|African-American Historical Notebook/Primer
1436-1877. Volume One
In the search for truth one must move beyond the lies and misconceptions that have been taught us and begin to do research to find the hidden knowledge. This little notebook does not pretend to have or reveal all the hidden knowledge. This is only part of the beginning. Before African people's and people of the world can liberate themselves economically politically, socially and culturally they need a new "liberating" paradigm. What is a paradigm? A paradigm is a mental (psyc) picture we have of the world, or world view which is developed more or less by the age of 14, either by our experiences or by what was taught to us since birth. This paradigm deepens as we are socialized in the world. Why do we start off this way? Because it is necessary to be flexible and broad minded to begin to receive aspects of the truth.
Eighty years or more ago Elijah Muhammad made a shocking pronouncement that the original man was the Asiatic black man. Since that time it has been proven that the origins of the species, homo-sapiens evolved out of Africa and that through DNA tracking all of humanity can be traced to the real Eve, the mother of humans; an African woman. Cheikh Anta Diop through his research has proven that the same Africans who built civilizations on the West Coast of Africa, in Carthage, North West Africa and Spain and Portugal and who colonized Sicily and even Italy for years were the direct descendents from the Ancient Kemetians (African-Egyptians) who dominated the known world longer than any people on the planet earth (2,500) years. These same people are the direct descendents of the Kushities, Nubians and Ethiopians. It is recorded that the ancient Kemetians navigationally circled Africa as early as 1,500 B.C. recorded in the book Return of the Ancient Ones is that the Kemetians (Egyptians) reached North America (Louisiana) traded and settled a colony (Washitaws) as early as 1,500 B.C.
Ivan Van Sertima has recorded in his book They Came Before Columbus how Africans traveled and settled in South, Central America before the adventures of Columbus in 1492. Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick in Deeper Roots: Muslims in the Americas and the Caribbean from Before Columbus to the Present, shows how ancient Black Carthagians from Carthage ventured (navigated) to the Americas and how the Moors followed suit. Africans from the Songhay Empire in 1300 AD did the same. It is noted now that the Chinese had ventured to the West Coast of North America as early as 500 B.C. and that a Chinese Muslim admiral ran a ground in the Caribbean in 1421, recorded in the book 1421. Dr. Quick has also researched the alliance between the Moorish nation (pre-Columbus) and the Iroquios Native American nation which had developed a constitution; the Articles of Confederation from which the Articles of Confederation of the United States was copied. From the Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam in 1991 published an astounding account of Jewish relationship to the slave trade and slavery in The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews. Volume One and Charles C. Mann in 1491 goes on to show Native Americans were on a higher level than most Europeans prior to the coming of Columbus in 1492. In this brief notebook we go on to show that Native Americans died from European diseases and also from the forced slave conditions; a combination which led to the genocide of 90 million Native Americans by 1592. Charles C. Mann goes on to show:
In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe.
Certain cities - such as Tenochtitlan. the Aztec capital - were far greater in population
than any contemporary European city. Furthermore. Tenochtitlan. unlike any capital in
Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately
The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the
Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed com by a breeding process so sophisticated
that the journal Science recently described it as "man's first and perhaps the greatest feat
of genetic engineering."
Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it - a process
scientists are studying today in the hope of regaining this lost knowledge.
Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a
hemisphere already massively "landscaped" by human beings.
So this African-American Historical Notebook/Primer 1436-1877, Volume One is just a curtain raiser for what yet needs to be revealed. It is not a totally original written manuscript Much of it is borrowed from different sources, combined with original material; it paints a different picture for those who hear the beat of a "different drummer."
