news when she managed to escape. Although the numbers of people living in such circumstances are difficult to determine, an August article in the UK’s Telegraph estimated around 5,000 people are currently working as domestic slaves in the UK.

Either way, the Libyan leader’s statement is remarkable, even for a man who likes to make headlines.

12 October 2010

Source: BikYaMasr

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Reply to Qaddafi, et al.

on Apology for Slavery

By Marvin X


We must appreciate the Arab apology for their role in the slave trade. The French also apologized for slavery and colonialism, although they insist on citing the positive aspects of colonialism, indicating a residue of white supremacy and their need for further recovery. Australia apologized for genocide of the Aboriginal people. America has yet to apologize in her hard heartedness and determination to maintain absolute domination and exploitation of North American Africans and to remain the last bastion of white supremacy on the planet.

Throughout the Americas, we see a majority of nations trying to establish progressive governments, some with indigenous people in power, such as Morales in Bolivia. There are left of center governments in Cuba, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and elsewhere. These nations are attempting to shake Yankee imperialism and develop a socialist or more humanistic form of free market economics, rather than the blatant system of USA naked capitalism (aka Globalism) with wage slavery and robbery of the natural resources of the indigenous people.

In harmony and unity with the peoples of the Americas, it is incumbent on North American Africans to make a similar paradigm shift and move to a more radical agenda in their political economic philosophy. In short, we must jump out of the box of American white supremacy ideology. We not only demand apologies, but reparations for past indignities, including slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism, including the present era domestic colonialism.

There must be an immediate redistribution of wealth from centuries of capital accumulation by Euro-Americans. Without this redistribution or sharing of wealth, we see a second civil war on the horizon. North American Africans were recently scammed and robbed of their basic wealth (home ownership) with the sub prime loan scheme. Thus their perennial abject economic condition has worsened, approaching the abyss while the bandits were rewarded and replenished for their robbery and naked exploitation of the middle class and poor. Because this scam was partly orchestrated by a Black president, who bailed out the Wall Street bandits who put him in office, we are not under the delusion hope is still alive, for we have a plethora of white presidents in black face throughout Africa and the Caribbean, no better than the colonialists who preceded them.

Obama is proving he is in the tradition of these African or black men with white hearts! He is a neo-colonial Negro in the best tradition of those who have preceded him throughout American history. We know the sound of a duck when we hear it. The sound is unmistakable and we are not fooled. How can he offer jobs, housing, and education to terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, if they lay down their guns, but not implement the same for brothers and sisters in the hood who are suffering from the same poverty, ignorance, and disease?

Finally, as per apology for slavery, we await apology from our African brothers, especially those who still benefit from the accumulation of wealth from the slave trade. To date, only one African brother has said to me, "Brother, I am sorry for my people selling your people into slavery." Only until this has occurred on a mass level, perhaps in some gigantic ritual of healing, will relations between Africans and North American Africans reach closure on the matter of slavery.

But on the general condition of slavery and especially the oppression of women that persists to this present moment, including the sexual exploitation on the streets of America by so-called pimps, especially those in black face, along with the global exploitation of women in sex traffic (no matter that I support legalized prostitution), and the mass rape of women throughout Africa and the world, honor killings, clitoris mutilation and partner violence, whether physical, verbal, or emotional, these abominations must be eliminated totally and absolutely.

16 October 2010

Source: BlackBirdPressNews

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Rehabilitating U.S. Military Intervention in the Age of Obama

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Qaddafi's apology follows on the heels of that by the United States for its plague visited upon the Guatemalans. By that of the Congress of the United States for its exploitation of the African Americans who built the Capitol at slave wages.

Qaddafi's statement is indeed more remarkable than the latter two apologies. The United States of America has yet to apologize for its kidnapping and enslavement of the sons and daughters of Africa.

Nor has it apologized to Mexico for its theft of much of what we call the Southwest, including California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Nor has it thanked the Haitian people for its aid in acquiring the Louisiana Territory, which makes up much of what is the Midwest and the Northwest sections of the present-day United States.

