Ivan Van Sertima on the European distortion of African history
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You obviously did not truly read/comprhehend my response to you (or I did not do a sufficient job of illustrating my point) to understand the crux of the question and issue as I have presented it. Instead, you choose to continue to present evidence culled from the same sources to prove your point.
Before I respond to your statements I want to ask you a couple of questions:
1. Define "black" for me. Is it a physical set of properties? Is it a genetic set of properties? Is it even possible to define?
2. Define "African" for me. Is it a physical set of properties? Is it a genetic set of properties? Is it even possible to define?
2. Do you acknowledge that there is a strong social/political component to Afrocentrism?
My responses to your points...
Originally Posted by The Unbreakable
Why do not acknowledge any of the evidence that was presented in my previous response to you, which proved clearly that these ancient African people had the biological affinities consistent with black African populations further to the south? Why pretend that our assertion that they were black has no scholarly basis? Better yet what biological evidence do you have to dispute that these Africans were not black?
You say that they had "biological affinities" with "black African populations". This takes us back to the definition of "black". I think that is an important place to start this conversation. My macro point about Diop's research is that he sought to counter the suggestion from earlier researchers that Egyptians and other North African groups were from the "Caucasoid" branch of races. Diop asserted they were not and based on genetic testing, he was proven correct...to an extent. All of the existing genetic evidence proves that there is an admixture of both sub-Saharan and Eurasian genetic material in the Egyptian population. Of course the studies only go back to the 12th Dynasty or so. The further south you go with the testing, the more "sub-Saharan" the genetic influence, the further north, the less the "sub-Saharan" influence.
Since the existing genetic evidence does not go past the 12th Dynasty era, we are left to ponder what older Egyptians were. Everyone acknowledges that there was strong sub-Saharan influence, but that does not prove that the people were "black" or that the root was entirely sub-Saharan.
Where the debate splits is on the assertion that being from Africa or being African immediately equals that they were "black". This is why it is important in the context of the conversation to define exactly what is meant by "black". Diop's assertion was to broaden the definition of "black" from it's classic and completely invented by European definition. A definition that was chosen carefully to exclude certain North African racial groups.
How do you know that it was dedicated to "Afrocentrism" rather than an interest in African history? How you know that those people weren't simply Africanist, like many prominent biologist label themselves today? Do you even know the difference between the two labels?
An Africanist is simply someone with an interest or specialty in African studies.
An Afrocentrist is a researcher dedicated to the history of black people. Most directly someone dedicated to countering the Eurocentric viewpoint and creating a definition of Pan-African identity culturally, historically and philosophically.
I assumed it was an Afrocentric conference as it was presented as such during the introduction of Sertima. Regardless, it was obviously a room full of people who already accepted and believed everything he was saying.
Confirmation that you did not listen to the entire lecture. If you had then you would have heard that the date was actually in the mid 90's as stated by Sertima.
I missed where the date was said. I clued in on late 80's or very early 90's do to the tribute he gave to Diop and remembering his "recent passing". Ultimately it doesn't matter though, the point stands that the video is nearly 20 years old.
Sertima did not state that the Japanese were the smartest civilization on Earth. He actually predicted what is going on now (15+ years later) which is the swift of world focus from the West to East Asia. He pointed out how the Japanese with their modern technology could not replicate the pyramids and stated that for that reason "we are dealing with an extraordinary people" (talking about the ancient Egyptians). He never insinuated anything about racial inferiority or superiority, that seems to be what is wanting to jump to the front of your mind during this discussion.
Sertima's exact quote was, "The Japanese, supposedly (his emphasis, not mine) the most advanced people on the Earth, could not replicate with all of their modern machinery the works of the Ancient Egyptians." One would need to listen to the video and hear his tone to understand the "mocking" point. Ultimately though, one gets out of the video what one wants to get out of the video. For you it is an affirmation of your beliefs, I had a more neutral view (in that ultimately I don't care what "race" the Egyptians were) and I got the sense it was as much grandstanding/pep ralley as anything else.
Everything that he had stated can be confirmed as the truth today with a simple google search. Much of it is common knowledge (amongst Africans), and an Afrocentric myth amongst lazy westerners who don't want to pick up a damn book.
