Preamble -- Background Information (Sphinx of Giza
& more...) -- SECOND: Context -- Definitions
Critiques of Afrocentrism & Eurocentrism -- THIRD: An
Alternative -- Truthcentrism -- FOURTH: Article -- Confessions of a
Budding Truthcentrist -- FIFTH: More Thoughts -- The Racial
Makeup of Ancient Egyptians -- SIXTH: Images -- Ancient Egyptian
Photo Gallery portal (230
C OO N N T T E
E N N T T S S
...is not the
For about 15 centuries, people,
fascinated, gazed upon Egyptian hieroglyphics without comprehending
In 1799, LT Pierre Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone (below)
while building Fort Julian (see to left--now Fort Rashid) on the
west bank of the Nile during Napoleon's Egyptian campaign. the
proclamation carved on it, praising Ptolemy V in 196 B.C., is of
relatively little significance; what is important is that the
inscription appears in three texts: Hieroglyphics, Egyptian Demotic
Script and Greek. (click
here later to read entire text)
Jean Francois Champollion (below,
right) was a
brilliant linguist who worked from an 1808 copy of the Rosetta
Stone's inscription. He labored on it for 14 years without ever
seeing the stone itself. In 1822, Champollion finally decided that
"Ptolemy" might be read phonetically -- patiently
reconstructing the name, sound by sound from the Greek and Coptic.
Twenty-three years passed before the Rosetta Stone finally
surrendered its secret in 1822 -- which began with the deciphering of
"Ptolemy's" name.(Click on the Rosetta Stone image below for
more historical information
about full-size, 3-D replica project developed by Joel Freeman.)
Other inscriptions on artifacts like
obelisks and monuments could now be read. These discovery spawned an
even greater interest in Egyptian archaeology. Anthropologists and
archaeologists were presented with quite a challenging conflict.
In the early 1800s,
around the same time Egyptian Archaeology was maturing, the
Middle Passage (slave trade) was in full swing. In order for
Europeans to justify the economic drive of the slave trade,
blacks had to be viewed as non-humans. Animals. Tools for
building the dreams of Europeans.
In stark contrast to
the picture of blacks being painted by those who favored the
slave trade -- anthropologists and archaeologists were
discovering more statues and other artifacts which presented a
different view. Black people had indeed created the many
pyramids and other artifacts. What to do? The Egyptians had
left behind a huge "Picture Album".
After you have finished this page, please visit:
more important information below.
When visiting Egypt today,
this is what we see of The Sphinx of Giza.
This is what Vivant Denon
saw in 1798. See what
he wrote below as an eyewitness.
(an eyewitness) etched the image
of the Sphinx of Giza (above, right) around 1798.
If the Sphinx of Giza had been defaced before 1798,
is it reasonable to conclude that Denon would have at least
mentioned it? Just a thought.
In his written account, Denon
stated, "...Though its proportions are colossal,
the outline is pure and graceful; the expression of
the head is mild, gracious, and tranquil; the character is African, but the
and lips of which are thick, has a softness and
delicacy of execution truly admirable; it seems real
life and flesh. Art must have been at a high pitch
when this monument was executed…”
-- Universal Magazine, 1803 (owned by The Freeman
Clean Water Drilling Rig for Africa.
By Africans for Africans. No donation is too small
VIDEO: The Controversy Surrounding the Sphinx of Giza
Etchings of the Sphinx of Giza from 1579 - 1668
Does this look like an African to you?
After you have
finished this page (below), please feel free to visit:
BUT FIRST CHECK OUT THE
IMPORTANT INFORMATION BELOW
C O N T E
AFROCENTRISM & EUROCENTRISM (Important to understand before
reading "Confessions of a Budding Truthcentrist")
A F R O C E N T R I S M|||||
(also Afrocentricity; occasionally
is a reading of world history that emphasizes the
importance of African people, taken as a single
group and often equated with black people, in
culture, philosophy, and history. It can be traced
back to the work of black intellectuals in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but
flowered into its modern form due to the activism of
black intellectuals in the U.S. Civil Rights
Movement and in the development of African American
Studies programs in universities.
Proponents of Afrocentrism claim that the
contributions of various African cultures have been
downplayed and need to be excavated from beneath an
"official" historical record that has deliberately
kept them hidden.
keep in mind that the objective of this website is to provide
even-handed definition & critique of BOTH Afrocentrism AND Eurocentrism (keep reading).
||| CRITIQUE of
AFROCENTRISM | (Wikipedia) Its most radical forms have been
accused of historical revisionism and pseudohistory that
Africans were responsible for many of the great
innovations in ancient philosophy, science, and
technology, which were later stolen by Middle Eastern or
European people. Critics contend that such "Afrocentric
historical research" is grounded in identity politics and
myth rather than scholarship.
Afrocentrism has been
criticized. Some mainstream Western scholars have assessed
some Afrocentric ideas as pseudohistorical. They find
fault with such claims as that Ancient Egypt was a black
civilization, and that it contributed directly to the
development of Greek and Western culture (on the grounds
that the times of development do not align). In addition,
they argue with the contention that African civilizations
were founding influences on such distant civilizations as
the American Olmec and the Chinese Xia cultures. Clarence E. Walker (African
professor, UC Davis) writes, "Afrocentrism
is a mythology that is racist, reactionary, and
essentially therapeutic. It suggests that nothing
important has happened in black history since the
time of the pharaohs and thus trivializes the
history of black Americans. Afrocentrism places an
emphasis on Egypt that is, to put it bluntly,
absurd...I'm an old-fashioned intellectual critic. I
don't like a lot of work being done in the field. No
history should be presented as an exercise in
celebration...What black people really need is a
usable present, not a usable past."
...Not Out of Africa: Among scholarly critics, Mary Lefkowitz's Not out of Africa:
How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as
is widely regarded as the foremost critical work. In
it, she contends Afrocentric historical claims are
not grounded in sound scholarship. Lefkowitz (Caucasian, classical
studies professor emerita, Wellesley College) makes her case by confronting the following questions:
1. Were the ancient
Egyptians black? 2. Does racial identity
3. Did ancient Greek religion and culture come from Egypt? 4. Was
5. Did Aristotle raid
the library at Alexandria? 6.
Did Plato study in Egypt?
7. Did Aristotle steal
his ideas from the ancient Egyptians?
8. Was Cleopatra black?
Marissa Larsen (National
Geographic staff) writes,
"...Afrocentric Egyptology is less a scholarly field
than a political and educational movement, aimed at
increasing the self-esteem and confidence of African
Americans by stressing the achievements of African
civilizations, principally ancient Egypt."
Afrocentric Egyptology is described as having four
main points: 1. Ancient Egyptians
2. Ancient Egypt was superior to other ancient civilizations.
3. Egyptian culture had tremendous influence on the later cultures of
Africa and Europe.
