African History 5: The Rise of Pan-Africanism
Today we're learning about how people all started using beautiful African-made pans for all of their cooking needs and—oh wait...yeah this was about a unified African identity. Sorry folks. You can still buy some sweet African-made pans if you like, though. We're sure they're top-notch.
|World History||African History|
Medieval Africans instead identified with their religions, language groups, social classes, [Examples of how Medieval Africans identified themselves]
You know…the things by which other people in the world define themselves.
However, slave traders and colonizers weren't really interested in the nuance and complexity
It’s way easier to oppress and abuse people if you dehumanize them. [Man's head turns into polar bear face]
So they just lumped everybody from the African continent into one category.
And that category was… less-than.
European scholars even tried to back-up this racism with all sorts of pseudoscience. [Man graduating]
The most popular idea was that people from Africa had similar physical characteristics,
like skin tone, which nobody else in the world had. [Guys point to Africans sitting on a bench]
Unfortunately, that was…completely untrue.
Boy, being a pseudoscientist must’ve been sweet.
You could just… make stuff up. [Scientist sleeping]
If we actually tried to divide up the whole human race by skin tone, it would be impossible
to have all Africans on one side and everybody else on the other.
The line between white and black is arbitrary. [Michael Jackson standing with fans]
There are plenty of individuals from other continents with darker skin than certain individuals
In the 1900s, a new movement gained steam that flipped these racist ideas on their heads.
Unfortunately, racists have…very hard heads.
Though it was true that lumping all African peoples together was bad because it denied [Africans on one side of a venn diagram]
them their humanity…
…it also seemed true that a united Africa would have more power in this war of ideas.
And so a new unity movement came along called Pan-Africanism.
Yeah, people from Africa were incredibly diverse, but they all had one thing in common. [African man being interviewed]
Years of relentless oppression.
Maybe they could start a Meetup group.
Pan-Africanists wanted to re-assert Africans' humanity in the face of years of misinformation [Pan-Africanist throwing things onto road]
To prove that they weren’t sub-humans incapable of running a country, Pan-Africanists pointed
The Ethiopian Empire had grown and modernized over the years, and was proof positive that [Ethiopia transforms into modern city]
Africans could get along just fine without brutal occupation.
Ethiopia became the poster-child of Pan-Africanism.
The two colors of the Ethiopian flag even became the official colors of the movement:
green and red.
The similarity to Christmas colors is, uh…completely coincidental. [Kids playing with toys and Santa appears]
Pan-Africanism had fans not only from inside Africa, but also from people of African descent
in Europe and the Americas.
It gained strength over the years and had a big effect on the formation of African states
and civil rights movements everywhere. [People marching in civil rights movement]
Racism meant that people of African descent faced huge challenges.
They were all in a… crappy boat. [Africans in a boat together]
But at least they were all in that same crappy boat together…