Chapter 14th: African Lisbon Tour

One of these days when the word HAPPINESS has no limit as you are surrounded by smiling and happy people and you end with them like friends or a family after sharing point of views and experiences about the African history of slavery and colonialism in Portugal and also from their different countries: Belgium, Netherland, United States of America, Kenya, England and Brazil.
It went beyond a simple walking tour and knowing each other and sharing our own experiences has been a blessing for all of us.
 
Collage 2
We had the honour to be visited by the TSF one of the three main Portuguese radio news stations and part of the Portuguese Global Media Group.
Find below the link to listen to the program.
I would like to thank the radio for their interest in spreading the news.
Enjoy ūüôā
#africanlisbontour #africanhistory #hiddenhistory #historyofslavery #colonialism #Portuguesecolonialhistory #Slaveryinportugal #Palopcountries #Portugalcolonialpast
https://www.tsf.pt/sociedade/interior/ha-uma-visita-guiada-que-resgata-a-historia-africana-escondida-nas-ruas-de-lisboa–10747708.html?fbclid=IwAR07GenIf1TcsFvsZtMJQ51NqvkadNOkhwQ3M2mgipCFQKJe6MjYs2OUOYs
Contact us to be share with us
 
 
 
 
 

EU PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR ‚ÄėREPARATIONS FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY‚Äô TO AFRO-EUROPEANS

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution Tuesday addressing ‚Äústructural racism‚ÄĚ in Europe against Europeans of African descent. The resolution calls for ‚Äúreparations for crimes against humanity during European colonialism.‚ÄĚ
The document was written by the British Labour MEP Claude Moraes and was inspired by the racist behavior allegedly experienced by Italian socialist MEP Cécile Kyenge, who served as Italy’s first black government minister, according to The Guardian. The resolution was approved with 535 in favor, and 80 against with 44 abstentions.
The resolution urges member states of the EU to form and execute anti-racism strategies within their home nations, specifically focusing on ‚Äúthe fields of education, housing, health, criminal justice, political participation and migration,‚ÄĚ according to the European Parliament website. It also seeks to address ‚Äúracial profiling in criminal law and counter-terrorism.‚ÄĚ
The resolution also clearly endorses action regarding reparations made to Afro-Europeans for “crimes against humanity during European colonialism.
The European Parliament‚Äôs press release about the resolution reads, ‚ÄúAdditionally, people of African descent should be taken into account more in current funding programmes and in the next multiannual financial framework (2021-2027).‚ÄĚ

The resolution encourages EU institutions and member states to address and rectify past injustices and crimes against humanity, perpetrated in the name of European colonialism. These historic crimes still have present day negative consequences for people of African descent, MEPs claim.
MEPs suggest carrying out reparations, such as apologising publicly and return stolen artefacts to their countries of origin.‚ÄĚ

The European Parliament also calls for nations to declassify their colonial archives and to provide a ‚Äúcomprehensive perspective on colonialism and slavery‚ÄĚ in academic curricula.

 
Source: The Guardian

King Amador – Resistance to the Portuguese enslavement.

REI AMADOR

Amador led a major slave revolt in 1595 on the island of São Tomé that came close to overthrowing Portuguese colonial authority. Amador’s date of birth is unknown, but he was born on São Tomé.
 
São Tomé was uninhabited when the Portuguese arrived on the island around 1471. Beginning in 1493, Portuguese colonists established sugarcane plantations on the island. To work on these plantations, the Portuguese brought slaves from nearby parts of Africa. Over the course of the sixteenth century, sugar became dominant throughout São Tomé. However, slaves on the island did not passively accept their fate. They frequently ran away, establishing maroon communities in nearby mountainous forests. From these communities, they attacked plantations and the town of São Tomé. In response, Portuguese authorities created a militia to fight these runaway slave communities and protect the European settlers. During the late sixteenth century, the sugar industry in São Tomé became less important with the rise of sugar production in Brazil. Divisions between the governor, the bishop, and the town council created political instability.
 
Amador took advantage of political tension to lead his revolt. On July 9, 1595, Amador and two other slaves, Lazaro and Domingo, led a group of slaves into the parish church in the town of Trindade and killed Portuguese men attending Catholic Mass. In the following days, an increasing number of slaves attacked plantations and burned sugar mills and plantation houses. On July 11, the militia and rebels fought again, resulting in the death of three Portuguese. Another battle followed on July 14, and the slaves fled. Amador proclaimed himself the king of São Tomé, and organized his runaway slave army into four units. Each unit attacked a key area of the town of São Tomér, but the Portuguese militia pushed the slaves back.
 
