We often experience a sense of distance

 and isolation when looking to learn about 

our ancestors, not that we don't desire to be 

in the company of those who came before us,

instead, the distance in time and familiarity 

separates us from them.

Discovering our history and learning about our 

ancestors may be a very beneficial experience.

Along the way, we'll discover a lot about 

ourselves in addition to our ancestors. It's 

possible that our ancestors had a greater 

influence than you ever could imagine. 

Many of us have felt lost, disconnected, and 

culturally wounded and we want to connect

with and learn more about our heritage.

Many of our ancestors can be significant

sources of empowerment, supportive counsel,

 generational healing, and an emotional 

sense of community. They have a way of 

grounding us and connecting us to the 

longings of our souls. 

Our forefathers are regarded as our allies. 

They are resemblant to a reservoir of power 

that can propel us back into a sense of 

belonging after centuries of displacement.

There is a rich reservoir of African history, 

profound wisdom, culture, accomplishments

 and substantial contributions to technology, 

commerce, sports, politics, and entertainment, 

as well as a wellspring of unknown facts that 

have been purposely twisted and/or kept 

from our eyes.

Although we understand how we are descended

 from our ancestors we hardly ever consider how

they have shaped us.

The idea that someone who lived many decades

 before us may have any impact on our lives is very

 extraordinary. But the proof is already in place; we 

just need to be properly informed of it.

The setting in which we were raised was greatly 

influenced by our predecessors. Many of the customs 

we follow may have originated with our ancestors.

Understanding the legacy of our ancestors can

 help us see the beauty in and value of the

 traditions and practices we uphold out of quiet

 reflection and respect. 

Everyone is aware of the ways in which a person's 

social environment affects them as they become older.

Children learn what is appropriate and common in the 

culture they are raised in through their interactions at 

home and in school.

We recognize that we are the product of a certain 

culture, but do we know what that culture is a 

product of?

There are, however, two sides 

of the ancestral spectrum.

Simply stated, the culture that shapes us and that

 we are raised in is a legacy from our ancestors.

Every aspect of a functional society and culture—

ideas, customs, ways of life, modes of thought—is 

passed down from one generation to the next.

Children's futures are altered and influenced by 

these aspects they are brought up in. 

We might observe how our predecessors had a 

bigger influence on us than we may have imagined.

Even while our ancestors might not be present 

in the flesh, their belief systems and ways of life 

can still be seen in our society.

Their culture was passed down from generation to

 generation, and it had a direct impact on how we 

were brought up and evolved.

Studying our family history and discovering unique

 tidbits about our ancestors is fascinating. Numerous

aspects of our lives have been influenced by our lineage, 

including our current habits and dispositions as well as 

our environment of birth and upbringing. Examining 

the nature of this effect can teach us a lot about our 

current situation and the way we are behaving.

Our ancestors influenced so many aspects of our lives,

 from where we were born and raised to how we were

 raised, to the habits and personalities we have today, 

and so on.

Let us examine our ancestors to see if there are any

interesting traits or terrible traditions and beliefs that

 have been passed down. 

Ancestral spirits, like the living, range from wise, 

loving, impartial, reasonable, and righteous to...

devious, unscrupulous, manipulative crooks,

 self-centered tyrants, and venomous devils with

 no idea of their greater purpose.

Sure, some may have died, but their post-death

 trip may be plagued by rectifying the many

 dysfunctional wrongs committed, and wicked

 seeds sowed, watered, and developed... then,

 passing the full blown dysfunction down 

along their bloodlines, while on their earthly 

journey. This type of ancestor is unworthy 

of recognition.

Many of our ancestors stood up to oppression 

and endured a horrifying succession of cruel and 

heartbreaking experiences, i.e., being ripped away 

from loved ones and enslaved. 

Many people were beaten, tormented, and 

subjected to heinous and barbaric punishment. 

Many individuals died as result of starvation. 

Countless people began to die, as a result of illness, 

and some committed suicide to avoid further 


Some people became terribly ill, as a result of 

scurvy, dysentery, influenza, and other illnesses. 

In shark-infested waters, the captain of the ship, 

transporting the enslaved, would order many 

to be thrown overboard, either because they 

were ill or as a disciplinary action.

Our ancestors were sold into forced labor at 

public auctions after their arrival in the new world. 

Our ancestors were subjected to crimes like 

chattel slavery, genocide, and white supremacy.

They were subjected to horrible medical experiments 

and treatments. 

They had to work in the fields for free from 

sunrise to sunset. 

They breast fed and nurtured oppressors' children, 

cooked for them, and cleaned their houses.

Hate groups could get away with murdering our 


Our forefathers were subjected to the humiliation

 of buck breakings.

