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Myth #11: "Black People Originate From Lesser Developed Societies"

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Myth #11: "Black People Originate From Lesser Developed Societies" 

Reality: Black societies made innumerable advancements in areas such as astronomy, medicine, infrastructure, agriculture, and navigation before Europe and the rest of the western world. Black culture and black societies formed the foundations of many techniques that we still use today and were in fact more advanced than comparable European approaches before the mass enslavement of Africans.

Many industries today rely on what was originally black industry and infrastructure. Masonry, textile and weaving techniques used in Africa are ones we still rely on. Some of the traditional building techniques and styles (like mudbrick and The Nubian Vault, a style of dwelling using mudbrick) are making a resurgence amongst environmentalists as a sustainable way to develop. Whilst construction techniques like rammed earth and mudbrick are sometimes viewed as ‘primitive’; the techniques are based on form some of the world’s most iconic structures with incredible longevity, sustainability and robustness like The Great Wall of China, The City of Shibam, The Great Mosque of Djenne and the Pyramids.

Medically, African and Asian communities were using inoculation techniques, similar to vaccinations, to treat smallpox before Europe and the Americas. Robert Felkin MD documented in The British Medical Journal of witnessing a caesarean section performed by Ugandans noting that the patient had recovered well and it looked well practiced. In documented evidence, other practiced procedures and utilisation of specific substances to achieve desired medical effects in Africa before Europe include: broken bone setting, skin grafting, limb traction, bullet removal, salicylic acid (as in aspirin), abortifacients and anesthesia. Some commentators have theorised that some developmental statistics in Africa are worse now because techniques from generations of black culture were learned from and then eliminated due to colonialism, and continuing colonial mindsets and processes. Which unfortunately means that some traditions which would be insightful to modern day research could’ve been lost. This is why it is so important to not only decolonise our curriculum, but also how we regard non-western scientific method research processes and value researched information regardless of its origin.



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