January 17, 1961: Congo independence leader Patrice Lumumba executed following a military coup supported by U.S. and Belgian imperialism.
“As we commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., take a moment to remember another freedom fighter who perished in the struggle for liberation. Patrice Lumumba, the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was assassinated 52 years ago today, on 17 January, 1961."
From Instagram to Twitter, I keep seeing people circulate these photos and caption underneath them “pray for Nigeria”. The photos we are seeing above though are from the 2010 oil spill that lead to a tank explosion that killed hundreds in D.R Congo. If you need further proof you can simply Google ‘oil tank explosion in Democratic Republic of Congo 2010’ and you will see these photos and more like them. I’ve searched for the photos of the Boko Haram attack and came up with only photos of the burned villages and displaced people but not the actual dead victims. It’s bothering me that people are circulating the wrong photos especially the press. I’m not expecting a lot from western media, to them Africa is a country anyway. However, for those of us who care and know, the least we can do is get this part correct.
Ota Benga on display at the Bronx Zoo. The Bronx, New York 1906.
Human zoos were 19th- and 20th-century public exhibits of humans, usually in a so-called natural or primitive state. The displays often emphasized the cultural differences between Europeans of Western civilization and non-European peoples or other Europeans with a lifestyle deemed primitive. (x)
Ota Benga—known to white audiences as the African Pygmy—stood 4'11 and weighed 103 pounds. In this photo, taken in 1906, he is 23. He was released from the Zoo later that same year.
In 1914 when World War I broke out, his desire to return to the Congo became impossible as passenger ship traffic to the region had ended. Benga became depressed as his hopes for a return to his homeland faded. On March 20, 1916, at the age of 32, he built a ceremonial fire, chipped off the caps on his teeth, and shot himself in the heart with a stolen pistol. (x)
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The Democratic Republic of Congo for which Patrice Lumumba was killed; if developed can electrify and feed almost the whole of Africa This African country is 905,355 square miles It is as large as twelve European countries such as Britain, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Italy, Armenia and Albania and DRC potential wealth is equivalent to the gross domestic product of Europe and North America combined. Any wonder why DRC has been a victim of mercenaries and proxy wars for so long?
My 14 other aunts and uncles have 62 children total that I haven’t met because they all live in Africa, most of them still in DRC.
So yeah. That’s a shit ton of people who share blood with me. I need to go to DRC ASAP because I need to meet some of them. It’s sad knowing I missed my chance to meet the grandmother I’m named after. I definitely want to visit in the next couple of years if I can.