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View Full Version : Were the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs black or white?


lamb81
01-18-2000, 08:25 PM
When I see photos of the gold mask of King
Tut, I notice very pronounced Negro features.
Nothing I read in encyclopedias mentions
whether the Pharaohs were black or white.

DrFidelius
01-18-2000, 08:42 PM
Well, if the pigments they used in their murals were accurate, most Egyptians had a skin tone similar to the people who live there now. Your basic Mediterranean olive, possibly a bit more on the reddish side. Definately not as light as a Northern European, nor as dark as a sub-Saharan African.

Why do you feel the skin colour of an ancient people is significant?

Major Feelgud
01-18-2000, 08:44 PM
There is a book out there that argues that the Ancient Egyptians were black. But I agree with the 2nd post, based on murals, they appear to the same as the current Egyptians.

neuro-trash grrrl
01-18-2000, 10:16 PM
I believe that the ancient Egyptian language was Semitic, related to modern-day Arabic and Hebrew. This would seem to imply that the Egyptians were Semites as well, and therefore technically Caucasian. However, they had trade and other contact with Hamites and Nilo-Saharans and other African peoples, so substantial Negroid traits probably were to be found in the Egyptian gene-pool as well. So, the answer to that question would probably be "A little of both".

The "theory" going around that Cleopatra was also black is, of course, 100% horse hockey. She was Macedonian.

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An infinite number of rednecks in an infinite number of pickup trucks shooting an infinite number of shotguns at an infinite number of road signs will eventually produce all the world's great works of literature in Braille.

Alphagene
01-18-2000, 10:41 PM
Since when does it have to be either one?

neuro's right about Cleopatra though. http://www.straightdope.com/mailbag/mcleopatra.html



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We gladly devour those who would subdue us.

Jois
01-18-2000, 11:16 PM
In some of the paintings the women were painted a lighter color than the men. Might have been more manly for men to be darker, tanned because of outdoor work or play.

And that could just be one of their artistic conventions.

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Oh, I'm gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

01-19-2000, 01:06 AM
Warning ! I am about to turn this thread into a different and possibly dangerous direction, but I do so out of curiosity. The topic discussed here has lead me to wonder . . . what color was Jesus' skin ? We have seen the westernized version of Him as a white man with long brownish-blonde hair, i have also seen a painting of him as a black man in some churches (where admittedly the congregation was almost all that color as well). Isn't the truth somewhere in between ? And if so, why the need to make Him look like us ? No matter who "us" is ?

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"Solos Dios basta"

ubermensch
01-19-2000, 06:03 AM
i think it's pretty much assumed that jesus was arabic, or some what Mediterranean looking, but there's also a theory that says he was black....but i'm almost positive he didn't look Asian or Scandinavian.
i think somewhere in the archives there's a thread that covers it

TomH
01-19-2000, 06:15 AM
i think it's pretty much assumed that jesus was arabic

I think it's pretty much established that He was Jewish (cf the Was Jesus Jewish? (http://www.straightdope.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/001011.html) thread). In other words, probably dark-haired and with a darker complexion than Northern Europeans.

BTW, I believe that "Arabic" refers to the language and "Arab" to the people.

DrFidelius
01-19-2000, 08:13 AM
Gabriel, I may be able to empathise with your motivation, but the subject of your hijack is a close personal friend of mine and I don't believe He needs to be dragged into every conversation on this board.

If you want to talk about how He has been depicted in art over the years and in different countries, perhaps you could start another thread. Personally, I don't feel it is an important question. If He has a problem with being painted in all the colours that His brothers come in, then He is a much more petty and vain person than I have been led to believe.


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Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
"You cannot reason a man out of a position he did not reach through reason."

Spoke
01-19-2000, 08:54 AM
I agree that ancient Egyptians were probably similar to those of today. In the artwork I have seen, there seems to be a pretty broad range of skin tones. The bust of Nefertiti is positively pink, if I recall correctly. On the other hand, I have seen murals which depict at least some Egyptians as having skin that is quite dark. (And you're right, lamb81, about Tutankhamen's features, in my opinion.)