As Salaam Alaikum
African-American Historical Committee 2006
The Racist/Colonial/Imperialist Origins of the World-Capitalist System
These are notes which are not totally developed but lay out question in hopes of eventually developing a New World paradigm1. It is important in this period of world revolution2 toward socialism, emancipation and resurrection of humanity to analyze from a dialectical and historical materialist point of view3 the very "birth" of capitalism (1140 to 1600) which was colonialist and imperialist.4
Within each European nation state which at the time of exploration (1490's-1590's) there was an alliance of the mercantile capitalist, feudalist nobility, peasant serfs with the feudal aristocracy having temporary hegemony.5 Colonialization of the so-called New World became the political economy of material accumulation for each European state, for Europe represented the econicalfy under-developed as well as the cultural underdeveloped sector of the world in the 15* century.6
Thus, the introduction of colonialism and imperialism in the modern period begins in 1482 while Europe is still under the dominance of the feudalist system. The importance of discovery for new trade routes was motivated by the impending entrenchment of Turkish (Muslim) power, which represented a different political, economic and racial/cultural social system of the time.7
The explorations (voyages of 1492 and later were motivated by the need for international trade free of heavy taxation or blockade and the search for gold.8
The impact of so-called "discovery" of a new land mass whose population did not have an organized military force superior to each and/or all the European states opened up new avenues for material accumulation for Europe, to bring it out of economic under development.
GoWand land were the two most things of value for European economy in the 15* century. Gold, because it was the medium of economic exchange; the value of the world market which everything was set by at that time. Gold could buy anything.10 Land, because of its use value; minerals extracted from it (gold, silver) and staples, crops grown on it. Europe lacked both an adequate supply of gold reserve and land rich in minerals, agriculturally as well as a land base. So the so-called discovery of the vast rich land base led to the immediate drive for gold. Had Columbus landed and was met by a Moorish army, he would have probably traded a few things and go back on his ships and immediately sailed back to Spain. Or if Alaska or possibly Iceland were "discovered," there more then likely would not have been any more voyages of exploration.""
The periphery in the capitalist world system in the 19* century had been the basis of establishment of the capitalist center in the 15 and 16* centuries.I2> n'l4
The periphery (New World) had provided Europe with a land mass of the extraction of surplus value (land use value) and human capital for continuous extraction of surplus value. Something internally Europe did not have by way of natural or human resources." So it was the external stimuli rather than internal development that allowed Europe to make the social/economic leap from feudalism to capitalism.16
Not only was the enslavement of Africans in the New World — profits from the slave trade — the primary basis for the primitive accumulation of capital, but the profits reaped from the colonialization of Africans in the 1800's was the basis for the perpetual accumulation of capital.17 This daynamic continues today.
Therefore, the European proletarist was born or formed from Europe's colonial and imperialist relationship to the rest of the world. This colonial and imperialist relationship transformed Europe from the periphery under a feudalist dominated world market to the center of a capitalist dominated world market.18 What is being said is that the discovery of the "Americas" by the Europeans was colonialism/imperialism because historical evidence reveals trade, cultural exchange, commerce as well as colonies existing between native peoples in the Americas and people from Africa and Asia, prior to Columbus' voyage of 1492.19
All of Europe, which was under feudalism in the 15th century20 was on a lower economic level than many parts of Africa and Asia.21
From a "Marxist"perspective in order to apply dialectical materialism the inter-relations and understanding of present and future political tendencies resulting from economic contradictions of the world economic order one must have a firm historical materialist understanding of the general course of the -world, particularly their own struggle from ancient times to the present.22
Thus, if the social theorist/activist is ethnocentric in any approach, he will be off base in his dialectical materialist analysis. For instance, the balance or center of trade and political power has shifted from various regions in the world from the decline of primitive communism, slavery, feudalism mercantile capitalism, industrial capitalism to monopoly capitalism.23
Nations arose before the development of capitalism. Nation states in Europe had fully developed by the 15th century under feudalism.
Racism became an institutional factor in European society as early as 1460 in Portugal and Spain. The bourgeoisie who were the investors (financiers) of European explorations in the 15th century became investors (financiers) of the Atlantic Triangular slave trade because they understood the importance of gold24
Extraction of gold from the mines (land-use value) required the use of slaves; genocide against native peoples. Particularly in Latin and South America, native people had a primitive communist level of collective land consciousness with a high level of culture. This concept of "collective land ownership" was in opposition to the concept of "land for profit value." Thus the European feudalist/colonialist/settler class saw the law of the so-called new world as an avenue for extraction of capital (land-use value). After the literal extermination of native people (genocide) in forced labor (concentration) camps, Africans were brought to the so-called new world (Latin and South America first, the North America) to further extract profits (land-use value) from the "stolen land."
