African histories before slavery was deliberately distorted to justify slavery. In that sense African continent itself is viewed as backward with no importance, Africa’s economic development was also distorted. It is in the recent history that historians were able to redress this distortion and to begin to re-establish Africa’s rightful place in world history.
African continent is now recognised as the birthplace of humanity and the cradle of civilization. There is much achievement of Kemet, or ancient Egypt, for instance, African civilization can be dated back to 5000 years ago, which was first developed in the Nile valley. Even before the rise of Kemet, there was even more ancient kingdom, known as Ta Seti, existed in what is today known as Nubia in Sudan. This maybe the earliest state to exist anywhere in the world.
Africa can be credited not only with many scientific developments associated with Egypt, engineering, mathematics, architecture, medicine etc but also with early well established political systems such as state formation and monarchy. It can be clearly demonstrated that economic, political, and scientific development during this early period, perhaps was more advanced in Africa more than any other part in the world.
The African continent flourished and continued its own path of development without any external intervention until the fifteenth century. Some of other world’s great civilisations were Kush, Axum, Mali, and Great Zimbabwe. These civilisations flourished in Africa before 1500. Africans participated in extensively international trading activities and also trans-oceanic travel. Some African states established important trading relations with India, China and other parts of Asia long before the eventual disruption by European interventions.
In West Africa in particular, it was gold from the great empires such as Ghana, Mali, and Songhai, which led the voyages of the early European explorers to economically take off the West Africa in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Indeed by the 15th century, African continent was already one of greatest in terms of diversity. The existence of great kingdoms and empires, such as Mali in the west and Ethiopia in the east were exceptional. No major centralised government existed in African continent many people lived in societies where there were no great divisions of wealth and power. In such societies there were generally more democratic systems by council of elders and other kinship based age sets. Consequently there was religious diversity, and also philosophical beliefs. Islam begun to play a significant role before 1500. African societies were following their own patterns of development before the onset of Europeans interventions.
There were notable racist views against Africa by for example Scottish philosopher David Hume: “I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the Whites. There scarcely ever was a civilised nation of that complexion, nor even any individual, eminent either in action or in speculation. No ingenious manufacture among them, no arts, no sciences”. In the 19th century, the German philosopher Hegel simply said; “Africa is no historical part of the world”. As recently as 1963 Hugh Trevor Roper, Regius Professor of History at Oxford University, expressed openly the racist view that Africa has no history.
History actually begun here, all the earliest evidence of human existence and our immediate hominid ancestors has been found here in Africa. The latest scientific research points to the fact that all human beings are likely to have African ancestors.
Nobody from outside Africa would ever acknowledge the fact that Africa contributed anything in this world in terms of civilisation, especially those that are not sorry for the slavery. Africans are being discouraged from learning their own history. We are being told “you cannot live in the past” especially when you point out to African holocaust committed by Europeans, but the same people are comfortable with Jews commemorating their holocaust committed by NAZI.
It is clear that Kemet and Nubia were neighbouring African Civilizations just as Aksum and Nubia. Difference doesn’t mean Nubia was a ‘Black race’ and Kemet wasn’t. Both groups were ethnic groups of indigenous African origin. The largest empire in Ancient African history was the Songhai Empire with its iconic leader Askia. The Aksum was the 3rd largest African empires at 1.25 million sq km.