So, it being "common knowledge amongst Africans" must make it true? This goes back to my third quesiton to you about acknowledging the social/political side of Afrocentrism. It is not in and of itself solely a scholarly pursuit, there is an agenda.
Diop was inspired to apply his scientific knowledge and process to proving a cultural and historical link among all of Africa. This grew out of his exposure to the writings and teachings of people like W.E.B. DuBois and the earlier Pan-Africanist movements.
The entire point of the research done by Afrocentrists, including Diop, was to develop a historical basis for a unified African continential identity. They were seeking to prove that all of Africa shared similar roots and Egypt was seen as a key to that. Diop wanted to prove the "civilizing role of the African" as a tool to achieve African independence.
The Afrocentric research was immediately siezed on by the Pan-Africanist movements and various African governments for obvious reasons. Not that the "evidence" was beyond doubt, but because it helped fill in the cultural hole that was left after colonialism and create a bond among all peoples of Africa.
It was not informative to you, because you want to reject everything that you perceive as Afrocentric no matter what the evidence states. You take issue with the "rah rah black Africa" episode of that period, but you don't acknowledge that 200 years prior western academia has openly admitted that there was a "rah rah all things European and f*** black African" campaign. Did you not think that Africa's history was well past due for it's spot in the lime light?
I do not want to reject anything. Read what you wrote again, slowly and carefully. Think about it. While there have been several great contributions to the field of Egyptology by "Afrocentric" reserachers, the majority of "Afrocentric" work is designed to counter the old racist and biased European attitudes towards it. By doing so, "Afrocentrists" have become just as blinded by race in the conversation as the Europeans they are railing against were. One extreme is being replaced with another while the majority of modern research and position has moved well beyond something as petty as a discussion of race in terms of Egyptians.
No you actually have it backwards. It was early anthropologist who attempted to give the most restricted definition of what is a "true negro" when it came to African history, but never used the same restricted on other "racial" grouping (i.e Europeans or Asians). Every racial group was allowed to have natural variation, but when it came to the inhabitants of the most homes grown physical and genetically diverse continent on Earth it must have been the result of admixture. Here is just one example of how ludicrous the narrow definition of a black African was according to the prominent Carleton S Coon:
Carleton Coon - THE LIVING RACES OF MAN - 1973:
Google up every one of these African peoples listed under Coon's "Caucasoid" category and tell me what's wrong with his assertion and implication of their phenotypes?
No, I actually said exactly what you just restated. The "true negro" was defined very narrowly into being essentially "sub-Saharan". Diop argued that this ignored the wide variation of diversity in Africa. Diversity that was openly acknowledged and accepted among "white" populations. We essentially agree here.
What Diop proposed was including this variation into the definition of "black". So, again, we get back to my first question to you, what is the definition of "black"? This is the sticky point with modern researchers and why they have a hangup over the use of the word "black" to describe the Egyptians as there is plenty of contradictory evidence about what they actually looked like.
This is confirmation that you little to nothing about Diop. The entire legacy of the infamous UNESCO Conference of 1974 was based on the fact that Diop and his assistant Obenga wiped the floor with the World's leading Egyptologist who attempting to oppose that the ancient Egyptians were black. Diop demonstrated through biology, culture and language the ancient Egyptians were "Negroes", which met almost no real opposition. The only thing that the angered Egyptologist could say was that these African scholars came well prepared to prove their case, but never got around to presenting their arguments against them.
The entire issue was rather nicely summed up after the conference by Jean Vercoutter:
While acknowledging that the ancient Egyptian population was mixed, a fact confirmed by all the anthropological analyses, writers nevertheless speak of an Egyptian race, linking it to a well-defined human type, the white, Hamitic branch, also called Caucasoid, Mediterranean, Europid or Eurafricanid. There is a contradiction here: all the anthropologists agree in stressing the sizable proportion of the Negroid element—almost a third and sometimes more—in the ethnic [i.e. biological] mixture of the ancient Egyptian population, but nobody has yet defined what is meant by the term 'Negroid', nor has any explanation been proffered as to how this Negroid element, by mingling with a Mediterranean component often present in smaller proportions, could be assimilated into a purely Caucasoid race.