For those with an interest, you may like to read Chinweizu's take on Arab slave trade.I challenge Saudi Arabia and Iraq to make similar apologies. Of course apologies without payment is little or no apology at all.—Rudy

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It is possible to visit sites in Mauritania and other sites, where the Arab slave trade happened. there were some differences between slavery there and here in America, but it was all racially based. The racism does still exist in all of the Arab world, despite what the Qur'an says and what the prophet Muhammed (saw) said. I personally experienced it when I was living in Morocco, and there are videos of the experience of racism by "Black" Arabs in Iraq.

This attitude is not at all intrinsic to Islam, but is some cultural crap, adopted from the dominant group or left over from before Islam. I only need remind myself, my daughter, and anyone who brings up some racist statement that the first man to call the adhan, the call to prayer, was Bilal, an African man.—Iman Zaineb

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Thank you, Brother Rudy. I am so glad that you brought this up, because it expands the notion that we have of this time period and places some of the current events in North Africa and Middle East into a more proper and complex perspective.—Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

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hello rudy, we are on the same page about qaddafi's apology; he has always been forthright and from meeting him back in the 80s when reagan was lying about "libyan hit squads," today, he is a true muslim, not one who pretends or stands on ritual.

but as to some of the materials you quoted from bernard lewis, i would not take him as an honest scholar, because he was an economist and knew little of Islam, and made up a lot of things and exaggerated others; no true scholars of islam or arab history trust his work because of his use as a zionist propagandist against islam and the arabs.

i knew bernard lewis before i went to teach at princeton, and often argued with him while here in princeton; true arab and muslim historians, many of them jews, abhored his bad scholarship on arabs and islam,and often slanted and biased writings against islam and the arabs.

do not get me wrong, there is, and has been, a lot wrong in the arab and muslim worlds, but the prophert muhammad tried to help correct that. but, as with all religions, not all of it takes. for instance, in one of the earliest of arab classical poems, there is "Antar," that deals with a black member of the tribe who desires the hand of the chief's daughter, the chief and his family are white. the chief says, "no." but later, when antar proves himself in battle, the chief says, "yes, to the marriage" and antar becomes the leader of the tribe in time. this showed racial discrimination at that time, but certainly not slavery as we had it in the west.

but let us go on to other matters that i hope will clarifiy matters a bit more. i know this is a touchy subject and some would not dare touch it, but ishmael and marvin both know that i am willing to go where others fear to tread. but this also to let you know that i agree with qaddafi, and an apology is owed, as it must be, from america and from other arab and muslim countries, and they must also apologize to Allah for their misdeeds, then and today, if necessary.

but also, malik al shabazz, malcom x, was no fool. he saw some things that he'd never seen, but he saw the real islam, not that which was culture bound in the arab or islamic world where people do ritual instead of the real practice of the faith.

1. there was, and still is, discrimination in the arab and muslim worlds; but, you must understand, the Qur'an is against it.

2. slaves in the muslim world, were like indentured servants in the west, but bernard lewis, one of my former colleagues at princeton, was a notorious creator of materials, especially against the arabs and islam. he was one of those whose task was to split islam and the african americans in america and the world with his books. he also had dual citizenship with israel and america, so u can see where his sympathies lay.

3. slavery in america was always brutal, with no sense of human relationships or human respect; in the muslim world, from what i have read from other scholars in history, was, as i said, more like indentured servants, and families were not split up as happened in america and europe. slaves were often prisoners taken in warfare. until the europeans came, we have no record of them being "sold" as chattel, which was, and is inhuman, but after the europeans came, there is no doubt that many went for the money or whatever. this was against qur'anic law, to "sell" another human being. if u have that person as a, as in western term, "slave" you must treat him or her with respect, feed , house, and clothe them and let them do their prayers, etc., and they do the work you assign them. after a certain amount of time, they may leave if they wish; they are not bound for life. this is not to justify this matter, but to make clear that the term "slavery" doesn't have the same meaning in arabic as it does in english, and islamic and arab types of slavery, though not good, were not at all like slavery in europe and the americas.