Amador’s army continued to attack the town for the next two weeks. With an army reportedly containing five thousand slaves, Amador waged one last assault on the town on July 28. Over two hundred soldiers died during this assault, including Lazaro, one of Amador’s commanders. The Portuguese governor offered clemency to any slave who surrendered, and more than four thousand accepted his offer on July 29.
 
Eventually, one of Amador’s confidantes betrayed him and Amador was arrested. On August 14, 1595, the Portuguese hung and quartered Amador and placed his heart on a pillow. Amador’s slave revolt was one of the greatest slave uprisings in Atlantic history. His army had destroyed most of the island’s sugar mills, and accelerated the movement of plantations away from São Tomé to Brazil before its eventual overthrow.
 
After São Tomé and the neighboring island of Príncipe gained independence in 1975, the government proclaimed Amador a national hero of the anti-colonial struggle. In 1976, the São Tomé and Príncipe government replaced the Portuguese escudo with a new currency, the dobra, and incorporated Amador’s portrait in the country’s currency. No images of Amador exist so a local artist created a portrait of him. In 2004, the National Assembly of São Tomé declared January 4 a national holiday in honor of Amador, and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan inaugurated a statue of Amador in São Tomé.

Sources: enslaved.org

Solitude – La mulatresse solitude

La mulatresse Solitude: the first black woman’s honoured with a statue erected in Paris

Commonly remembered in Guadeloupe as ‚Äúla mul√Ętresse Solitude‚ÄĚ (‚ÄúSolitude the Mulatto Woman‚ÄĚ), Solitude has become a legendary figure in the antislavery struggles of Caribbean blacks in the early nineteenth century. Her extreme courage made her legendary and prompted whites to caricature her as mad.

While details about Solitude’s life are few, her existence has been authenticated in historical accounts of the abolition and re-establishment of slavery in the French Empire during the 1790s and 1800s. Speculation places Solitude’s birth around 1772, possibly the product of the rape of her African mother by a white sailor on a ship bound for Guadeloupe.

At the time of her birth, Guadeloupe was a French colony reliant on enslaved African labor. Solitude is thought to have escaped slavery with her mother (who died when she was eight) and lived as a Maroon during her adolescence.

The news of the 1794 proclamation of the abolition of slavery in the French empire soon reached the colonies, and slaves left plantations in droves. In the early months of 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte answered planter complaints by sending a large military expedition to restore order and reimpose slavery. A number of officers of color in the French Republican Army, including Louis Delgrès and Joseph Ignace, rejected the official French decision and led a vigorous resistance against the re-imposition of slavery in Guadeloupe.

Solitude played an active role in the armed resistance, bearing arms in the battle of  May 8, 1802. Women participated as combatants and also inspired the men to greater feats of resistance and valor. Though pregnant, Solitude participated in all the battles in the Dol√© post. She was particularly prone to expressing her rage against prisoners taken by the resistance fighters. Solitude kept rabbits and once caught one that escaped, speared it with a skewer, and showed it to the prisoners, saying ‚ÄúLook, this is how I‚Äôm going to treat you when the time comes.‚ÄĚ

On May 22, 1802, a furious attack forced the black resistance troops in Fort Saint-Charles to retreat. Solitude was wounded in the ensuing conflict and eventually captured and condemned to death along with a band of insurgents. However, because of her pregnancy, Solitude’s execution was delayed until she gave birth. On November 29, 1802, the day after she delivered her child, Solitude was hanged. Solitude’s key role in the fight against slavery has been commemorated in Guadeloupean memory through fiction and the construction of two statues.

Source: enslaved.org

Phillis Wheatley

Poet, considered a founder of African American literature, was born around 1753, probably among the Fulani peoples living near the Gambia River in West Africa. Her poetry and prose indicate familiarity with animistic ancestor worship, solar worship, Islam, and an African consciousness she brought to North America after she was captured aged 7 or 8, enslaved, and forced aboard the Phillis, a brigantine owned by Timothy Fitch of Medford, Massachusetts and captained by Peter Gwinn of Boston. According to the Slave Voyages Database, she embarked from the Windward Coast of Africa with 95 fellow Africans and was one of 76 who survived the deprivations of the ship‚Äôs cramped and squalid conditions and arrived in Boston 245 days later, wearing only a scrap of carpet. On 11 July 1761, she was sold on the block ‚Äúfor a trifle‚ÄĚ to John and Susanna Wheatley, prominent Bostonians who named her after the slave ship that brought her to America. Her name was thus a constant reminder of her enslavement and suffering during the Middle Passage.