4. There has been a
vast racist conspiracy to prevent the dissemination
of the evidence for these
Carroll (skeptic.com) wrote the following when
reviewing Mary Lefkowitz's book:
"It is not an
accident that the students of Afrocentrism and
catastrophism act more like disciples of a guru
than students of a scientific teacher. They are on
a mission, not a quest. And, as with many before
them with noble goals, they believe the end
justifies the means. Hence, it is nearly futile to
engage them in debate. Scholars have difficulty
debating opponents such as Afrocentrists,
catastrophists, creationists or even
anti-abortionists, because they expect their
opponents to be civil and play by the rules of
scholarly evidence. They mistakenly believe they
have entered an arena where all sides are in quest
of the same truth. What they are actually getting
into is a street fight, where the goal is to
defeat and humiliate your enemy. Their opponents
don’t follow traditional standards of evidence in
their printed arguments and diatribes, so why
expect them to be any different in a public
debate? If you challenge their accuracy, they will
question your integrity. If you ask for evidence,
they will insult you. If you challenge their
sources, you will be asked to prove the absolute
certainty of your sources. You think the arena is
an intellectual one where the combatants use wit
and intelligence to score points, but while you
are looking above your opponent’s shoulders, he
will kick you in the groin. You may have the
evidence and the arguments on your side but your
opponent doesn’t care about the evidence and is
not interested in your arguments. He already knows
the truth."If Afrocentrists upset you,
then Eurocentrists should as well, and maybe even
more, as their views have dominated the history
books and popular culture (in film, the ancient
Jews, Egyptians and even some Chinese and Japanese
characters have been played by European
actors….and they always, always have British
accents). And those same views helped to advance
the abuses and excesses of
imperialism/colonialism, but that’s another topic
other critics of Afrocentrism state that much
historical Afrocentric research simply lacks
scientific merit and that it actually seeks to
supplant and counter one form of racism with
another, rather than attempt to arrive at the truth.
(Read the rest of this
page and then feel free to return to read more of
here and Molefi Asante's response to her views
advanced technologically that they were literally flying in
the sky around the pyramids."
Truthcentric question: Why dabble around with
unverifiable fringe material when there is so
much well-documented information to communicate? The fringe stuff
seriously discounts credibility. It is much better to
communicate information that is corroborated by verifiable research.
Why do some Afrocentrists feel the need to over
reach? Why not concentrate on the wealth of
researched Afrocentric material that can pass muster
in any debate?
...OBSERVATION: Alex Haley (author
of Roots) once
stated, "To know where you are going, you need to
know where you have been." But is there also wisdom in what
African American Professor, Clarence E. Walker has stated? "What black people
really need is a usable present, not a usable past."
Do the critics of Afrocentrism have valid points? A
question for each reader to ponder.
We learn from history that we don't learn from history. When it
comes to encouraging greater individual awareness
about the contemporary significance of history, I am a big fan of gateways. I am always thrilled when anyone
develops an interest in any aspect of history (young
or old) and I
am not that concerned about the gateway people enter
or the specific cultural spark that helps to ignite
one's passion for studying history. Whatever floats
But don't park your brains. It sure would be great if the good
old critical thinking process was encouraged by all
once that passion for history has been sparked. By
the way, neither Afrocentrism or Eurocentrism has
cornered the market on critical thinking!
present too much one-sided material in an effort to get
the attention of Eurocentrists regarding the
overwhelming amount of documented evidence that
challenges some of the Eurocentric views, which have dominated
and embedded themselves in educational institutions
on both sides of the Atlantic for well over a
...Questions for Afrocentrists:
the ancient Egyptians black? Don't be too hasty with
your answer. If your response is "yes" -- then there
is an obvious follow-up question that must be
addressed. Did the ancient Egyptians own and
enforce slave labor? The ancient record states that
Jews were enslaved by the ancient Egyptians for
approximately 400 years. The Exodus story was
Harriet Tubman's inspiration -- hailed as the "Moses"
of the Underground Railroad.
It would seem to be intellectually dishonest to whole-heartedly accept and
promote one culturally-appealing perspective and
then dump or push away an inconvenient truth.
Qualifiers did not work for the pro-slavery element
back in 19th century America ("yes...but
the slaves at that plantation were well cared for
and seemed to be quite happy").
Nor do qualifiers make sense when trying to
understand ancient Egyptian/African history ("yes...but
slavery was different back then...it was culturally
acceptable...more of an indentured servitude").
Let's be gut-level honest. And let's not fudge the
truth with "yes, but..." SLAVERY
IS SLAVERY. No matter how one seeks to define it or qualify
it, regardless of the ethnicity or race of the
people perpetrating it -- Arabs, Europeans,
Africans, Asians, etc.
...NOTE: Many Eurocentrists
tend to focus on the fringe excesses communicated by some Afrocentrists, creating
"straw men arguments" that are shot down as
laughable examples -- easily debunking Afrocentrist claims.
But when credible research is dismissively rejected,
with the wave of a hand by the Eurocentrists as pseudohistorical or
mythical, it can create an atmosphere of frustration
-- which is not an intellectually healthy
environment for either side of the debate.
U R O C E N T R I S M |||||
is the practice of viewing the world from a European
perspective and with an implied belief, either
consciously or subconsciously, in the preeminence of
The term Eurocentrism was
coined relatively late, during the decolonization
period following World War II, based on an earlier
adjective Europe-centric which came into use
in the early 20th century. The term appears in
precisely this form in the writings of the German
General, author and geographer Karl Haushofer during
||| CRITIQUE of
EUROCENTRISM | (Wikipedia)
African and African American scholars such as Molefi Asante
professor, Temple University) have
categorically highlighted the prevalence of
Eurocentric thought in the processing of much of
academia on African affairs.
Edgar Alfred Bowring (British
stated: "In no other major
civilization do self-regard, self-congratulation and
denigration of the ‘other’ run as deep, nor have
these tendencies infected as many aspects of their
thinking, laws, and policy, as they have in Western
Europe and its overseas extensions." Owen 'Alik-Shahadah (cultural
notes: "The Eurocentric discourse on Africa is
in error because those foundational paradigms which
inspired the study in the first place were rooted in
the denial of African agency; political
intellectualism bent on its own self-affirmation
rather than objective study." Alison Bailey (professor, Illinois State
"Philosophical methods are well suited for unpacking
the political, ontological, and epistemological
conditions that foster racism and hold white
supremacy in place. However, on the whole,
philosophy as a discipline has remained relatively
untouched by interdisciplinary work on race and
whiteness. In its quest for certainty, Western
philosophy continues to generate what it imagines to
be colorless and genderless accounts of knowledge,
reality, morality, and human nature."
...EXAMPLE: "None of the
ancient Egyptian pharaohs before the 25th Dynasty
Truthcentric question: Why hold on to such a view
when there are many images of pharaohs that clearly
show Egypt is and always has been located on the
continent of Africa? This comes across as
disingenuous at best, especially when gazing at statues of ancient pharaohs
bearing obvious Afroid
features. What's even more intriguing are the
over-reaching attempts by Eurocentrists to explain
away those obvious features.
Common sense isn't always common practice. Many
Eurocentrists say, "The
ancient Egyptians were of a mixed race."
Let's push the fast-forward button. The
same is true in America.
If you consider the Black population in America
today, according to African Ancestry (African
Lineage Database, developed by Dr. Rick Kittles)
approximately 30% of
African American males have a European Y chromosone
haplogroup. (OBSERVATION: They have European DNA,
but are not able to participate in the social
benefits that European DNA generally brings.)
Approximately 58% of African
Americans have the equivalent of one
great-grandparent (12.5%) of European ancestry.
Because of this one can see a "mixed race" --
exhibiting a wide range of skin colors, varying
from very dark to very light.
Ancient Egypt was positioned at the crossroads of the ancient
world. Could it be that the
ancient Egyptian population reflected a similar
racial makeup? When
Afrocentrists say that all Egyptians were Black,
there is eyewitness evidence to support that claim.
Herodotos traveled extensively in Egypt in the 5th
century BC and he described the Egyptian people as
having black skins and wooly hair.
Most classical scholars respond by stating the reports
from Herodotos about Egypt are unreliable because he couldn’t
speak or read the Egyptian language, and was
therefore unable to critically evaluate the
information he was given there. A valid point?
