Who was AAL (as she referred to herself)?
Perspective is a wonderful thing.
The Colonial Carve-Up
We must remember the context of the times in which these Great Leaps Forward were being made: the Industrial Revolution, the subjugation of indigenous peoples and the enslavement of millions of innocent people that fuelled it.
Europe was busy carving up the African continent at the time and using it’s military might to destroy great, ancient cities upon which its civilisation were built. Scores of African cities, libraries and centres of learning were razed to the ground by the armies of England, France and Germany.
Our Forgotten History
Malicious, deliberate acts of erasure have Black people, in the absence of records, endlessly re-inventing the wheel – unaware that we pioneered the same fields hundreds and even thousands of years before. The achievements of Ada Lovelace, as mighty as they are, must then be placed into the historical context of a world in which Black flesh and bones were (and still are) expendable.
We were quite simply the consumables that powered the railways, steam engines and funded Brunel’s terrific feats of engineering.
Survival, Resistance, Mathematics
We would do well to remember, if we will, that modernity is built upon a legacy – one of a mathematics and binary principles that emerged on African shores long before Europe emerged blinking from the Dark Ages into the light of the Renaissance. It’s legacy we must build upon if we are to forge our technological independence.