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5 things Raven-Symonè Still Doesn't Know About Africa | List

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 Recently, Raven-Symone´ showed us all the importance of knowing where you come from – or at least the need to brush up on it.

By now, everyone has heard about Raven-Symonè's various racial identities during television interviews. From her notorious interview with Oprah explaining her exhaustion of wearing the label of African-American. To a recent interview, when she declared that she too originated “From every continent in Africa, except one.” And even more, her latest quip discriminating against hiring other Black people with ethnic sounding names. *Face Palm*

So, in light of her attempts at African geography + racial bias (and, to respond to all the shade thrown at her on Twitter), I thought it would be more educational to compile a list of several seldom known things about her Motherland. All of which paint a more accurate picture of just how illustrious Africa is.

Enjoy!

  1. Africa is actually this LARGE. 

    Turns out the standard projection of the world MASSIVELY underestimates Africa’s true size. According to Kai Krause, Africa is actually large enough to fit the U.S.A, China, India, Japan & most of Europe - inside of its borders.

  2. Africa currently holds 1.1 billion of the earths population and is expected to nearly quadruple. 

    According to the UNICEF, A new report from UNICEF, Generation 2030 | Africa, shows in the next 35 years, 1.8 billion babies will be born in Africa; the continent’s population will double in size; and its under-18 population will increase by two thirds to reach almost 1 billion.

  3. Africans are the most genetically diverse group  across the world.  

    According to a sweeping study found in the Washington Post  that carried researchers into remote regions to sample the bloodlines of more than 100 distinct populations, it was found that all humans today are the direct descendants of African people. The study points to an area along the Namibia-South Africa border, the homeland of the San people, as the starting point for a southwest-to-northeast migratory route that carried people through Africa and across the Red Sea into Eurasia. 

  4. The oldest known fossil of a human was found in Africa - Ethiopia to be exact. 

    This is Lucy, or at least her remains, found in Ethiopia in 1974. The oldest known fossil ever found, Lucy is 3.2 million years old and is classified as a hominid. When Lucy was discovered it was earth shattering. Not only because of her age, but it confirmed that Africa, in fact, is the birthplace of humanity.

  5. The Ancient Egyptians were actually African people.

    Widely debated in academic circles,  the Ancient Egyptians were in fact Africans. Often to be assumed to be of  European or Arab descent, Egypt's inhabitants, as seen on hieroglyphs and murals in the tombs of temples, confirm the skin complexion of those who designed the pyramids.

    Cheik Anta Diop, Author of The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality said the same in regards to Egyptian complexion: “In practice it is possible to determine directly the skin color and hence the ethnic affiliations of the ancient Egyptians by microscopic analysis in the laboratory; I doubt if the sagacity of the researchers who have studied the question has overlooked the possibility.” Deep, right?

Bonus: All of Africa was colonized by foreign powers during the “scramble for Africa”, except Ethiopia and Liberia.

Between 1814 and 1914 marked the period as to which European powers began the invasion, occupation, colonization, and annexation of African territory from African people.

Specifically, It was at the Berlin conference of 1884 that began the sectioning off of Africa to avoid warring with one another. This conference, would inevitably lead to the impoverishment we see in Africa today; having all of its resources stripped and stolen and used for foreign wealth.


These are just a few of the seldom known things about Africa. Do you have any of your own? Feel free to share them in the comments..


z_zuuHBm_400x400Tyree Boyd-Pates is a man on a mission. As a writer, he aspires to expound on Black culture from a millennial perspective and unite and empower communities through journalism and social media. A Master’s in African American Studies, he also is the creator of #TheCut, a brand new podcast! You can follow him on Twitter: @Tyreebp.

Why I weep over Maya..

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As if it were yesterday, I can recall nearly two semester's ago, an assignment I was given in African-American Lit. For the assignment, every student had to exposit one of  several readings that demonstrated  a mastery and authoritative voice of an author's text. As the books were being passed around, oddly, I felt a strong conviction to choose "I Know why the Caged Bird Sings".

After nearly a month and half of reading, I began to feel different. I was slowly be drawn in by the story Angelou was telling. I began to feel every nuance, every motif, every poetic metaphor of her life in Stamps that left me with the impression that I was on those dusty roads with her.

I was witnessing her innocence as a child. I was witnessing her curiosity about faith and family. I was witnessing her ambiguous relationship to racism in this country. Moreover, I was witnesses sing her awareness of self; despite her displacement, disruption, silence.

Quite naturally, after Caged Bird, I had a growth of sympathy; not only for Angelou, but for Black women as a whole. I began to sympathize with their rape, I began to sympathized with their silence, I was growing sympathetic to the difficulty of identity formation in a society that doesn't see their humanity, but instead, their usefulness for exploitation.  Powerful, right?

Out of all the novels I've had the privilege to read, not many have given me such a lesson. Not only a lesson in my blackness, but my maleness. Maya Angelou revealed to me that regardless, of gender or race, we all have had things that have attempted to silence us. However, as Maya's life and writing has shown us, there is no cage with bars strong enough to conceal ones voice. That voice is the key that lead  you to freedom.

I write this with a grateful heart and eyes full of tears: 

Thank you Dr. Angelou.