In 100 years of colonialization from 1492 to 1592, 90 million Indians were exterminated from wars of conquest by the Spanish in which whole "nations" were wiped out.25
Those captured and forced into labor camps to work the mines and plantations were wiped out due to over-work, malnutrition and disease. During the years of African chattel, slavery in the so-called new world, beginning in Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti) in 1502 until 1865, over 50 million Africans died from the "middle passage, " malnutrition or overwork. The average life expectancy for an African slave was 33 years. That was considered "old age."26
The theory of combined and uneven development, in part, states that there can be uneven development in different parts of the world and even in one nation at the same time; also there can be two modes of production operating in a country or the world at the same time; this was in operation during this period.27
The important thing to understand is the enslavement and trade of Africans 'European Africa.-? Sla*>>e Traae - 1460-1592) provided Europe with the primitive accumulation of capital while if was operating under the colonial/imperialist/feudalist system. The primitive accumulation of capital secured by the bourgeoisie (the financiers of the exploration voyages, mining and plantations) gave rise (because of economic power) of the bourgeoisie in European society.28
The first slave insurrection was recorded inside Portugal in 1455 at a time when 40% of Portugal's population was African slaves. Portugal and Spain, thus, had an internal domestic colonial African slave trade beginning in 1444 lasting until 1512.29
Thus, the importation of slaves into Portugal (1444) and Spain (1460) whileit introduced slavery based on skin color occurred while these countries were still operating under the feudalist system.
Racism was not introduced with the establishment of capitalism but was founded under the feudalist system. What did happen, though, was that racism was further institutionalized on a "world scale" by Europeans with the introduction of capitalism. That further institutiolanization made it a "permanent part" of the super-structure of the European state and the "ethos" of European culture, religion, science, economics and politics.
Between 1492 and 1592, the surplus value extracted from slave labor inside Portugal and Spain provided both European nations with the primitive accumulation of capital to finance and maintain dominance over the seas, which was the basis for international trade at that time. Thus, you have the rapid emergence of a mercantile capitalist class with full investment in the Atlantic slave trade.30 In this period, slavery existed as the labor intensive sector of the internal economy of Portugal and Spain, freeing a sector of the feudalist aristocracy and nobility to invest in shipping which led to the emergency of the mercantile capitalist class. At the same time, profits and products produced from the Atlantic slave trade (extraction of raw materials from Latin/South American/Carribbean basin) provided the accumulation of capital for the mercantile capitalist to invest in technological discoveries (sciences)/' The capitalist class freed the dependency of the sciences from the feudalist aristocracy (church/nobility) class. This soon gave impetus for the emergence of the industrial capitalist class and bourgeoisie revolutions in Europe, beginning in Holland in 1600.32
The so-called "discovery" of the Americas make them the first colonies of Europe from the period 1492 to 1600. If one takes an "objective" dialectical/historical/materialist world view of this period, their "conceptual frame of reference" would change.
For instance, the first American revolution of the 13 British colonies, which established the United States, was not a bourgeoisie democratic revolution. No was it progressive. If anything it was a step backwards in human history to the days of Rome. Though Rome was a high level of political development for European (Caucasian) society, Rome does not represent a high level of civilization for the majority of the world.
The first so-called American revolution was a revolution by a colonial settler class who had colonized (settled) the British North American colonies seceding from the mother (imperial) country (England). It was a revolution of a colonialist settler imperialist class, which imported and developed a domestic colony (New African Nation) for the extraction of value from the land (land use-value) during its war of extermination against the native people which was fought over land use. Thus, the forced labor of new Africans became "black gold" for the "colonialists" in extracting value from the "stolen land." Stolen land and stolen black labor is the foundation of the American capitalist system.33
The primary purpose of the colonial settler imperialist class seceding from the mother country was to reap more profits from the products produced and exchanged from the Atlantic slave trade. Therefore, the goal was to secure more profits for the domestiexolonialists.34
The class composition of the first so-called American revolution's leadership consisted of slave holders (semi-feudalist aristocracy), mercantile capitalists, and agricultural capitalists (large landholders-farmers in the north). What was the American revolution fought for? Land?35 Land only in the sense it could be exploited to reap profit (land use-value) for the colonial settler class in relation to the international market, world trade, which had been established by colonialism, the triangular slave trade.36 At the same time, the movement of succession by the colonial settler class promised to provide all class sectors of the 13 British colonies with material advancement, except its domestic colony (African chattel slaves).37.