Essentially, Diop is correct, they are not "purely Caucasoid". However, in the absence of a definition of the term "Negroid" we are left with no clear answer as to what the Egyptians were racially. They were not, as has been proven with genetic testing, purely sub-Saharan, nor were they Caucasoid. Hence the rejection of the labelling of Egyptians as "black" and the now prevailing theories of admixture as proven in the genetic record. This state of being unproven is also why modern researchers have completely avoided the issue of classifying Egyptians by race, which is essentially a SOCIAL and not scientific constuct.
This is why people such as S.O.Y. Keita finds "simplistic political appellations (in the negative or affirmative) describing ancient populations as 'black' or 'white' to be inaccurate and instead focuses on the ancestory of ancient Egypt as being a part of the native and diverse biological variation of Africa, which includes a variety of phenotypes and skin gradients."
In fact are you even aware of the points about Egypt that Diop raised in his book to prove that the ancient Egyptians were black? Here they are:
So let's address them...
1.Evidence from Physical Anthropology
The skeletons and skulls of the Ancient Egyptians clearly reflect they were Negroid people with features very similar to those of modern Black Nubians and other people of the Upper Nile and of East Africa.
The following does not dispute the presence of "Negroid" features in the Ancient Egyptians, but quite clearly states that there are variations and the similarities are primarily found in southern (aka Upper) Egyptians, while the northern (aka Lower) Egyptians had different features.
"Analysis of crania is the traditional approach to assessing ancient population origins, relationships, and diversity. In studies based on anatomical traits and measurements of crania, similarities have been found between Nile Valley crania from 30,000, 20,000 and 12,000 years ago and various African remains from more recent times (see Thoma 1984; Brauer and Rimbach 1990; Angel and Kelley 1986; Keita 1993). Studies of crania from southern predynastic Egypt, from the formative period (4000-3100 B.C.), show them usually to be more similar to the crania of ancient Nubians, Ku****es, Saharans, or modern groups from the Horn of Africa than to those of dynastic northern Egyptians or ancient or modern southern Europeans."
(S. O. Y and A.J. Boyce, "The Geographical Origins and Population Relationships of Early Ancient Egyptians", in Egypt in Africa, Theodore Celenko (ed), Indiana University Press, 1996, pp. 20-33)
Essentially the evidence, yet again, would point to a mixture of "racial groups" and features, not a direct Nubian totality.
A. Batrawi made some observations on this same issue:
Since early neolithic times there existed two distinct but closely related types, a northern in Middle Egypt and a southern in Upper Egypt. The southern Egyptians were distinguished from the northerners by a smaller cranial index, a larger nasal index and greater prognathism. The geographical distinction between the two groups continued during the Pre-Dynastic Period. The Upper Egyptians, however, spread into lower Nubia during that period. By the beginning of the Dynastic era the northern Egyptian type is encountered for the first time in the Thebaïd, i.e., in the southern territory. The incursion, however, seems to have been transitory and the effects of the co-existence of the two types in one locality remained very transient until the 18th Dynasty. From this time onwards the northern type prevailed all over Egypt, as far south as Denderah, till the end of the Roman period.
In Lower Nubia a slight infiltration of negroid influence is observed during the Middle Kingdom times. In the New Empire period, however, the southern Egyptian type prevails again. After the New Empire a fresh and much stronger negro influence becomes discernable till the end of the Roman period.
Unlike S.O.Y. and Boyce he is dealing in "racial characteristics and definitions" his observation of the movements and interactions of people remains valid and his work is still influential.
2. Melanin Dosage Test
Egyptologist Cheikh Anta Diop invented a method for determining the level of melanin in the skin of human beings. When conducted on Egyptian mummies in the Museum of Man in Paris, this test indicated these remains were of Black people.
