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Black Africa


Numerous crops have been domesticated in the region and spread to other parts of the world. These crops included sorghum, castor beans, coffee, cotton[176] okra, black-eyed peas, watermelon, gourd, and pearl millet. Other domesticated crops included teff, enset, African rice, yams, kola nuts, oil palm, and raffia palm.[175][177]

Lower Nubia was unlikely to support a highly developed culture. It has access to some important resources (copper, gold and some valued types of stone) but only a small amount of cultivable land, and throughout history it has acted as a buffer zone between Egypt and the inhabitants of Upper Nubia. Nevertheless, the indigenous population of this region (which, certainly by 2200 B.C., consisted of a mixture of brown and black-skinned peoples, according to Egyptian depictions) was remarkably resistant to Egyptian cultural influence in spite of close and sometimes oppressive contact with the Egyptians. Already by ca. 3050 B.C. Egyptian expeditions had reached the Second Cataract while the people of the contemporary Nubian culture, labeled A-group by archaeologists, buried with their dead foods and liquids in imported Egyptian pots and Egyptian-made copper implements. These were obtained as a result of A-group control over the trade in luxury items, such as ebony and ivory, from further south. The material culture of the Nubians however remained basically non-Egyptian right up to the point (ca. 2600 B.C.) when they were decimated, enslaved and expelled by Egyptian troops intent on securing full control of the trade-routes and natural resources of the area. A relief carved on a rock near the Second Cataract, commemorating the earliest known historical conflict between Egypt and Nubia. The scene is dated to King Djer (ca. 3050-2973 B.C.) and the slain and bound figures are believed to be Nubians.

Kushite culture was in essentials non-Egyptian. The Kushites were dark-skinned people with their own language or languages, and their burial structures and customs were, for the most part, unparalleled in contemporary Egypt. The great mass of the artifacts from Kerma are of Kushite manufacture; they include excellent pottery, mainly a very fine red polished black-topped ware in beaker and bowl forms, leather garments, and mica and ivory inlays in animal or geometric form. Nevertheless, the long period of contact inevitably resulted in some cultural interaction with Egypt, the evidence for which needs to be carefully considered.

Hiram Revels (R-MS) became the first African American senator in 1870. Born in North Carolina in 1827, Revels attended Knox College in Illinois and later served as minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. He raised two black regiments during the Civil War and fought at the battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi. The Mississippi state legislature sent him to the U.S. Senate during Reconstruction, where he became an outspoken opponent of racial segregation. Although Revels served in the Senate for just a year, he broke new ground for African Americans in Congress. (Photo: Library of Congress)

Black Lives Matter protests have opened up conversations about the history of privilege, racism, and the lived experiences and identities of black people in America. Now, the distinction between "black" and "African American" has become a prominent conversation on social media.

"There are black people in every continent who are all over the world," explained Professor Celeste Watkins-Hayes, an African American studies professor at Northwestern University. "African American is nation-specific. We are typically talking about black people who are born in the United States."

What that means is, for a long time in our country's history, black people were most likely direct descendants of enslaved Africans. Watkins-Hayes described the adoption of the term African American as a "very deliberate move on the part of black communities to signify our American-ness, but also signif


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