So today the temperatures in Williamsburg VA reached 100 degrees. Heat index is somewhere about 104. Not fun. Glad I decided to stay. It will be much cooler tomorrow when we get to......Charleston South Carolina. I haven't gone to the Colonial Williamsburg because something told my spirit to go to Jamestown. The museum out here has a heavy African presence. It appears that Africans, commonly referred to as "slaves" were from the Kongo region of Africa. At first I was somewhat annoyed at the fixation on the Kongo, After all there were far more "advanced" states in Africa at that time, but realized that it had historical reference. The other thing that annoyed me was the presentation on the Kongo and Nzinga. By the presentation you would think that the Africans had no belief system until the Europeans arrived. There was a lot of discussion of Christianity's influence on art etc. yet no discussion on the Kongolese beliefs themselves. They mentioned that Nzinga became a Christian but then reverted back to.. Oh yes not mentioned. There is a lot of information on the Religion of the Kongo people so I was disappointed to not see it, though not entirely surprised. This stands in stark contrast to the Native American museum where the traditional beliefs of the various nations were discussed and highlighted. I really think this has much to do with the shame that Africans in America have towards traditional African religions.
There was a replica of a "slave quarter" which stood in stark contrast to what the colonists were living, even though by today's standards the colonists weren't exactly living large. But the contrast is very apparent. Now the reason I suppose that I was drawn to Jamestown was pretty clear when I got on one of the ships. They had full size replicas of three ships that landed in Jamestown. What's pretty important about this, at least to me, was that these ships were also reflective of what it was like to be in a hold. I was pretty overwhelmed when I got below deck and saw just how small a space and how hot it was down there. The experience made it pretty clear to me that our ancestors who survived the trip across the Atlantic without dying or losing their minds were truly the strongest of the strong. If, as a black person you've ever been ashamed of the slave trade (and there are many people who are), you take in a sight like the hold of a ship and realize you are the descendants of the toughest of the tough. So that's what I needed to see.
Ok so onto other things. Over at Planet Grenada we have a link to a fatwah on pan-arab racism by ex Black Panther Dhoruba Bin-Wahad, which is an interesting read and provides more data on my issue of Islam and Africa.
he historical high water mark of Arab penetration of Africa after the middle-ages is today an East – West fault line of genocide, violence, brutal skirmishes committed by Arabized Muslims (from the north) against non-Arabized African Muslims, and Black Africans (from the central and Southeast regions of the continent). Never before has the contrast and conflict between Arabized North Africa and Sub-Saharan Black Africa been so sharp and clear. Across the face of Africa Arabized militias and Roving Rebel Bands kill, rape, and slaughter entire villages, population centers, and lay waste to Black African lands supported by governments who are members of the Pan-Arabist organizations like the “Arab League," nations such as Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, and especially Saudi Arabia, quietly acquiesce to the Arab dominated government of Sudan's slaughter of Black African's while passing numerous resolutions and proposals to world bodies on the Palestinian – Israeli conflict or resoluion of the Lebonese crisis.
I have a few issues with Bin-Wahad, but can't argue too much with the general sentiments.