Black History Month Series

The African Resistance to the Slave Trade, Never Rejected but History Deflected

Black History Month Series

Why Do this

This is my second year of Sawari’s Black History Month series. The series includes daily articles, poems and other forms of writing art recognizing Black history. I like to take advantage of these few weeks in the year as a time of education and reflection. Being very intentional in learning about different elements of Black history worldwide, but particularly in the united states. As well as being intentional in thinking about how our history has plaid in a role in Black life and community today. It’s no wonder that February, being the shortest month of the year, is littered with other themes that draw away from the focus on Black History, Valentines Day being one. But more importantly the lens within Black History has been framed has been distorted for centuries. Many historical ‘achievements’ of the black community beginning with the shipment of Africans to North America in 1619, is that really the extent to which our achievements are measured?

Surely Not

A few weeks ago I was shocked to read about the battles that occurred in Africa in an attempt to stop the kidnapping of slaves, the African Resistance, “Africans started to fight the transatlantic slave trade as soon as it began. Their struggles were multifaceted and covered four continents over four centuries. Still, they have often been underestimated, overlooked, or forgotten” (Diouf/).  I’d never known that there were battles in an attempt to stop the slave ships, but why wouldn’t there be? Those people who were taken we family. It’s a manipulative lie that has been used to make Blacks in America feel abandoned, and even rejected, from their homeland. When I read this fact I was filled with pride, my ancestors were fought for! That’s a fact that I’ve been mislead to think otherwise for decades, imagine if black children were taught this is school. This signifies the great need for us to learn and recognize our history, it instills us with a sense of identity, belonging, pride and awareness that can’t be replaced by any other type of knowledge.
As we begin this month of discovery I’ll include this piece by Al-fatah Stewart (also known as Dr. Bomb) this piece was sent to me fall of last year with his permission to publish.

WE Family

We have been through so much, for so many years,
My pain is as deep as mother’s tears.
We are family but I still see segregation and hate,
We stick together in the hood, but go to war upstate.
Descendants of the same bloodline, with spirits that won’t break,
We go hard against all odds, Whether in slave chains or behind steel gates.
We are one, when did we separate,
Sometimes I have to put my eyes on diets, because my tears gain so much weight.
All of our enemies, we will out last them
So much we could accomplish if we’d bond without clashing,
Together we could out shine the moon and turn the sun to ashes,
Instead of turning over in their graves, our ancestors will look down laughing.
This is what it is, We have to educate our children quick,
We must break the chains and end all myths,
My Brothers and Sisters forever and never flip,
You and I are the same, we were just brought here on different ships.
By: Dr. Bomb
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About Amani Sawari

I am a University of Washington alum, Class of 2016. I graduated with my Bachelors Degree in two majors: Media and Communications AND Law, Economics and Public Policy. It's a mouthful but it illustrates how I have a hard time doing only one 'thing'. I am a writer, poet, singer, songwriter and much more. I enjoy sharing my experiences and perspectives with those who are interested and I am a proud member of the black diaspora!
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