4. qaddafi always comes out with the truth, as he did in other matters in the past. i didn't see this quote, but he has always been forthright on behalf of africans, african americans and native americans (what he termed, "the red Indians," so as to distinguish and make clear that they were not indians at all, for to be an indian, u had to have been from india!)

i'd say more, but i hope this helps clarify some matters. this is not that i disagree with you, but that there are matters here that i felt needed clarification.unfortunately, bad discrimination exists and has existed for too long in the world; rememeber spike lee's, School Daze—it showed among african amerians discrimination based on light, tan, brown, black, and blue blacks at an african american college; i taught at howard univ, and it was evident there while i was teaching there from 1988-95.

we have to do away with all discrimination of that sort; the qur'an speaks against discrimination, but what alleged "muslims" do may be the opposite, but that is not the fault of Islam, nor good muslims, no matter what their color.
peace, salaam, Sam Hamod (October 16)

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i'd also like to add something important that i wrote ishmael about, and will send it as an added essay for marvin's blackbird jrnl; the americans and europeans fed the muslim "slaves" pork intestines, who were among the earliest "slaves" brought to E and Am, from Sierra Leone and Mali. yes, the only meat they would give them, or only food they would give them was pork, and the intestines, full of shit, as their food.

this was to help break them from islam, and to insult them and their religion, in order to help break their spirits.that's why, as i told ishmael, it's ironic that chittlins is a big food among african americans, when it was the food the white men used to break the spirit of those from africa. bernard lewis and others never mention this; but this comes from some of my own research and reasoning, knowing the history of the early people who were brought from africa (as i said, most were muslim).

the next step was the get them to become christians; they would often reward those people with better food, etc. those who did not give up islam were more brutalized by the europeans and americans (that is if one can measure degrees of brutality, when all brutality is wrong!)

again, this is not an apologia for arabs or muslims in the middle east, but rather, an attempt to clarify matters so that though there were many, too many, wrongs, some of the matters needed to be clarified. i also agree, more than just words should be given. as a muslim, born and raised in america, from lebanese parents, i know there was, and is, still discrimination among arabs and muslims, and among xian arabs toward others, black, tan and white, but if they followed Islam and a proper Christianity, they would not have discrimination based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, or whatever. peace, salaam, sam (October16 princeton, nj)

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Excuse me,

But this APOLOGY is meaningless considering the fact that SLAVERY has not ended in Sudan, Mauritania or any of the Arab nations that import them. Even in Libya, Khadafi's own country, Black slaves can be found toiling on Arab farms and homes.Arab enslavement of Blacks, not mention genocide, is nowhere near over. And what the hell is an apology worth?? What does it do really? Is that what you want for everything your ancestors suffered 500 years in America—Words?

And as an African mother from Sudan. . . .I completely rebuke this drivel written by SAM at Princeton. The irony of hatred in the Afro-Arab world is much more diverse & much more dimensional than what you have boiled it down to

I relinquished my Muslim faith years ago; I try to speak Arabic as little as possible. I do not feel in any way sympathetic to Khadafi's words (especially since I was once employed by the man at White Bride, Tripoli) or to yours.—Kola Boof

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hello kola, i can understand and feel your anger and pain from this situation, and as a real muslim, not the type that you have been suffering under, i agree with you; too many who pretend to be muslims do not behave according to the qur'an.

what qaddafi said was not enough, nor will words ever be enough to repair the suffering.
my writing, even though you label it as such, was not "drivel," but an attempt to make clear some facts and history so that it is not misunderstood. the zionists and others in america and the world would like to vilify islam, but as i said, too many who say they are muslims, do not behave as a muslim should—in sudan, the taliban in pakistan and afghanistan, the iranians dicta, etc. but that is because they cheat and lie, and hurt people, and use the mask of islam to get out of their guilt.

but, as with so many other things in the world, and there are certainly too many in the world, and done wrongly in the name of islam, is to oversimplify and blame islam for the wrongdoings of alleged muslims, is to mix the baby with the bathwater.—sincerely, sam (October 10)

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Facts & History:

East & North Africa have been enslaved by Arab Muslim Invaders (now Arab Imperialists) for 1,000 years. Today, 2010, in Sudan . . . Today in Sudan . . . we have slavery & genocide and it is based on "Skin Complexion" . . . Colorism . . . the "Blackest/Purest" must be wiped out and obliterated to break down Black blood (authentic Africans) and MASS PRODUCE the Arab Rape Baby who then in turn embraces more & more Arabization and mixing until the White Arabs have conquered Sudan the same way they conquered the rest of North Africa.

This is how they destroyed EGYPT and gradually "whitened" and "whitened" it . . . Queen Cleopatra's Intermarriage Law (making it ILLEGAL for an Egyptian to marry an Egyptian) being the 1st salvo in Cesar's quest to conquer the Blood, not just the land.

