A post about the Great Kingdoms of Africa from the Chair of the Baltimore-Gbarnga Liberia Sister City Committee, Luana Kiandoli, in honor of Black History Month.
Black History Month is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of African diasporic people. People of African descent have contributed to culture, science, literature, astronomy, metallurgy, medicine, art, mathematics, music, military tactics, religion etc. Genetically they come in various shades of color, hair types and facial features.
The Great Kingdoms of Africa
Ancient Egypt (3150-600 BCE) — Known for the pyramids (architectural design), medicine, astronomy, and the Kings/Pharaohs who changed the face of the then-ancient world such as Menes, Ahkenaton, Tutankhamun, Thutmose I (known as greatest warrior)Thutmose II, and III, Ramses, Queen Cleopatra, and Nefertiti.
Carthage (8th/9th century BCE) — A major sea power that was located in present-day Tunisia and parts of northernmost and Sahelian Africa. Most renown event is the three Punic Wars against the Roman Empire by crossing the Alps with elephants led by Hannibal, considered one of the greatest generals in the world.
Mali (13th century CE) — Located in present West Africa and known for trade; most trade from all corners of Africa passed through Mali. The repository of diverse academia was held in the University of Timbuktu, and Malian ruler Mansa Musa was reputed to be so wealthy that even by today’s standards he would be richer than several billionaires combined.
Songhai (15th/16 century CE) — Located in present day West Africa, was larger than modern-day Western Europe and was known for its sophisticated government and many Islamic educational institutions.
Kush (c1069-350CE) — Located in present day Sudan, known for pyramids, development of the water wheel changing agricultural techniques; as a trade center (ivory, gold, iron, incense etc). King Piye leader beat the Egyptians and ruled the 25th dynasty in 744–714 BCE.
Ethiopia (Abyssinia) (1270-1974) — Reputed to be the kingdom of the descendants of King Solomon (built the First Temple in Jerusalem, and loved by many because of his wisdom) and the Queen of Sheba (Makeda). The Solomonic dynasty existed for more than 700+years, inaugurated by King Menelik I. Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity; Lalibela World Heritage Site. Emperor Gebre Meskel of the Zagwe dynasty (1181-1221 CE).
Kongo (1390 CE-1914CE) — Located in the present Democratic Republic of Congo, was once led by Kikongo warrior Luken Lua Nimi. Known for its trade economy of textiles, pottery, copper, and ivory.
Benin (1180 CE-1897 CE) — Located in present-day Nigeria, was the home of many artisans who casted items from bronze, iron, and ivory. Also known for its art blacksmithing, casting metallurgy.
THERE ARE MANY WHICH HAVE BEEN LEFT OUT BUT SHOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN….
Zimbabwe, Ghana, Zulu, Punt, Aksum, Olmec, and others….