The Great, Painful Problem with Recent Colonial African History.
The major Problem with European Accounts of West Africa from the 1400s to late 1800s is that since they came to loot and kidnap African peoples, these Europeans saw at best, everywhere they looked, “primitive” peoples!
Worse, these European writers, if writers they were, saw “slaves” everywhere they looked because they came to kidnap people. That is, because colonial missionary Europeans came to Africa to turn people into their slaves, they saw not African peoples, they saw the slaves they wanted for themselves.
Even an African man’s wife and his children were perceived by the European as the African man’s slaves. They actually wrote about such stupid stuff, often calling these writings “observations.” They weren’t observations! At all. Why did Europeans do this? For one reason alone: If this African man can be shown to enslave his own wife and children, why can’t the European proceed to enslave them for himself and kill the African man? After all, as they claimed, Africa is this such “jungle,” you see?
(This is why the abandonment of our Writing Cultures was a Horrible Mistake. We should revert to our own Writing Systems. Now!)
When Europeans first encountered the Great Pyramids of Giza, and in much of Ancient Egypt (KMT), they wrote, copiously, about how these Pyramids could only have been built by the Pharoah’s slaves. FACT: They were not built by slaves, you see? That fact became readily relevant after modern African historians begun to study the history of KMT proper. Luckily for us, the KMTians maintained a Writing Culture and wrote extensively about how these pyramids were built. Nowhere in KMTian society did slavery exist! But, Europeans still believe in their nonsense! (And certain Africans too, however!)
Much of what Europeans saw in Africa, and how they proceeded to explain away the things they claimed they saw, was stooped in the colonial, missionary European’s own way of thinking. Furthermore, the things these Europeans claimed they saw was motivated by their own appetites. The colonial missionary European is wont to just think of people as slaves just as he thinks of and discovers other people’s lands, as a resource for himself. Nothing else. For that matter, even where no such things existed, they claimed they saw slaves and free land.
Africans who read African history, especially anything about the Trans-Atlantic Human Trafficking of African peoples by European Kidnappers ought to be exceedingly careful about what they read. Else, these European accounts will further traumatize you. (As if they haven’t traumatized you enough?) Better run such texts by proper traditional historians like myself. (I am afraid such traditional historians are a dying breed, but some remain amongst us, like Dade Afre Akufu, Atiga Jonas Atingdui and Abeku Adams Ekumfi, to name but a few).
The history of West Africa from 1400s to 1800s needs to be re-written by proper African Intellectuals. People with a sense of their own Africanness, untainted by European, missionary, colonial mis-education.
Tswa Omanye Aba.