Let me set the scenario, imagine you meet a young black man/woman dressed in ancient Egyptian regalia, now such people are usually outspoken and they seem to possess a lot of information about the ancient kingdoms of the Egypt. As the conversation deepens you begin to discover a theme; everything revolves around Egypt, Pyramids and the Ankh.
To me, it seems like the more skilled they are, the better they are at connecting and linking random events in history to ancient Egypt. Now I don’t mean to offend anyone, but surely when you see an black person claiming to be of Egyptian heritage, you end up doing a double take of some sort (At least I do).
This has happened to me more times than I can remember, but on this particular occasion I couldn’t resist the urge to question the individual’s beliefs. This actually occurred a couple of years ago, when a friend of mine dragged me to a Black scholars event in London. Initially I thought that the discussion would be centred around African philosophy and new frontiers for development in the continent but I was mistaken. Throughout the 45mins of this show, we learnt about Aliens and Pyramids, Ankhs and how “the white man stole technology from Egypt“… The host concluded by imploring everyone to claim their ‘original’ ancestry and visit Egypt.
After the event I began talking with other individuals there and that is when Mr Ankh joined the conversation, he referred to himself as ‘IMHOTEP’ or something like that and I just couldn’t keep quiet any longer. So I asked him, politely if I may add – to tell me why he seemed to have an obsession with Egypt?
Taken aback, he replied with his own question, asking me why I thought that he was obsessed with Egypt. I pointed out the obvious and then I went on to inform him that this particular line of discourse ignores the many kingdoms that existed in Africa. It was at this point that the tone of the conversation took on an assertive form. He claimed that I was ‘lost’ and that I was not aware of my royal heritage. We went back and forth for about 15 mins until I became quite thirsty and so I decided to end the thing before I passed out. I told him that the only way to prove his Egyptian heritage was to do a DNA test. He vehemently refused my proposition, claiming that the ‘Evil White Man’ was going to manipulate his DNA in order to deny him the true knowledge of his ‘history’.
I smirked and shook my head, this conversation was going no where. I felt that I had done enough to prove my point whilst he kept repeating one myth after the other. I pointed out that the vast majority of slaves from the Transatlantic slave trade were taken from the West coast of Africa. Not Egypt, Morocco or any other North African country. I gave examples of many African American celebrities who’s DNA test results point to present day Gambia, Nigeria, Congo, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, Ghana and a host of other countries in that vicinity.
I pointed out the existence of Slave Museums in Badagry (Nigeria), Slave castles in Ghana and a host of other real life artefacts that exist as evidence of the mass transportation of what would be his ancestors, but they were to no avail.
His mind was set, he was Egyptian and there was nothing I could do or say to convince him otherwise. I walked away from that conversation with a slight headache and a very parched throat.