Since the American so-called revolution was fought for more domestic control/profits of trade in goods transported to and from the colonies in which the basis was slavery, what was progressive about that?
Did the American revolution establish bourgeoisie democracy? No. In fact, there was not a real American capitalist class or bourgeoisie worth talking about in 1776. The most powerful class economically was the slave-holding aristocracy. That was the what the clause --three-fifths of a man, an slave ~ in the U.S. Constitution was about.38 A compromise between two sectors of the colonial settler class, The question was one of tactics concerning the extraction of value from the "stolen land." That's why the United States capital in Washington, B.C. (neutral zone) of the two-sectors of the colonial settler class (Mason-Dixon line). So the United States of America's constitution, like that of Rome and Greece, was a return to the slave holders "democratic" dictatorship with the added component of the separation of church from the state. The President of the United States is synonymous to the title of Caesar. The foundations of the United States are based on Roman law and civics.39
But where did the ideas of democracy, education, and the bill of rights come from? They developed over a 700-year period of socialization in the European intelligentsia being trained by Moorish educators in Europe and from the European intelligentsia studying in the centers of Timbuctu and other centers in Africa (1000-1492).40
In analyzing social economic formations, Marx does not analyze the economic impact and radical economic, political, social, educational transformation of Europe during the 700 years of Moorish "enlightenment" in southern Europe.
It was through the Moorish military occupation that the "technical revolution" in agricultural production and relations occurred in Europe. This accelerated the class formations and relations in European society. So again it was the external factor coming from the center prior to 1492 - the Moorish Turks Empire - that affected the economic development of the periphery (Europe). It is in this period that Europe was brought out ofthe "dark ages" and international trade established for Europe which lead to the transformation of Europe out of feudalism into mercantile capitalism.41 Nor does Marx full investigate the so-called Crusades. The Crusades were fought for dominance and access to trade of goods Europe did not have.42
So colonialism, imperialism and racism has a material basis. Europeans (Caucasians) essentially lived on a poor land base, a land not rich in minerals, a land which could not supply much of a surplus which was the basis cause of their economic underdevelopment prior to 1492.43
Therefore, the history ofthe European coming out of Europe (plundering) was always based on economic necessity and his vicious-like (barbaric) character based on cultural under develompment. 44
Chauvinist outlooks have clouded European social scientists' visions from seeing an important aspect of world development. Thus they have failed to analyze the political economy of racism.
Racism was a cultural force in much of European society during the feudalist period. The reason for its social development relates to Europe's economic underdevelopment (1000 A.D. to 1492) due to natural geographical causes and its cultural underdevelopment as the periphery in world society due to its 1000 years of isolation from the world center, both economically and culturally (the East - 400 A.D.-1492).45
Thus, when European nations united under feudalism to help "white" Christian Spain, France, Portugal defeat the Moors, there had been a historical economic (material) cultural premise already established for the existence of European "white" national internationalism (racism).46
European social scientists did not understand the essence or principle contradiction of the world economic order. That is, they did not understand that the surplus value extracted from "black gold" worldwide was the perpetual (primary factor) of the accumulation of capital. Not understanding the colonialist/imperialist origins of capitalism in depth, they could not see the relationship of the periphery (Third World, plus the internal domestic colonialized nationsxmside the U.S.) and the center (Europe). 47 The under-development of the periphery was occurring as early as the 1840's and colonialism and imperialism had been established long before that.48 European social scientists did not see there was a strata or class more oppressed in world society than the proletariat, which had constantly "shaken the foundations" of the world capitalist order since its formation.49
This class was the under-class which was composed of chattel slaves, peasants in the periphery, marginal workers of the opressed nations in the periphery and, also, inside the center.50 This under-class existed inside the United States and, also, in the world prior to 1865.51
Marxists today have structural problems when dealing with questions of false class consciousness.52 Why do white workers still support the imperialist state when their economic status is depreciating, even in times of depressions? Why doesn't alienation lead to further development of class consciousness rather than the tendency towards social anarchy or fascism?53
The answers to these questions require developing a new paradigm. One, the nature of capitalism was always imperialist, racist and-colonialist based on national oppression from its foundation.
