When Zanzibar was granted independence by Britain in 1963, a series of parliamentary elections reserved two-thirds of the seats for Arabs and Indians. Frustrated by under-representation in Parliament despite winning 54 percent of the vote in the July 1963 election, the mainly African Afro-Shirazi Party joined forces with the left-wing Umma Party. Early on the morning of Jan. 12, 1964, ASP member John Okello mobilized approximately 600 to 800 revolutionaries on the main island of Unguja (Zanzibar Island). They overran the country’s police force and confiscated their weaponry. The insurgents then overthrew the Sultan and his government. Reprisals against Arab and South Asian civilians on the island left a death toll ranging from several hundred to 20,000.
Sources: africanholocaust.net, wikipedia.org
The Stono Revolution, also known as Cato’s Conspiracy, was a slave revolt that began on Sept. 6, 1739, in the colony of South Carolina. Nearly 60 slaves killed 22 to 25 plantation owners before they were intercepted by the South Carolina militia near Edisto River.
In that battle, the slaves managed to put up a fierce fight, with some of them escaping. The Stono Rebellion was the largest slave uprising in the British mainland colonies prior to the American Revolution.
In 1760, Tacky, a Jamaican slave originally from Ghana, planned and organized an uprising to gain freedom from slavery. On Easter Sunday, Tacky and his army began the revolt, easily took over the plantations, and killed the slave owners.
At the end of the battle, over 60 slave plantation owners were killed before they were able to capture Tacky. However, Tacky’s War didn’t end there. The movement sparked revolutions throughout the island, and it took British forces months to re-establish order.
Battle of Isandhlawana (South Africa)
The people of South Africa have resisted European control since the Dutch and British began invading in the 17th century. In some parts of South Africa, they fought European control until the end of the 19th century. In spite of colonial efforts, Zululand remained free until 1880. In 1879 in a strong show of resistance, a Zulu army under the leadership of King Cetshwayo at Isandhlawana defeated a force of 8,000 European soldiers, killing 1,600. This was the single greatest defeat suffered by the British in all their colonial endeavors in Africa and Asia.
San Miguel de Gualdape
Founded in 1526, San Miguel de Gualdape was the first European settlement inside what is now the United States mainland and where some scholars speculate was near present-day Georgia’s Sapelo Island (McIntosh County, Ga.).
The first group of Africans to set foot in this territory rose up in rebellion and fought their oppressors before fleeing into the interior and presumably settled with the Native Americans. This incident is the first documented slave revolution in North America.
Demerara Revolution of 1823
The Demerara Revolution of 1823 was an uprising involving more than 10,000 slaves and took place in the former colony of Demerara-Essequibo, currently known as Guyana. On Aug. 18, 1823, Jack Gladstone and his father, Quamina, of the Success Plantation, led an army of enslaved Africans to fight against their slave masters for their freedom.
Many plantation owners and slave masters were captured and killed. The uprising had such a strong impact on the British, they pressured their country to accelerate the emancipation of African slaves after enactment of the Slave Trade Act 1807 banned the slave trade.
Battle of Adowa (Ethiopia)
Up until it was briefly held by Italy in 1963, Ethiopia was the only African territory that resisted complete colonization by Europeans. Italy did indeed colonize part of ancient Ethiopia, the area along the Red Sea that became known as the independent country, Eritrea. However, under the leadership of Emperor Menelik II, Ethiopia resisted European attempts to colonize all of the country.
Ethiopia won a decisive victory over Italy at the Battle of Adowa in December 1895. During the battle, Menelik’s warriors attacked with a ferocity the Italians couldn’t have imagined. Taking hardly any prisoners, the victors of Battle of Adowa killed 289 Italian officers, 2,918 European soldiers and about 2,000 Askari (Africans who fought on the side of Europeans). Another 954 European troops were missing, while 470 Italians and 958 Askari were wounded. Some 700 Italians and 1,800 Askari fell into the hands of the Ethiopian troops.