Sunday, July 8, 2012

Here We Go Again!

A couple of people were apparently a little miffed about my post where I debunked the claim that Charles Darwin made the following quote about black Africans :
"Since the dawn of history the Negro has owned the continent of Africa – rich beyond the dream of poet’s fancy, crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare black feet and yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed to him its glittering light.
His land swarmed with powerful and docile animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled.
A hunter by necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrowhead worth preserving beyond the moment of its use. He lived as an ox, content to graze for an hour.
In a land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or built a house save of broken sticks and mud.
With league on league of ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail.”
There was an objection raised because, even if Darwin never said it, it did not disprove the quote itself.

Okay, let's give it a shot:

"Since the dawn of history the Negro has owned the continent of Africa"
Not the whole continent. The northern part has been inhabited for centuries by Berbers, Arabs, Copts and other ethnicities. Yes, there were undoubtedly black people in the north, but they weren't the dominant power back in, for example, the time of Carthage.

"crunching acres of diamonds beneath his bare black feet and yet he never picked one up from the dust until a white man showed to him its glittering light."
Unlikely, since diamonds usually must be dug out of the ground from deep mines tunnelled into the earth. Sometimes, you can find them on the surface, but the majority must be mined. I challenge anyone to tell me where these "acres of diamonds" were that black Africans were simply walking over for centuries. Besides, the diamonds would have been of no value to them without the technology to cut and shape them.

"His land swarmed with powerful and docile animals, yet he never dreamed a harness, cart, or sled."
Powerful and docile animals? Sure, they had cattle and donkeys.  But these animals had to be captured wild and then domesticated, which they did and the donkey was first domesticated in Africa. But, if you're talking about animals like the African elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus or the Cape Buffalo, I'd say that you're out of your fucking mind! Animals like those are either very difficult or absolutely impossible to domesticate. You may be confusing the African elephant with its cousin, the Indian elephant, which has been domesticated by humans all over Asia. African elephants are too dangerous and unpredictable. The Cape Buffalo, by the way, has been nicknamed "The Widowmaker" by people who live in the area it inhabits.

"A hunter by necessity, he never made an axe, spear, or arrowhead worth preserving beyond the moment of its use."
The Haya of Tanzania have credited with the discovery of steel over 2000 years ago, centuries before Europe caught-up. African civilization went from the Stone Age into the Bronze and Iron Age simultaneously and you can read about iron metallurgy in ancient Africa.

"In a land of stone and timber he never sawed a foot of lumber, carved a block, or built a house save of broken sticks and mud."
Idiotic! Ruins of stone structures have been unearthed by archeologists. The beginnings of the walls of Benin City were back in 800AD. Read something.

"With league on league of ocean strand and miles of inland seas, for four thousand years he watched their surface ripple under the wind, heard the thunder of the surf on his beach, the howl of the storm over his head, gazed on the dim blue horizon calling him to worlds that lie beyond, and yet he never dreamed a sail.” 
You really need to read more than stuff that tells you what you want to hear. An 8000 year old canoe was found in Nigeria, cut from mahogany (see last point about Africans never cutting timber). Ancient Egyptians could assemble planks of wood into a ship about 5000 years ago. The Ethiopian city of Axum traded by sea with India and the Somalis carried-out trade with Sri Lanka. The ancient Mali Empire had a large navy and is speculated to have been able to reach North America by sea. West African ships traveled the waterways, primarily with paddles or poles, but were also known to use sails.

Again,  do some reading

One more thing, if the dark skinned people were so primitive, why were ancient Polynesians able to navigate their way across the Pacific Ocean without the aid of maps or a compass? Read the answer here. They were doing this back when Europeans relied on blind luck and seldom left sight of land.


Duane Browning
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