Two, the formation of the European proletariat evolved from that colonialist system and. therefore, the European proletariat in the capitalist center (metropolitan capitalist nations) were oppressor nation proletariats, in which they supported colonialization by the capitalist class34 Reaping marginal benefits from the capitalist system's colonialization and imperialism against the periphery since its orgin, which produced unequal exchange between the periphery and the center, was the material basis forfor the failure of the proletariat to carry forth successful proletarian revolution.55
Russia was the "weak link" in this colonial/imperialist chain. While Czarist Russia was an oppressor nation, the proletariat was a semi-colonial oppressed proletariat with the majority of capital in Russia being controlled by western European capitalist interests. The Russian proletariat did not reap the same level of marginal fringe benefits from the capitalist system; therefore, it did not have an intense loyalty to it. As conditions further weakened the "weakest link" in the capitalist periphery, the advanced class consciousness of the Russian proletariat (which might be classified as part of the underclass on a world scale) heightened, and socialist revolution occurred there first.57 It should also be noted that the so-called "cultural backwardness" or lack of acculturation (socialization) into capitalist culture of the Russian proletariat probably had a lot to do with it breaking out of the capitalist sphere first.58
When dealing with capitalism on a world scale, the structural problem of North America (United States, Canada) has to be seen from a new perspective, the essential being the continuous expansion westward (land stealing) which was a tremendous value for the perpetual accumulation of national capital and capital on the world scale. That must be viewed as nothing else but I colonialism and imperialism.59 Then you have a more serious problem which many Marxists cannot deal with.
In North America there is no native indigenous proletariat. The oppressed nations inside the North American capitalist centers are more indigenous in the sense they were all formed out of the colonial/imperialist origins of the world capitalist order.60 Forced through national oppression, domestic colonialism and racism, an under-class by the dual labor market, they have always been "the motive force of revolution" along with the under-class (workers-peasants) in the periphery.61
The white American proletariat evolved as a result of a mass of migrations and are, in essence, a settler class colonial oppressor nation proletariat.
This is their material relation to the underclass (workers) in the periphery at home and abroad62 It is this colonial imperialist relationship that must be understood by them before they can adequately deal with their "false class consciousness" and unite with world-wide proletariat/under-class that is carrying forth socialist revolution. This requires a new paradigm.
Therefore, it is incumbent upon Marxists to restudy the Haitian revolution (1791-1800) and its impact on the world economic order of that time. The Haitian revolution shook the very foundations of the world economic order, which was centered on mercantile capitalism whose cornerstone was the African triangular slave trade. It was the African "slave" (under-class) revolution that accelerate the development towards industrial capital and the elimination of chattel slavery.63
So, in attempting to more forward towards socialist revolution, scientific socialists must develop a historical view to rationally examine and explain continuous underdeveldpment and unequal exchange/development between the periphery and the center, false class consciousness and alienation; the dual labor market, stratification divisions within the world proletariat and the real reason for the perpetual accumulation of capital.64
The key contradiction and greatest extraction of surplus value for the world capitalism since 1492 has been the super-exploitation of the periphery, particularly African people worldwide65
The understanding of African people's oppression is thus the "link" (antithesis) for the demise of the world capitalist system.
The recently published book, Stolen Black Labor: The Political Economy of Domestic Colonizalism by Omali Yeshitela, regardless of its weaknesses on the surplus value extracted from land and black labor in the black belt south, serves to verify and synthesize the underdevelopment to verify and synthesize the underdevelopment and unequal exchange/development schools of thought.
Further study of national oppression on the world scale will show the under-class's relationship to the perpetual accumulation of capital on a world scale.66
Thus, when racism, national oppression, colonialism and imperialism is seriously dealt with through a new dialectical/historical materialist paradigm, the world socialist revolution will advance to to:al victory. BIBLIOGRAPHY
7. Michael Lowry, The Politics of Combined and Uneven Development; The Theory of Permanent Revolution, (London, Verso Editions, 1981) p.
A.Z. Manfred, Ed., A Short History of the World, Volume I, (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1974).
Kwazi Nkrumah, A Dialectical Materialist Approach to the Problem of Racism, p. 16.