There has been a movement afoot in recent years to "ethnicize" the Egyptians if that's the right word. In shops owned by and catering to African Americans, for example, I have seen reproductions of the bust of Nefertiti with skin tone considerably darker than the original. It's a pride thing, I suppose, but I don't like to see history re-written that way.

I have no axe to grind, though. Black, white or purple, the accomplishments of the Egyptians are quite impressive.

capybara
01-19-2000, 10:13 AM
I think Neuro-trrrash is right, here. The artistic convention of dark-skinned males and light-skinned females, however, is just an artistic convention (Note that the figures always stand facing the right and are 18 units high (with 2 uits from hairline to neck), too, until the post--Amarna when they are 23 units high)). There was likely some variation between lighter-dark and vary dark. It WAS a large kingdom and probably a bit cosmopolitan. I don't see any reason to think that the egyptians were "white", though, other than the survival of 19th C style eurocentrism. Similar to Semitic, perhaps, but not Swedish in any case.

Bobby O
01-19-2000, 10:58 AM
MK makes the point: Egytians are and were Egyptian, that is, a crossroads for many diffrent types of people. Are Americans white or black? Well what Americans? Mexicans? Canadians? New Yorkers? I'm not sure what the intent of the OP's question is, but maybe it needs to be more specific. Which Egyptians?

Bobby O
01-19-2000, 11:01 AM
Besides, how can we ever know? Artistic representations are not 100% reliable. Even today, with photographs, colors don't come out correct.

Bobby O
01-19-2000, 11:03 AM
Actually, now that I reread the OP, there is no question, so never mind.

01-19-2000, 11:14 AM
I do honestly agree with the Doc, although I do not feel he should have been rough with me. The truth is it does not matter if Jesus was white, black , red, blue, green, grey or purple. What He stood for was far more important. I was simply curious as to the physical representation of the man (?). We can all see what color Egyptians were by watching the History channel . . . but Jesus' color has been quite disputed. I know that SD posters are intelligent and I simply wanted an opinion. Thats all.

mipsman
01-19-2000, 11:38 AM
Dr. Fidelius, why do you ask why he does he feel the skin colour of an ancient people is significant?

Sake Samurai
01-19-2000, 11:44 AM
Yes, Gabriel: DrFidelius' remarks have been inane so far in this thread (which is highly unlike the good doctor). The OP's question about the skin color of the Egyptian ruling class and your question about the skin tone of Jesus are very valid, interesting questions.

To dismiss them for the sake of not offending those who have twisted priorities is preposterous.

If we believe the accuracy of most Egytian murals, and take into consideration the dulling of pigment over the millennia, a whole bunch of them were two-dimensional and bright red. Not very likely. Artists always take liberties.

Jesus clearly was not physically different from the other Semitic people of the area. Nothing of distinction was ever mentioned. We can infer from this that he was just about average in all of his attributes. Say, about 5'8" medium complexion with hearty tan, dark hair, possible beard, brown eyes.

Saying it "doesn't matter" is ignorant and dangerous. What color were the dinosaurs? What language did the Nubians speak? How does the sunset look on Venus? Curiosity is essential to good science.

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Hell is Other People.

Revtim
01-19-2000, 11:48 AM
I'm sure the good Dr is concerned that we may establish that she was in fact black, and then lamb81 will jump into his/her time machine and burn a cross in front of her palace.

You know, I'm getting a little annoyed when people question why you ask certain questions. Sometimes, when you ask about a person's race or sexuality, it is just curiosity, and not a prelude to discrimination.

DrFidelius
01-19-2000, 06:05 PM
So I'm in a piss-poor mood.

Bite me.

jab1
01-19-2000, 06:39 PM
Doc, is something wrong?

As for the topic, my bottom-dollar bet is that, generally-speaking, they were a lot darker than the cast of the Ten Commandments (1956).

Except for Woody Strode. And he was playing an Ethiopian.

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>< DARWIN >
____L___L__

RobRoy
01-20-2000, 04:20 PM
Originally posted by DrFidelius:
Why do you feel the skin colour of an ancient people is significant?

