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MAAFA: The African Holocaust of Enslavement - Worrill’s World - By Dr. Conrad Worrill, PhD - Columnist

The idea that Christopher Columbus discovered America on October 12, 1492 has been thoroughly dismantled by the African Centered and Indigenous Native Movements over the last forty year period.

As Rosemary Richmond of the American Indian Community House in New York explains, “Columbus did not discover anything. A society 10,000 years old was here ... America was not an unpopulated barren territory. It had rich civilizations and nations.”

As a result of the defeat of the Columbus myth, African people in America have begun to focus on what was really happening during the time attributed to this 500 year old lie.

What has emerged as a result of the defeat of this lie is a movement to acknowledge and commemorate the millions of African people who lost their lives through the chattel slave trade of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries. This movement is called the “African Holocaust of Enslavement” which we refer to as the “Maafa.” The term Maafa is a Ki Swahili word for disaster that we are now using to reclaim our right to tell our own story.

Since 1992, in numerous cities throughout the African communities in America, during the period of what was once the Columbus Day events, programs have now been established to pay reverence to our lost ancestors of the African Holocaust of Enslavement or Maafa.

It must be made clear that, “No African was waiting as a slave to be traded to the Europeans. In all regions of Africa, from which Africans were transported, the African was involved in a brutal war declared by the European aggressor, interested in exploiting the human and natural resources of the richest continent on earth.”

In this context, “These Africans who became prisoners of war were placed in detention camps and then transported to the America to be enslaved by the benefactors of their captors. No African began his or her ordeal as a slave. Africans were reduced to slavery.”

The national campaign to honor and pay tribute to our ancestors who were victims of the African Holocaust of Enslavement / Maafa, is focusing on:

  • Reconciliation of the historical reality of the ancestors with the historical memory of their descendants.
  • Healing the wounds between Africans in the Diaspora and continental Africa.
  • Enshrining of the ancestors who have struggled against the enslavement process.

As Brother Hannibal Afrik observes, “Unfortunately for our race, these African victims have never had any commemorations or descent burials. To our African Ancestors, we have no monuments to attest for their suffering, nor have reconciled the past with the present.”

Brother Afrik continues by pointing out, “As a people, we have never collectively performed the appropriate rituals to guide the souls of our departed ancestors to their proper resting places. Their bodies have rotted unceremoniously in the soils of the Africa and in the cold, watery graves of the Atlantic Ocean.”

The African Holocaust of Enslavement Project explains that, “Between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries, at least fifty to one hundred million men, women, and children were captured, kidnapped, or brought from Africa by European slave traders to be sold into concentration labor camps of the Americas. These enslaved African prisoners of war provided the labor in the mines and the plantation systems of the Americas to enrich the Europeans and provide the foundation for their current economic well being.”

Further, the Project makes these profound points: “The brutal genocidal war against African people resulted in the largest forced transportation of any group of people in the history of mankind. The loss of life from this process is immeasurable, but estimates put it at least around one hundred million over the four hundred years of the African Holocaust (1441-1898).”

As a part of the process of recapturing the African mind and spirit, it is imperative that we pay homage to our ancestors of the African Holocaust / Maafa by taking time out every year in an organized and programmatic way by acknowledging their spirits.

Over the last several years this campaign has begun to get the attention of large numbers of African people who have become inspired by participating in the African Holocaust / Maafa programs.

All African people should get spiritually prepared to participate in this year’s African Holocaust / Maafa Programs. By actively participating, your soul will connect with our ancestors and help in the continued effort to give honor and respect to them. We must, “Let the Healing Begin With Us! Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here to contact Dr. Worrill.


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September24 , 2009
Issue 343

is published every Thursday

Executive Editor:
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Managing Editor:
Nancy Littlefield
Peter Gamble
Est. April 5, 2002
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