They were terrorized by the slave patrols, 

lynchings, racial nonsense, abuses, threats, 

massacres, systematic racism, and the 

prohibition on learning to read and write.

Our ancestors were treated as property, exposed

 to sexual assault, whipped, and bore their 

oppressors' offspring. Economic inequality, 

Jim Crowism, segregation, police brutality, red

 lining, black codes, war, and famine, to name 

a few, kept our ancestors further oppressed.

If our ancestors had not persisted and stood up

to their oppressors, we would not be here today. 

We are the result of our ancestors' tremendous [[

efforts, sacrifices, and achievements.

Consider the following: Cruel bigotry,

 inhumane hardships, sacrifices, injustices, 

rivers of blood, senseless, torturous murders, 

and ungodly acts of evil. But, by God's grace, 

many of our forefathers were able to persevere

 and overcome.

Learning about our ancestors allows us to fill in

 many gaps and progress on our road of 


The existence of our ancestors facilitates understanding 

of the how and why of our present reality.

It is difficult to reach our greatest potential until

 our lives and relationships are in some semblance 

of order. We have to know where we came from in 

order to know where we are going. 

Authentic freedom is the freedom of knowing who 

we are then deciphering and breathing life into our 

ancestral origins.

Connecting with and summoning those who have

 come before us is a healing experience in and of 

itself. A practice that can help us clear generational 

trauma and access generational gifts.

We, too, will one day join the 

sacred chain of our ancestors.

Our most important responsibility is to do the 

right thing and strive to be godly, loving, and 

evolved ancestors. This means that we should 

always do no damage and leave everyone we 

meet in a better state than they were before we 

arrived. We owe it to each other, our children,

 grandchildren, and generations yet to be born... 

to leave them not the same, not worse off, but 

awakened, attentive, alert, aware, and in a 

considerably higher and whole state of being.

By the grace of God, we are all an extension... 

a continuation of our ancestors' stream of life.

We are our ancestors' bones, blood, and cells.

Those who came before us shaped who we are 

and have taken up residence in our beings. 

Our ancestors are seared 

into our DNA.

We could sense a soft calming and peace on 

the basis of their offerings and sacrifices.

Our ancestors exist in memories that are not 

ours, but they mysteriously reside in our genes.

When we communicate with and learn from

our ancestors. They can tell us things that have

 nothing to do with us and lead us to areas we

 have never gone. They are the extraordinary 

relationships that bind us, strengthen our 

resilience, and makes us who we are.

With a humble and grateful heart, we feel

blessed to celebrate our ancestors and 

ancients, who paid the price and walked 

before us. 

As a result of their lives, sacrifices, and deeds... 

our generation and future generations are reaping

 and experiencing the magnificent fruits of their


We are the seed of our ancestors.

 We are founded on the dust 

of our ancestors. We respect

 and care for our ancestors' bones. 

We carry our ancestors' genes in 

our blood. We are our ancestors'

 soul link, life-force, essence,

 and energy.

We all have distant ancestors, both blood and spirit,

 and each of our lives is built on the underpinnings

 of their sufferings and sacrifices. We all have

 spiritual paths that lead to these dedicated, 

enlightened, selfless, kind-hearted, and strong


Our African and African American ancestors, 

torchbearers, trailblazers, pioneers, unsung 

heroes and heroines enabled our generation 

and future generations to realize their full 

potential on this earth.

Yes, we are the result of our ancestors' profound

 and often hidden influences, and learning their

 history... satisfies an essential need in each of us.

Being conscious of and feeling responsible for

 our ancestors, ethnic descent, bloodline, origin, 

roots, and all future humankind is an act of 

benevolent selflessness.

We are all a part of the human


Knowing our cultural roots and where we originated 

from could very well help us establish a strong 

sense of self... sense of who we really are. 

May we open our eyes, ears, and hearts to a 

more profound knowledge of our actual and

 rightful place on this planet.

Learning about our ancestors' lives allows 

us to acquire a better understanding of the 

difficulties they faced. Our ancestors were

 sometimes destroyed by challenges, and other 

times they mastered and/or overcame them.

Before European colonialists invaded Africa, 

the continent was ruled by civilizations whose 

histories are still obscure. Many of Africa's

 magnificent kingdoms fell hundreds of years 

ago, and so much time has passed that we may

 never completely understand or appreciate what

 life was like in their domains.

A small number of these African kingdoms 

remained independent long enough to be 

chronicled during the period of optical 


Human ancestry, DNA, ethnicity, and our 

shared origins began in Africa and expanded 

around the world, according to a variety of

 sources, including the most recent genetic 

studies, linguistic data, and archaeological 


Our African ancestors have continued to 

provide Africans and African Americans 

with a unified, synergistic, and personal 

feeling of self-affirmation, identity, and 

unshackled belonging.