When I was a child in Omdurman, Sudan . . ..THE MOSQUE taught us that the "Blacker you were" . . . the less loved by Allah you were. That blackness was Allah's curse & that we should feel nothing about slaughtering & pillaging the "Charcoal" original people.

In Mauritania, the Arabs "raise/breed" a Slave Class of Africans from birth. These particular slaves believe they were born to be nothing more than slaves & love their Arab master fiercely. There are no PLANTATIONS in Sudan. Dinka girls sell for $14. They are taken at ages 6, 9, 12 and kept in the homes as "bed slaves" and maids. Black Boys are chained to the back of Arab homes  & fed from doggy bowls. When it's time to do labor, they unleash and work the Boy slave, beating him if need be.

Even Palestinians have Dinka girl slaves. They sterilize these girls so they can rape them w/o producing more Black males. Jordan . . . Syria . . . Lebanon . . . Saudi Arabia . . . Iraq  . . . Palestine . . . Egypt . . . In each of these nations you will find TODAY (RIGHT NOW) Black women working in the kitchens with their tongues cut out of their heads—you will find Black Sex Slaves, MALE & female; you will find Blind African Men in the streets living on 3 cents a week for "slave" work.

I am not surprised that MANY Colorstruck Black Americans don't immediately notice this "trick" or that they identify with their "Brown Brothers" (light skin, slick hair, brownish) . . . totally preferring to look like these Bastardized Arabs and disassociate
with the Authentic Cushitic Peoples; the real true Black Africans.

I am not surprised that Black Americans "Make Excuses" for why we should identify with Khadafi and sell out the never ending suffering of our own ancestors—whether they be West African Slave Trade or the East/North African Slave Trade.

THE WHITE DEVIL in America . . . don't have shit on the Arab Islamic MONSTER still pillaging & destroying true African culture. Swahili is not an indigenous "African" language . . .  but an Arab Slave language combining African Bantu with dominant Arab
language and then FORCED on Eastern Africa nearly 1,000 years ago through INVASION.

THESE are Facts & History of the Afro-Arab world ...and these abuses & horrors are CURRENT. This is what needs to be discussed if it's truly KNOWLEDGE you're claiming to seek.—Kola Boof

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hello kola, i hear what you are saying. the imam at your mosque was obviously a lying fool, who knew nothing about islam; thus, u can't condemn the religion for his abuse of u and others or the lies he spread. as to the history u speak of, these are matters you know more of, being on the ground, than i. as to palestinians sterilizing women to keep them as slaves, etc. this is something i know nothing about so cannot say if it is true or propaganda against islam.

as with all peoples, there are some good ones and bad ones, not just among the arabs, but among all people. but, as with stereotyping of all sorts, it may apply to some, but not to all. may Allah/God bless you, and help you find peace, sincerely, dr.hamod

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I'm not condemning the religion Sam Hamond. I'm saying . . .  why should we give a damn about the Arab Muslim populations period??? The people being Genocided in Darfur . . . are Muslims. Many of these victims are Muslims . . . but their skin is Charcoal Black. That is the issue; not religion. Your conversation is irrelevant. We should be concerned about our African Slaves . . . and what our ancestors would want us to do. Not about the "feelings" of the Arab Muslims or Muslims in America.

All this whining & "poor baby" Head-Patting that the Muslims are receiving is a disgrace when we're doing nothing at all to save, defend or highlight the suffering the Black Slaves and the Genocide targeted tribes in Africa!!

The whole conversation about "Islam" should be totally irrelevant!! Would we care that the German Nazis were Christians or Catholics? No. What we should care about are Black Africans.—Kola Boof

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Sam, I have a sliding scale of concern and concerns. First and foremost are the people of my birth, that is, African Americans. They are my family and I will defend them to the death. Second, some of my like-minded Americans (of all colors). Third, the African Diaspora and black Africans of like minds. And then others slide down my ladder of concern and concerns.

I have a concern for Islam as well in that some of my ancestors who came to America were Muslim and many of my friends are Muslim and have taught me much about Islam so that I have prayed with my palms and my forehead to the ground turned toward the rising sun. My interest is thus attached to its Spirituality rather than its rituals and theological concerns.

