January 4 – Colonial Repression Martyrs' Day in Angola

Posted on January 4, 2019

Colonization can devastate a region and especially the people who live in that region. Even though there have been lots of examples of wars, enslavement, and conquest by African, Asian, and Native American peoples on their neighboring tribes and empires and city-states, the word "colonization" immediately brings to mind the take-over of land and resources BY Europeans...

...on everyone else. 

In the case of Angola, the colonizers were the Portuguese. They stayed about 500 years, and for much of that time the Portuguese enslaved and exported the native peoples to Brazil and elsewhere. Even though black Angolans made more and more and more perfectly reasonable demands to gain independence and to rule themselves, the Portuguese continued to say "no." Black Angolans were forbidden to form labor unions that would make working conditions better, and they were forbidden to form political parties that would make all sorts of conditions better.

Finally, in 1961, many black Angolans rose up in revolution and skirmished with one another in civil wars. Portugal responded harshly, but eventually, in 1975, Angola did become independent - although the civil wars between different factions continued until 2002.

Today Angolans remember the people who died during the horrors of colonization and the bloodshed independence movement.

As you can imagine, only having been war-free for a few decades, Angola struggles with poverty and low life expectancy. Still, its economy is growing faster than most nations, and there are amazing beauties within the country:

Kalandula Falls

Tundavala Gap

Pedras Negras

And there are interesting spots like this Chinese-built ghost town:

And this twisty-turny road:

As usual with other nations, the people are just as varied and beautiful as their life stories are:

No comments:

Post a Comment