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Growing up in North America you learn quickly that the words slavery and cotton are synonymous.
From a young age we are taught that our people were carried on ships and forced to cultivate crops against their will. We are taught to be ashamed of the labor of our ancestors - and if your teacher or your family didn't tell you about it, then the books, or the TV screen definitely did. The fact is that cotton is the backbone of one of the wealthiest nations today and remains a multi-billion dollar industry. What you are not taught is the process of weaving cotton is an ancient tradition in Africa, and one that has been celebrated and shared all over the world. As skilled producers, traders and navigators, our people were known to distribute to distant lands in the Eastern and Western world. By way of both the Aethiopic and Erythrean Sea, they became known as masters of the waters and masters of trade - selling textiles, minerals, salts, spices, grains, and incense. It is important to remove the attachments we have to the borders established by Colonizers and the names that we were taught, that way we can gain a comprehensive view of the past. Our people were glorified from all the ends of the world and were much closer to the “slaves” than you think.
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