Modern science owes much to African civilisations

8/7/2011 – barbadosadvocate.com

EmancipationIt saddens me to the core whenever I read articles such as the letter to the editor, written by Michael A Dingwall in the August 4 edition of this newspaper entitled ‘Black, but proud of what?’. If there is nothing for you to be proud of, maybe you should look in the mirror, and if you still cannot see anything to be proud of, do a little research into African history – there is plenty to know.

Archaeologists have established conclusively, that inventors and scientist from the ancient continent of Africa made several astonishing original scientific contributions before the advent of slavery that uprooted villages and displaced populations of black people.

Almost 2 000 years ago, Africans along the Tanzania shores produced carbon steel in forced draft furnaces. The earliest instances of iron smelting in Africa occurred in Temit, Niger and may date to as early as 1200 BC. The iron age in Europe began in 450 BC.

Africans in the Nile valley had domesticated vegetables, grains and other crops 7 000 years before any other civilization. Archaeologists also discovered 14 centuries ago, the African population was using Tetracycline. African shamans were using it to treat respiratory infections, Pneumonia and stomach ulcers. Dark-skinned Nubian mummies studied in the 1990’s were found to contain significant levels of Tetracycline.

The models of African science are not speculative and European technology owes a great debt to important aspects of mathematics, physics, engineering and astronomy that originated on the Dark Continent. The history of international science is incomplete without including the achievements of African contributions. In the 20th century of technology, there are notable pioneers like surgeon and biomedical engineer Dr Raphael Lee. We also have a Presidential Award recipient, paediatric brain neurosurgeon, Benjamin S Carson, MD.

Institutional racism seems to be a common thread in biographies and published articles about black men throughout history. Modern-day African scientists are not absent from the expertise required to create new techniques and discoveries. We as a people have been placed in a compromising situation and so go along with the ‘white is right, black is wrong’ propaganda that the enemy has spread throughout the world. If you as an individual cannot look in the mirror and be proud of who you are, then I feel for you.

Rahim Shabazz

6 Responses to “Modern science owes much to African civilisations”


  • Great article. I suppose Michael A. Dingwall is waiting for the White man to tell him that he has everything to be proud of as an African/Black man. KEEP WAITING MIKE!

  • karibkween Africans during a time when they were living under the most oppressive conditions made contribution to human civilization that has no equal anywhere else. From blood plasma preservation by Doctor Charles Drew to the invention of the lubricating cup by Elijah McKoy, Africans out performed others who were unencumbered by the circumstances faced by Africans.

    Look at America. It was Africans and some whites who led the charge for changes in the social stratification system that the late comers and opportunists enjoy today. They can live in Queens NY because Africans lad a charge to end discrimination in housing. They can go to college, many times free, because Africans led a charge to end discrimination in education. The Heyenas who today point at Africans and measure what they have against what Africans have is akin to the their animal clone stealing the Lions kill and then gloating over what they have as they slaveringly consume it.

  • Let’s not forget the “Black Thomas Edison” Granville T. Woods who abandoned convential education at the age of ten (10) yet still managed to obtain more than 50 patents for his inventions in telegraph, telephony and railway locomotion.

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