I think not. It would not apply in
this case, because when Herodotos gave a physical
description of the people in Egypt he was just
his own language)
what he saw with his own eyes.
Here are a couple of comments made in response to a
blogger who had posted a number of images of ancient
Egyptian statues that proved his/her point about the
"whiteness" of ancient Egyptians.
RESPONSES TO BLOGGER:
a person who claims that an Ancient African
population was comprised primarily of indigenous
Africans, based on numerous cranial and skeletal
studies (Keita, Sonia Z, Brace (recent), etc).
Eurocentric- a person who claims that an
Ancient African was comprised primarily by non
indigenous Africans, with little to no scientific
evidence for their claim, and the profound
assertion that for an African to claim an African
civilization as such is theft to the modern mixed
population of that present country!"
"There are a
number of places around the world where you could
find people who look like this, and depending on
the culture, some might be considered “black” and
others “white”, when in fact, they are neither one
or the other. Depends on the standard you use.
Many Afrocentrists are American, and in the US,
you can have mostly European ancestry and still be
considered black; in fact, most “black” people in
the states have a good percentage of European
and/or indigenous American ancestry. Yet not too
many people go all out to prove that African
Americans (and lots of Afro-Caribbean's) aren’t
black. If Afrocentrists upset you, then
Eurocentrists should as well, and maybe even more,
as their views have dominated the history books
and popular culture (in film, the ancient Jews,
Egyptians and even some Chinese and Japanese
characters have been played by European
actors….and they always, always have British
accents). And those same views helped to advance
the abuses and excesses of
imperialism/colonialism, but that’s another topic
...Questions for Eurocentrists:
Honestly. Why spend so much time and energy trying
to prove that the ethnicity of ancient Egyptians is
anything BUT black? We are all looking at the
same Egypt located on the same continent of Africa, the same statues, and
we are all reading
the same history books. There are many who do not
understand your zeal in what appears to be a quest
to whitewash an entire culture, regardless the
evidence to the contrary. Some even laugh out
loud at the extreme measures employed in seeking to explain away what
seems so obvious to people viewing the same issues at
Tut's DNA: Once you are finished reading this
page, feel free to come back [click
here] for the January 2012 article (pdf)
published by DNA Tribes®that provides
a geographical analysis of several ancient Egyptian
mummies, including the famous King Tut and his
lived in a unique time more than three thousand
years ago: the “Amarna period,” which has left a
vivid archaeological record of life in pharaonic
Egypt. You may be surprised by the results!
It is commonly
accepted that King Tut's father, Akhenaten, and his
mother, "the Younger Lady," were brother and sister.
Therefore, both of Tut's parents were the offspring
of Amenhotep III and Tiye. Chancellor Williams
asserts that Queen Tiye, Tutankhamun's grandmother,
was Black and that her offspring were Black.
released an analysis, based on 8 forensic autosomal
STR markers, of the Amarna Pharaohs concluding that
"Results indicated the autosomal STR profiles of the
Amarna period mummies were most frequent in modern
populations in several parts of Africa."
-- Average MLI scores indicate the STR profiles of the Amarna
mummies would be most frequent in present day
populations of several African regions: including
the Southern African (average MLI 326.94), African
Great Lakes (average MLI 323.76), and Tropical West
African (average MLI 83.74) regions.
Allow me to introduce a futuristic concept
with a contemporary application to the
controversy surrounding the question -- Were the
ancient Egyptians Black?
Let's just say it was currently in vogue in North
America to mummify a cross-section of
people after they had died. Work with me on
this. Fast-forward to 1,000 years from now. In
the same way people are currently debating the
ethnicity of ancient Egyptians, in the future one would be hard
pressed to determine the race of many mummified
African Americans. You might laugh out loud
right where you are sitting, but you know what I
am considering is plausible.
For instance, when confronted with photographic &
eye-witness evidence, there are seemingly-intelligent people today who believe
that the Jewish Holocaust never happened in Nazi
Germany in the 1940s. And that's only about seven
It is not far-fetched to
think that 1,000 years from now people might be engaged in a similar debate, with
respected professors trumpeting ideas like: "Obama was
not black because..." Just saying...
Greek Miracle: The idea that the
classical Greeks suddenly burst on the scene out of
nowhere in the 6th and 5th centuries BC is often
referred to as the “Greek miracle.” The
Afrocentrists’ main point is against the proposition
that the real history of civilization only begins
with the Greeks — that the Greeks were the creators of
philosophy, of science, of politics, of mathematics,
of medicine, of theology, of art, of everything of
intellectual value — and that they owed no debt
whatsoever to earlier civilizations — especially
NOT to the Egyptians.
It seems plausible that Greece would have been
influenced by Egypt. During their heyday, powerful
ancient Egypt, Great Britain, United States, etc.)
tend to influence other less-powerful countries.
century BC) was
told by Egyptian priests that Greece had received a
lot of knowledge from Egypt. Priests told Diodorus some of the same stories four centuries
later. Early church father (2nd/3rd
mentioned that Greece was heavily influenced by the
Egyptian and Hebrew cultures. Isn't that a
pretty powerful indicator that Greek culture had
indeed been influenced by Egypt?
Ancient Egypt ruled for a longer period than most world empires, defying the normal, brief
span of time generally reserved for such empires.
It's the cycle Edward Gibbons discussed in
his book, The History of the Decline and Fall of
the Roman Empire.
Even if Herodotus, Diodorus or the early
church fathers could not decipher hieroglyphics...there
was plenty of time and opportunity for Egypt to make an impact on
Greek culture. And there are a number of evidences one
can point to that indicate this "Egypt-influenced-Greek-culture" reality.
Let's boil it down to street level. Cultures, with
languages foreign to other countries, influence the
average person in those other countries all the time
-- in spite of the linguistic issues. Hand-smacking-forehead kind of stuff. Once again,
~~ TRUTHCENTRISM ~~ Same picture. Different frame.
R U T H C E N T R I S M
|||||Winston Churchill once observed that the history
books are written by the victors in a conflict. This
may be true, but I also wonder about the way history
is interpreted by successive generations. Does the
dominant view take hold, shouting down any
challenges to its perspective? Or is a gentle debate
encouraged, with everyone searching deeply and
honestly for the truth?
Truthcentrism is the practice of
viewing history from an exegetical view...not eisegetical
view. As much as possible setting aside preconceived notions
when seeking to interpret and understand ancient history,
along with its contemporary impact on
culture/society. Both the head (documented
truth) and the
heart (relationships) matter.
...EISEGESIS (subjective) [Wikipedia]: is the process
of misinterpreting a text in such a way that it introduces
one's own ideas, reading into the text. This is best
understood when contrasted with exegesis.
...EXEGESIS (objective) [Wikipedia]:
In contemporary usage it means a critical explanation of any
text. The goal of exegesis is to explore the meaning of the
text which then leads to discovering its significance or
relevance. Exegesis includes a wide range of critical
disciplines: textual criticism is the investigation into the
history and origins of the text, but exegesis may include the
study of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the
author, the text, and the original audience. Other analysis
includes classification of the type of literary genres present
in the text, and an analysis of grammatical and syntactical
features in the text itself.
Let's look at this within the context of the topic of this
page. While exegesis draws out the meaning from the text
and documented research,
eisegesis occurs when a reader reads his/her
interpretation into the text and the documented research -- "My mind is already made
up, so don't try to confuse me with any images, DNA or
other documented material that give a credible alternative
view. I am only interested in what supports my own theories."
This is an important aspect for both Afrocentrists
and Eurocentrists to consider.