Philip S. Foner, History of Black Americans(Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Press,
5. Kwazi Nkrumah, A Dialectical Materialist Approach to the Problem of Racism; The Economic
Basis in the Evolution of Western Europe, Part I, (unpublished manuscript).
6. Immanual Wallerstein, The Modern World System (New York: Harper Colophon Books. 1980), p.
Andre Gunder Frank, World Accumuiation-1492-1789 (New York: Monthly Review Press). E. Franklin Frazier, Race and Cultural Contacts in the Modern World.
Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1980,) p.2.
Andre Gunder Frank, Dependent Accumulation and Underdevelopment (New York: Monthly Review
Press, 1979). P.14
Immanual Wallerstien, op cit.
10 Howard Zinn, op. cit, pp. 24.
John Jackson, Introduction to Africa.
G.Glezerman, The Laws of Social Development (Moscow; Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1968),
John Kantasky, Political Change in Underdeveloped Countries (New York: Wiley Press, 1962).
For further study on this subject the following begins to scratch the surface:
Andre Gunder Frank, World Accumulation, 1492-1789 (New York; Monthly Review
Rosa Luzemberg, The Accumulation of Capital (New York: Monthly Review Press,
Andre Gunder Frank, Dependant Accumulation and Underdevelopment (New York:
Monthly Review Press, 1979).
Samir Amin, Accumulation on a World Review Press, 1974).
Samir Amin, Unequal Development (New York; Monthly Review Press, 1974).
Dan Hammerquist, "The Economy of Imperialism (London: Zed Press, 1977).
Don Hammerquist, "The Economic if National Oppression in a World Scale". Urgent
Tasks. No. 2, Oct. 1977, Chicago, 111.
Gunder Frank, op. cit
Eric Williams, Capitalism and Slavery; New Boundaries On Native People.
Walter Rodney, How Europe Underdevelopment Africa.
Kwazi Nkrumah, op. cit.
Van Sertaumen, They Came Before Columbus.
Marx and Engels, ed. Lewis S. Feuer Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy (Garden City, New
York). Anchor Books, 1959, p. 359.
Kantsky, op. cit.
Manfred, ed. Op. cit. also see Vol. 2.
Basil Davidson, Atlantic Slave Trade. Eric Williams, op. cit.
Philip S. Foner, op. cit.p. 104.
Philip S. Foner ibid., pp. 104-105
Michael Lowry, op. cit.
Kwazi Nkrumah, op.cit., pp. 96-100.
Philip S. Foner, op.cit.pp.96-100.
Samir Amin, Class and Nation' Historically and in the Current Crisis (New York; Monthly Review
Press, 1980), Ch. 4.
Karl Marx, Capital: Vol. 1 (New York: International Publishers, 1967), Chapter 26.
3!. Kawzi Nkrumah, op. cit.
Omali Yeshitela, Stolen Black Labor, op. cit.
Rev. Ishakarnusa Barashango, African People and European Holidays: A Mental Genocide,
(Washington, DC., IV Book Two, Dynasty Publishing Company, 1983), p, 113, 114.
New Boundaries, On Native Peoples.
Rev. Ishakamusa Barashango, op. cit. Also see J. A. Roders, Africa's Gift to America, Eric Williams,
Capitalism and Slavery.
Howard Zinn, op. cit
Howard Zinn, op. cit.
Golden Age of the Moors.
John Jackson, Introduction to African Civilization.
Philip Foner, op. cit. Also see Political Economy of Imperialism.
Kawazi Nkrumah, op. cit.
Muhammad Ahmad, Class, Nationalism, Culture and the Third World (unpublished manuscript).
E. Franklin Frazier, Race and Cultural Contacts in the Modern World.
Golden Age of the Moors, also see J. M. Blant, "Nationalism As An Autonomous Force", Science and
Society. Vol. XLVI, No. 1, Spring 1982, pp. 1-23.
Omali Yesitela, Stolen Black Labor, op. cit.
Edna Bonacich, "Split Labor Markets 1830-1863", ASS, Vol. 81, Number 3, pp. 601-628.
C.L.R. James, Black Jacobins.
Samir Amin, Accumulation On the World Scale, op. cit. Also see Revolutionary Action Movement,
World Black Revolution (New York: Ram Press, 1966).
Bon, Split Labor Market.