I have a keen interest and concern for the sufferings of all people, whether Jew or Palestinian. I have never been a fan and upholder of callousness toward the sufferings of others. I do appreciate and respect  the remarks and views of both Sam Hamod and Kola Boof. I am not an authority on the Quran or an historian of Islam and the Middle East. But they are among my intellectual interests.

As one involved in the struggles of my people since a teenager, I indeed find this new Arab development of noteworthy interest so much so that I have published the news on ChickenBones.

My concerns about Darfur and Sudan are such that I have corresponded with Bankie Bankie and have web pages dedicated to the happenings in South Sudan I favor a separation of South Sudan and await anxiously the vote. As far as Gaddafi I trust him as far as I could throw him. He is too self serving for my comfort. Loving yall madly, Rudy

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 By Edward W. Said

In his most famous book, Orientalism (1978), Said claimed a "subtle and persistent Eurocentric prejudice against Arabo-Islamic peoples and their culture.”He argued that a long tradition of false and romanticized images of Asia and the Middle East in Western culture had served as an implicit justification for Europe and the US' colonial and imperial ambitions. Just as fiercely, he denounced the practice of Arab elites who internalized the US and British orientalists' ideas of Arabic culture.

So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Moslems and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world.

What we have instead is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.

In Orientalism, the book, Said asserted that much western study of Islamic civilization was political intellectualism bent on self-affirmation rather than objective study, a form of racism, and a tool of imperialist domination. Orientalism had an impact on the fields of literary theory, cultural studies and human geography, and to a lesser extent on those of history and oriental studies. Taking his cue from the work of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, and from earlier critics of western Orientalism such as A. L. Tibawi, Anouar Abdel-Malek, Maxime Rodinson, and Richard William Southern, Said argued that Western writings on the Orient, and the perceptions of the East purveyed in them, are suspect, and cannot be taken at face value. According to Said, the history of European colonial rule and political domination over the East distorts the writings of even the most knowledgeable, as well.—Wikipedia

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When "Negroes" dominated "Arabs" part 2 (Zanj revolt)

Even mistranslated, as I'm pretty sure this is, a close look at it really makes the idea that the Zanj revolt was primarily a slave revolt seem less probable.

Al-Jahiz (776-869) born in Basra: Al-Fakhar al-Sudan min al-Abyadh (the prides of blacks over the whites):

"The Blacks continue: "Coming from Abyssinia, we were Masters of the country of Arabia up to Mecca, and on all the country our law reigned. We put to rout Du Nuwas, killed by the 'Aqyal Himyarites. You, you never dominated our country.' . . .

"They say; 'If a Zanji and a Zanji woman marry and their children remain after puberty in Iraq, they come to rule the roost thanks to their numbers, endurance, knowledge, and efficiency. On the other hand, the child of an Indian and an Indian woman, or of a Greek and a Greek woman, or of a Khurasani and a Khurasani women remain among you and in your country in the same condition as their fathers and mothers.' . . .

"The Zanj also say: 'Among our good qualities are our good singers. As you can find among the slave girls from Sind. Also nobody is a better cook then the black slaves from Sind. Also moneychangers will never entrust their money then to those from Sind or their descendents as they are found to be better in those affairs, more alert and worthy of thrusting. One hardly ever finds a Greek or a Khorassan in a position of trust in a bank. When the bankers of Basra saw the excellent affairs that Faraj Abu Kub, a Sindi, had negotiated for his master, each of them took a Sindi assistant. They all wanted to make the profit his master had made. Caliph Sultan Abdelmalik ibn Mcrwan often said, "El Adgham is a master among all the Orientals.' This El Adgham is also mentioned by Abdullar ibn Khnazim, who calls him, 'An Ethiopian, a black son of Ethiopia'."

M. A. Shaban on the Zanj revolt

"If more proof is needed that it was not a slave revolt, it is to be found in the fact that it had a highly organized army and navy which vigorously resisted the whole weight of the central government for almost fifteen years. Moreover, it must have had huge resources that allowed it to build no less than six impregnable towns in which there were arsenals for the manufacture of weapons and battleships. These towns also had in their mammoth markets prodigious wealth which was more than the salt marshes could conceivably produce. Even all the booty from Basra and the whole region could not account for such enormous wealth. Significantly the revolt had the backing of a certain group of merchants who preserved with their support until the very end. Tabari makes it very clear that the strength of the rebels was dependent on the support of these merchants."

