HERSI BOQOR – LEADER OF THE REBELLION
In December 1925, led by the charismatic leader Hersi Boqor, son of Boqor Cusmaan, the sultanate forces drove the Italians out of Hurdiyo and Hafun, two strategic coastal towns. Another contingent attacked and destroyed an Italian communications center at Cape Guardafui, at the tip of the Horn. In retaliation, and to demoralize the resistance, Italian warships were ordered to target and bombard the sultanate’s coastal towns and villages. In the interior the Italian troops confiscated livestock.
After a violent confrontation Italian forces captured Eyl, which until then had remained in the hands of Hersi Boqor. In response to the unyielding situation, Italy called for reinforcements from their other colonies, notably Eritrea. With their arrival at the closing of 1926, the Italians began to move into the interior where they had not been able to venture since their first seizure of the coastal towns. Their attempt to capture the Dharoor Valley was resisted, and ended in failure.
De Vecchi, the governor of Italian Somaliland, had to reassess his plans as he was being humiliated on many fronts. After one year of exerting full force he could not yet manage to gain total control over the sultanate. In spite of the fact that the Italian navy sealed the sultanate’s main coastal entrance, they could not succeed in stopping them from receiving arms and ammunition through it. It was only early 1927 when they finally succeeded in shutting the northern coast of the sultanate, thus cutting arms and ammunition supplies for Migiurtinia. By this time, the balance had tilted to the Italians’ side, and in January 1927 they began to attack with massive force, capturing Iskushuban, at the heart of Migiurtinia. Hersi Boqor unsuccessfully attacked and challenged the Italians at Iskushuban. By the end of the 1927, the Italians had nearly taken control of the sultanate. Hersi Boqor and his troops retreated to Ethiopia in order to rebuild their forces, but were unable to retake their territories, effectively ending the Campaign of the Sultanates. Migiurtinia was the last region to fall to the Italian colonists.
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The Black Pacific: Anti-Colonial Struggles and Oceanic Connections –by Robbie Shilliam
Why have the struggles of the African Diaspora so resonated with South Pacific people? How have Maori, Pasifika and Pakeha activists incorporated the ideologies of the African diaspora into their struggle against colonial rule and racism, and their pursuit of social justice?
This book challenges predominant understandings of the historical linkages that make up the (post-)colonial world. The author goes beyond both the domination of the Atlantic viewpoint, and the correctives now being offered by South Pacific and Indian Ocean studies, to look at how the Atlantic ecumene is refracted in and has influenced the Pacific ecumene. The book is empirically rich, using extensive interviews, participation and archival work and focusing on the politics of Black Power and the Rastafari faith. It is also theoretically sophisticated, offering an innovative hermeneutical critique of post-colonial and subaltern studies.
“The bias against black hair is as old as America itself. In the 18th century, British colonists classified African hair as closer to sheep wool than human hair. Enslaved and free blacks who had less kinky, more European-textured hair and lighter skin — often a result of plantation rape — received better treatment than those with more typically African features.
After Emancipation, straight hair continued to be the required look for access to social and professional opportunities. Most black people internalized the idea that their natural hair was unacceptable, and by the early 20th century wore it in straightened styles often achieved with dangerous chemical processes or hot combs, or they wore wigs.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the Black Power movement declared that “black is beautiful” — and not least unstraightened natural black hair. Soon the Afro became a popular style, first at protests and political rallies and eventually on celebrities from Pam Grier to Michael Jackson.”
AUGUST 5TH 1962: NELSON MANDELA ARRESTED
On this day in 1962, the famous South African activist Nelson Mandela was arrested. Mandela was previously arrested in 1956 on treason charges, but was acquitted and forced underground for several years. In 1961, Mandela helped to found Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), which served as the militant armed wing of the African National Congress political party, born out of frustration among anti-apartheid activists that their non-violence was met with brutality by white authorities against black citizens. He was arrested in August 1962 for inciting a workers’ strike and leaving the country illegally, and in November was sentenced to five years in prison, despite protests from anti-apartheid activists. A year later, authorities found more evidence of Mandela’s involvement in the violence of Umkhonto we Sizwe, and his sentence was increased to life imprisonment, avoiding a death sentence. While imprisoned on Robben Island, Nelson Mandela was largely condemned as a terrorist by Western nations, and he spent his time in jail performing hard labour. By the 1980s, a movement campaigning for his release was gaining traction, and Mandela’s reputation grew as a significant black leader both in South Africa and internationally. After twenty-seven years in prison, Mandela was finally freed in 1990, after the ban on the ANC was lifted by the government of President F.W. de Klerk, who was beginning to dismantle apartheid. Upon his release, Mandela led the ANC in the successful negotiations with President de Klerk to end apartheid, and was overwhelmingly elected President of South Africa in the first multi-racial elections in 1994, serving until 1999.
“When my sentence has been completed I will still be moved, as men are always moved, by their consciences; I will still be moved by my dislike of the race discrimination against my people when I come out from serving my sentence, to take up again, as best I can, the struggle for the removal of those injustices until they are finally abolished once and for all”
– Mandela during his 1962 trial.