By Jamahl Hokstam
The public school systems in many Western countries have traditionally focused on a Eurocentric view of history. This has resulted in the contributions of individuals of African descent being largely ignored or downplayed.
Many students are not taught about the important roles that these individuals played in shaping history and culture.
This has led to a greater emphasis on teaching the contributions of historically marginalized groups, including people of African descent.
Throughout history, there have been numerous individuals of African descent who have made significant contributions to the world. Among these individuals are Yasuke, Mansa Musa, John Hanson, Toussaint Louverture, and Septimius Severus.
Though they lived in different time periods and locations, these individuals have several things in common. This article will discuss their contributions to society and their shared characteristics.
Septimius Severus was a Roman emperor who ruled from 193-211 CE. He was born in what is now modern-day Libya and was of African descent.
Severus is known for his military campaigns in which he expanded the Roman Empire’s borders and brought peace to the troubled regions of the East.
He was a great reformer and implemented many changes that improved the lives of his subjects including the expansion of the Roman citizenship to all free men of the empire.
Severus was also a patron of the arts and was a great admirer of Greek and Latin literature. He commissioned many works of art and literature during his reign and was responsible for the construction of many important public buildings. He was known for his authoritarian rule and his harsh treatment of political opponents. However, his impact on the Roman Empire cannot be denied, and his legacy continues to be studied and debated by scholars today.
Mansa Musa was a 14th-century emperor of Mali who is widely regarded as one of the richest men in history. He made a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, during which he distributed so much gold that the price of gold in Egypt reportedly plummeted for over a decade. Mansa Musa is also known for building several important mosques and universities, and for promoting the arts and literature in Mali. His contributions to the cultural and economic development of West Africa have earned him a place in history as a great African leader.
Yasuke was a 16th-century African who served as a samurai in Japan. He was the first black man to set foot in Japan and was brought there by Jesuit missionary Alessandro Valignano. Despite being a foreigner and a slave, Yasuke was highly respected by his samurai lord and was even given his own house and income. loyalty earned him a place in Japanese history, and he remains a symbol of black excellence in Japan to this day.
Toussaint Louverture was a Haitian revolutionary who played a critical role in securing Haiti’s independence from France. Under his leadership, the Haitian army defeated the French army and established Haiti as the first black-led nation in the world.
Louverture’s legacy has inspired countless others to fight for justice and freedom, and his contributions to the Haitian people have earned him a place in history as a great liberator. Toussaint Louverture took over Hispaniola, which is now modern-day Haiti and the Dominican Republic, in 1797.
After a series of military victories, Toussaint emerged as the leader of the revolution and was appointed as Governor-General of Saint-Domingue (as Haiti was then known).
He extended his control to the neighboring Spanish colony of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic), effectively unifying the entire island of Hispaniola under his leadership. Toussaint’s rule was characterized by his efforts to stabilize the economy and social structures of the new nation, including the development of agriculture, the establishment of a constitution, and the creation of a new administrative system.
John Hanson served as the first President of the United States in Congress Assembled under the Articles of Confederation from November 5, 1781 to November 4, 1782.Although his presidency was largely symbolic, Hanson played a key role in establishing the office of the president and laying the groundwork for the United States’ future government. As a free black man in colonial America, Hanson faced significant challenges, but he was able to rise to the highest office in the land and pave the way for future generations of African Americans.
It is worth noting that many of the individuals are not widely known outside of academic circles or their respective fields. This is in part due to the fact that their contributions have often been overlooked or marginalized by mainstream history and education systems.
They each faced unique challenges and overcame them through perseverance, bravery, and a commitment to their beliefs. Their legacies continue to inspire people around the world, and they serve as powerful examples of the strength and
resilience of the African diaspora.
By highlighting the achievements of individuals such as Yasuke, Mansa Musa, John Hanson, Toussaint Louverture and Septimius Severus, we can help to broaden the understanding of history and provide a more accurate and inclusive view of the world. Their stories are a reminder that history is complex and multifaceted, and that there is much to be learned from diverse perspectives and experiences.