This "test" and the observations that Diop made from it have been roundly criticized. The following is a quote from Alain Froment discussing Diop's "melanin test":
This is why a histological examination of skin to measure the amount of melanin is necessary. Unfortunately Diop's (1973) article sheds no light on this. In fact in twelve pages of text and sixty references only three lines deal with the results: "We can affirm that such an examination reveals, with no doubt possible, an amount of melanin which is unknown among the "leucoderm" races and which indubitably places the ancient Egyptians among the Africans of Black Africa." This is followed by long digressions on prehistory as well as biochemistry in a scientific jargon, which is highly documented but fails to mask the absence of results. No histological illustrations, a sketch of quantification, comparative examinations of skin with different stages of tanning, or reference to other studies of mummies (European, Peruvian, etc.) are provided. Cheikh Anta had photographs about his work circulated at the Cairo Colloquium (UNESCO 1980, p. 799); unfortunately no trace of these remains in any publication and it should all be repeated more rigorously. The Rabino-Massa team (1972, 1981) went much further, but skin of the mummies, unlike the internal tissues, is often altered by baths of the preserving liquids. Moreover, as Szabo (1975) points out, "light microscopic sections from a dark Mediterranean skin can be very similar to those from a Negroid skin," thus more refined techniques such as electronic microscopy should be employed"
Actually the whole thing is a charade and moot because just the mummification process with natron can take a white person to that color. so, that the color of a mummy says nothing about the original coloration of the subject. See M. R. Zimmerman, B. Brier, and R.S. Wade. 1998. "Brief communication: Twentieth Century Replication of an Egyptian Mummy: Implications for Paleopathology," American Journal of Physical Anthropology 107: 417-420.
Basically, Diop never presented any real evidence. He tested a small group of mummies and decided that they had melanin concentrations higher then any "leucoderm" races. Therefore, in his mind, they were all "Black Africans". Since his work contained no baselines, quantitative measurements or comparative analyses it does not meet even the most basic standards of scientific research.
3. Osteological Evidence
"Lepsius canon," which distinguishes the bodily proportions of various racial groups categories the "ideal Egyptian" as "short-armed and of Negroid or Negrito physical type."
To even believe that the "Canon of Proportions" has been solved by either Lespsius or Iversen to be used as a basis for determing "race" is laughable.
It is well known that representations of the human figure in ancient Egyptian art usually conformed to highly stylized principles in which the proportions between the different parts of the human body were determined by a set of fixed laws constituting a Canon of Proportions. Egyptian artists were thereby able to make use of a conventional system of proportion which was found to be aesthetically pleasing, while also rendering their subjects in idealized forms which may or may not have been faithful to the exact proportions of the persons in question.
Basically, Egyptian artists developed a way to draw people, but it is widely accepted (endless citations at the link) that the drawings were stylized to be aesthetically pleasing, not true representations. There is also wide ranging debate over 6 vs. 7 cubit forms and what exactly was an Egyptian cubit.
4. Evidence From Blood Types
Diop notes that even after hundreds of years of inter-mixture with foreign invaders, the blood type of modern Egyptians is the "same group B as the populations of western Africa on the Atlantic seaboard and not the A2 Group characteristic of the white race prior to any crossbreeding."
The current summation of research into bloodtypes is thus:
“Blood typing and DNA sampling on ancient Egyptian mummies is scant; however, blood typing of dynastic mummies found ABO frequencies to be most similar to modern Egyptians and some also to Northern Haratin (Mauritania and Western Sahara—Black Moors) populations. ABO blood group distribution shows that the Egyptians form a sister group to North African populations, including Berbers, Nubians and Canary Islanders. DNA extraction (namely from the 12th dynasty) indicates multiple lines of descent, including sub-Saharan Africa, while the other lineages were not identified, but may be African in origin as well (according to Keita, 1996)”
So, the bloodtypes are pretty much idenitcal to modern Egyptians and are most related to other North African populations. DNA evidence would support multiple lines of descenet, or yet again an admixture.
5. The Egyptians as They Saw Themselves
"The Egyptians had only one term to designate themselves =kmt= the Negroes (literally). This is the strongest term existing in the Pharaonic tongue to indicate blackness; it is accordingly written with a hieroglyph representing a length of wood charred at the end and not crocodile scales," singular. ‘Kmt’ from the adjective =kmt= black; it therefore means strictly Negroes or at the very least black men. The term is a collective noun which thus described the whole people of Pharaonic Egypt as a black people."