Inquiry into simple truth needs no justification. From neither Afro-centrists who would make them "black" nor German archaeologist who would say that they were "Europeans".

The truth is that they were NEITHER. They were not dark brown ("black") nor Caucasian (with the exception of the very last dynasty, the Ptolemys, who were Macedonian) by any stretch of the imagination, despite years of Berlin and Hollywood trying to convince us of the latter.

Throughout their history, they were ruled by a royal line that traced ancestry from various places and mixed freely. Semetic, Persian, Hamo-Semetic, and also strains from the Upper Nile, with more Negroid features than those from the North.

If Tutankamun looks like an American "Black" that is an astute observation. He is probably of mixed racial identity like American Blacks.

Kilgore Trout
01-20-2000, 10:06 PM
Why do you feel the skin colour of an ancient people is significant?

please keep in mind where you are, sir.

this is the straight dope. everything is signifigant.

just because skin colour issues are often sensitive ones, doesn't make this an invalid
question. would you have said anything if (s)he had asked what colour is the end of a coral snake's tail? probably not.

just relax. it's only skin.



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*what is essential is invisible to the eye -the fox*

Kilgore Trout
01-20-2000, 10:08 PM
You know, I'm getting a little annoyed when people question why you ask certain questions. Sometimes, when you ask about a person's race or sexuality, it is just curiosity, and not a prelude to discrimination.

oops. i didn't notice this.
my sentiments exactly.

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*what is essential is invisible to the eye -the fox*

Johnny Angel
01-20-2000, 10:53 PM
Sake Samurai:

If we believe the accuracy of most Egytian murals, and take into consideration the dulling of pigment over the millennia, a whole bunch of them were two-dimensional and bright red. Not very likely. Artists always take liberties.

This is a point that has been made repeatedly on this thread, that artistic representations do not necessarily reflect accurately on the actual appearance of the people they represent. In fact, Egyptian art is known for its unrealistic conventions, such as making the king larger than anyone else, no matter what his actual size.

But if I'm not mistaken, the famous bust of Nefertiti and other works were made in the reign of an apostate king Akhenaten, who ushered in a brief period of naturalism in art. Nefertiti probably looked exactly as she is depicted in the bust -- except, as you point out, making allowances for fading pigments. But if you'll take a look at a picture of the bust of Nefertiti, you'll notice that nothing on the bust has a washed-out look.

Nefertiti has become a symbolic `nubian queen', but the fact is that there's nothing in her features that distinguish her as clearly `black' in the modern sense.

I'm not an anthropologist, but the bust of queen Tiye, Akhenaton's mother, looks like she could pass for Asian or sub-Saharan African.

The statue of Akhenaton from the temple of Amen Re, ironically more stylized than the two I mentioned above, looks Asian.

Again, I'm not an anthropologist. I'm just suggesting that the art of this period has to be considered in a special light when used as evidence of the racial makeup of the Egyptians.

Doobieous
01-20-2000, 11:43 PM
What I find funny are those who think Cleopatra was from Africa and was therefore "black". People never believe me when I tell them she was of Greek ancestry and her family was not from Africa.

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It's worth the risk of burning, to have a second chance...

moriah
01-20-2000, 11:58 PM
mipsman, why do you ask why he asks why do you ask why does he feel the skin colour of an ancient people is significant?

Jois
01-21-2000, 12:05 AM
..in a piss-poor mood.

Drink more water.

Just a general unsolicited bit of :eek:.

Make up was worn in Ancient Egypt - the various kinds of cosmetics were supposed to fend off bugs, rashes, skin irritations - all sorts of stuff. Ladies even udes powder puffs.

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Oh, I'm gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

RobRoy
01-21-2000, 12:52 AM
Queen Tiye WAS Syrian by all accounts.

African art is considered to be highly stylized, as opposed to Greek. Greek statues are taken as a "norm" of artistic expression and bodily form. In fact, the proportions, being "idealized" make the head a little smaller than normal, not to mention that the "models" used were often for only a single bodypart - ie, a runner's legs, a wrestler's arms, etc. Also the extreme orthognacious face (prominent brow, rather than prominent jaw) would appear strange if actually seen in life.

