As black History month begins to come to a close, let us take another trip back in time to the history we know little about. Let us remember that our history does not start with Slavery. that we are not limited to America, the Civil rights movement, the Black Panthers and Black Lives Matter. Not to say that those aren’t important to our history. However, We come from vast kingdoms that stretched through Africa. One that comes to mind is the Ancient Kingdom Of Mali.
Not to be mistaken with the east African country known as Mali today, Ancient Mali was known to be one of the largest of the ancient African Kingdoms. Founded in 1235 CE by the Great Sundiata, Mali rose in the wreckage of the late Ghanaian empire. The kingdom lasted into the 17th century and went through a number of changes to its rule.
A kingdom with a myriad of ethnic peoples and languages, Mali was a highly advanced and diverse society. The King or ruler was often called Mansa, and there was a sophisticated council recorded to make big decisions. Not in comparison to but something similar to Ancient Roman councils and the house of representatives and senate of the US government. This balanced the country and provided stability even when a poor Mansa was at the mantle. Much like ancient Ghana, ancient Mali was overseen by Islam as the dominant religion.
For location purposes, ancient Mali was stationed in between west African gold mines and the Niger river food plains. these locales would be Mauritania, Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Nigeria. That’s just a visual of how far the kingdom stretched.
lasting for almost 4 centuries, Mali had a great number of sovereign changes. The most notorious ruler being Mansa Musa. Also known as the richest man ever. There are many tales of his riches and generosity. Some say he wielded too much gold. There is a story of him taking a trip to Egypt and giving away so much gold that he screwed their economy up for almost a decade. There is another tale of him taking a pilgrimage to Mecca and giving away so much gold he had to borrow some for the trip back. He was said to have made many advancements in Timbuktu. One in particular was the building of the Great mosque of Timbuktu in 1327.
One of the greatest monuments in today’s age. He was also known to have built one of the Greatest Learning centers and libraries of the Islamic world and Africa, the Sankara Madrassa. This was estimated to host between 250,000 and 700,000 manuscripts.
Mali was a vast kingdom that changed many times but was known to be a superpower before the time of super powered nations. Often forgotten in the pages of history. Today we have dug up the archives to visit a place we know little about. Take the time out of our days to remember our history and where we came from. This is how Black History should be celebrated.