Askia the Great – Songhai Empire

Askia the Great – Songhai Empire

Askia the Great,1443-1538 AD was an emperor, military commander, and political reformer of the Songhai Empire in the late 15th century, the successor of Sunni Ali Ber. Askia Muhammad strengthened his country and made it the largest country in West Africa’s history. At its peak under Muhammad, the Songhai Empire encompassed the Hausa states as far as Kano (in present-day Nigeria) and much of the territory that had belonged to the Songhai Empire in the west. His policies resulted in a rapid expansion of trade with Europe and Asia, the creation of many schools, and made Islam an integral part of the...
The Maroons of Jamaica

The Maroons of Jamaica

The Maroons of Jamaica the escaped slaves you built their own independent country in the mountains of Jamaica in 1655. The Jamaican Maroons are descended from Africans who fought and escaped from slavery and established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica during the long era of slavery on the island. African slaves imported during the Spanish period may have provided the first runaways, apparently mixing with the native Arawak people that remained in the country. Many gained liberty when the English attacked Jamaica and took it in 1655, and subsequently runaways were referred to as “maroons.” The Windward Maroons and those from the Cockpit Country stubbornly resisted conquest in the First and Second Maroon Wars. When the British captured Jamaica in 1655 the Spanish colonists fled leaving a large number of African slaves. Rather than be re-enslaved by the British, they escaped into the hilly, mountainous regions of the island, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Arawaks. The Maroons intermarried with Arawak natives, establishing independence in the back country and survived by subsistence farming and by raiding plantations. Over time, the Maroons came to control large areas of the Jamaican interior. The two main Maroon groups in the 18th century were the Leeward and the Windward tribes, the former led by Cudjoe inTrelawny Town and the latter led by his sister Queen Nanny (and later by Quao). Queen Nanny, also known as Granny Nanny (died 1700’s) is the only female listed among Jamaica’s National Heroes, and has been immortalised in songs and legends. She was known for her exceptional leadership skills,...

John Henrik Clarke

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