This one doesn't even need a sourcing. Diop presented that Kemet meant "black people". However, the common use as can be turned up in any google search is that "Kemet" meant "black land" in reference to the fertile soil of the Nile Valley. The Egyptians had another word "Desret" that is translated as "red land" or the lands not of the Nile Valley. The Egyptians openly referred to where the Nubians lived as "Desret". They also called themselves "remetch en Kemet" which is translated as "people of the black land".
The problem ultimately came down to the various ways Egyptians used "km.t" in their writings. Taking selective evidence, one can "prove" the meaning either way, but taken in total, it seems clear that "kemet" referred to the soil/land and not the color of the people.
6. Divine Epithets
Diop demonstrates that "black or Negro" is the divine epithet invariably used for the chief beneficent Gods of Egypt, while the evil spirits were depicted as red.
This all ties back into the discussion above in number 5 over the use of "km.t". Black, as in the color of the soil, represented fertility. The Egyptians were obsessed with fertility both in terms of sexuality and the harvest, often linking the two. Showing the good god's as "black" was to intone the bringing of fertility. Showing the evil spirits as "red" was done to show a lack of fertility. This all goes back to the dynamic between "black (fertile) land" and "red (infertile) land".
This also ties into the depictions of pharoahs...
This is Tut:
and this is Tut:
Both images were found in his tomb. One shows him as incredibly black, the other as some sort of tan/brown color. The first black image is essentially tied to his representation as divine and fertile.
Then we get to this image from the tomb of Seti I:
From left to right: Libyan, Nubian, Asiatic, Egyptian
Now, what can one deduce from this? Not much. To quote Basil Davidson:
Whether the Ancient Egyptians were as black or as brown in skin color as other Africans may remain an issue of emotive dispute; probably, they were both. Their own artistic conventions painted them as pink, but pictures on their tombs show they often married queens shown as entirely black, being from the south.
Overall, Egyptian images were not necessarily entirely representative of true life. We have images of Egyptians that depict very differently from Nubians in terms of skin color and we have ones that show them being the same. Perhaps the reason is that Egyptians did not view race in the same constuct that we did. However, what is clear is that a simple viewing of images does not prove anything in terms of Egyptian "race" from how we would define it as there are ample examples to prove whatever someone would wish to prove.
7.Evidence From the Bible
The Bible states"…[t]he sons of Ham [were] Cush and Mizraim [i.e. Egypt], and Phut, and Canaan. And the sons of Cush; Seba, and Havilah, and Sabtah, and Raamah and Sabtechah." According to Biblical tradition, Ham, of course, was the father of the Black race. "Generally speaking all Semitic tradition (Jewish and Arab) class ancient Egypt with the countries of the Black."
Can't argue with that, the Bible says, what it says. Although the Bible says a lot of things...
8. Cultural unity of Egypt With The Rest of Africa
Through a study of circumcision and totemism. Diop gives detailed data showing cultural unity between Egypt and the rest of Africa.
Circumcision is also widely practiced in the Levant. This is the part of his theories that are difficult to prove where it was Egypt influencing others or others influencing Egypt. Again, do not forget that he was writing with the purpose of establishing Pan-African unity.
9. Linguistic Unity With Southern and Western Africa
In a detailed study of languages, Diop clearly demonstrates that Ancient Egyptian, modern Coptic of Egypt and Walaf of West Africa are related, with the latter two having their origin in the former.
Again, this is not proving what Egyptians were. As with the cultural practice this is Diop's attempt to draw links between Egyptian culture and the rest of Africa. Several people including Yurco and Diakonoff do challenge certain assertions he made on the influence of Egpytian on other African languages. What virtually all modern linguists agree on is that Egpytian was a unique localized language and not from a Hamitic root. This Egyptian language had an impact on other African languages.
10. Testimony of Classical Greek and Roman Authors
Virtually all of the early Latin eyewitnesses described the Ancient Egyptians as Black skinned with wooly hair.