Exegesis tends to
be objective when employed effectively and is willing to
challenge previously-held beliefs when confronted with
regarded as highly subjective and is influenced easily by
material that supports their previously-held beliefs,
rejecting credible evidence that communicates
another view. An individual who practices eisegesis is known as an eisegete, as someone who
practices exegesis is known as an exegete.
would hope that everyone reading this piece wants to be an
exegete, when seeking to determine the ethnicity
of the ancient Egyptians and other matters that emerge. A
Truthcentrist is committed to the truth, as best as he/she can
determine, regardless of the emerging picture (good, bad,
or ugly). It would be wonderful if we could stop the
finger-pointing. What can we learn from each other?
What are the
principles one can apply as a Truthcentric exegete? This would
be a great topic for any college classroom. Feel free
to email me
on this matter...
There's a lot of positive/negative emotion and passion to go
around. Let's take a look at what seems to be happening:
...FROM AFROCENTRIST PERSPECTIVE -- For centuries Eurocentrists
have set the rules for research and reporting on ancient
Egyptian/African history and similar topics. It has only been
mere decades since the Afrocentric view has developed
traction. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out
that Afrocentrist feel like they are up against an almost
impossible task -- catching up and then seeking to reverse
some of the biased and false information in mainstream
textbooks and lectures that Afrocentrists believe have
permeated North American and European educational
institutions. Those who boldly proclaim and publish their
convictions detail the subtle and blatant disrespect they feel
from much of the "established" educational community. Internet
blogs, DVDs, book publication and film production become some
of the alternative methods for communicating their research.
EUROCENTRIST PERSPECTIVE -- Many Eurocentrists feel
like they have to shut down what they are truly thinking
and feeling for fear that they will be branded as racists
or bigots. Those who do boldly speak up in the public
forum with their unvarnished opinions about ancient
African/Egyptian history detail the disrespectful
treatment they have received from some Afrocentrists.
Effect Afrocentrism and Eurocentrism seem
to be on a collision course at every turn. If this is
true, it is not a good atmosphere for reasoned
conversations. Heat emerges. Tempers flare. Things
are said. Feelings get hurt. The line between
Afrocentrists and Eurocentrists widens. There are no easy
I'd like to
be a part of a growing group of people who commit to
mutual respect when discussing such topics. Both the "head"
(documenting truth) and the "heart"
are important. No egg shells. The
weird/petty stuff that generally clings to political
correctness is set aside. Seeking first to understand
before seeking to be understood.
None of us have a 360 degree
perspective on this or any other topic. I don't. We all have blind
spots in our research. And I am hoping that you might point
them out to me. That's why we need
each other. Academic programs need to be held accountable and
peer reviewed. Confident people always learn more from their
critics than from the others who may think they are the
greatest thing since sliced bread.
Here are a few suggestions for all of us to consider -- Afrocentrists, Eurocentrists and Truthcentrists alike:
afraid to hear/read what critics have to say
-- you may learn something.
Remember...it's what we learn
after we think we know it all that really counts. 2. ...Give them your ear
but within reason. Ear Reverently. If you can see their side, they’re more
likely to take a look at yours. foul language or name-calling is not the basis for a
...Don’t take it personally
-- most critics are attacking ideas, not people. Choose
over arrogance or confrontation.
...Don’t try to convince
-- present your ideas in an orderly manner, but remind
that most critics cannot be convinced.
...If critics choose to remain
anonymous, ignore them
-- cowards tend to hide behind
the supposed anonymity of
6. ...Keep your ego out of the
-- practice emotional
intelligence. When possible,
create space between the
critique and the response. Time can give perspective.
7. ...Feedback is your good friend --
use it if it’s useful. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes
you stronger and smarter. There are three main ways to
deal with feedback: a). ignore it, b). accept it all, or c).
figure out what’s relevant and actionable, and use it to
learn and grow in your research skills.
Confessions of a Budding Truthcentrist
~ S e a r c h i n g f o r C o m m o n S e n s e ~
by Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D.
incontrovertible. Panic may resent it; ignorance may
malice may seek to distort it; but there it is."
first to understand before seeking to be understood."
what we learn after we think we know it all that really
E L C O M E !
Perhaps you bumped into this page through youtube,
facebook, twitter, linkedin, a google search, a friend's
recommendation, or a link from another website. I am glad
you stopped by. I promise to tell you exactly what I am
thinking. And I'd love to hear your "unvarnished" response
to what you are about to read.
Want to start a red hot debate or even a blood feud?
Go to a
Classics lecture on most any North American or European campus, raise your hand
during Q&A and then utter the following: "Ancient Egypt was a Black
civilization!" Stand back and experience the shock and
awe as incoming verbal fire
rockets are launched in your direction. And I'm not kidding...
EUROCENTRISM? There is excellent research and
knowledge on both sides of the coin. And then again, I have
some puzzling, head-scratching conclusions once I have "looked
under the hood" of both viewpoints. I am searching for some sanity in the midst
of the fringe views on both sides of this hot potato. This
an emotional issue for many. I am proposing a different word
for this topic. Truthcentrism.
about a Truthcentric perspective -- one that melds
together the best research from both views? Perhaps we could call it the
"e.T.a." approach. Shedding light on the
is downright obvious and gently challenging the information
that cannot be corroborated by original sources. At the risk
of sounding corny, you can help to determine the "estimated
Time of arrival" (eTa)
to a more truthcentric approach to this remarkable topic.
Still a corny concept? Yup, but it'll have to do for now...
[ eurocentrism ]
<<<<<< T R U T H C E N T R I S M
[ afrocentricsm ]
a student of ancient African history -- always a
student, never an expert.
There are many others who have studied this discipline in far
greater, peer-reviewed depth than I have on this particular
topic. And I have much to learn from them. Two ears. One
FLATTERY When you
have finished reading this piece feel free to leave your
unvarnished thoughts and opinions for the "Assault
& Flattery" page. I certainly DO
NOT have all of the answers! Just trying to figure out some
things that I missed in school...
continue to read extensively on all sides of the debate and
there are still aspects about the contemporary interpretation
of ancient Egyptian/African history that are puzzling to me. For
instance, I am intrigued by the people who seem to devote
time and energy trying to make sure that ancient Egyptians are
viewed as anything BUT black.
Allow me to give you a bit of personal background that may be
relevant to this topic, and will also put your finger on my
pulse. Here's an overview:
With travels to 50+ countries around the world (including
much of Africa),
I bring a passion, a respect for others and curiosity to
my varied interests. I am a happy skeptic when it
comes to swallowing accepted views -- hook, line and
a lot of first edition books ranging from the 16th-20th
Centuries on relevant topics, which
tend to give a better view of history as the writers saw
it. I have learned a whole lot more by listening and
reading than by talking.
around Egypt have included the Cairo Museum, Giza, Alexandria,
Rosetta Stone was found)
and many other sites throughout the region.
19 years I served as mentor/chaplain for the NBA
Washington Bullets/Wizards (1979-'98).
During this time I had in-depth conversations with many of
the African American pro athletes about the role people of
African descent played in history. These conversations
caused me to study about such topics that previously were
not even a blip on my radar screen. This is where I
embarked upon my journey into Black History.
1995 co-wrote the book (with Don Griffin), Return To Glory: The Powerful
Stirring of the Black Man -- endorsed by Bill Cosby, Ben
Carson, Joe Frazier, Julius "Dr. J" Erving and many
others. The award-winning film version was released in
2003. The discipline of co-writing a book (and
documentary film) that would
ultimately contain 14 pages of research notes, forced me
to scratch well beneath the surface. The book was vetted
by a legal scholar before it's publication.
