|Afrikan History - Did You Know?
|Not your conventional
skyscraper but Afrika was first to get into tall structures||
As part of the Afrikan history season Kwame
Osei has been investigating the contribution made by the Afrikan people over
was home of the world's first skyscraper.
The first stone building ever constructed still stands majestically
within the vast complex of temples at Saqqara. It is called
the Step Pyramid. It was built over 4,500 years ago for a king
of the Third Dynasty of Egypt named Zoser and rises to a height
of 197 feet.
$1 bill features Afrikan symbols on it and demonstrates the
high regard the founding fathers of America had in relation
to Afrikan symbols.
The reverse of the dollar bill contains a pyramid of 13
courses of stone which represent the union and has a date of
1776 written in roman numerals on its base. Above the pyramid
is the eye of providence enclosed in a pyramid. The pyramid
and the eye above it (which represent the eye of Heru - the
Son of God) clearly establishes the Afrikan connection with
the reverse of the dollar bill. The obverse of the dollar bill
is strikingly similar to the Afrikan image of Heru. Above the
eagle's head are 13 stars which are arranged in the form of
Magen David also known as the Seal of Solomon. This ancient
Afrikan symbol predates Judaism and represents two pyramids.
The two pyramids symbolise the two pillars of Solomon.
inventions by people of Afrikan descent have had a profound
impact on human advancement.
Light Bulbs (Louis Latimer), Traffic Lights (Garret Morgan),
Electric railway conductors (Granville T Woods), Truck Refrigeration
units for Transporting food on LDV's (Frederick Jones), Airplane
propeller (James S Adams), Robert Flemming (Guitar), Gas Mask
(Garrett Morgan), Blood banks/separation of blood plasma (Dr.Richard
Drew), Improved kidney transplants (Samuel L Kountz), Automatic
locomotive lubricator (Elijah McCoy)
world's oldest and best preserved wooden boat which is currently
on display in a museum next to the Great Pyramid in Giza is
4,160 yrs old.
This 132-foot gondola shaped vessel weighed an estimated
35 tons and was built entirely of cedarwood. The entire craft
was made of 1,224 pieces of wood, which were literally sewn
together with ropes strung through slits on the inside of the
hull. It was equipped with ten oars for rowing and two others
which were attached to the stern and served as rudders.
are many symbols of Afrikan origin in Nottingham. A prime example
is the Council House particularly the entrance which is flanked
by a lion on each side.
The lion is native to the continent of Afrika and is a symbol
of great importance in Afrika, that has had a profound influence
on contemporary society. The twin lions that flank the entrance
to the council house represents concepts which had their origin
in Afrika. The symbolism of the presence of two carved Afrikan
lions on either side of the entrance to the council house represents
the role of the lions as the "keepers who open and shut the
gate" into the worlds yesterday, today and tomorrow. This same
concept is symbolised by lions that flank the entrances to libraries,
museums, educational establishments and other buildings in and
clock was first developed in Afrika.
A variety of of timekeeping devices were developed in the
Nile Valley. The length of the shadow of a tekhen (obelisk)
was measured to determine the precise moment of the solstice
or equinox. The hours of the day or night were determined by
measuring the amount of water remaining in the clepsydra, another
timekeeping device. The Shadow clock, also developed in The
Nile Valley, is the oldest clock in the world. It was from the
introduction of such Afrikan clocks that the 12-hour day reached
Europe. The Shadow clock is 3,400 years old. Nearly a thousand
years later such clocks were adopted by the Greeks and later
the Romans and evolved into the 24-hour clock we know today.
The word hour is derived from the Afrikan word Heru who was
the God associated with the sun.
creator of Europe's largest street festival, The Notting Hill
Carnival was Claudia Jones (1915-1964).
In 1955 Claudia came to England to work to improve the
condition of Afrikan (black) people, women and the working classes.
She spoke at anti-racist demonstrations, trade union meetings
and anti- apartheid meetings. In 1958 Claudia set up the West
Indian Gazette, a newspaper publication which became a voice
for Afrikans in Britain, The Caribbean, Asia and Afrika. During
the late 1950's there were many racist attacks in the UK in
particular Nottingham and Notting Hill, London. Kelso Cochrane
from Antigua was an Afrikan man killed solely because of the
colour of his skin by racists. Around this time, Notting Hill's
Afrikan community was at boiling point. Events led to the Notting
Hill riots. As a way to help Afrikan people positively release
their tensions, in 1959 a year after the riots, Claudia Jones
along with others created the Notting Hill Carnival which has
evolved into the multi-cultural event we know today.
"did you know"
Osei is an Afrikan Historian and Director of East Midlands African-Caribbean
here... for full event listings for Black History Month 2005 in Notttinghamshire