Ibn Khaldun on Ethopians

"From their country Yemen once had its kings. The king of the Abyssinians was entitled Al-Negashi, and the capital of his kingdom was the city of Kaber. The Abyssinians are Christians, but it is said that one of their kings embraced the true faith when Mohammed visited their country in the Hijra. They believe that they are destined to become masters of Yemen and all Arabia."

"From Ethiopia To Yemen" By Richard Pankhurst

The result of such convergent investigations by scholars working in different fields was that Jacqueline Pirenne, basing herself on the areas material culture, as well as on linguistic and paleographic data, stood Conti Rossini thesis on its head. She argued that migration was not from Yemen to Ethiopia, but rather in the opposite direction: from Ethiopia to Yemen. . . . Also Arabian origins of Aksum civilization also questioned here.

"Conceptualizing/re-conceptualizing Africa" page 41

"The Axumite kingdom is an excellent case in point. Being such an important example of African cultural development, a European myth of external (South Arabian) origins for this culture solidified in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and has taken on the quality of truth for most scholars today. In fact, there is little evidence for this other than the powerful pull of ideology, which states that Africa cannot produce culture, civilizations, or history."

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Race and Slavery in the Middle East

By Bernard Lewis

From before the days of Moses up through the 1960s, slavery was a fact of life in the Middle East. Pagans, Jews, Christians, and Muslims bought and sold at the slave markets for millennia, trading the human plunder of wars and slave raids that reached from the Russian steppes to the African jungles. But if the Middle East was one of the last regions to renounce slavery, how do we account for its--and especially Islam's—image of racial harmony? How did these long years of slavery affect racial relations? In Race and Slavery in the Middle East, Bernard Lewis explores these questions and others, examining the history of slavery in law, social thought, and practice over the last two millennia 

With 24 rare and intriguing full-color illustrations, this fascinating study describes the Middle East's culture of slavery and the evolution of racial prejudice. Lewis demonstrates how nineteenth century Europeans mythologized the region as a racial utopia in debating American slavery. Islam, in fact, clearly teaches non-discrimination, but Lewis shows that prejudice often won out over pious sentiments, as he examines how Africans were treated, depicted, and thought of from antiquity to the twentieth century.

"If my color were pink, women would love me/But the Lord has marred me with blackness," lamented a black slave poet in Arabia over a millennium ago—and Lewis deftly draws from these lines and others the nuances of racial relations over time. Islam, he finds, restricted enslavement and greatly improved the lot of slaves—who included, until the early twentieth century, some whites—while blacks occasionally rose to power and renown. But abuses ring throughout the written and visual record, from the horrors of capture to the castration and high mortality which, along with other causes, have left few blacks in many Middle Eastern lands, despite centuries of importing African slaves.

Race and Slavery in the Middle East illuminates the legacy of slavery in the region where it lasted longest, from the days of warrior slaves and palace eunuchs and concubines to the final drive for abolition. Illustrated with outstanding reproductions of striking artwork, it casts a new light on this critical part of the world, and on the nature and interrelation of slavery and racial prejudice. —

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Escape from Slavery: The True Story

of My Ten Years in Captivity and My Journey to Freedom in America

By Francis Bok

Slave: My True Story

By Mende Nazer

Alek: My Life from Sudanese Refugee to International Supermodel

By Alek Wek

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Word, Image, and the New Negro

By Anne Carroll

Spectres of 1919: Class and Nation in the Making of the New Negro

By Barbara Foley

The Green Book

By M. Al Gathafi

Republished in a new translation, "The Green Book" provides fresh insight into the thinking of Muammar Al Qaddafi, and his Third Universal Theory for a new democratic society. Outlined first is his theory for direct democracy in society, or Jamahiriya, focusing on the authority of the people, renouncing representation or delegation of authority, and recognizing the need for organization of the people at lower levels of society. Part Two suggests an economic revolution, transforming societies of wage earners into companies of partners by applying a political and economic theory of social organization that gives the ownership, and regulation of production, distribution and exchange to the community as a whole. Part Three launches a social revolution, presenting solutions to man's struggles in life, and the unsolved problems of man and woman, as well as tackling the situation of minorities by laying out sound principles of social life for all mankind.

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Africans hunted down in "liberated" Libya  /  Kenya, Niger, Mali troops support Ghaddafi?