Simson Najovits disagrees heavily over the translations of the Greek words as presented by Diop. In his book Egypt, Trunk of the Tree Najovits explores the translation of the word, "melanchroes". Diop and others translate this as "black". Najovits, Goldey and Lloyd assert that the correct translation is "dark-skinned". Najovits goes on to clarify what the Greek writers meant:
[Herodotus] made clear ethnic and national distinctions between Aigyptios (Egyptians) and the peoples whom the Greeks referred to as Aithiops (Ethiopians) ... the term Aithiops became the standard Greek designation for the black peoples whom they designated as "scorched faces".
For ancient Greek writers, the Nubians were Aithiops, "Ethiopians", as were the black African peoples. This designation excluded the Egyptians. The very use of the two standard terms – Aigyptios and Aithiops – and their etymological meanings already indicated an essential difference in the Greek perception.
So, there is ambiguity in the translation and meaning of the Greek words. There also remains the fact that the Greeks drew clear distinctions between Egyptians and others as did the Egyptians themselves.
No where have I argued that there is a biological existence of race. Instead what is being argued is that based on how western society has categorized as "Negro" the ancient Egyptians would have fit perfectly into that definition. What authoritative evidence do I have to back up my assertion, well I have Fitzwilliams, Cambridge, oh and that dang Oxford University, remember this:
If you consider me or another layman calling the ancient Egyptians black as "Afrocentric", then what does it make the most prestigious university on Earth above for doing the same? What contemporary authority can you cite who refutes this fact?
The Oxford University work you are quoting is a collection of over 600 articles about Egyptology, which is simply published by the Oxford University Press, not an actual work from Oxford University. They include articles from all aspects, including those that are controversial. You selected one article as if it spoke for the entire volume or was the official position of Oxford University, it is not. The Encyclopedia is essentially nothing more then an academic journal and there are articles in it that refute the position you are presenting.
The Encyclopedia offers the most complete picture available of ancient Egyptian civilization, from the predynastic era to its eclipse in the seventh century CE. Here is the Egyptian world in illuminating, accessible detail: art, architecture, religion, language, literature, trade, politics, everyday social life and the culture of the court. Of special interest is the coverage of themes and issues that are particularly controversial—such as the new theories of the origins of complex society in the Nile Valley, new discoveries about Greco-Roman Egypt, and new developments in literature, religion, linguistics and other fields, includingthe debates about Egypt's African legacy.
Ah, so they are simply giving equal coverage to all sides of the existing debate. That is exactly what I would expect the "most prestigious university on Earth" to do. However, the man who edited and assembled the work is Donald B. Redford a professor from Penn State University who was educated at and primarily taught at Toronto University in Canada.
Interestingly you don't provide any citations or quotes from these "scholars" whom you claim debunk the fact that the ancient Egyptians were black.
You wanted a list of researchers, I provided them. I also clearly stated that quite a few on the list were only critical of the more extreme claims of Afrocentrism while others derided its political and social motivations, pointing out the fallacies of arguing against previous research that was done through a "white racial lens", by simply replacing it with a "black racial lens".
What I will finish off with is the simple statement that I don't particularly care what race the Egpytians were. It does not impact my emotive understanding or respect and interest in them if they were black as charcoal or white as snow. I find the explorations of where people came from to be interesting, but balk at the assigning of modern ideas on race to those people, whether it is being done through a white lens or a black lens.
I stumbled across this page while researching my responses...
...which were again; not designed to refute or prove the "whiteness" of Egyptians as you seem intent on implying to anyones response, but merely to present some of the counter evidence to the claims made by Afrocentrists. Afrocentrists have contributed greatly in breaking down the old Eurocentric belief in the "whiteness" of Egyptians, but in my mind they have gone a step too far in claiming the absolute "blackness" of the same and reaching for whatever evidence could be found to prove it do to the agenda they were operating under.
