Daily Knowledge Drop: Were Ancient Egyptians Black?
[caption id="attachment_841" align="alignleft" width="248" caption="Cheikh Anta Diop"][/caption]
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The controversy regarding the race of the residents of ancient Kemet (Egypt) aka the "pyramid builders" still exists, but only in the minds of those who are uninformed or whose racial prejudices prevent them from accepting the truth. Another failing of our educational systems. Racism has played, and still plays, a major role in how people of color are portrayed in world history.
The scientific proof that ancient Egyptians were Black was presented in 1978 by Cheikh Anta Diop at the Cairo Symposium. Diop developed the "melanin dosage test," which was a simple test that could determine the phenotype of the Egyptian royal mummies by examining the melanin content present in their skin. Diop states, "...show a melanin level which is nonexistent in the white skinned races. Let us simply say that the evaluation of melanin level by microscopic examination is a laboratory method which enables us to classify the ancient Egyptians unquestionably among the black races."
Anthony T. Browder sums up the continuing debate quite nicely:
Despite the research of Drs. Diop and Obenga, numerous issues concerning the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians and the Egyptian contributions to civilization continue to be discussed and debated. Some scholars will never accept the fact that Africans (blacks) had anything to do with the development if Nile Valley civilizations and the culture that emerged in the northern most region of the Nile Valley, Egypt.
If this doesn't convince you, more evidence can be found written in heiroglyphs by the Egyptians themselves. According to Browder:
Carvings from the tomb of Rameses III (1200 BCE) portray the Nubians and Kemites as identical and Indo-Europeans and Semites as profoundly different in physical appearance and dress.
It is as foolhardy to suggest that the people of Kemet were phenotypically different from their Nubian, Sudanese or Ethiopian neighbors, as it is to suggest that the people of France, Switzerland, and Germany are phenotypically different from one another.
Why does any of this matter? The reasons are many and explanations are lengthy, but a knowledge of Black/African history is an important baseline to establish cultural pride, the will to continue certain cultural traditions, and protect against cultural attacks from outsiders and those that would downplay our importance on the world stage. Ancient Nile Valley Civilization was unequivocally the most advanced civilization in recorded history until modern times. We still can't replicate some of the structures they built or systems they produced. There has been an attempt to take this history away from Black people (and Africa by claiming that Egypt is apart of the Middle East) and attribute it to Caucasians, Arabs, or Semites. But this is Black history and we must learn it and teach it as such.
For hundreds of year Europeans have controlled and manipulated history and how it is recorded and perceived with the aid of so-called objective scientists and historians. This affects how we think about the past and possibilities for the future as well as serves to enhance the belief (by white and non-white people alike) in the superiority of European/Western civilization and that it is the originator of modern civilization itself (science, math, philosophy, religion, etc). Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a struggle against attempted cultural assassination and mentacide.
Browder puts it this way when paraphrasing George Orwell, "Whoever controls the image and information of the past will determine what and how future generations will think; and, whoever controls the information and images of the present, will also determine how those same people will view the past."
Source: Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization by Anthony T. Browder, Introduction by Dr. John Henrik Clarke