Black History Month: Why being recognised in history is important

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The first time I realised I was black happened in my first year in Belgium, at primary school. One of my classmates used to love touching my hair (I hated it!), and asked me if I would have preferred being born black or white, and the list goes on…

The tremendous impact of African resources and ancestors has been neglected in world history. As a result, the new generation has to honour and nurture this legacy for generations to come.

Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis IV, Christopher Columbus, Leopold II, Churchill, are all well-known world figures but does one of the Mali’ Kings, Sundiata Kéïta, ring a bell to you?

Sadly, most would not know this. In 1236, he created the first Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the Mandingue kingdom, way before the one created in 1948. Mansa Musa was also mostly unknown, despite being the richest king the world has ever known. Hollywood is finally planning a movie on him as he was such an important world figure forgotten by world history.

For such reasons, I wish today’s African leaders would no longer let their decisions be led by the western powers who are still controlling our resources, culture, economy and politics.

They need to follow the legacy started by respected and influential leaders such as Thomas Sankara, Kwame Nkrumah, Marcus Garvey, Patrice Lumumba, just to name a few and get along together and empower the youth.

Aicha Alorabou, Account Manager, Colt Technology Services

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