Copyright 1998, 1999 , 2000 ASET, M. Mbulu All rights to everything on this web site are reserved.

Title of Course: Profiles In Black Mba Mbulu, Instructor

Textbook: None. Selected writings found online will constitute the textbook.

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Read the following information on Nzingha of Ndongo. Relate the information to the following questions to the best of your ability.

(1) During the general time period, Black men and women did not have the gender hang-ups that We have assumed since being dominated by white people. Do you think that made it easier for Nzingha to play the leadership role she played?

(2) Is there any way to justify the fact that some African kings would trade in Black captives for white trinkets? Can there be a further explanation for this, something that would also help explain why native American would "sell" Manhattan for the equivalent of a few dollars?

(3) How important was the military to Nzingha and the hopes of her Black contemporaries in Africa? Should present day Blacks be paying more attention to military matters than We do?

(4) Nzingha personally headed the armies that attacked Portugal's troops. Do Black "leaders" put themselves in the line of fire nowadays? If not, does that say something about Black People's failure to make the progress We should be making?

(5) To Nzingha, every white person in Africa was the enemy of Black People, particularly the missionaries and other practitioners of "religion." Do you think that was actually true then? Is that still true today? As We enter the year 2000, are white people in the Americas the enemy of Black People in the Americas?

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Class #1: NZINGHA of NDONGO (1580-1663)

Black Nationalist, Military Strategist, Field General, Organizer, Tactician

In the late 1400s, white sailors from Portugal in search of laborers and colonies anchored in Black waters and set foot on the African continent. African leaders, many because they were inept and many because they did not know that the Portuguese had long term objectives, entered into one sided arrangements with them. They helped the Portuguese establish a white power foothold in Africa by raiding neighboring tribes, capturing Black men, women and children and trading the Black captives in exchange for white trinkets. However, a few African leaders were more astute than the rest, and one African leader was more astute and abler than them all. Her name was Nzingha, and she lived in the nation of Ndongo.

The Portuguese, as is white people's irritating tendency, called her by a white name, Anna. Their reports of the resistance she put up against the slave trade and their colonialist objectives makes her an epic figure. Nzingha of Ndongo emerges as a death defying military strategist, a brilliantly instinctive political tactician and a caretaker of Black people and Black values. Her objective, insofar as Portugal was concerned, was to drive white people out of her land and totally destroy the slave trade.

Nzingha immediately recognized that the whites were savages. Before she became queen, she had supported her brother, the king, by spearheading the war against the Portuguese. Nzingha personally headed the armies that attacked Portugal's troops, devised a plan that enabled her soldiers to infiltrate the Portuguese army camps, and declared her territory as free land for each and every Black person who set foot there. She was so beloved by her soldiers and people that no one would consider betraying her. In 1623, when she was probably in her early 40s, she became the Queen of Ndongo, expanded her empire and began a 40 year war against those people who had dared to invade the Black continent.

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To better carry out her objective, Nzingha upgraded her army and made it capable of effectively competing against the armies of the whites. She made her people aware of the importance of Black unity and the treatment of all Blacks as countrymen. Nzingha also cleverly propagandized within the enemy's camps, generating doubt among the Portuguese rank and file, particularly its fighters. In 1629, Nzingha defeated the Portuguese in several battles and became Queen of Matamba, a neighboring kingdom, as well as Ndongo.

Recognizing that Blacks kings were aiding the Portuguese, Nzingha made it clear that any kings who continued to do so would incur her wrath. This was particularly so if they participated in or promoted the slave trade. This created a great deal of concern among African kings, whose resistance to Portuguese overtures increased dramatically. Recognizing that they had been outdone, the Portuguese declared that their war against Nzingha had been unjust.

To Nzingha, every white person in Africa was the enemy of Black People, particularly the missionaries and other practitioners of "religion." To be defeated by Portugal's armies or preachers would have been the biggest insult to Nzingha of Ndongo. By remaining true to her roots, her people and Black values and priorities, Nzingha never suffered that insult. For that reason, she is a Profile in Black.

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