My Vision

By Muammar Gaddafi  and Edmond Jouve

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Gaddafi Turns US and British Guns on His People—February 22, 2011—He came to power back in 1969 with a coup, and throughout 1970s he developed a reputation not for what he was doing but because of his rhetoric of pro-Palestinian Arab nationalism, and even at some point Pan-Arabism. He was the odd man out. He was dashing, and he had these female guards that—he was flaunting them here and there. But most of the power really came from petrodollars, and that he remained in power as such, petrodollars that have continued to keep him in power. In fact, these lucrative contracts with both American and British arm manufacturers that you just mentioned, in millions of dollars, the same bullets that now are being used to mass murder the demonstrators are the result of those petrodollars. Muammar al-Gaddafi went from being the "mad dog of the Middle East" (you recall former president, late president Ronald Reagan called him, back in 1986) to being considered a person of personality and experience under President Bush because of the rapprochement, and also because he kind of addressed the issue of his involvement, or his government's involvement, or people on his payroll's involvement with the Lockerbie terrorist act, and also for abandoning their nuclear project. His—presumably, he's having nuclear project. Once that was sorted out, American and British arm manufacturers were released to sell him as much arm as he wanted, without any consideration for the consequences. . . .

So the period of 1970s is a period of postcolonial anticolonial uprisings, and he, true to his reputation, was very much involved in those activism. But you have to keep in mind that this was an entirely different period. It was in the immediate aftermath of European colonialism, and European colonialism not only destroyed the infrastructure and robbed them of their minerals and resources, but did not leave behind any foundation for democratic governance in the aftermath of colonial domination. So Muammar al-Gaddafi in 1970s represented this so-called charismatic revolutionary figure that had come to power in solidarity with revolutionary movements and uprisings in Africa and Latin America, but in effect becoming an autocrat and a tyrant in his own country, and nobody paid any close attention to him.—Hamid Dabashi is a professor of Iranian studies and comparative literature at Columbia University.TheRealNews

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The myth of invasion—Irregular migration from West Africa to the Maghreb and the European Union—By Hein de Haas—IMI research report October 2007—Although there has been an incontestable increase in regular and irregular West African migration to Europe over the past decade, available empirical evidence dispels most of these assumptions. First, trans-Saharan migration of West Africans to North Africa is not as new, massive and Europe-focused as is commonly suggested. While having much deeper historical roots in the trans-Saharan trade, migration of (former) nomads, traders and refugees to Mauritania, Algeria and Libya since the 1970s set the stage for contemporary trans-Saharan migration. Against the background of economic decline and warfare in West and Central Africa, Libya’s new ‘pan-African’ immigration policies are essential in understanding the major increase in trans-Saharan labour migration over the 1990s.

Since 2000, a major anti-immigrant backlash in Libya probably contributed to a diversification of trans-Saharan migration routes and the increasing presence of migrants in other Maghreb countries. Confronted with a persistent demand for irregular migrant labour in Europe, more and more sub-Saharan, mostly West Africans started to cross the Mediterranean. However, the public perception that irregular migration from Africa is massive and growing at an alarming rate is deceptive. Illegal crossings of the Mediterranean by North Africans have been a persistent phenomenon since Italy and Spain introduced visa requirements in the early 1990s. The major change has been that, in particular since 2000, sub-Saharan Africans have started to join and have now overtaken North Africans as the largest category of irregular boat migrants. Recent West African migrants are increasingly settling in Spain and Italy, where they enter flourishing underground economies. Even when apprehended, many migrants are eventually released. Many have acquired residency through recurrent regularizations.IMI

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African migrants become easy target for racist violence in Libya—Monday, 21 February 2011—Leaving aside the fact that fear of an African ‘invasion’ is entirely unfounded, what Gaddafi has been much more keen to hide is that Libya is an important migration destination in its own right, and that his guestworker policies are the main explanation behind a massive increase in the number of African workers in Libya. Most African migrants have come from countries such as Niger, Chad and elsewhere in West Africa to work as low-paid labourers in the oil industry, construction, agriculture and service sectors. African workers tend to do the most dangerous and dirty jobs.

