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125th Anniversary - The Victory of the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopia
March 11 – March 24, 2021
Praising the Past

Emperor Menelik II

meridith beal

The Victory of the Battle of Adwa is significant in the global struggle for liberation of Africans and people of African descent. It also dispels the myth of White supremacy and Black inferiority.

The battle took place March 1, 1896 and the Ethiopian Consulate in Los Angeles celebrated the day in conjunction with Black History Month with a recorded celebration Saturday, February 27. It was a historic, virtual 125th anniversary celebration.

Ethiopia is the only African country that has not been colonized. The Battle was the key battle that determined whether Ethiopia would remain a free independent state or become a colony of Italy.

The humiliating defeat interrupted Italy’s plans to expand its colonial empire in the Horn of Africa. The victory at Adwa was the greatest military victory by an African army over Europeans since Hannibal.

Meredith Beal, who has made contributions to Port Of Harlem served as emcee for the celebration. Ethiopian historians Dr. Solomon Addis Getahun, Professor of Ethiopian and African History and Dr. Shimelis Bonsa Gulema, Professor of Modern African History & Politics, shared the story of Adwa.

Dr. Getahun contextualized the battle by mentioning that Italy was late in the European struggle to contain Africa. In their desire for a piece of the pie, they only found the horn of Africa available. Italy was late in the game he said because they were late in “unifying” their own country. Egyptian cotton also played a role in the European attack and conquer plans, he continued.  Egyptian cotton played a role similar to that of King Cotton in Confederate decision making in the United States.

Ethiopian pride extends throughout the diaspora including the creation in 1808 of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and the O Melelick newspaper in Brazil in 1904.  Ambassador Mulugeta Kelil, Consul General of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopian - Los Angeles, added the victory was good for Ethiopian’s “self-confidences,” and was “a victory for all Black people.”

Note:  The infamous Lord Macaulay speech to the British Parliament Feb2, 1835.
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