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August 17, 2021
Do we have an Egyptian obsession?

Is it True that Africans and African Americans are obsessed with Egypt? maybe just a tab? After all the Nubian empire was a thing and the African presence is still recognisable today. One lady still has questions and wants answers!


When you hear the word Egypt odds are, your mind will automatically think of pyramids, Gods and sand. That’s not to say that you’re wrong, but for others Egypt is a reminder of their Nubian ancestry and an importance part of their blackness. The world has always been a melting pot of different people and cultures living closely together, however dating when and how these cultures lived with each other has always been a historical crutch. It’s no secret though that modern diaspora africans have staked a claim on ancient Egyptian history, and rightfully so. The African presence is etched on the ruins of Egypt with the Nubian presence still prominent today.


However has this Nubian reminder become an obsession in recent times? One lady begs to raise the question.

lets clear something first, the ethnicity of ancient Egypt (at least till the time of roman-Egypt) is lost to history, any body who claims they know the answer 100% is lying to you, nobody knows for sure but we know that the answer most likely complicated. don't be embarrassing and say ancient Egyptian are black because Egypt is in Africa when Africa is a continent not an ethnic identity. i am Sudanese and in Sudan we have literally a tribe of people who are came from Hungary and Arabs from Saudi who have been in the country for centuries, the world was never as homogeneous as what people seem to think. the point i am trying to make is that we should stop obsessing over a place that isn't ours even if ancient Egyptians were black, you don't see white people from Russia claiming french arts or Japanese people claiming west china as their own ancestors the same way many non-Egyptian blacks do. the truth is so many black people feel inferior about their own history and legacy that they go arm in arm with people to claim Egypt as their own just to feel associated with something great. if ancient Egyptian were black, that's great, if they weren't, that's great too. there are thousands of amazing cultures from black people in Africa that people can respectively explore and learn about and there isn't any shortage of information about it irl literature, museums and the internet so why do we ignore all of that? is it because you don't find them as great or interesting as the Egyptians right so you make it your life mission to claim it as your own?.


Not every one agreed with the above

#1


Don’t want to straw man but am curious about which Africans obsess/adulate over a hypothetical Black Egypt[ian] empire? I have W.African heritage (Nigerian) specifically and have generally been around other W.Africans (from nearby nations to Naj) my whole life and never experienced a hyper-focus on Egypt. Now W.Africans are grossly class obsessed (and tribalism is its own giant issue) but I haven’t saw that lead into a fixation with a [Black] Egyptian empire/Egypt in general. Edit: clarify I’m a diasporian (one of the American born ones, not a continental African so yeah)

#2

I can’t speak for every African of course but I can say confidently that our already acknowledged tribes/ethno-identities/tribal supremacy are a large part of the focus of Africans. There’s no entire erasure in heritage or identity to that of Black Americans to lead into such placeholder like Egypt..

Despite the above, others wanted to clear the air, diving into the complexity of this topic. African history was famously disrupted which blocked off access to ancestral roots for a lot of our displaced ancestors. Though time may have passed and new cultures have risen over the old. Africans across the diaspora, especially African Americans are indulging in their ability to reclaim their ancestral stories as far back as we can trace.

source: pexel

#3

Hard disagree. Black folks make a big deal out of claiming Egypt because black folks have been completely denied a history. It is literally more plausible to white folks that aliens (ALIENS!) built the pyramids than that black people, who existed on the continent in every other part surrounding Egypt for millennia, could have built them. Egypt was subject to a number of invasions but the original folks in that part of the world shared more of the same physiology as the rest of the folks on the continent. The Arab and European ethnicities who migrated to the continent did so much later than the earliest Egyptian dynasties, and there isn’t any evidence that has proven otherwise. I’m not sure people really understand and appreciate just how far back Egyptian civilization goes. Ancient Egyptian kingdoms had already reached their centuries-long peak and then fallen SEVERAL times before Europeans and Arabs got there. And actually, it’s not even clear that the Europeans who migrated were of the same phenotype that we see today, since there is some evidence that the original inhabitants in the Mediterranean were darker skinned (altho not what we would call black today, and I don’t know much about that part of the world tbh so please don’t quote me on that.)

Going on to conclude that

The point is, no one has been systematically denied a coherent and valuable history the way people of African descent have been. Russians don’t claim French literature and arts because they have an incredibly rich literary and artistic tradition of their own (that has been preserved). And not for nothing, Japanese people actually do very much see themselves as part of the Chinese cultural heritage. It is not the fault of black people that we feel inferior about our history when that was literally the point of the colonial project. And that is why it’s especially important to the part of the diaspora that has descended from enslaved people. I have personally never heard an african person claim Egypt’s cultural or racial heritage for their own, but if they do I would guess a similar logic— that the legacy of colonialism has made them want to take ownership over what they were robbed of when entire systems of knowledge were wiped out by Europeans.

So what’s the verdict? are we obsessed or is this just our time to walk through the fragments of our scattered history? Either way our history is there for us to discover, we’re making up for a lot of lost time so it makes sense for things to look obsessive at times. We should be patience with one another, centuries of interference needs time and patience.

Frizz team member

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