Egyptian art has, especially in the Amarna period a certain naturalness. And while royal portraiture was idealized other periods, we have Egyptian sculpture, of scribes especially, which depicts rolls of fat and even pear shaped bodies.

As a class, the Egyptian ideal type does seem to draw on features of the area; fuller lips, darker skin (esp. for men) broad shoulders, thicker legs (makes the Greek ones look like Venice Beach tom turkeys), high breasts and almond shaped eyes.

And to focus more on an issue raised above - it IS important to examine racial identity. Was Tiye from Syria? Did Egyptian princesses marry into the house of David? Important questions. It is also important after years of (poor) anthropologists claiming that Egyptians were European.

Where do you think the Aryan=blond stupidity came from? Aryans were a lighter race than the Dravidians they conquered in India. Hardly Nordic, they were related to Modern Iranians (same root word).

astorian
01-21-2000, 08:11 AM
There's a reason that the Middle East is called "the crossroads of the world." It is, after all, where Europe, Asia and Africa connect. Not surprisingly, then, ancient Egypt was inhabited by a host of ethnic groups, as it was constantly being invaded and repopulated by new factions. So, ancient Egypt (like modern Egypt) was inhabited by people of every possible skin color... as dark as Anwar Sadat, as fair-skinned as Mrs. Sadat, and every shade in between.

Were pharaohs like Ramses the Great "black"? Hard to say. My guess is, few of the ancient pharaohs were Negroid... but many of them were probably dark enough that a 1950s Alabama restaurant would have kicked them out.

Now, the reason this issue has become important in recent years is that many African-Americans, for reasons of "pride" and "Self-esteem" have chosen to focus on Africa (Egypt, in particular) as the cradle of civilization, and want to give credit to ancient black Egyptians for everything that was good in the ancient world. Many black Americans want to discredit the intellectual achievements of "white" Greece and Rome, and pay homage to "black" Egypt as the greatest of societies.

Of course, what such pseudo-science neglects is that ancient Egypt was far from Utopia. It was a theocratic state, ruled by absolute monarchs, and its great civilization was built by slave labor. It's ironic that so many black Americans want to honor Ramses, considering that (even if he WAS black) Ranses was a tyrant and a slave owner! Venerating this man in the name of "black pride" (while deriding slave owners like Washington and Jefferson) makes absolutely no sense.

capybara
01-21-2000, 11:04 AM
Regarding the naturalism of Amarna era portraiture;
It's been suggested (the reigning theory, actually) that it *is* naturalistic to a degree (better conception of space, the pose canon has been dropped, etc.), but exaggerated in a different direction than the previous art with regards to figure type due to the appearance of the ruler. There seems to be a bit of evidence that Akenhaten was not, lets say, ideal-looking, and may indeed have looked close to how he does in the pictures-- the odd body and long skull. Since it's good to be the King, artists thought it wise to make representations of other people look similar, not only those who were genetically related but Nefertiti, et al. Akenhaten's physignomic characteristics were actually exaggerated further, as if how the king looked was to be considered the ideal, the the style became pronounced into the second decade of A's reign (notes written by his chief sculptor, Bak, suggest that the style was actually requested/ordered by the king).
The style wasn't popular, apparently, and went out the window along with the monotheism and everything else with Tut's and his successors' return to conservative rule.

RobRoy
01-21-2000, 09:42 PM
Originally posted by astorian:
Many black Americans want to discredit the intellectual achievements of "white" Greece and Rome, and pay homage to "black" Egypt as the greatest of societies.

Independently of the Afro-centrism movement, I have always been struck by the Egyptian antecedents of much of Greek art. Fluted columns, the "Kore" pose of archaic statuary, etc. In a controversial book called "Black Athen" in 4 vols., a theory is presented that the simple resolution of the source of certain cultural trends should be researched through the works of the culture itself. Extensive review of Herodotus' texts themselve show this GREEK giving much credit to Egypt for developments in the alphabet, architecture, irrigation, art, etc. which were supposedly brought to Greece by Greeks who traveled there, marriage and some Egyptians who came to Greece. These references in Herodotus, Pythagorus, and others were routinely ignored by the Anglo and German historians, esp. in the 30's and forward. These books are well researched and do not fit the mold of black power hysterical propoganda. They also do not propose an exclusively Egyptian source for all of Greek culture. They do try to credit the several civilizations that contributed to what we think of as the glory of Greece.

