Our history definitely predates enslavement, and while I don't know as much as I should, I think I know a decent amount about ancient and pre-colonial African civilizations and cultures.
We invented luxury.
However, I also consider American chattel enslavement to be a significant part of my history as a Black American. Just as we can celebrate the existence and fierceness of the Minon of Benin while still acknowledging the fact that they were slaughtered by the French, I feel we can hold the dual realities of our royal African ancestors and our more recent enslaved ones.
Thanks again for reading and engaging!