George Lukacs, History and Class Consciousness: Studies in Marxist Dialectics (Cambridge, Mass.:
The MIT Press, 1968), pp. 83-222.
Roxanne Mitchell and Frank Weiss, A House Divided: Labor and White Supremacy (New York:
United Labor Press, 1981).
Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels, On Colonialism (Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1968).
54. Samir Amin, Unequal Development.
John Kantsky, Political Change in Underdeveloped Countries (New York; Wiley).
58.Kantsky, op. cit.
New Boundaries, ON Native People, op.cit. Also see "To Serve The Devil"
H. Jeremy Packard, The Fires of God: Minority-Majority Confrontation in America (Mass: Independent
School Press, 1971)
Carol Marks, "Split Labor Markets and Black-White Relations, 1865-1920," Phylan, Fourth Quarter
(Winter), 1981, Vol. XIII, No. 4, pp. 293-308. Also see Bonacich.
C.L. R. James, op. cit
Muhammad Ahmad, "The New African National Questions and World Socialist Revolution, Part I,"
International Proletarian Revolution, "Black Race, Black Nations, Black Workers and Peasants. The
Struggle for Liberation." Vibrations, No. 44-45, Feb. 5-March, 1983.
Omali Yeshitela. Stolen Black Labor, op.cit.
Notes on the Portuguese, 1400's
Portugal became the first modern European nation state after it expelled the Moors in 1391, approximately 100 years before Spain expelled the Moors and Jews who would not convert over the ' " Christianity on January V2, 1492.
In 1391, the Portuguese expelled the Moors and became1 he first European nation state of modern times. Under the leadership of Price Henry "the Navigator" through innovation derived from Moorish navigational science the Portuguese attack the North-West African island of Auta and occupied it in 1415.
After the expulsion of the Moors under the guidance of Prince Henry a new navigational school was established to explore the coastline of Africa. Prince Henry, son of Portugal's King Joao I, known as Henry the Navigator had four motivations for exploration of the African coastline. For hundreds of years gold from the kingdoms of Ghana, Mali and Songahi had been transported to Portugal, Spain and other parts of western Europe by the Moors from present day Morocco (North Africa). But not even the Moors knew where the gold mines were. Portugal and Spain and other European powers traded and bought goods in the eastern Mediterranean markets particularly through the port of Alexandria (Egypt) for goods transported overland through the great silk road from India and China. With Muslims now controlling these routes, Europeans (Christians) would be taxed heavily at emporiums to get the spices, silk and china they needed. In return Portugal had little to offer in return of trade i.e. iron pots and wool.
Long envious of the North Africans access to rich trade in ivory, gold, hides, and slaves across the Sahara, the Portuguese promoted navigation along the West Coast to by pass the thriving Moroccan ports. They and other European kings also wanted to find alternate routes to Asia so that they could by pass Arab emporiums in the eastern Mediterranean. Such routes would immediately reward their discovery with vast profits from trading spices, porcelains, silks and other exotic products.1
What were the four motivations for Portugal's exploration into Africa?
Therefore the young Portugal state had great need to get around these barriers to enrichment. The aims of Prince Henry were:
scientific (extended geographical knowledge)
political (make Portugal more powerful
religious (spread Christianity)
economic (find direct routes to West African gold and Asian spices)
Economic motives became more important than the others, especially after the Gold Coast was
reached in 1471.
J.H. Parry, The Establishment of the European Hegomony: 1415-1715 Trade and Exploration in the Age of the Renaissance (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1961) p. 11
1 Michael L. Conniff. Thomas J. Davis, Africans in the Americans: A History of the Black Diaspora [New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1994] pp24
2 M. Kwamena- Poh, J.. Thsh, R. Waller, M. Tidy, African History in Maps [Essex, England: Longman
1982] pp. 12
As economic motives become more important with trade of West African gold and scarcity in European slaves for sugar plantations, Prince Henry initiated several innovations.
Henry sponsored improvements in navigation and energetically promoted his kingdom's expansion into the Atlantic Ocean. In 1418, he ordered the seizure of the unoccupied Maderia Islands off the northern part of West Africa. In 1427, he took the Azores just north-west of the Maderia Islands. Several other European groups had earlier reached the Canary Islands, close to the African Coast, but they did little more than trade with people they found living there. In 1424, Henry seized the Canaries for Portugal.3
In 1434 under the command of Portuguese ship captain Gil Eannes, the Portuguese sailed beyond Cape Bojador just south of the Canary Islands off West African's shore and returned.