The idea that Greece may owe so much to either Negroid (Egyptian) or Semetic (Canaanite and Phoenecian) antecedents was regugnant to a generation of historians, who I think get a little too wet about Greece and Rome. (we are talking slavery, limited or non-existant democracy, constant war, etc.)

Egypt was not a utopia. Neither was Greece the "cradle of civilization". Our generation was taught that Mesopotamia was - a little more accurate, but generations before were told it was Greece, plain and simple.

As to "black" Egypt...(quoted above). Egypt was in many ways a hybrid of Semetic civilization, but had a strong African component. Marriage customs and family structure immediately come to mind. While perhaps not "black", it was an African society, in geography and culture. It was ruled for several dynasties by kings from the Upper Nile, who were "black" (Nubian - a common king name from these dyns. is "Pianki", which while particular to this line, is actually Egyptian in origin). These kings were the least disruptive "foreign" dynasties to rule Egypt and seemed to have had a strong cultural connection with the Egypt they ruled.

Jois
01-21-2000, 10:45 PM
What made (RobRoy) Egypt so valuable, why did 'disruptive "foreign" dynasties' want Egypt anyway? Hot, dry, buggie, desert, the cycles of the flood must have needed specialists (priests?) to get the times and methods correctly? Was it needed for food or envied for $$$?

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Oh, I'm gonna keep using these #%@&* codes 'til I get 'em right.

J String
01-22-2000, 11:04 AM
There's a good book on some of the historical revisionism discussed in this thread.

Mary R. Lefkowitz "Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Has Become an Excuse to Teach Myth as History."

astorian
01-22-2000, 11:53 AM
White historians get "wet" over GReek achievements? Rob ROy, you really need to get a grip.

No white historian has ever glossed over the shortcomings of GReek society. Current Egypt-worshippers, on the other hand, DO gloss over the flaws of ancient Egyptian society, and worse, they credit it with IMPOSSIBLE accomplishments. There are history books now, aimed at black children, showing pictures of black Egyptians FLYING, for God's sake!!!!. Even the most ardent admirer of ancient Athens has never tried to claim that Pericles could FLY!!!

Why all this nonsense? The REAL accomplishments of ancient Egypt were real enough. They were magnificent architects. They practiced large-scale agriculture, and did splendid things with irrigation. NOBODY denies that the Egyptians' achievements were impressive. WHY do so many latter-day black Americans want to treat Egypt as greater than it was?

Again, it comes back to notions like "Self-esteem." IF, we are told, IF black children knew how magnificent Egyptian civilization was, they's learn to LOVE history, math and science. Without the self-esteem provided by such pseudo-history, they can't succeed in school.

Well, I say that's a load of crap. Euclid and Pythagoras weren't Chinese, but CHinese kids seem to learn geometry just fine in AMerican school.s Paul Revere and George Washington weren't Jewish, but Jewish kids do just fine in American history classes.

If the "self-esteem" theory held any water, Italian and Greek kids would be the most stellar students at American schools, since so much of world history concentrates on the virtues and accomplishments of Italians (Columbus, Davinci, Caesar) and GReeks (Plato, Aristotle, ALexander the GReat). We all know that isn't true.

By all means, study EGyptian culture. It's fascinating, and there's much worth learning. But study ANY ancient culture as it WAS- not as we'd like it to have been.

mipsman
01-22-2000, 08:19 PM
I just spent the afternoon in the Dallas Mueseum of Art and paid a lot of attention to their collection of Egyptian antiquities because of this thread. In the small grave statues as well as the stone carvings/paintings, the men all seem to have Moe style haircuts. Wouldn't it be difficult to make a 'fro 'doo into a Moe 'doo?

