Since the 1600’s Europeans have continued to carve up the world amongst themselves, this is a fact. 1884/5 at The Berlin Conference, Africa found itself under siege.
Great Britain & France had claimed most of the continent (Remember the 100-year war 1337 – 1453). This war saw the development of weaponry and so much more which supported their claims at the meeting and allowed them to acquire much more of the continent than the rest). Not even 50 years after this conference a world war started. Wars do not start overnight!
We are taught the war was sparked by the assassination of the heir to the former Austria-Hungarian throne, but when you look deeper the reason for the entire world being involved becomes clear. (Minus the countries who remained neutral) World War I came to an end 11th hour, on 11th Day of the 11th Month 1918, after 4 years 3 months and 1 week. The war is remembered, however, the contributions made by all are not well known. Living within England; Great Britain, we should know a lot more about the contributions made by all within the Empires time of need. Today history continues to inspire and influence many actions made, without the full picture how can real change ever be made?
African/Black Families ranging from men, women & children, students, university graduates, doctors, nurses, healers and herbalists, factory workers, field workers, miners, labourers, musicians, porters, volunteers, workers on land and the seas all gave their lives on all sides of this war. Even in the face of adversity and despite mankind’s most abhorrent treatment and atrocities we still fought, contributed and sacrificed all over the world. The ignorance of how African/Black communities live and how we should be treated caused millions of unnecessary losses of lives, ancestral homes, generations, cultural continuity and land.
Growing up it feels you are supposed to just know what it means to be African/ Black, whether is from your parents, family or wider society. Education is subject to the individual interpreting it. Within the African/Black/West Indian communities our histories are extremely extensive, so how can we be expected to learn about it all to understand who you are?
As an Afro Centric Genealogist, I felt it was important to tie personal history with the extensive history that can be found within the African/Black communities! When you can see and understand how you and your descendants have contributed to the world, it starts to develop a new level of thought. This has given birth the remembrance on a broader platform.
History is a subject that is deemed unimportant to many as they feel:
‘What can I do to change what has happened?’
‘If I were there, I would have done something different!’
‘They shouldn’t have done that!’.
‘Ashamed to be connected’
We are taught that the children are our future. The future is supposed to grow on top of the foundations laid by their communities. When you are not taught your own history & culture you find your future building on top of someone else’s foundation. What are we preserving? We are preserving the memory of our strengths and weaknesses.
By remembering all aspects of our history, we can steer away from actions untoward and develop newer methods to accomplish results we can now see. Showing respect to those who made choices they felt were best, taking risks to try something new has given rise to many changes made in the world today. History continues to provide the foundation for it all. Preservation requires visibility and healing.
The BlackPoppyRose is a symbol of preserving legacies. A tool to start an overdue conversation about how we start to value our history and new cultures using the past as a reminder of how we have got here.
We WILL Remember!
Order your pins and wreaths today at: www.blackpoppyrose.org
To learn more about the African involvement and contributions to WWI and more emails us: email@example.com
Start that conversation towards healing and erasing ignorance.