The History Of Africa

Before Colonization

Skeletal remains discovered in East Africa imply that

  the Rift Valley was home 

to the first human ancestors.

Early Human Ancestors 5-2.5 million BCE

 Ethiopia 1492-1600

Fossils Of The Middle Awash

According to Wikipedia, the history of Africa begins 

with the emergence of hominids, archaic humans, 

and anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens)

 in East Africa around 300-250,000 years ago, and

 continues unbroken to the present as a patchwork 

of diverse and politically emerging nation states.

 Ancient Egypt has the first known

recorded history, followed by 

Nubia, the Sahel, the Maghreb, 

and the Horn of Africa.

Africa, the cradle of humanity

Paleoanthropological Sites In Ethiopia

Fossil Localities In The Middle Awash

The cradle of humanity

The African continent's rift valley system is a

 perfect environment for understanding human 

evolution; for the important paleoanthropological

discoveries in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, 

and Zaire, the African rift valleys are indeed 

considered the "Cradle of mankind," that is, the

 place where our species evolved and diversified

over the last million years.

The link between paleoanthropological finds 

and rift valleys is not by chance, because the

 volcanic and tectonic activity that caused the

tectonic depressions, as well as the concurrent

 deposition of sediments in the basins, created

ideal conditions for the spread of life. Lavas, 

volcaniclastic deposits, and tephra, on the other

hand, were responsible for the fast burial and

 preservation of faunal and floral remains.

Many fossils of human and animal species 

have been discovered in the Ethiopian rift 

valley, which may have been a critical region 

for human evolution over the last million years.

Two Ethiopian fossils have been recognized as

 the species' oldest known members. Radioactive

 dating reveals that fossil skulls date back 195,000


Within the country's borders, some of the most 

famous and iconic hominid fossils have been 


Ethiopia may claim rights to many "firsts" in the

history of hominids, including the first stone tools

 and the earliest Homo sapiens.

The discovery lends credence to the theory that

humans originated in Africa, 

specifically Ethiopia.

Before colonization a great number of 

African Kingdoms and People 

had inhabited the African Continent for at least 

100,000 years!

Pre-colonial societies were highly heterogeneous,

 ranging from stateless to state-run to kingdom-run.

 The concept of communalism was widely 

accepted and followed; land was kept in 

common and could not be bought or sold, but other

 items, such as livestock, were owned individually.

Below is a list of some of the most significant 

African Kingdoms and peoples that are important

 in the History of Africa before Colonisation.

1) Ancient Kemet (Egypt)

2) The Songhai Empire;

3) The Monomotapa Kingdom;

4) The Asante Empire

5) The San

The Black Nubian Africans Who Established 

The First Egyptian Dynasty.

A major part of the History of Africa before 

Colonisation begins in the Nile Valley with 

the Nubian Africans who ruled Egypt and created 

the First Egyptian Dynasty began with the 

Evolution of Man on the African Plains.

Hominid remains of the people who occupied

 the area of Egypt before the creation of the 

First Dynasty by Nubian Homo Sapien Africans 

have been found in East Africa’s Rift Valley

 Olduvai Gorge Region which suggest the 

existence of a gradual evolution of Hominids 

on the African Plains, most notably, 

Austolopethicus, followed by Homo Erectus

 about 1.9 million years ago, and then to 

modern man, Homo Sapien who emerged 

approximately 40,000 years ago.

The Rock Art of the people who ruled Ancient Egypt before the First Dynasty depicted their life in the green Sahara with hunting, animal scenes, ox drawn plows also suggesting the planting and growing of crops. 

The early Hominids had built Cattled-based Settlements in the area that is now occupied by the Sahara Desert before a change in Climate led to a steep decline in Rainfall over the Sahara which led to the movements of the Africans migrating Northwards following the flow of the Nile in search of a more secure water supply for their crops and cattle.

Egypt’s Nile Valley region soon became the hub of an emerging Black African Civilization with its own unique Black African Nubian Proto-Culture such which would later provide the Template for the creation of the First Dynasty of Egypt. 

Evidence of Black African Settlement which shows signs of a Proto-Nile Valley Culture was discovered at Nabta Playa in Egypt’s Nubian Desert.

In addition, Nabta Playa is recognised as the world’s oldest Atronomical Site where the Nubians in control of the area who established Egypt’s First Dynasty developed Astronomy by devising a Rock Calendar monitoring the movement of the Sirius Star as a way of detecting changes in the Nile River’s Flood Level for the purposes of ensuring adequate drinking water and pasture lands for their Cattle.