RobRoy
01-22-2000, 08:44 PM
Originally posted by Jois:
What made (RobRoy) Egypt so valuable, why did 'disruptive "foreign" dynasties' want Egypt anyway? Hot, dry, buggie, desert, the cycles of the flood must have needed specialists (priests?) to get the times and methods correctly? Was it needed for food or envied for $$$?


It's always about the money - or the food. With the annual innundation of the Nile (approx. June 19th), and it's clock work herald, the heliacal rising of Sirius to guide their process, and strong central control, Egypt was the breadbasket of the Levant as well as eastern North Africa. Grain was traded for wood, spices, etc. Some domestic sources of gold in the upper Nile, and copper in the Sinai made Egypt rich in minerals.

Figures from the bible came to Egypt in times of famine.

Romans needed grain for their wars, thus the constant bickering over Egypt and attempts to make it a separate Roman controlled kingdom and, finally a province.

Once the material wealth had built up in Egypt (early on) and also later in Mesopotamia, the "East" became a pork barrel paradise under the Roman Empire. You become governor, and upon retirement, become a proconsul for life, where in you reap all the kickbacks and land deals you set up as governor - sound familiar? The recent campaign finance issue is very old, and centers on the ageless power of money to corrupt.

The problem in this debate is extremes - Pythagoras was Chinese, and Beethoven was Black on one side, and the traditional Egypt was a European civilization, in culture blood and race, which the Greeks got nothing from, at all.

Both are absurd. Unfortunately more press is spent on the excesses of the PC revisionists. In the book "Black Athena" mentioned above, the truth is said to lie somewhere inbetween, which I think it does. There was a significant Egyptian contribution to Greek and Roman (Catholic, too) society, acknowledged by Greece and less so by those bigoted Romans (they were careful to Romanize everything they stole from Greece).

In the 30's in Germany, anthropologists were given a thick black line to cross or not. New theories about the Asian origins of the Indo-Europeans, their connection to Indian culture, the role of Semites and Africans in creating ancient culture were all under fire. Many had to leave Germany on "political" grounds. The remaining lap dogs created the Aryan myth of absurdly blue eyed blond haired conquerers, the Egyptians were Europeanized, and Romans somehow cleared or their lowly dark mediteranean origins. That piece of revisionism is still the more dominant one than the equally absurd back lash.

Don't worry, more Americans believe that Ancient Egyptians look like Italians ans that Aryans are blond, than even have heard the actually true "Afro-centric" ideas that Herodotus traveled and learned in Egypt (his account of his own actions), or that much of Greek culture was transmitted from the Levant and Egypt.


And a note on the "moe doo", this is simply single braids - the transformation from fro-do to moe-do is done everyday at an African American beauty shop near you....

RobRoy
01-22-2000, 08:59 PM
Now, slightly off thread - A little fast and loose on some other comments above - maybe a closer examination is needed

"Well, I say that's a load of crap. Euclid and Pythagoras weren't Chinese, but CHinese kids seem to learn geometry just fine in AMerican school.s Paul Revere and George Washington weren't Jewish, but Jewish kids do just fine in American history classes.

If the "self-esteem" theory held any water, Italian and Greek kids would be the most stellar students at American schools, since so much of world history concentrates on the virtues and accomplishments of Italians (Columbus, Davinci, Caesar) and GReeks (Plato, Aristotle, ALexander the GReat). We all know that isn't true."

I think this is called a stram man argument. I won't take the bait...exactly.

Let's look at who IS the strongest group academically - Asians, follwed by Whites (in general) including Moslems, and Latinos and Blacks at the bottom. These characterizations are poor at best. Rich Cuban Americans excell, also recent African immigrants (not African-Americans descended from slaves) are the highest educated and income group entering the US currently (State Department Report as summarized on NPR 2 weeks ago).

But to look at Asians - they do not need to be told George Washington or Pythagoras is Chinese - because they have been told in their culture, at home, civic groups, etc, that China gave forth greater lights than these - Confucius, Lao Tzu, et al. Same for Jews, Einstein, Disraeli, Moses Mainonides, Norman Mailer, Eva Gardner (beauty, not just brains), etc.

