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Day 24: Mansa Musa is among ancient figures in black history we should all know about

28 Days of Black History

By Coshandra Dillard

We sometimes only focus on firsts, the civil rights movement, and the peculiar institution of chattel slavery in the United States when we discuss black history.
From early civilization to modern-day innovators, Africans and people of African decent have made incredible marks on the planet.
An ancient figure is Mansa Musa. He was the king of the Malian empire in the 14th century. He reportedly was the wealthiest man the world has ever known–ever.
On a trip to Mecca Musa gave away so much gold to the poor while in Cairo that it became devalued and destroyed the economy. To get it back on its feet, he borrowed the gold back at a high interest rate.

He was a devout Muslim and built mosques throughout his empire to spread the influence of Islam. During this time, Timbuktu became one of the major cultural centers of throughout the Islamic world. It was an intellectual center that rivaled any others during that time.

 

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