American Colonization Society: The Bornu People were of Berber Origin

American Colonization Society: The Bornu People were of Berber Origin

“At this period his territory did not extend to the northern bend of the Niger, which was occupied by Berbers. Jenne, the town which M. Dubois describes in his interesting book on “Timbuctoo the Mysterious” as still at the present day constituting a bit of Egypt in the heart of the desert, is said by the Arabs to have been founded by pagans in the year 800 (the year in which Egbert ascended the English throne), and was specially famed as the resort of the learned. Timbuctoo was founded by Berbers in the year 1087, about twenty-five years later than the town Morocco, and was never sullied by pagan worship. As the march of ancient Egyptian civilization can be traced through Negroland, moving gradually from east to west, so the march of this relatively modern Arab civilization can be traced steadily from west to east.”

“Thus we have come gradually eastward to our own territory of Nigeria, where the Hausa States, probably of mixed Berber and Coptic origin, were founded at a period of which the narrative takes us back to mythical history.  The Berber state of Audaghost, lying northwest in the desert, paid tribute to Ghana up to the middle of the eleventh century. The Bornu people were also of Berber origin, illustrating, like the Hausas and the mixed people of Ghana and the Berbers of Timbuctoo, that pressure of the northern races upon the fertile belt of which I have spoken.”

“Dugu appears to have been the name of the first sultan of any modern dynasty of which we have continuous records. He resigned about 850, and toward the end of the eleventh century, Bornu would seem to have been in some way the suzerain of the Hausa States. The earliest of Arab writers speak of the kingdom as spreading between the Niger and Lake Chad. It also included Kanem, on Lake Chad, at that time pagan, though at a later period it accepted Islam and produced distinguished men.”

“A black poet from Kanem is spoken of as enjoying considerable success at the Spanish court of one of the Almoravide sultans. Bornu appears as early as 1489 on Portuguese maps. In the early part of the sixteenth century, their kings maintained regular diplomatic relations with Tripoli and the outer world.”

“I have kept you already too long in speaking of these five divisions of Negroland-Ghana, Melle, Songhay, Hausa, and Bornu–in the northern portion of the Negro belt. There were many others of secondary importance, but these were the kingdoms which in turn were most directly exposed to Berber influence and rose to the most decided preeminence during what may be called our own historic times.”

“The mystery of the decadence of peoples is among the great operations of nature for which we have no explanation. The civilization of Negroland was inspired in the first instance by Egypt. It disappeared as the power of Egypt declined. It rose again with the rise of the western Arabs; it fell with their fall. The power of the Moors was destroyed in Spain, and the onward pressure of the at that time very partially civilized Christian nations had nothing to substitute for the highly cultivated standard of Arabian life. Gradually the African Arabs were driven out of Europe, and there began a reflex action of Europe upon Africa. The end of the fifteenth century saw the discovery of the Cape of Good Hope. The navigation of the Atlantic became general, and a wholly new chapter of foreign influence in West Africa was initiated.”

“The European coast colonies came into existence, but they were founded for the most part in the midst of the very lowest class of pagan natives. It is impossible for me to speak of them tonight. At the same time, the higher civilizations of the northern edge of Negroland was destroyed by the decadent Moors, who feeling the pressure of Europe upon their shores, overran the center of North Africa about the year 1592, and established by force of arms a purely brutal military domination.”

Source: Liberia, Issues 19-27

 

El Aemer El Mujaddid

American born Moor, Author, History Researcher, Modernist, 720 Entrepreneur/ Corporate Mogul in the making; who observes & analyzes human nature for data mining purposes. Knowing is Half the Battle, Wisdom is needed for appropriate application of knowledge and right reasoning.

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