...BLACK HISTORY COLLECTION Even though I own an extensive collection of genuine
History (3,000+ with oldest piece 1553), I have no earned degree in
Black History, Egyptology, Archaeology, Anthropology, or
the Classics. I will always be a student of such topics,
never an expert. And I rather enjoy being a life-long
learner. My Ph.D. is in the discipline of
Psychology/Counseling, with the bulk of my education from
STONE REPLICA PROJECT
I have developed the world's first
full-size, 3D, museum-quality replica of the famous Rosetta Stone
available to the general public, along with many early 19th
documents & artifacts related to the history surrounding
NATIONS EXHIBITS Twenty documents and artifacts from my Black History
Collection were showcased in the main lobby of the
United Nations for two months (15
March - 15 May, 2011)
in their Transatlantic Slave Trade exhibition and
again in 2012 (26
March - 10 June, 2012).
The average number of visitors reviewing the exhibit: between 4,000 - 5,000 people per day
(total of at least 250,000 per exhibition). A number of
The Freeman Institute collection pieces have been included in an international
UN-sponsored traveling exhibition. Already 11 nations
are scheduled to host this exhibit, with more to come.
Very grateful for this remarkable opportunity.
...BLACK HISTORY GALLERY
ultimate reason for cobbling together my collection is to
Black History galleries in
communities all across America and also in selected cities
internationally -- designed to educate and inspire young
people of all ages.
I was raised in Alberta where prejudice was directed more
toward native Indians. Raised in Canada, coupled with
extensive international travel has helped to inform my
at Eastfield College (Dallas, Texas)
The ongoing racial divide in America is both
perplexing and heart-breaking to me. There is enough pain to
go around. I am a big fan of ownership of the historical
truth about the good, the bad and the ugly (by
and then employing the entrepreneurial spirit to move
forward...in spite of the pain. Sounds simple and almost
formula-like...but it isn't that easy.
Some people have majored on book knowledge. Others have amassed
a lot of
experience. I have tried to balance the two -- filling in the missing gaps to my formal education.
As much as possible I seek to live a truthcentric, curiosity-driven life.
...AFRICA I have
lectured for the Association of International Schools in
Africa (AISA) conferences several times, working in some manner with just
about every international school on the continent of Africa
(Egypt included). These connections have stimulated many
wonderful conversations around this and other topics.
KINGS & QUEENS
In 2002 I participated in a conference with well over 100
African Kings and Queens in attendance (Benin).
This was a very informative experience. We discussed the AIDS
crisis, tribal warfare, and the issues surrounding conflict
resolution. I asked questions about many other topics, getting
at least 30 hours documented for a future film.
those who come to this topic with intellectual honesty,
respectful dialogue and
insatiable curiosity -- Afrocentrists, Eurocentrists, religious,
agnostics, skeptics, the traveled and untraveled alike.
This topic is a wonderful vehicle for connecting with
on a deeper level.
Since this topic surrounding the ethnicity of ancient
Egyptians tends to attract flame-throwers on all sides, I
refuse to argue or debate with anyone online, especially those
operating with a secret online identity. By the way, I have
observed and experienced unprofessional behavior from both
Afrocentrists and Eurocentrists.
been called many names and some of the following examples are
tame: "Freeman is a ni**er lover, a white guilt-ridden
idiot, a shameful character, a fetish for black people, a
pathetic self-hating white, a
blatant shyster, a snake oil salesman, a Jewish bast*rd (even though
I lead annual trips to Israel and my name sounds Jewish --
Joel Arthur Freeman -- I have no Jewish roots), a cynical
fraud, a one-dimensional con, a dark motivation behind
whatever he is doing, an f***ing moron, a clown, a vile creature, a black
supremacist, an ignorant dimwit, a feel-good guru, a negro
sympathizer, a twerp, a bulls**t
merchant, a white nitwit, a crackerman...the biggest loon in
the entire fake negro history movement."
Hmmm...A collective look at 3rd Grade humor at best. My
response is to laugh out loud at such juvenile behavior. And then I go
do the next thing.
"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause."
Plain and simple. It is a ridiculous waste
of time to debate with anonymous people, because they can make personal attacks without accepting any personal
responsibility. We all can choose
between being reactive (energy-draining)
or proactive (energy-giving). I just don't have the
interest, the inclination, the time, nor the energy for
ignore people (identifiable
who engage in the childish practice of name-calling...hurling personal insults and
invectives at others who have studied -- coming to different
conclusions. One-sided anonymity does not provide the
environment for such mutually beneficial conversations.
However, I do enjoy pleasantly spirited conversations on
relevant topics with real people who hold to the value of
mutual respect. I invite anonymous cyber-bullies to
willingly come out of the shadows to reveal their identities
and then to demonstrate what they have to offer beyond their
good form + substance + open identities = a win/win
Joel at Defense Security Service (Quantico, VA)
person (including me) or institution has a corner on all of
the facts, but as much
as is humanly possible, I seek to be Truthcentric.
example, I do not believe that all of the Pharaohs of Egypt
were black after the 25th Dynasty. There was a brief revival
of Egyptian leadership (354-293
for the most part it was over, with two periods when the
Persians ruled and then the Greeks and the Romans.
instance, every image (on a coin, sculpture or otherwise) I have ever
seen of Cleopatra VII is one of a more plain, Caucasian-looking woman. Alexander the
had conquered Egypt around 332 BC, setting up the Greek Ptolemaic line.
Outsiders were ruling Egypt.
Cleopatra VII was a Pharaoh in this line. Most Afrocentrists will disagree with me on this point, but in
my opinion, none of the Pharaohs during the Greek (Ptolemaic),
Persian or Roman periods
were black, including the most famous of the Cleopatras.
to win the "Cleopatra-was-black" debate tends
to hit earnest supporters with a 70% discount in the
credibility department. Other historic figures like Queen Tiye
may be a better focus. There is so much other primary research that can make one's point
without expending time or energy
trying to prove that Cleopatra was black. Just an observation...
...NOSES & LIPS
We all have seen the damage done to the Sphinx of Giza. Were some
noses and lips on ancient Egyptian statues knocked off because of collective or individual
racist intent? Perhaps. But we probably will never know for sure.
Truthcentic Alert: I do
believe that some noses and lips were knocked off of statues
by Pharaohs, solely for the purpose of destroying the
predecessor in his/her afterlife. Once the statue was defaced,
the dead Pharaoh's life would be snuffed out. Most
ancient Egyptians believed that the spirit of a dead person
could live beyond the grave, but only if some remembrance - a
body, a statue, or even a name - of the dead person existed in
the land of the living. (BBC)
...EXAMPLE: It is reported that Tuthmosis III
defaced many of Hatshepsut's statues, images and titles after her
death in 1457 BC. She had effectively been cursed with endless
death. Some of her statues had their noses and lips knocked
off to cause her to suffocate in the afterlife.
The Eurocentric perspective is the commonly-taught
historical view in most colleges and universities. Having
read literature published on both sides of the issue, I am
very aware of the various views.
Many Eurocentrists seem to react to the
perceived excesses of some
Afrocentrists. But then they categorically deny what is
obvious to many students of ancient African/Egyptian history.
instance, many who
hold to the Eurocentric view believe that none of the Pharaohs
were black (except for perhaps the 25th Dynasty). I disagree. Egypt is in Africa (not the Middle East).
The February 2008 issue of the National Geographic magazine had a
cover article, "Black Pharaohs." The article was
well-written and rather informative...but it included
several major inaccuracies
linked article disagrees with my assessment of Cleopatra's
ethnicity and I respect his studied opinion.)