Evidence from the Nabta Playa Rock Calendar shows that the Nubians of Pre-Dynastic Egypt had monitored the movements of the Stars and the Nile river for at least 8 000 years.

In addition, other artefacts found at Nabta Playa which were created by the Nubians who had settled the area before they created Egypt’s First Dynasty bore a very close resemblance to the Religious Symbolism and Iconography that would be later used in Egyptian Civilization.

For example, Palletes depicting Cow Horns found at Nabta Playa are considered to be early expressions of the Egyptian Cult of Hathor, one of the most important Deities of Ancient Egypt.

Evidence of this further evolution towards the creation of the First Egyptian Dynasty by the Nubain Africans of Ta Seti was discovered at the Site of Qustul on Egypt’s Sudanian Border which had Nubian Tombs, funerary objects and other Royal artifacts of African Origin that were clearly the Template and inspiration for what was used in Dynastic Egypt starting with the First Dynasty created by Narmer or Menes who was a Nubian African.

Amongst the objects discovered at Qustul which were made by the Black Africans of Ta Seti who established the First Dynasty in Egypt was an intriguing carved Incense Holder depicting an African King on a Raft wearing a Crown which probably was the influence for later depictions of Pharaohs or RA riding on a Boat in Ancient Egypt.

Qustul can be viewed as an example one of the Pre-Dynastic Cities or Nomes that formed a loose Administrative Network before the creation of the First Dynasty by the Nubain Africans from settlements like Nabta Playa and Qustul.

The Black African King Narmer or ‘Menes’, which means “he who endures” initiated the annexation of Northern Egypt from the South thereby uniting Upper and Lower Egypt to create the Egypt’s First Dynasty circa 3 000 BC.

Narmer originally ruled over the Southern Upper Nome of Thinis from where he led a coalition of leaders known as the “Thinite Confederacy’’ which subsequently conquered and combined all the Nomes or Cities of Upper and Northern Lower Egypt into one United Kingdom.  

Menes then created the First Dynasty of Ancient Egypt by declaring himself the first Ruler of all the lands in the Nomes between Upper and Lower Egypt which would then become known as Chem or Kemet, a separate dominion from Ta-Seti.

In this way, the Nubian Africans who had settled the region before the creation of Egypt’s First Dynasty by Narmer emerged from the African Plains and went on to develop a Scientific Nile Valley Proto-Culture which would provide the foundation for the creation of the First Dynasty Of Kemet.

Perhaps its for this reason the Egyptians always revered the South as their place of origin by calling it Ta-Neter (Land Of The Gods).

Narmer’s creation of Egypt’s First Dynasty is captured on the Narmer Palette. which bears a striking stylistic resemblance to other Artefacts discovered at Nabta Playa and Qustul suggesting that the First Dynasty of Egypt was created by the same Nubian Africans who ruled the area and had created the Pro-Culture observed at Nabta Playa and Qustul which was characteristic of Dynastic Egypt. 

After founding Egypt’s First Dynasty, Narmer built the City of Memphis and it quickly became the commercial and cultural hub of Ancient Egypt which would be responsible for major African Contributions to World Civilization.

The Songhai Empire

The Songhai Empire was the largest empire in

 the history of western Sudan. It grew from the 

small state of Gao, which was founded between 

500 and 700 a.d. However the empire did not

 become a major force in the history of empire

 building and territorial expansion until 1464 

when Sunni Ali, also known as Ali Beer, became 

the king.

The Songhai Empire was the last and largest

 of the three main West African Pre-Colonial

 Empires that is important in the History of 

African before Colonisation.

During the reign of Dia Kossi, the Songhai 

Capital Gao was founded in approximately 800 A.D, 

and it eventually expanded to include the Mali 

Empire after conquering Timbuktu.

Dia Kossi

Regarded as one of the best Civil Administrators in History, 

Sunni Ali Ber, is considered the first great ruler of the Songhai, 

and under him, the  Empire continued to expand into the Sahara.

A succession dispute however occurred after Sunni Ali Ber’s

 death in 1492, which saw the rise of the Muslim Ruler 

Muhammad Toure after he usurped the Throne from Sunni 

Ali Ber’s son.

Sharia Law was then promulgated throughout the Empire with 

more Schools and education centres established followed by an 

extension of the Sankore University, in Timbuktu.

Even with a wellspring of evidence to the contrary, 

some would rather believe Africans were genocidal 

barbarians. They would rather ascribe to visitors

 from outer-space doing the architectural work... 

than believe Africans possessed this kind of genius. 

Photo: GiganticStatues.com

The Great Sphinx of Giza

The great Imhotep was the world's first multi-genius.

Imhotep's Afrikan name means he who comes in peace.

