Black History Month: KONGO. Past. Present. Future.

The Save The Congo team organised an evening of light entertainment accompanied by a lecture from Historian Robin Walker on Saturday 22nd Ocotber in celebration of Black History month. The event took place in North London; in the vicinity of Seven Sisters and Turnpike lane. The silly Victoria line wasn’t working so I had to work my way around the London tube system and lost my bearings in the process  kmt

There was a good turn out of people, not the usual crowd that Save The Congo (StC) attracts; very Afrocentric; a good atmosphere  as usual. It was an evening of sharing and discoursing; an opportunity to be enlightened, to be taught, to network, to raise awareness and to learn.

Historian Robin Walker was the key note speakerThe Save The Congo team organised an evening of light entertainment accompanied by a lecture from Historian . I love history, it plays an important role in  identifying who we are, where we have come from, the events which have shaped the present day. It encompasses all subjects, from Geography, Sociology to Anthropology or Economics. When We Ruled is the landmark book published by Robin Walker. It depicts the history of black people, their origin and contribution in the development of the modern world. A 713 pages research-filled synthesis filled with archaeological data and documented evidence definitely worth having on your bookshelf.

Considering his expertise, StC demanded that Mr Walker give us a brief  account of early African History and that he touched mostly upon the pre-colonial history of DR Congo so to speak. It was very empowering and enlightning. It is important to restore a sense of pride in African people, so much has been taken away from us that we have lost our identity. What have we accomplished? Is there any information pre-colonialism? Have we played a role in the advancement of Science, technology or human development?

there are no mentions of  the roles which African, Indian, Carribean and other Colonial troops played in supporting the Allied cause in World War Two.

In Europe, the content of History as an academic subject is very Eurocentric (understandably). This means that most black children, having finished primary and secondary school, are not able to identify themselves nor their ancestors to key historical events. What I find quite shocking is that even when The World Wars are taught in school as part of the curriculum, that there are no mentions of  the roles which African, Indian, Carribean and other Colonial troops played in supporting the Allied cause in World War Two. Ironically, European history is extensively taught in African countries. When I speak to my parents about ‘our’ history  besides the Lumumba, the Kimbangu; they are not able to tell me anything. Just traditional tales so to speak of our grand-parents and village life (although even that is a struggle).

In retrospect, when I think about my own experience throughout school at what I learned in History, all I can  think about besides The World Wars which almost killed me with boredom are the study of  The Tudors! I know! (  à-la-Monica-from-Friends)  Who cares about them?! All I wanted to know was whether Kunta Kinte was real! loool 🙂

In line with the organisations goals, this event was organised to look at the ‘Past, Present and Future’ of the DRC. Through Robin Walker we were able to explore the past and learn how the Kingdom of Kongo was organised pre-colonialism. The present situation focused on blood mineral abuses and their effects in fuelling the rape crisis  in Eastern Congo. Finally the future gave us an outlook of what Congo could become and  its important geo-strategic position  in the heart of the Africa and key role in the continent’s overall prosperity .

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