Seeing Phillis attempt to write, the Wheatleys encouraged her to read and write, first in English, then Latin. At age 12 she published her first poem in a local newspaper, but many Bostonians doubted that a young African woman could craft such reasoned and elegant poetry. She successfully defended her intelligence and literary skills before an inquisition by New England’s finest minds, but still failed to find a local publisher for a collection of her poetry. Wheatley’s Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, the first book written by a sub-Saharan African in English, was therefore published by the Countess of Huntingdon in London in 1773. An overnight sensation in Europe, Wheatley was feted as a prodigy by London’s literati. Returning to Boston, she was granted her freedom, and continued to write poetry, including one honoring George Washington. But her fame was fleeting. A proposed second poetry collection was sold off by her husband, John Peters, a pintlesmith who was perhaps born free, and who abandoned her. Wheatley suffered from asthma (a legacy of the Middle Passage) and the death of three children, before dying in poverty and obscurity, aged 31, in 1784.

Phillis Wheatley was an inspiring example to nineteenth-century African American writers such as Ann Plato, Frances E.W. Harper, Jarena Lee, and Alice Dunbar Nelson. In the view of scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., she is the mother of African American letters. She was a polyglot who knew English, Fulani, possibly some Arabic (she was observed soon after her purchase to be making strange, though indecipherable markings on a wall), and Latin. From West Africa to New England to England, she negotiated with considerable success the mixture of white cultures and languages which encircled the Atlantic. She was thus a fine example of what historians such as Ira Berlin, Linda Heywood, and John Thornton have classified as Atlantic Creoles.

RUFINA – Illegally enslaved twice

An African woman illegally enslaved twice, first in Africa and then in Uruguay. Although it cannot be known precisely, it is likely that Rufina was born between 1820 and 1825, and that she gave birth to a daughter, Francisca, when she was between 15 and 20 years of age. After being kidnapped in northern Uruguay and brought to the Brazilian Empire, she succeeded in bringing her case to the provincial president of Rio Grande do Sul, who ruled for her release and her return to Uruguay.

In March 1854, Rufina, a free African Mina woman residing in Passo de Peira (near the Río Negro in Tacuarembó, Uruguay, on the border with Brazil) was kidnapped along with her partner, Matheus, also a free African Mina, and four of their children: Francisca (14 years old), Maria do Pilar and Pantaleão (ages unknown), and a newborn, Brum. Her other two children, Ignácio and Catharina (ages unknown), were with a neighbor at the time of her abduction. Rufina and the others were taken by a group of four men led by Fermiano José de Mello. After walking for a whole night, one of the kidnappers separated from the group, taking Matheus, while the others continued with Rufina and her children.

After three weeks of walking during the night and hiding in the brush during the day, Rufina and her children arrived in Canguçu, where they were delivered to Joaquim da Silva Soares. Two months later, Rufina, Francisca, and Brum were sold to José Laurindo da Costa, while Maria do Pilar and Pantaleão were sold to the city of Piratini.

It is not clear how Rufina managed to reach the police, but somehow while passing through Porto Alegre she caught the attention of the authorities, and she was imprisoned with her two children and her captor, Laurindo José da Costa. The latter was released soon thereafter on the false promise that he would return with his papers of ownership of Rufina. Once Laurindo was gone, Rufina and Francisca told the story of their capture. Rufina explained that she had been a slave of Colonel José Cabral and his wife Francisca, and that she had been freed with the abolition of slavery in Uruguay in 1846.

This would have been the second illegal enslavement of the African Rufina. As Rufina later told the judge, she remembered arriving in Uruguay at a time when slavery was still legal, and it is probable that her arrival in the Americas took place sometime in the early 1830s. As Rufina called herself a Mina, we can believe that she was shipped somewhere off the coast of West Africa, most likely in Lagos (present-day Nigeria), the main exporting port of the region after 1825. This is north of the equator, where the trafficking of slaves had been prohibited since 1815, due to British pressure on Portugal and Spain during the Congress of Vienna.

After 1850, with the prohibition of the Atlantic slave trade to Brazil, bush captains and slave raiders tried to capture and then sell free blacks, including those who resided outside of Brazilian territory. The British were informed by the Uruguayans of a new form of enslavement and human trafficking on the southern border of the Brazilian Empire. Once seized by the police in the province of Rio Grande do Sul, then, Rufina became the subject of intense correspondence between authorities in Uruguay, Brazil, and England.

To prove to the British that the abolition of slavery was being enforced in an exemplary fashion, Brazilian foreign minister Paulino Jos√© Soares de Souza (1807‚Äď1866) and Jo√£o Luis Vieira Cansans√£o de Sinimbu (1810‚Äď1906), president of Rio Grande do Sul Province, made every effort to locate Rufina‚Äôs two sons and to return them to Uruguay. In 1855 the entire family‚ÄĒwith the exception of Matheus, who was never found‚ÄĒwas returned home.