He was a scientist, scribe, philosopher, astronomer

mathematician, architect, historian, and doctor.

According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, Imhotep was one of the chief officials of the Pharaoh Djoser. Concurring with much later legends, egyptologists credit him with the design and construction of the Pyramid of Djoser, a step pyramid at Saqqara built during the 3rd DynastyHe may also have been responsible for the first known use of stone columns to support a building.

Despite these later attestations, the pharaonic Egyptians themselves never credited Imhotep as the designer of the stepped pyramid, nor with the invention of stone architecture.

Pyramid of Djoser

Djoser is best known for his innovative tomb, which dominates the Saqqara landscape.[8] In this tomb he is referred to by his Horus name Netjerikhet; Djoser is a name given by New Kingdom visitors thousands of years later. Djoser's step pyramid is astounding in its departure from previous architecture. It sets several important precedents, perhaps the most important of which is its status as the first monumental structure made of stone.

There is much more to Africa, than 

Egypt. The pyramids are not the

only architectural achievement 

Africans made. 

The Land of Punt is belied to have been geographically 

positioned, on the Red Sea coast of East Africa. 

Historical records hold that this Kingdom dated back

to around 2500 B.C. 

Queen Hatshepsut's temple inscriptions at Luxor reveal that her divine mother,  Hathor, was from Punt - with strong indications that the pharaohs considered the origin of their culture to be Punt Land.

A large granite sphinx bearing the likeness of 

the female Pharaoh Hatshepsut.

Great Zimbabwe was the 

Iron Age capital of the Kingdom 

of Zimbabwe.

The Great Zimbabwe ruins (pictured below), in 

Masvingo for which the country is named, is full 

of the history of Zimbabwe. Its ruins lie nestled in 

the country's southeastern hills and are recognized

 as the most important and extensive stone ruins

 in sub-Saharan Africa. These ruins are another 

example of their architectural achievement. 

The structures boast high walls and a cone shaped 

tower made of granite stacked on granite, without

 the use of mortar. They are estimated to be over five 

hundred years old and are still standing, as testament 

to the genius of the builders. 

The Great Zimbabwe ruins are the largest 

collection of ruins in Africa south of the Sahara.

 Located in the heart of southern Africa, 

between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers.

The ruins are divided into three distinct groups: 

the Hill Ruins, the Great Enclosure and the 

Valley Ruins.

Beginning in the medieval period, a number of 

kingdoms rose and fell in West Africa. The 

kingdoms of Benin, Mali, Songhai, Kongo and 

Asante each had their own language and distinctive

ways of steering and governing their people. Many 

practiced different religions. They were governed by 

a king, known as the Oba.

The West Africa territory had

 griots (storytellers). They tended 

to travel from place to place,

much like human encyclopedias. 

The griots were capable of recalling 

events and people. They were the

conservators of history. 

The Great Mosque in Timbuktu, 

built by Mansa Musa (pictured above).

A succession of three great kingdoms came to

 power as their people gained control of valuable

 trade routes in West Africa. Ghana was the first of 

these empires, followed by the kingdoms of Mali 

and Songhai.

Mali Empire was one of the jewels of the African

continent. It was widely known all over the world

for its jewelry and flourished in wealth and luxury. 

This Empire was so wealthy that Mali’s emperor, 

Mansa Musa, during the 14th century, while in 

pilgrimage to Mecca, stopped over in Egypt, and

 gave out gold to the extent that the gold market 

prices in entire Egypt dropped, for some years. 

The Mali Empire is believed to have begun in 

the 12th century. Its founding ruler, Sundiata Keita,

alias “Lion King,” revolted against a king of Sosso

Kingdom, transforming the Sossos’ subjects into his

newfound governance. 

The successors of “Lion King” increased their 

ruling power over most of the Western Africa region. 

The Mali Empire grew in trade. The main religion in

 this Empire was Islamic. Therefore well-designed 

mosques and Islamic schools filled the Empire. 

As early as the Middle Ages, 

“Moors were commonly viewed as

 being mostly black or very swarthy,

and hence the word is often used for

negro,” according to the Oxford

English Dictionary.

The Moors originally came from North Africa. Once 

Liberia was captured, thousands moved there and left a 

lasting impact. 

The Moors had an immense amount of knowledge

 that would later find its way to Europe. The 

intellectual achievements of the Moors in Spain 

had a lasting effect; education was universal in 

Moorish Spain, while in Christian Europe, 

99 percent of the population was illiterate, and

 even kings could neither read nor write. 