Not many people know that most African migrants do not use Libya as a passage to Europe, but that they have come to Libya as part of Gaddafi’s guestworker schemes or as illegal labour migrants. According to several estimates, Libya hosts 2 to 2.5 million immigrants, representing 25 to 30 percent of its total population. This includes about half a million Egyptians; several tens of thousands of Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians; and 1 to 1.5 million sub-Saharan Africans (for further information see ‘The Myth of Invasion’).

Since the 1990s, Gaddafi has actively stimulated immigration from sub-Saharan countries such as Chad and Niger as part of his ‘pan-African’ policies. These immigrants from extremely poor countries were easier to exploit than Arab workers. From 2000 onwards, violent clashes between Libyans and African workers led to the street killings of dozens of sub-Saharan migrants, who were routinely blamed for rising crime, disease, and social tensions.

In an apparent attempt to respond to growing domestic racism, the Libyan regime hardened its policies towards African immigrants. Measures included lengthy and arbitrary detention of immigrants in poor conditions in prisons and camps, physical abuse, and the forced expulsion of tens of thousands of immigrants. Gaddafi has been happy to conclude agreements with Italy and other European states to violently crack down on immigration in exchange for lucrative trade and arms deals. This has led to blatant violation of international refugee law. In many ways, it has served European countries well that Libya has not signed the Geneva refugee convention and is not concerned about human rights at all.

Of course this repression has not stopped migration, but mainly facilitated exploitation of African migrants in Libya, whose position became even more vulnerable. While the Gaddafi regime has tried to put the blame on immigrants for all sorts of social problems, their cheap labour force has served Libya very well economically.

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African Migrants Targeted in Libya—from Al Jazeera—Dozens of workers from sub-Saharan Africa are feared killed, and hundreds are in hiding, as angry mobs of anti-government protesters hunt down "black African mercenaries," according to witnesses. About 90 Kenyans and another 64 citizens from South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Burundi landed in Nairobi on Monday, according to officials. "We were being attacked by local people who said that we were mercenaries killing people. Let me say that they did not want to see black people," Julius Kiluu, a 60-year-old building supervisor, told Reuters.

"Our camp was burnt down, and we were assisted by the Kenyan embassy and our company to get to the airport," he said. Rights organizations say that thousands of workers are stranded in camps and private homes, protected by their colleagues as their governments fail to evacuate them from the chaos. . . . Hundreds of black immigrants from poor African countries, who mainly work in Libya’s oil industry as cheap laborers, have also been injured in the violence. Some were unable to seek medical treatment for fear of being killed. Saad Jabbar, deputy director of the North Africa Centre at Cambridge University, confirms Africans have become targets.

"I tell you, these people, because of their scheme, they will be slaughtered in Libya. There is so much anger there against those mercenaries, which suddenly sprung up," Jabbar said. About 1.5m Sub-Saharan African migrants work in Libya as low-paid laborers in the oil industry, construction, agriculture and service sectors. Rights organizations say some anti-Gaddafi protesters wrongly associate African workers with state-sponsored violence.BlackAgendaReport

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



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#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

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#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

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#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
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#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

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#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

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#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
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#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

By Charles C. Mann

I’m a big fan of Charles Mann’s previous book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, in which he provides a sweeping and provocative examination of North and South America prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus. It’s exhaustively researched but so wonderfully written that it’s anything but exhausting to read. With his follow-up, 1493, Mann has taken it to a new, truly global level. Building on the groundbreaking work of Alfred Crosby (author of The Columbian Exchange and, I’m proud to say, a fellow Nantucketer), Mann has written nothing less than the story of our world: how a planet of what were once several autonomous continents is quickly becoming a single, “globalized” entity.

Mann not only talked to countless scientists and researchers; he visited the places he writes about, and as a consequence, the book has a marvelously wide-ranging yet personal feel as we follow Mann from one far-flung corner of the world to the next. And always, the prose is masterful. In telling the improbable story of how Spanish and Chinese cultures collided in the Philippines in the sixteenth century, he takes us to the island of Mindoro whose “southern coast consists of a number of small bays, one next to another like tooth marks in an apple.” We learn how the spread of malaria, the potato, tobacco, guano, rubber plants, and sugar cane have disrupted and convulsed the planet and will continue to do so until we are finally living on one integrated or at least close-to-integrated Earth. Whether or not the human instigators of all this remarkable change will survive the process they helped to initiate more than five hundred years ago remains, Mann suggests in this monumental and revelatory book, an open question.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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