"As to their religion," says [Dutch physician and writer Olfert Dapper (1636-1689)], "it consists of a cult to the devil, to whom they sacrifice men and cattle; for, although they know full well that there is a God who has created heaven and earth, and still rules, they think it of no use to adore him, as he is not bad, but good; so they try rather to satisfy the devil with sacrifices, because he always treats them badly. They call God Orisa, and the white one (den ivitte Owiovisa) i.e., God's child. ... It was apparently in Dapper's time, as it is now, the fashion to speak of a non-Christian religion as that of the devil. The native explanation of why the devil is worshipped is, of course, the outcome of European teaching; before the advent of the latter such an explanation would probably never have occurred to a Bini.
According to the former their explanation for not adoring God was somewhat as follows.
"Our sovereign is really great; we see him seldom and hardly ever speak to him. If it happens that we are brought into his presence, we prostrate ourselves without daring to look at him, being obliged even to cover up our mouths with one hand. God is infinitely greater and also infinitely good, as he never does us any harm; there is, therefore, no need to worship him and besides, he thinks much less about us than does our king. But the same does not hold good with the devil, for as he is wicked, causes us as much evil as he can, and as all troubles come from him, we pray to him and worship him, and we give him victuals to appease him".
While according to Beauvais:
"The native believes in two beings; one a good one to whom he never prays because he has nothing but good to expect from him, and one an evildoer whom he invokes so as to avoid the evil which he may do him. The native cuts off his fellow creatures and sprinkles his fetishes with their blood in the hope of inducing his divinity to treat him well."
[There is] a certain wood (in which the devil is supposed to lurk) which is by them esteemed so sacred that they never permit a foreign negro or any of his wives to enter it. If any person accidentally happen on a path which leads to this wood, he is obliged to go on to the end of it, and must not return until he has been to the end; and they are firmly persuaded that if this law be violated...the land will be attacked by some severe plague.
Notwithstanding all which, I have frequently gone a-shooting in this wood; and to ridicule their credulity, designedly turned before I had gone half-way to the end of the path; by which means I not a little staggered the faith of some, who saw that my boldness was not attended with any evil consequences. But the roguish priests were immediately ready to hand with an exception, which was, that I, being a white man, their god, or rather devil, did not trouble his head about me, but if a negro should presume to do so, the danger would soon appear."
- H. Ling Roth, Great Benin; its customs, art and horrors (1903)
The Plundering of West Africa and its Kingdoms for Art, Labor, and Wealth
In West Africa during the time of colonialism not so long ago, people were slaughtered for standing against European interests and their possessions were outright stolen from them.
Klaue stated that vibranium was known to the people of Wakanda as "Isipho," meaning "the gift." If this was a "gift" to humanity, why was this gift to the world kept such a closely guarded secret from the world for so long? Could it be that Wakanda had already lost some of that precious mineral to the world at some point(s) in time?
Killmonger alludes to colonial era history when he says that the war hammer in the museum was "taken by British solders in Benin." This is real history. It was "submit or die" and the dead had no say in where those objects they made would be taken to show off as trophies of their surrender or annihilation.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, "How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?" Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
- Revelation 6:9
It is not so far-fetched a statement to make that racism is a religion. Indeed, when we examine the historical record, we find that racism was deeply rooted in religious ideology and religious ideology was used to maintain systemic racism.
Gonçalvez was sent by Prince Henry (a.k.a. "Henry the Navigator") on a mission to expand Portugal's war "under the banner of the Order [of Christ] against the said Moors and the other enemies of the faith" into "that land of Africa." Henry was curious to see just how far southward the influence of the Moors extended.
The Moorish Conquest of the Iberian Peninsula (Southern Europe)
I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider had a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, "Come!" Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, "Two pounds of wheat for a day's wages, and six pounds of barley for a day's wages, and do not damage the oil and the wine!"
When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature sat, "Come!" I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and wild beasts of the earth.
- Revelation 6:1-8
European Christians made servants of other European Christians before they enslaved people from other lands. University of London professor Dr. Kate Lowe explains in a publication of the Walters Art Museum:
With the exception of Spain, in the mid-fifteenth century before the commencement of the slave trade from West Africa, only a small percentage of slaves in Europe were African; the vast majority were from the eastern Mediterranean, Russia, or Central Asia. During the Renaissance, slavery was not just a black phenomenon—slaves in Europe were both “white” and “black.” Europe had a long history of white slavery. There was mass white slavery in Europe before there was black slavery, and white slavery continued after the influx of black slaves from sub-Saharan Africa in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries...
The earliest evidence of white slaves in Medieval Times can be found in the resolutions of church councils held in Koblenz, Germany (922), in London, England (1102), and in Armagh, Ireland (1171) condemning this practice.
These sentiments would not apply to the "Saracens" across Europe.
Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn, 1846 This painting hangs in the rotunda at the U.S. capitol since its installment in 1847. (Source: Architect of the Capitol)
For years, people journeyed to museums to catch a glimpse of what the rest of the world looked like. These places were often a window to what "primitive" cultures had to "offer" for the appetite of an "adventurous" populous. As foreign expeditions were led by selected conquerors (who we now so conveniently refer to as "explorers"), they brought items collected through trade or plunder upon their return.
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Black Panther is all the rave in Hollywood. At least 80% of Black Hollywood must be feeling the Black Panther Effect by now so the rest of them MUST be feeling something, too! As it stands, this film that was projected to fail miserably from the very beginning proved to be a real blockbuster with well over a record $1 billion in revenue worldwide, and became the top grossing superhero film of all time. The next Marvel installment, Avengers: Infinity War, revisited Wakanda and broke even more records. (How might a Black Panthersequel do?)
$1 billion dollas? That's a lot of guap right there.