The Moorish advances in 

mathematics, astronomy, 

art, and agriculture helped

 propel Europe out of 

the Dark Ages and into the 


At a time when Europe had only two universities, 

the Moors had seventeen, located in Almeria,

 Cordova, Granada, Juen, Malaga, Seville, and 

Toledo. In the 10th and 11th centuries, public 

libraries in Europe were non-existent, while 

Moorish Spain could boast of more than 70, 

including one in Cordova that housed hundreds

 of thousands of manuscripts. Universities in Paris

 and Oxford were established after visits by scholars 

to Moorish Spain.

The Moors helped many European Scholars, who

came to their cities in pursuit of knowledge and 

when these scholars were finished learning they

took their knowledge back to other parts of Europe 

helping them achieve their scientific revolutions 

and renaissance. They also helped with arabic 

numerals, introduced words, advanced mathematics

 and medicinal practices, and introduced Europe to 


From the medieval ages, West Africa was home 

to a range of powerful kingdoms and empires 

with their own diverse cultures, identities and 

people. The 13th century saw the rise of Mansas

 and the Empire of Mali. The Mansas brought 

huge wealth and established Islam as the main

 religion. They created centres of learning and 

culture at Timbuktu and Djenné.

The Kingdom of Benin was founded by the Edo

 people. It was ruled by the Divine Obas. In 

1440, Oba Ewuare turned Benin City into a 

flourishing city state and used his military to 

expand the kingdom. The Obas dominated trade 

along the coast and ruled over tribes in the east 

and west of the region. And the kingdom was 

renowned for its artworks, made of bronze, iron 

and ivory, which often depicted the Obas and 


The 15th century also saw the rise of the Songhai

 Empire and their Warrior King, Sonni Ali, 

descended from the fishing tribes of the Niger River. 

He captured Timbuktu and the other cities along

 the Niger River with his army of cavalry and canoes.

 The empire used the river to spread wealth and 

learning across the region.

The early 18th century saw the rise of the 

Asante Empire, who established a new societal

 structure made up of leaders from the tribal 

regions. Women were of high status and had a

 very important role to play in society as well, 

although the king, the Asantehene, was the leader.


The Queen of the Asante was critical in choosing

 regional leaders and involved in all decisions

 of the empire. The Asante people are still an 

important part of Ghana today, but this is just a 

small part of a much larger story of Africa.

The kingdoms of West Africa

Starting in the medieval period, a series of 

kingdoms rose and fell in West Africa. The 

kingdoms of Benin, Mali, Songhai, Kongo and 

Asante each had their own language and unique

 ways of leading and governing their people, and

 many practiced different religions.

Little is known about the origin of Aksum Kingdom. 

This Kingdom existed during the same period as the

Roman Empire.

At its peak, prior to European colonialism, 

it is estimated that Africa had up to 10,000 

different states and autonomous groups with 

distinct languages and customs

When Europeans arrived in Africa, not 

knowing anything about their customs, 

intelligence, skills, culture, etc., they took

 it upon themselves to introduce Africans

 to commerce and civilization. 

What they did not know or consider was that 

Africa had its own forms of commerce, science,

 art and other measures of civilization long before

 the arrival of the colonizers.

We have been bountifully blessed to inherit a steady 

footing in this ever-changing world, thanks to the

 grace of God and our ancestors who once lived, 

breathed, suffered, endured, paved the way, and

in many cases triumphed, despite the odds.

We pray heartfelt prayers for those who came 

before us... for the historical tragedies and 

hardships they endured. They sacrificed it all

 and had the audacity, conviction, compassion,

 and determination to push through many painful 

struggles so they could truly realize freedom

 and independence for themselves and their 

children's children.

We are extremely honored and humbled to trace 

and walk upon the ancient roads our ancestors

 walked upon. We humbly thank and honor our 

ancestors for living with a vision, a sense of 

purpose and commitment.

The existence of our ancestors makes it easier 

to gradually discover and comprehend the how

 and why of our current realities.

Let us pay homage to the lives, the broad range of 

accumulated experiences, insights, contributions, 

shining examples, and significant roles filled by 

our ancestors in building this great society and 

paving the way for us all. 

Those who went before us 

knew from whence their 

blessings came.

African American spirituals have long

 had special meaning. The spirituals embodied

their faith in God as they encountered the 

dehumanizing effects of slavery and racism.

African American spirituals came to stand at the 

very heart of their cultural and spiritual 


They began to sing songs deeply rooted in both 

the Bible and the tragedy of slavery. As the

 enslaved Africans looked to the Bible, they

 identified with the plight of the Hebrew children 

of God and appropriated their story of bondage 

and liberation. 

The spirituals became one 

of their most valuable 


The spirituals helped sustain the enslaved

 community. They served not only as a means 

of education and worship... they gave the 

community a way to express its deepest 

aspirations for freedom and social change.