This is quoted from the linked website and I think does an excellent job summing up my feelings on the matter:
There has been a spate of controversy of late between "Afrocentric" authors and their critics, but the truth is that Egyptologists are not involved in some massive conspiracy of lies designed to subjugate black populations, as has often been charged. Indeed, most modern Egyptologists are rather taciturn when it comes to the subject of race. Nor have the black Africans been "robbed" of their legacy. Civilization as it exists today is the culmination of the historical development of mankind, layer upon layer from ancient times to modern, each group contributing its share to the whole. Through human interaction, whether by trade or warfare, ideas, reform, and invention are assimilated, adapted, and again dispersed. It's the nature of history regardless of ethnicity. To make petty and arbitrary distinctions based on human physical appearance is divisive and can only lead to wanton racist misuse. No good can come of it beyond establishing immediate and limited familial ties; beyond this the discussion of race has no place in science. We can safely conclude that the ancient Egyptians were of various skin colors, few of which were light judging by the climate.
With that I think our conversation will have to come to an end. I will not sway the theories and evidence you are convinced by anymore then you will utlimately sway me. At the end of the day the difference again is that you care, I don't. It doesn't matter one iota to me what ancient Egyptians looked like, but it obviously matters very much to you. So, feel free to have it. The ancient Egpytians were black, as black as any black person you can find. I concede to the totality of your argument and your evidence. They were black, they are the cradle of "southern civilization" and the basis for a Pan-African culture and identity whose complexity and achievements are to be admired. Black men built the pyramids, the sphinx and the wonders of the Egyptian temples. Their civilization continues to mystify us to this day. Does that make you feel better? Does that validate who you are? Does that give you an identity that you so desperately seek? Does that make up for colonial exploitation, slavery and the racial bias propagated about your history?
I'll even go one step further. I submit in totality to the theories laid out in Black Athena. The sum of western civilization, everything it holds dear and counts as truth, primarily our social and philosophical learning is rooted in black African culture. Therefore, western civilization itself is nothing more then an extension of the Pan-African culture imposed upon a different continent. It was "black" civilization that conquered, enslaved and exploited black civilization. It was that same "black" civilization that placed the master above the slave in the New World to exploit his labor. It was that "black" civilization that drew distinctions along lines as petty as skin color and the shape of noses and craniums.
Since we are essentially "black", at least culturally, maybe now we can move beyond the petty arguments of skin color and accept the fact that race itself is nothing more then a social construct with no grounding in biology or science. Our genomes are 99.9% identical to each other, as different as I imagine you and I look, we are essentially the same. Since our differences were therefore essentially cultural and we have now reached consensus that our cultures are actually the same, maybe we can move past all of the unpleasentness.
I must say The Unbreakable, you have lived up to your name. This has been some interesting readings and you have can out on top in every exchange. There is a large segment of the population that have been culturally conditioned to believe black is inferior and white is superior. Both Ivan Van Sertima and Cheikh Anta Diop have worked tediously to shatter the stranglehold this flawed perception has on African history. I’m not sure if you’re a fan of Psychology but Dr. Frances Cress Welsing brakes down in detail why this type of worldview is here. A prime example of this viewpoint being expressed is in your opponent’s unwillingness to attack, address or acknowledge the blatantly hideous example in this thread quoted by yourself at least twice. Instead your opponents try to discredit the movement so they can marginalize the findings.
Wow, I read the thread and thought the opposite. And I have no dog in this fight....
I would consider myself a pretty decent debater and as a debater you have to look at the mechanics of each argument to decide a winner. There are no feel good wins in debating. For example the OP started off with the introduction a presentation. What happened next are people started to ridicule the content without even having listened to the lecture. This indicated that their opinions were already unmovable without a complete understanding of what was being discussed (strike 1). Next, the counter arguments were made to highlight the fact that a lot of the information that Diop spearheaded has been widely accepted or proved. The counter argument to that was to discredit Afro-centrism as a technique or viewpoint instead of the OPs points. This perception was inherently biased do to the fact no other types of viewpoints were attacked and everything is viewed from a perspective (strike 2). Next, racist logic was applied to attack African history without applying those same standards to other cultures. From there a statement was made accusing the OP of racism without applying those accusations to a blatantly racist comment from the opposition (strike 3). There were multiple other exchanges the OP excelled in before the opposition gave up but I think by now you should get my point. All in all it was a good debate.
I'm closing this thread for moderater review. It's going to be a few hours as there is a lot to look at.
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