Innovations and Innovators: African Kingdoms and African-American Game Changers

 The Axum Empire lasted from the years 100 to 940 A.D. This nation was known for its significant military power as well as being a vibrant trading nation. It was located in what are currently the countries of Eritrea and northern Ethiopia.

At the apex of the Axum Empire the nation was recognized and listed as one of the only four superior international superpowers of its day. It was named alongside the other great nations of Persia, Rome and China. This nation dominated northern Ethiopia, Eritrea, northern Sudan, southern Egypt, Djibouti, Western Yemen, and southern Saudi Arabia. Its trading influence could be felt in countries such as China and India.

 The Kingdom of Ghana conquered West Africa from the years 750 to 1078 A.D. The nation was known among North Africans as the “Land of Gold”. Many believed that it practiced and produced sophisticated  techniques of administration and taxation as well as large armies. They also believed that the nation maintained a monopoly on its famously well guarded gold mines.

One Arab writer, named Al-Hamdani, credited this great nation with possessing the wealthiest gold mines on the planet.

 When the Ghanian Kingdom fell the Mali Empire came to take its place and took control of West Africa. The nation reached its apex in the 1350s.

The Mali Empire was founded by King Sundiata Keita who enabled the nation to be able to set a precedent for becoming famous for the wealth of its rulers. A noteworthy example of this is Mansa, meaning King,  Musa. Trade was able to be tripled during his reign. He also expanded the nation of Mali allowing it to become a larger empire than any in Europe during that time period.

 One of the numerous significant cities in Mali was named Timbuktu which became one of the most well known cultural centers of learning in the continent of Africa as well as the known the world. This metropolitan city was home to expansive libraries and Islamic universities. Timbuktu was a famous place of meeting for renowned poets, scholars and artists from Africa and the Middle East.

The Kingdom of Mali formulated a semi-democratic government which created one of the world’s most ancient known constitutions titled The Kurukan Fuga.

 African-Americans built the railroads for the South up until the Civil War and during it. They were charged with hauling lumber, building bridges, casting iron, producing stone, etc. all for transporting people, weapons, and goods to be used in war among other things.

 African-Americans also built parts of the White House after an attempt at recruitment from Europe failed miserably. They queried and cut the stone in order to make it ready for construction. They were among many other ethnic groups involved in constructing the White House such as the Irish and Scottish masons and dressers as well as other American white laborer.

 African-American physician, Dr. Charles Drew, created a process where blood plasma could be stored in “blood banks.”

 African-American neurosurgeon, Ben Carson, separated conjoined twins successfully for the 1st time in history.

 According to the National Institute of Health, Dr. Patricia Bath discovered as well as invented a new device and technique for the process of cataract surgery known as laserphaco.


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