...BACK OF THE BUS I know
that I am about to make a point that resonates primarily with
the African American experience, but I firmly believe that,
given the "one-drop-of-blood-rule," all
of the Pharaohs (up to and including the 25th Dynasty)
would have been required to "sit at the back of a bus" in the
1940s in Montgomery, Alabama. You will be able to read more
about the "one-drop-of-blood-rule" below.
Regardless of your perspective on this topic, "Building
Bridges to Afrocentrism: A Letter to My Egyptological
Colleagues" (by Ann Macy Roth,
professor at New York University) is an interesting,
challenging article for both Afrocentrists and Eurocentrists and is worth reading.
Click here to review it and
then feel free to return to view the ancient Egyptian photo
to turn a gentle corner. Egypt has always been a place of
fascination for the ancients outside the region of Egypt. For
instance, two of the seven wonders of the World were situated
in Egypt -- the Lighthouse (Pharos) of Alexandria and the
Great Pyramid of Giza (preceded other 6 wonders and still
As mentioned above, the Rosetta Stone (click
to review my Rosetta Stone replica project) was discovered during the Napoleonic
Egyptian Campaign in 1799. In 1822 Jean Champollion was able
to crack the code of hieroglyphics. Once the code of
hieroglyphics had been cracked, it brought a renewed
interest to that region of the world.
first time in thousands of years, utilizing the new-found
skills of reading Egyptian hieroglyphics, people could
corroborate certain historical events, people and places --
unlocking the secrets of ancient Egypt.
Stone Replica Project
discovery of the Rosetta Stone and subsequent understanding of
the esoteric hieroglyph language was the connection that
brought everything to the forefront for "modern" people to
wrestle with some realities.
European archaeologists, anthropologists and historians were
in a catch-22 situation. On one hand they were seeing images
of people with clear Afroid features as they traveled around
On the other hand, there was the terrible history of the slave
trade that had been going on for approximately 350 years
prior. For Europeans to justify the economic drive of the
slave trade, there had to be the denigration of people of
African descent. (Also,
let's not forget the complicity of African Kings in bringing
their warring neighbors to the slave traders.)
Since the slave trade had been going on for some 350 years,
the negative view of Black people had permeated much of
Europe, South and North America and the rest of the world.
There was a crisis of conscience, especially in the mid
1800s. How are the European archaeologists, anthropologists & scholars going to
interpret and communicate what they are seeing and understanding, to an
eager outside world? In my opinion, they blew a wonderful
opportunity to share the truth. Instead most went to all
sorts of ends to try to present Egyptians as though they
were not of African descent. The book, Black Spark, White
Fire (by Richard Poe) addresses the ethnicity of the
ancient Egyptians in a most ingenious and well-documented manner.
...ONE-DROP RULE The one-drop rule worked in the US -- one drop of black
blood makes one black. Let's reverse the standards for
archaeologists and anthropologists when viewing ancient
history -- one drop of white blood makes you white, no
matter how curly the hair or thick the lips. All of this
impacted the world.
...FREDERICK DOUGLASS Even the great orator and abolitionist, Frederick
Douglass, commented on such matters in July 1854 when speaking
to the students at Western Reserve College (founded
1826 in Hudson, Ohio). His topic was, "The Claims of the
Negro Race: Viewed in a Psychological and Physiological Light."
Read the article about this speech (click
here), written by Horace Greeley and transcribed directly from an original copy
of the New York Tribune.
(owned by The
WEBSITES that may be of interest ____________________
LAND OF HAM What if
the original Egyptians were unmixed, pure black
folks from Africa? Perhaps you have heard of Ham, one of Noah's
sons. It is interesting to note that the Biblical
record states several times that "Israel also came into Egypt...the land of Ham."
(Psalm 105: 23). Egypt was called the land of Ham. Having studied
the "Table of Nations" (Gen.
carefully, I find that rather intriguing. Three of Ham's sons
set up shop in Africa: Put (Lybia),
Cush (Sudan and Ethiopia), and Mizraim (Egypt). By the way, the name, Mizraim,
literally means "two Egypts."
Abraham's new name was a promise of what was to occur.
Nothing to do with Ham...or his skin color.
The name means exalted father, which could have felt
like a cruel joke to him. He had no children. It's was his
desire to have a son...an heir.
ABRAHAM: At 99 years of age God made a covenant with
him. See the stars in the sky? See the dust of the earth? He
would make him a father of many nations. He changed his name
from "Abram" to Abraham." Some take that to mean that Ham
was somehow involved. Or that Abraham might be black. Not
HAM: "Ham" actually means many or
multitude -- Father of many nations. Then Isaac was
born. Abraham did not see any evidence of the meaning of his
name while he was alive. But we now know that it was true.
Many nations came out of Abraham.
It's all about context and the ripple effect of ideas. In my
opinion, there was the convergence of many events and ideas
that forced 19th century European scholars, anthropologists,
social thinkers and historians to wrestle with the
racism and intellectual bias specifically targeting
people of African descent.
this convergence have influenced the way European/Caucasian scholars
on both sides of the Atlantic categorized the ethnicity of ancient Egyptians? Perhaps we
will never know for sure, but here are a few thoughts to
and the Rosetta Stone:
the code to hieroglyphics in 1822, unlocking the secrets of
ancient Egyptian history -- causing an even more focused
interest in Egypt and the ethnicity of ancient Egyptians in
the mid to late 1800s.
...the on-going debate about slavery:
The Slave Trade
started in the late 1400s and was abolished in 1807 in UK and
USA. After that, many in Europe and America fought against the
Trade. British and American naval vessels released many
Africans bound for slavery. But the cultural/intellectual acceptance
and on-going practice of the enslavement of Africans was still pervasive in
Freeman Institute Black History Collection has many
books and documents substantiating this reality).
Three hundred+ years of justifying the economic drive of
the Trade by denigrating people of African descent had
embedded itself in the collective consciousness of people
around the world. There is little doubt that this thought
process leaked into the halls of higher education during the
19th century. Wait, but there's more...
...the theory of evolution was taking form during mid 1800s:
This is not an attempt to leap into the middle of the "Evolution
vs. Creation" debate. Instead, I am intrigued by the theory's potential cultural/societal
influence upon the
thinking of many scholars during the mid-late 19th century.
...GREAT CHAIN OF
A concept derived from Plato and Aristotle and refined inthe 1500s, the
Great Chain of Being
naturae, literally "ladder or stair-way of nature")
was a hierarchy that linked all living organisms of the world,
God being first, then the angels, demons, stars, moon, the king,
princes, nobles, then other
subjects; it went all the
way down to the smallest animals, plants and minerals. IMPORTANT: The purpose of the existence
of the lower beings of the chain was to serve the higher
arose with this system: some organisms and species did not fit
neatly into the mold.
...LINNAEUS Shah Hossain writes, "In 1677, Dr. William Petty of England came up
with a solution. He announced in a paper to the Royal Society
that the missing link they had been looking for consisted of
"savages", beings that fit between Caucasian men and other
organisms. Thus, he also naturally concluded that since they
were lower on the Great Chain, they were brought into being to
serve and follow the will of the beings superior to them. At
the time, his contemporaries did not pay much attention to his
idea. But fifty years later, Swedish biologist
Linnaeus (pictured to left) revived his notion."
fast forward to the 1800s. It is verifiable fact that Darwin
personally detested slavery. But undeniably racist elements in
the theory emerged when seeking to determine the transition between
apes and Caucasian humans (see
image to the right).
