African History: The Perfect Armor

I love museums. I try to visit a few every year. Even when I am seeing the same exhibits I can’t get enough of them.

Europeans and Africans

I’m always looking for slices of African history in Western Civilization. I also like to see evidence of black people being in Europe, even before Columbus sailed off to find India and “discovered” the “New World.”

Referring to the following image: the date of this slave trade does not mean that Africans were new to Europe. Historical forces came together in a “perfect storm”, which meant Africans would be sourced as the new (more durable?) labor pool for Europeans to use.

Why? Europe was going through periods of depopulation due to the Black Death. Its countries were always at war, sophisticated mercantile commerce was taking hold, and naval competition for dominance of trading routes was growing. These bold explorations and territorial expansions required bodies.

Armors and Guns

I love love love looking at armored suits. I like that whole ancient European guns, swords, and ancient castle living kinda stuff. I wish someone would make a lightweight, superhuman strong exo-skeleton, bulletproof (bomb proof?) armored suit for today. Now, wouldn’t that be awesome!?! Weird, right? Yet, I bloody love the idea. It makes me think of RoboCop for some reason.

Tell me these armor suits don’t look hot? The black one screams, bad ass! I saw one in the UK that the Japanese had given the British. Aw, I should have taken a picture of that. You talk about nice.

The one thing I do note about all of these outfits, people back then were tiny: 5’2″-5’4″. I think most of the armor weighed upwards of 100lbs, which has yet to include the swords, blades, guns, and other equipment they had to carry.

Check out the guns these folks had back then.


Use your imagination: slave traders with guns, breastplate armor, cannons on ships, versus dark skinned natives who had what? Arrows, poison darts, spears, and diseases to hold off the pale skinned invaders.

Starting in 1420, the Europeans begin to scatter African peoples around Europe, and then the “New World.”

Four hundred years later, around 1865, they followed up by colonizing Africa.

And yet, people still talk today as though black and white people, or if you prefer, African and European descendants just met.

I have to read this book Guns, Germs and Steel at some point, maybe see if I can get an audio version and/or watch the PBS program.

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