How did Eannes accomplish this feat? He modified Moorish-designed small wooden ships with lanteen (three cornered) sails. Now he could sail into the wind and return to Portugal.4 By the end of the 1430's the Portuguese began experimenting with growing sugar cane first on the island of Madeiras. In 1441, Portuguese ship captains such as Diego Gomer started kidnapping Africans off the North Coast for lifelong slavery on the Atlantic islands.
On the Madeiras, enslaved Africans initially, toiled alongside slaves procured from Russia and the Balkans.5
The European slaves had long experience with the planting and chopping cane in the sugar fields of Cyprus and Sicily for they had been enslaved by Muslims who had been producing sugar since the eighth century. The Portuguese were importing five thousand slaves annually, most to go to the sugar plantations of the West African coast. Others to go to plantations in Portugal and Spain.
Demand for slaves had accelerated after Turks (Ottoman) conquered Constantinople in 1453. With the fall of the great city, Europeans lost their access to the slave markets in Russia and the Balkans. For generations they had relied on these sources for domestic and agricultural laborers. It was precise for these reasons that Prince Henry sent Diego Gomes to negotiate treaties with African rulers.6
This is the beginning of African slavery 1441 to 1502. The Portuguese and later the Spanish even before and after the explusion of the Moors were utilizing Africans as slaves on the sugar plantations off the coast of Africa and also inside of their nations.
In the story of exploration and overseas expansion, three branches of technical development proved to be of the first importance. One was the study of geography and astronomy and it's application to the problems of practical navigation. The second was ship-building and the development of skill in handling ships. The third was the development of fire-arms and in particular of naval gunnery.7
In 1441 Portugal established forts on Guinea Coast of Africa, which serve as holding factories before slaves were shipped to the Island. By 1442 the Portuguese established their first slave military fort on the coast of Ghana at El mina of St. George, one of the builders of this part was Christopher Columbus.
By 1472: these holding factories became institutionalized (an officials agreement was established with the Portuguese and the King of Benin in order to trade slaves.
1441-1502 Slaves taken to Europe (Spain and Portugal) directly from Africa to work on plantations
in Southern Europe.
Europeans particularly monarchies looking for new routes to India; reason for Columbus voyage in 1492?
"Long envious of the North African's access to rich trade in ivory, sold, hides, and slaves across the Sahara the Portuguese promoted navigation along the West Coast to bypass the thriving Moroccan ports. They and other European kings also wanted to find alternate routes to Asia so that they could bypass Arab emporiums in the eastern Mediterranean. Michael L. Conniff, Thomas J. Davis, Africans in the Americas: A History of the Black Diaspora, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994, pp. 24.
(*Emporium: Trading places; pertaining to trade, Fare-money paid in transportation) Where did Columbus gain many of his ideas expediation's (sailing) west and that the world was round?
Burning Spear, Vol. 9., No. 9, December, 1982,p5
"The first contact of Muslims with America took place at the time of initial discovery of
the "New World" Christopher Columbus had been strongly influenced by the geography
or the thirteenth century, Arab scholar, Al-Adrissi, who served as an adviser to King
Roger of Sicily. Columbus had in his possession, on board his ship, a copy of this work in
which the author mentioned the discovery of a new continent by eight Muslim explores.
Furthermore, it comes as no surprise to find among the crew an interpreter by the name of
Louis Torres, who in actuality, was an Arab renegade, converted to Catholicism not long
before the reconquest of Spain by the Catholics."
From J. Gordon Mellon, Islam in North America pp25-26.
1492-1493 Columbus enslaves natives of the Caribbean
He takes some (aprox. 14 to Spain to show King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella that they would make good slaves (this was his second voyage; funded by the king and queen). On his 3rd voyage he observed Moors among the native population Portuguese gain dominance over trade routes (From African to the West Indies and Brazil.)
1493-1502 Spaniards come to South America and the Caribbean, they made natives work in the
silver and gold mines (as slaves).
• 1502 Africans were taken directly to South America, Mexico, Caribbean and mostly to Brazil.