In 1859, Charles Darwin released a book which is considered to
be the foundation of evolutionary biology: On the
Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the
Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life(Some
state that the concept of "race" had a wider definition in the
mid 1800s. I have read such opinions providing only anecdotal
evidence, but is still open to debate...).
"Favored races?" asks writer, Eric Lyons. "Did Darwin believe
that some races, or 'species of men,' as he referred to them
(1871, p. 395), were favored or more highly evolved than
others? Although he steered clear of these ideas in The
Origin of Species, his second major work on evolutionary
theory, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to
Sex, published in 1871, did address the issue."
launched the first chapter of The Descent of Man with
these words: 'He who wishes to decide whether man is the
modified descendant of some pre-existing form, would probably
first enquire whether man varies, however slightly, in bodily
structure and in mental faculties; and if so, whether the
variations are transmitted to his offspring in accordance with
the laws which prevail with the lower animals” (1871, p. 395).
Gliddon's Indigenous Races of the Earth (1857) used
imagery to suggest that "Negroes" ranked between whites &
chimpanzees (image from
in his chapter titled “On the Affinities and Genealogy of
Man,” Darwin wrote:
future period, not very distant as measured by centuries,
the civilized races of man will almost certainly
exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the
world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as
Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be
exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies
will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a
more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the
Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as
now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. (p.
Lyons goes on to state, "Clearly, Darwin was convinced that
the more 'civilized races' (e.g., Caucasian) would one day
exterminate the more 'savage races,' which he considered to be
less evolved (and thus more ape-like) than Caucasians. Darwin
believed that 'the negro' and 'Australian' are like
sub-species, somewhere between Caucasians and apes." (pp.
Francis Galton (cousin
of Charles Darwin), a very intelligent man, published a
celebrated book in 1869, Hereditary Genius. Galton used
a sort of grading scale to point out where each race is
located in the
classification system he used lay according to its range of
intelligence. Africans were two "grades" below the average
Englishman. He later coined
the term eugenics (literally means well-born),
which became extremely popular with many Anglo scholars on both
sides of the Atlantic during the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. What happened as this new philosophy matured?
"...average Negroes possess too little intellect,
self-reliance, and self-control to make it possible for them
to sustain the burden of any respectable form of civilization
without a large measure of external guidance and support..."
-- Sir Francis Galton, 1873
The American Eugenics Society (AES) was a society
established in 1922 to promote eugenics. Margaret Sanger
(Planned Parenthood) was a member. Several prominent
families are responsible for funding and promoting eugenics in
America, namely the J.D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, E.H. Harriman, and
Henry Osborn families. Two families (Rockefellers & Osborns)
were particularly significant funders of eugenics research.
...ROCKEFELLERJohn D. Rockefeller Sr. contributed a huge amount of
money to build Cold Spring
Harbor Laboratory (NY, led by biologist Charles Davenport) in the early 1900′s, which housed the
Eugenics Records Office from 1910-1944. Davenport was also the founder and the first director of the
International Federation of Eugenics Organizations in
GERMANY The Rockefeller influence also spread overseas to Germany,
where the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Psychiatry, and
the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Eugenics, Anthropology and
Human Heredity resided.
Much of the money used to run
these German-run facilities came from Rockefeller. With Eugen Fischer
as the leading scientist, these institutes became centers for
Nazi eugenics programs (race hygiene) during the reign of terror under
Hitler was profoundly influenced by members of the American
Eugenics Society. Hitler quoted liberally from
Columbia-educated eugenicist Madison Grant in his speeches and
is said to have sent him a letter describing Grant's
bestselling book, “The Passing of the Great Race”
as “my bible.” In his unabashedly racist book, ACS member,
Grant recommends segregating "unfavorable" races in ghettos,
along with other sinister concepts implemented under Hitler
throughout Nazi Germany.
Let's take a panoramic look at all that has been discussed
thus far. Do you have any burning questions ricocheting around
in your head? Did
any of this discussion about the Discovery Doctrine (see
Chain of Being, evolution theory, eugenics, and social engineering (Social
influence the scholarly debate about the ethnicity of ancient
Egyptians in any way? I leave that for you to wrestle with...
The Freeman Institute Collections owns genuine 19th Century
books/articles celebrated by the scientific community of
with images of skulls of people of African descent being
compared to gorilla, chimpanzee, ape and baboon skulls.
Black Genocide in the 21st Century
(watch film trailer above)
were stolen from their homes, locked in chains and taken
across an ocean. And for more than 200 years, their
blood and sweat would help to build the richest and most
powerful nation the world has ever known. But when
slavery ended, their welcome was over. Some of America's
wealthy elite had decided it was time for them to
disappear and they were not particular about how it
might be done. What you are about to see is that the
plan these people set in motion 150 years ago is still
being carried out today. So don't think that this is
history. It is not. It is happening right here, and it's
happening right now.
A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race
The mother answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had
children, and so all mankind was made."
Two days later the girl asked her father the same question,
"How did the human race begin?"
The father answered, "Many years ago there were monkeys from
which the human race evolved.
The confused girl returned to her mother and asked, "Mom, how
is it possible that you told me the human race was created by
God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?"
The mother answered, "Well, dear, it is very simple. I told
you about my side of the family and your father told you about
...SUMMARY Remember, it's about context
and world-view. And ideas do have
consequences. (If you
disagree, examine the impact of Eugenics in Nazi Germany.) All of this was converging
around the same time in the mid 1800s...ultimately
influencing, and in some instances reshaping, the thinking of
European scholars on both sides of the Atlantic regarding
people of African descent, the ethnicity of the Egyptians, the
Jim Crow laws,
eugenics (especially in the
early 20th century), and such matters. Does any of this sound
cultural/sociological/intellectual/scholarly climate during
that period did not bode well for people of African descent --
on any level. Is there any credible disagreement?
this is something to consider, especially when encountering
individuals who seem to expend an inordinate amount of time and
energy trying to make sure that ancient Egyptians are viewed
as anything BUT black. What's that all about?
Thanks for stopping by,
...RESPONSE: Any thoughts, comments, or critiques?
Feel free to
email me. I receive a lot
of emails and cannot promise that I will respond. But I can
post your response for the "Assault
and Flattery" page. Read some of the responses
and then let me know what you are thinking.
One college professor seemed to like the general
trajectory of what she read here, responding with the
following suggestions: "To be useful in my context, I
would need it to be more developed. More source
material, more development of ideas, more pictures, more
comparisons of primary source observations or thoughts
that elaborate what was (factually/actually) and what
came to be (culturally)."
Even though her suggestions are excellent and important, I do not
have the time or energy to expand this web page. I have
taken it as far as I will take it in this format.
Perhaps there are some
students who can get college credit for taking this to the next level. I have
tried to help by doing a bit of the heavy lifting.
...HERE'S AN IDEA FOR
EDUCATORS & STUDENTS
If you are a
professor/teacher or student, feel free to utilize this page to
spark debate in your classroom. If students are tasked
to write a paper about this topic, I would love to post
or link to some of the best truthcentric papers (pro
that you believe would help to bring more light than
heat to this and
Collectively we just might bring more clarity to such a
vibrant subject matter...
...RESPONSE Here's part of Mary
Lefkowitz's recent email response: "I
think your article and the website are great--well
thought out, clearly written, well-researched. I
loved the Sphinx with "shades"; definitely the right
The more I look at Egyptian statues the more African
they seem to me. As you say, skin color is the one
thing we can't be certain about, and probably (as
you say) there was a considerable variation...Herodotus (and Aeschylus) call the Egyptians
"dark" (melas), which tells us that they
didn't look like Europeans, but nothing about the
hue of their faces, or the exact shade of their
skin. Hesiod refers to Africans as the "blue" (kyanos)
men, meaning very dark (Greek color words usually
refer to intensity rather than hue)..."