The problem is that the education of Americans and African Americans was by and for the Whites here and REAL lights like Frederick Douglas, Carver, not to mention REAL African history was glossed over. This current crop of crap is OUR OWN MAKING. Lies beget lies, and as soon as African studies matures, the lies now taught will be as distant as the lies that were previously taught. This didn't happen in a vacuum.

And to make the point, Greek Americans and Italian Americans are successful and DO have a lot of cultural support "racially" in the educational curriculum. Hispanics (a meaningles term) still do not despite the fact that without Moorish/Roman Spain we wouldn't have many of the Greek classics that are infact translation from Greek to Latin to Arabic to Spanish to English.

Most of all the truth should be taught. It is not as if it was before and is not now. It never has been.

Jois
01-22-2000, 09:48 PM
Thank you, RobRoy, that was helpful.

Your concerns about our history/social studies texts are real, but I don't know how we can ever make these texts acceptable to everyone in the USA - imagine the task of getting a single book written by the few of us who have responded to this thread.

RobRoy
01-22-2000, 09:55 PM
I like to stick to the hard won facts. I am always dismayed when talking about the Egyptian influence of civilization....to have some quote thrown at me from Farrakhan or the like that is totally ridiculous ... and that somehow I am expected to defend.

I am a revisionist. All history is revisionist. Even good science is like that. One has to examine each point for themselves and form conclusions.

John W. Kennedy
01-24-2000, 01:35 PM
The problem is that the education of Americans and African Americans was by and for the Whites here and REAL lights like Frederick Douglas, Carver, not to mention REAL African history was glossed over.

Dammit, I went to perfectly normal public schools in perfectly normal towns in Maine and New Jersey in the 50's and 60's, and such things were not glossed over. I was also never taught that Egypt had no influence on Greece.

This whole "were the Egyptians black?" thing, on the other hand, is based on the very real, but very false and outdated notion of three or four "pure races". Were they "black" when, say, compared to Princess Diana? Yes. Were they "black" when, say, compared to Denzel Washington? No. Long before the age of discovery, there was pretty much a continuous gradation of "racial" characteristics from south to north.

You know, it's not as though the Egyptians disappeared. The Copts are, culturally, and to some degree by blood, their descendants.

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John W. Kennedy
"Compact is becoming contract; man only earns and pays."
-- Charles Williams

RobRoy
01-25-2000, 08:56 PM
Relax Jack - I was never taught in the 80's that the Egyptian's were a great influence on Greece, I had to teach that to myself. But maybe that's my sucky school district. Everybody thought it was a GREAT education and it really did suck. I might go as far as the position that Egypt gave Greece a whole hellava lot (more than Greece gave us..) based on books like "Black Athena" which is the most laboriously researched tome I've ever read.

The Egyptians were both/neither black/white in the way we arbitrarily divide it up here.

BlockHead
01-26-2000, 03:52 AM
Consider that Egypt is part of Africa. Digging a canal and saying Egypt is now the "middle east" doesn't make it so.

Also consider, if white people spent the amount of time in the sun that those people do we'd also be looking very tan.

Black & white is a non issue. We are all people and have the same dna/blood. Does a black mans O+ blood look different then my white mans O+? duh.

If it's true that the world we now know came from Noah's sons (shem= semetic people, ham= generally african people & japeth=father of those that moved north, the europeans) then there is truly no difference in us except for the regions of the globe where we ended up. Spend enuogh time in Iceland and I would bet even the blackest africans would eventually become lighter skinned and thinner nosed. It all relates to environment.

cmkeller
01-26-2000, 09:24 AM
Blockhead:

Black & white is a non issue. We are all people and have the same dna/blood. Does a black mans O+ blood look different then my white mans O+? duh.

Not to make a big deal of this, but there are internal differences. Only blacks get sickle-cell anemia, for example.

Not that it makes them a different species than us or anything; my point is merely that race is more than skin-deep.

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Chaim Mattis Keller
ckeller@kozmo.com

"Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks."
-- Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

cmkeller
01-26-2000, 10:49 AM
Quick clarification, before my foot gets too far into my mouth: Them = blacks, Us = whites' by us, I mean "people like myself", not "the people on this board", who come from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Chaim Mattis Keller