Our ancestral history offers insights, pragmatic 

advice, and shining examples of living with a 

sense of purpose and commitment. Extracting 

lessons from the past helps us to better 

understand how past societies, systems, 

ideologies, cultures, etc., were built, how they

 operated, and how they have changed.

We pay homage to the memories of the 

generations of brave souls, who embarked 

into a new world and endured hundreds of 

years of subjugation. 

Knowing about our own cultures opens up opportunities 

for deeper connections to the realities we are exposed

 to daily and the possibilities we can prepare for and 

pass on to future generations.

Many of our ancestors left the legacy of love 

and passion in the world. They were true to their 

mission and who they were. They left a mark on

 the world that is woven into the lives of others 

and can't be erased from the hearts they touched. 

We can learn so much from the lives our ancestors

 lived. We can inherit the similarities we see when

 we look at our reflections. We can inherit their 

passion for the arts or their natural attraction to 

understanding nature. There are so many parts 

of them that makes us who we are.

No one can pass through life 

without leaving tracks behind. 

Will the tracks we leave help

 those coming after us, in finding

 their way? 

We honour our ancestors by remembering them


for their selflessness and resilience. Our ancestors 

struggled through the trauma and unfathomable

turbulence of blood-soaked slavery and physical

 violence. They were menaced, terrorized, raped,

subjected to lynchings, buck breakings, and had 

to basically denounce who they were. 

They were denied economic opportunities; 

yet, they endured and contributed,

tremendously, their time, talents, blood, 

sweat, tears and faith in God to build

a better America. They went over and 

above to leave the world better than 

they found it.

Their determination and sacrifices made it

possible for us and future generations to 

have freedom, justice, and human rights. 

Our rights are a direct result of their lifelong


Our ancestors had enough foresight and 

determination to profoundly shape and create

a better life for our journey. Their agonies and 

tortured past has made it possible for our 

generation to populate, acquire, establish, and

utilize spaces previously denied them. Their 

sacrifices and struggles are still teaching our

generation a great deal about the present 

struggles with injustice and racism. 

Through many dangers, deceptive pitfalls, and 

ensnarements our ancestors had to endure and 

overcome, they still took the time to sow rich 

deposits of godly principles by which the present

and future generations might embrace and apply 

so they might walk this day... living uprightly, 

in greater unity, better equipped to forge 

ahead to discover, and walk in their higher 


We simply cannot, in good conscience, ignore

the accumulated experiences and invaluable

deposits of knowledge we have garnered from 

our ancestors. Knowing the past opens the 

door to future generations. Many people have 

no idea how powerful and prevalent the hidden

influences of our ancestors are, in each of 

our lives.

Although we understand how we are descended 

from our ancestors, some of us rarely give any thought 

to how they impact us. It is a rather extraordinary

musing to ponder that somebody who lived decades

 before us could have any influence on our lives, but

 the evidence is clear, convincing, and reliable... we 

must simply be made aware of it. 

To discover our ancestral roots 

is a blessing. It can help us gain

 a greater understanding of the

 struggles and challenges our 

ancestors endured. Learning about 

our ancestors can be a fascinating 

and eye opening experience. 

Learning about our ancestors helps us fill in the

spaces and gain a better sense of self. In knowing our 

history, we can take better informed steps forward, 

in the journey of self-discovery.

 It is a privilege and a blessing to be able to research

 and explore the people who came before us. In going 

through the process, we can discover and uncover a

 great deal about our ancestors and learn quite a bit 

about ourselves. We may even come to realize that 

our ancestors had a greater influence on us than we 

ever knew.

The traits we inherit from our ancestors can 

be powerful. The qualities that are embedded

 in our DNA and the environment that we 

were raised in... in many ways, makes us 

who we are.

The culture by which we are influenced and in 

which we are raised is a product of our ancestors. 

The effects of our ideas, beliefs, traditions, 

lifestyles/customs, thought processes and everything 

that helps to create a functioning society and culture 

is passed on from generation to generation. 

As children are raised and developed around 

these components, their culture was and/or 

is directly influenced and affected or sadly, 

in some instances, INFECTED.

Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,

" the forced migration and subsequent brutal 

treatment of the enslaved in cotton fields was 

critical to the United States' establishment as

 a world economic power. The crops that allowed 

America to thrive were soaked by our forefathers'

 blood, sweat, and tears. 

Cities were built on the backs of our forefathers. 

Many of our world leaders, with their antiquated 

world views, were breastfed by our ancestors. 

In learning about our ancestors’ lives, we can 

see patterns of overcoming failures and 

surviving hard times. Their stories remind us 

that surely not everything in life will work 

fairly or easily, that inhumanity and 

inequalities exist, but we can recover, 

triumph, and find peace in God, despite 

man-made hardships.

