Historynotes DAHIA AL-KAHINA: VALIANT NORTH AFRICAN FREEDOM FIGHTER
DAHIA AL-KAHINA: VALIANT NORTH AFRICAN FREEDOM FIGHTER
THE GLOBAL AFRICAN COMMUNITY
H I S T O R Y N O T E S
VALIANT NORTH AFRICAN FREEDOM FIGHTER
DEDICATED TO SISTER CAMILLE COSBY
As both an historian and a conscious African man, I am constantly impressed by the stature and majesty of African women and their prominent position in the pages of world history. From the earliest times African women were loved, honored, respected and adored in Africa and around the world. African women often administered mighty nations and sometimes even led victorious in battle. Dahia al-Kahina of Mauretania, North Africa was one such example. Al-Kahina, described as possessing "dark skin, a mass of hair," was a Moorish freedom fighter, resistance leader and African patriot. The term Moor, meaning scorched or black, was a designation applied to the Black populations of Northwest Africa. An early Muslim scholar, in discussing the ethnicity of the Moorish women of North Africa, wrote simply that "their color is black."
Dahia al-Kahina directed the most determined resistance to the seventh century Arab invasions of North Africa. About 690, al-Kahina, whose name means the 'priestess' or the 'prophetess,' assumed personal command of the African forces, and under her aggressive leadership the Arabs were briefly forced to retreat. The Araba were relentless, however, and as the African plight deteriorated our brave and audacious sister ordered a scorched earth polity. It is said that the effects of this devastation can still be seen in the North African countryside. In 701, however, after fierce resistance, the Africans were defeated. Dahia al-Kahina took her own life and sent her sons to the Arab camp with instructions that they adopt Islam and make common cause with the Arabs. Ultimately, these men participated in invading Europe and the subjugation of Spain and Portugal. With the death of Dahia al-Kahina, however, ended a magnificent and heroic endeavor to preserve Africa for the Africans.
African Warrior Queens, by John Henrik Clarke
African Glory, by J.C. Degraft-Johnson
Runoko Rashidi is an historian, writer and public lecturer with a pronounced interest in the African foundations of humanity and civilizations and the presence and current conditions of Black people throughout the Global African Community. He is particularly drawn to the African presence in India, Australia and the islands of the Pacific.
To date he has lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities and lectured in fifteen countries. He is the author of African Classical Civilizations and the editor, with Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, of the African Presence in Early Asia--the most comprehensive volume on the subject yet published. Rashidi is very active online, and recently coordinated an historic educational tour to India entitled "Looking at India through African Eyes." Currently, he is coordinating an educational tour to Australia entitled "Looking at Australia Through African Eyes" scheduled for July 2000. To schedule lectures, order video and audio tapes, gain information on educational tours or additional information contact Rashidi at RRashidi@... or call Runoko Rashidi at (210) 648-5178.
Copyright © 1998 Runoko Rashidi. All rights reserved.
Revised: November 12, 1999.
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