The story of Rufina is one of dozens of criminal cases of kidnapping and enslavement of free people that occurred on the Brazilian border with Uruguay in the second half of the nineteenth century, mostly in the 1850s and 1860s. But while Rufina was eventually able to return to her home, her case was an exception. Most captured blacks remained slaves in Brazil. Almost all cases ended with the acquittal of the kidnappers by popular jury, which demonstrates the deep roots of slavery in nineteenth-century Brazilian society.

Source: enslaved.org

James Bannerman

James Bannerman was a prominent trader and slave-owner in Ghana in the first half of the nineteenth century. His parents were Colonel Henry Bannerman, a Scottish trader and officer, and a Ga woman from Accra whose name is unknown. Henry Bannerman worked for the Royal Africa Company and was stationed at Cape Coast, a British fort on the Atlantic Ocean in what is today Ghana. His mother’s family was connected to nearby chieftaincies. These dual connections gave Bannerman the ability to work as a middleman between West Africans and the British.

Little is known about Bannerman’s childhood. In 1826, Bannerman married Yaa Hom, an Asante princess who had been captured when the British defeated the Kingdom of Asante at the Battle of Katamonso in 1826. At the time, Asante was the dominant state in the region. Bannerman and Yaa Hom eventually had six children together.

Bannerman was a prosperous slave owner and clashed with the British over the abolition of slavery in Cape Coast. He believed that he had a right to manage and maintain his ‚Äúproperty‚ÄĚ as he saw fit. In 1841, he wrote the British Parliament warning that the abolition of slavery would lead to a flight of Ghanaians away from British territory.

Bannerman benefited from the growing trade between Cape Coast and Europe. As a prosperous land and slave owner with connections both to the British and the Asante, he was well positioned to be of service to foreign businesses and local kingdoms. After a long trading career, Bannerman entered the British colonial administration as a justice of the peace in 1842. By 1850, he became the lieutenant governor of the Gold Coast (today Ghana). He also served as an unofficial member of the Gold Coast Legislative Council.

During his time as lieutenant governor, he was involved in many important events. Most notably, he came to the defense of Thomas Birch Freeman, an Afro-English missionary who was attacked by priests of a local deity named Naanam Mpow. Bannerman responded by jailing the priests. While he had higher ambitions, he was never able to become governor of the Gold Coast.

Bannerman‚Äôs family remained prominent after his death in 1858. His son Charles established the Accra Herald newspaper in September 1857, the first African to publish a newspaper in West Africa. The Accra Herald(later named the West African Herald) continued for 16 years. Another son, Edmund, served as secretary to governors of the Gold Coast, a Civil Commandant, and a Justice of the Peace. He later became an attorney. Bannerman‚Äôs sons were all educated in England.

Bannerman’s grandson, Thomas Hutton-Mills Sr., was a lawyer and nationalist leader in the early twentieth century. He served as the first President of the National Congress of British West Africa in 1920. Thomas Hutton-Mills Jr., was a lawyer and early member of Kwame Nkrumah’s Convention People’s Party (CPP). He was put in jail in 1950 for helping lead boycotts and strikes against the British. He later became a member of the Legislative Assembly, a cabinet minister, and after independence, Ghana’s Ambassador to Liberia.

Sources: enslaved.org

Chapter 14th: African Lisbon Tour

One of these days when the word HAPPINESS has no limit as you are surrounded by smiling and happy people and you end with them like friends or a family after sharing point of views and experiences about the African history of slavery and colonialism in Portugal and also from their different countries: Belgium, Netherland, United States of America, Kenya, England and Brazil.
Read More “Chapter 14th: African Lisbon Tour”

EU PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR ‚ÄėREPARATIONS FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY‚Äô TO AFRO-EUROPEANS

The European Parliament overwhelmingly approved a resolution Tuesday addressing ‚Äústructural racism‚ÄĚ in Europe against Europeans of African descent. The resolution calls for ‚Äúreparations for crimes against humanity during European colonialism.‚ÄĚ
Read More “EU PARLIAMENT CALLS FOR ‚ÄėREPARATIONS FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY‚Äô TO AFRO-EUROPEANS”

The National Bank of the Netherland linked with slavery

Between 1814 and 1863, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and its former directors were involved in slavery. This emerges from by independent scholarly study conducted by Leiden University, which was published today. We deeply regret these findings. To us, the study marks the start of a process of reflection and dialogue.
Read More “The National Bank of the Netherland linked with slavery”