Across the ages, our ancestors lit the way before us. 

They lit lamps of truth and shared treasure troves of 

sage advice. They were shining examples of mental, 

physical, and spiritual strength, tolerance, resolve,

aspiration, drive, determination, resilience, and 

unwavering faith. 

Although our ancestors have gone ahead of

us, or stepped out of view for a while, it is our 

belief, they are still with us in a very profound 

sense. It is important for us to know that our 

ancestors are never far away from us. Our 

ancestors, or ancestral spirits, can be seen as 

our spiritual allies who re-visit and help us. 

We are part of a harmonious symphony of life, 

each one caroling with their own individual and 

exquisite pitch in this multitudinous Constellation!

Through the shadows of living memory and out 

across the gulf of years... we can call on our 


Our ancestors are as near to us as our breath, 

and when connected in conscious ways, 

they can be a tremendous source of healing, 

guidance, fierce protection, and companionship.

Our ancestors can become a tremendous source 

of healing, wisdom, and empowerment in our 

everyday lives, even through the silence. It is 

important to keep our ancestral connection alive

and strong. 

May we accept our encounters with our 

ancestors with pleasure, not fear. May we

open the eyes and ears of our hearts and

listen to their whispered words of wisdom, 

and never underestimate the power of 


As we sincerely open our ears to our 

ancestors... we will began to better 

understand the language of spirit.

Think about it: 

Our ancestors stood against oppression and

exploitation; yet, they lifted up the 

downtrodden, and shaped the struggle

for freedom. Each of our lives rests firmly 

on the foundation of their sacrifices.

Honoring our ancestors is very important for

all of us to do. Contrary to what many may think, 

our ancestors can either be by blood or through

spirit. Their brotherhood and sisterhood was 

able to transcend blood relations, races, age, 

and nationality. It was a soul connection. 

 Our Ancestors provided us with wonderful 

pearls of wisdom. We have been bountifully 

blessed to glean valuable life lessons from our



Our ancestors prayed for us, opened the way

for us, and most importantly, instilled in us the

necessity to stay faithful and committed to God's 

truth and our soul's purpose. 

Our ancestors are a reservoir of faithfulness and 

power. Our ancestors left us with a wellspring of 

useful life lessons and principles that can apply to

our present and future generations.

Their shining examples are helping us to have

a vision of excellence, embody our potential, 

and live in a way that steers clear and overcomes 

the evils of complacency, so that we, too, may

forge ahead to our higher calling. 

 So much has been accomplished by our ancestors. 

May we, too, respectfully and willfully rise up, 

discover our mission, and fulfill our soul's purpose

so that we, too, may leave this world and our 

children better off. 

The more we discover about 

our past, the greater a connection 

we feel to our ancestors. 

Knowing our family history


builds resilience. 

To our ancestors, we owe you a continuous 

debt of gratitude for your unselfish, genuine 

affection, consideration, care and contributions 

made within your families, communities, cities,

 state, country, and the world. We humbly 

give our blessings to our ancestors... 

and ask theirs. 

May we never take for granted the struggles, 

strengths, and sacrifices of our ancestors. 

May we, too, carry forth the spark, heart, and 

determination to further ensure the freedom

 for future generations. 

May we never forget to celebrate and pay 

homage to the lives and contributions of our

 ancestors. They embraced the moment and 

were committed to paving the way, not only

 in the African American community, 

but for other minority groups.

As we continue to follow the path of 

wisdom and truth, we believe, the souls 

of our forefathers will show us the way out. 

We can honor the memory of our ancestors

 by rediscovering the faith that allowed them 

to survive. We can build on the legacy they 

have left us by carefully following the one 

they followed...

Ancestors, we see you, honor and respect you. 

We pray that we may honor and grow your 

legacy of character and faith by rediscovering

and embracing the faith, in God, that allowed

you to find and experience God's freedom in

the midst of so many horrors, painful hardships, 

and enslavement. 

Thank you for creating a legacy that will take 

future generations to levels you could only 

imagine. May your divine assistance remain 

always with us. 

May your souls be liberated, and rest in the 

highest heights of paradise... imaginable. May you

go from strength to strength in God's Kingdom as 

you stand equally with a multitude of Saints. 

May you be held in the loving arms of God's


grace and mercy, and take delight in the Giver 

of all comfort, power, and peace. 

Your spiritual legacy is not only with us, but 

in us. You've lived a life, and made a mark by 

creating something that will last and will never

be forgotten. 

Thank you so much.

In His Love,

Knowing, recording, and preserving our family

history directly impacts us, our family, and 

even future generations of people we may 

never get to know.