A Book Review People Can Use! Volume I
Christopher Columbus & the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery & the Rise of European Capitalism
By: Dr. John Henrik Clarke
Dr. John Henrik Clarke (1915–1998) was a Pan-African and Afrocentric historian, professor, advocate, and pioneer who served as a scholar advocate for African peoples for more than 50 years. As an “African-American” (a false identity that subjugates, confuses, and limits African descendants of enslaved Africans that reside in America) who explicitly identified with African heritage, culture, and ideology, Dr. Clarke clearly stated that:
"One cannot understand world history without understanding the central role of African history”.
In his work Christopher Columbus & the Afrikan Holocaust: Slavery & the Rise of European Capitalism, Dr. Clarke provides a comprehensive analysis of a period of history that has been (and continues to be) deliberately and systematically forged and contrived to maintain the current global political economy, which has its origins in the Middle Passage and the transatlantic slave trade. Dr. Clarke masterfully examines African world history that is intentionally neglected and outlines the events and conditions of the European “Middle Ages” and following periods that ultimately led to:
- The genocide of indigenous people in the “New World”;
- The formal institutionalization of the European slave trade;
- The official establishment of European colonialism (imperialism)'
- The merging of caste systems based on colorism, which eventually falsely elevated any human considered “white” to superior status, and rendered any human considered non-“white” to an inferior status.
Dr. Clarke’s work is tremendous and invaluable because the reader obtains a thorough and chronological understanding of the events, conditions, and ideologies that set the foundation for European and American capitalism. Moreover, Dr. Clarke successfully humanizes victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and European and American capitalism, and shows the connection between the establishment of such “free enterprise” systems that are based on color-caste and the current global political economy, which legitimized the existing system of global exploitation that benefits the few (the affluent and those who identify as “white”).
It is critical to have an accurate understanding of world history to value ourselves and the roles we play within the world. In the words of the late great Dr. Clarke:
“The Middle Passage — our Holocaust! It is our holocaust because this is a holocaust that started 500 years ago, and it is not over. We do not start our count at six million, we start at sixty million, and we have just begun to count. Now I don’t mean to negate the German and the European holocaust. Whether the number was six or sixty million, even if it was wrong. But it was a problem started in Europe by Europeans. There is no comparison between this tragedy and our tragedy, which was the greatest crime in the history of the world. Why haven’t we memorialized our dead? It was almost like the crime of not burying them.”
There are many quotes one can use to illustrate Dr. Clarke’s points and to reveal his position on the “discovery of America” and the Middle Passage, but I chose the one above because sugarcoating the truth will not bring justice to victims of the Afrikan holocaust and their descendants. Simply put, the European holocaust or the Shoah, as it has come to be known in biblical terms by international community and the “Jews of today” (who are primarily considered “white” in American and European culture — even though Africans and their descendants can be Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc.) is regarded as the foremost crime in human history. This is extremely problematic because Africans and their descendants (especially in America) continue to support false narratives about the Shoah, and simultaneously dehumanize and subjugate ourselves as we are yet again reduced to inferior/secondary status.
By not understanding the importance and eminence of the Afrikan holocaust, the victims and descendants of this tragedy are at a minimum inclined to:
- Willingly accept explanations and justifications of past and current African and (Black) dehumanization and genocide
- Ignore African world history because we regard “African-ness”/“Black-ness” or the quality of being considered “B/black” as a negative and limiting human trait
- Ignore African world history because we regard “knowing African world history” as un-beneficial and unimportant
- Substitute our personal, historical, and cultural identities and ideals with non-African nationalities that regard Africans as inferior, as we value assimilation and integration into non-African nations more than our personal, historical, and cultural identities
- Willingly accept justifications for past/current economic underdevelopment of African nations, and international B/black populations and communities
- Readily accept rationalizations of past/current political exploitation of African nations, and international B/black populations and communities
- Accept secondary social and political status based on contrived ethnic notions, i.e., "race"
- Revere the European holocaust as the chief crime in human history
Finally, by not understanding the importance of the Afrikan holocaust, the victims and descendants of this catastrophe maintain the political, social, and economic status quo, which enables and justifies the exploitation, discrimination, and social, economic, and political castration of Africans and their descendants. Such an omission or denial of the truth and world history enables those who benefit(ted) from Cristóbal Colón’s (Christopher Columbus’) actions to continue to celebrate his “accomplishments” on the falsified internationally recognized holiday, Columbus Day.
· Analysis of Africa before the European slave trade
· Analysis of European nations before their exploration in Africa
· Analysis of African and indigenous humanism vs European and American materialism
· Explanation of the African/Arab slave trade vs the European slave trade
· Explanation of how the European slave trade and colonialism led to the current global political economy
 “African history”, or “African world history” means ‘the history of African peoples and their descendants throughout the world’. From antiquity and the aboriginal people who first walked the Earth, to the depictions of Africans in religious and spiritual texts such as the Bible, Quran, Torah, Kabbalah or Zohar, and Tripitaka, to the enslaved and colonized Africans of the 1500s, 1600s, 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, to modern day “African-Americans” and “Afro-Europeans”.
 It is important to note that “whiteness” is a social construct (an idea or social schema created by humans) that is used to classify humans. The concept of “whiteness” (being considered a “white” person) has no biological origin and is used to dishonestly distinguish humans based on dehumanizing racial theories. The same group of people who conceived the idea of “whiteness” also created the “Negro”. Meaning “white” people created the idea of being “white” to enable and justify their “superior” social standing and consequently created the idea of being non-“white”, “Black”, or “Negro” to enable and justify the “inferior” social standing of indigenous groups.
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