Professor Lefkowitz then pointed me in the direction of some additional resources
An Additional Concept to Consider
The Doctrine of Discovery
became international law in the 15th and 16th centuries.
It was issued through Vatican papal bulls, proclaiming the
superiority of one religion -- Christianity -- over all other
religions. The Discovery Doctrine allowed white Christian
Europeans to claim the lands and resources of non-Christian
peoples. They also were empowered to kill or enslave Natives
who did not convert to the Christian religion.
Papal Bull "Romanus
papal bull is a special kind of patent or charter
issued by a pope. It is named after the seal (bulla)
that is appended to the end to authenticate it.
contents of a 1452 papal charter issued forty years before
Columbus' voyage In 1452, Pope Nicholas V issued to King
Alfonso V of Portugal the papal bull Romanus Pontifex,
declaring war against all non-Christians throughout the world,
and specifically sanctioning and promoting the conquest,
colonization, and exploitation of non-Christian nations and
"Discovery" includes the acquired power of
"dominion" -- Dominion is the key word.
I am a follower of Jesus, with both eyes and ears wide open...one who is not in the business
of bashing any religion. And I am chagrined by all that has
been done by people using the name of Christ. Throughout the
ages, there are blatant examples of human hypocrisy in all
organized religions. However, as we examine the topic at hand,
facts are facts. Context is context. And truth is truth.
Let's be truthcentric in our handling of this topic -- not dodging
inconvenient realities. It begs the question: What
connection does all of this have on the treatment of
Africans in the Slave Trade and Native Americans in the
conquest of the New World?
Researcher and author, Steve Newcomb states: "Under various
theological and legal doctrines formulated during and after
the Crusades, non-Christians were considered enemies of the
Roman Catholic faith and, as such, less than human. Accordingly, in
the bull of 1452, Pope Nicholas V directed King Alfonso to
'capture, vanquish, and subdue the Saracens, pagans, and other
enemies of Christ,' to 'put them into perpetual slavery,' and
'to take all their possessions and property.' [Davenport:
20-26] Acting on this papal privilege, Portugal continued to
traffic in African slaves, and expanded its royal dominions by
making 'discoveries' along the western coast of Africa,
claiming those lands as Portuguese territory.
when Columbus sailed west across the Sea of Darkness in 1492 -
with the express understanding that he was authorized to 'take
possession' of any lands he 'discovered' that were 'not under
the dominion of any Christian rulers' - he and the Spanish
sovereigns of Aragon and Castile were following an already
well-established tradition of 'discovery' and conquest.
[Thacher:96] Indeed, after Columbus returned to Europe, Pope
Alexander VI issued a papal document, the bull Inter
Cetera of May 3, 1493, 'granting' to Spain - at the
request of Ferdinand and Isabella - the right to conquer the
lands which Columbus had already found, as well as any lands
which Spain might 'discover' in the future."
Not one treaty with the Native Americans has been honored in
the United States.
Discovery Doctrine is a
concept of public international law expounded by the United
States Supreme Court in a series of decisions, initially in
Johnson v. M'Intosh in
stating: "Discovery is the foundation of title, in European
nations, and this overlooks all proprietary rights in the
was Chief Justice John Marshall's explanation of the way in
which colonial powers laid claim to newly discovered lands
during the Age of Discovery. Under it, title to newly
discovered lands lay with the government whose subjects
discovered new territory.
William Penn may have been one of the few prominent people in
the "New World" to reject the Doctrine of Discovery. Young
Penn was first influenced by Puritan doctrine in 1660 at
Oxford University, where he became acquainted with the Society
of Friends (Quakers). In 1682, along the banks of the Delaware
River, under the shade of a great elm tree in an area then
known as Shackamaxon, William Penn is believed to have made a
Treaty of Friendship with the Native Americans. The famous
handshake was seen around the world.
events in American history are noted for the just and fair
treatment of peoples from different cultures. The legend of
William Penn's Treaty with the Indians became a universal
symbol of religious and civil liberties. Voltaire made
reference to the event in 1764, and artists throughout Europe
recreated the scene first painted by Benjamin West in 1771. In
the pre-Civil War era, artistic renderings of Penn's Treaty
were used to encourage political movements, religious agendas
and social reforms.
contrast to William Penn's benevolent spirit, the
discovery doctrine has been primarily used to support decisions
invalidating or ignoring aboriginal possession of land in
favor of colonial or post-colonial governments. And this
doctrine has left a trail of tears all over the planet. Come
back later and click
here to view an interesting
video developed by the Episcopal Church. If you have never
heard of this doctrine before, your emotions may run from one
end of the spectrum to the other and back again until you wrap
your brain around the implications of this doctrine. But this
doctrine is just a part of the bigger picture...
The photos you
are about to view in a few minutes are powerful visual
images that reveal much more than words could ever
UNITED NATIONS "Transatlantic Slave
Fox News Channel
segment about Joel Freeman, the
exhibition, & the Black History Gallery
20 Freeman Institute Black History Collection
documents and artifacts were
showcased at the
United Nations Transatlantic Slave Trade
Exhibit (March-May 2011)
Dr. Freeman giving a bit
historical background on the
significance of the discovery of the Rosetta Stone
DR. FREEMAN'S PRESENTATIONS
The White House Communications Agency (WHCA)
Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA)
Maryland Association of Mental Health Counselors
European Council of International Schools (ECIS)
Blacks In Government
National Security Agency
National Science Foundation
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Baltimore City Community College
Mountain States Health Alliance
Wright Patterson Air Force Base
Frostburg State University
DLA Troops Support
Tri Association (South / Central America & Caribbean)
Federal Executive Board,
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)
Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH)
Montgomery County Community College, Howard County
Joel A. Freeman and The Freeman Institute® on Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Thumbtack, and YouTube
In his book, The Destruction of Black
Civilization, black scholar,
Chancellor Williams informs us that
history has proven that a
number of tactics were employed by
anthropologists to blot out
black accomplishments. Here is a list of
1. "Ignore or refuse to
publish any facts of African history" that would not
support their racial theories.
2. "Create a religious and
'scientific' doctrine" to ease the white conscience for oppressing and enslaving
3. "Flood the world with
hastily thrown together African 'histories'" that contain European perspectives only.
4. "Start renaming people and
places. Replace African names of persons, places, and things with Arabic and
European names." This will
disguise their true black identity.
5. Change the criteria for
defining race. For example, one drop of Negro blood in America makes you a
Negro, no matter how light your skin.
When reporting ancient history, reverse the standard. Make
one drop of white blood
render someone a Caucasian no matter how dark the skin.
(Test this criteria during the "riding-at-the-back-of the-bus" era of the South during the 1940s
in the USA. Be assured that any of the
Pharaoh's of Egypt, especially up to and including the
25th Dynasty, would have been
required to sit at the back of the bus.)
6. When black participation in
civilization is so obvious your best schemes can't hide it, find a way to
attribute the success to outside white
7. When all the ancient historians
contradict your theory, seek to discredit them.
~ MORE THOUGHTS
make-up of the Ancient Egyptians
In many sectors
there seems to be some
controversy about the racial make-up of the ancient Egyptian people, i.e.
whether they were White or Black. This is a simplistic approach to a
much more complicated set of circumstances since Egypt's strategic
location brought people in from the south with Nubian and equatorial
African influence and from the northern coast of Africa and the
Middle East with
Afro-Mediterranean and Semitic influences. The Biblical record
places Egypt among the "Black" countries. Melanin dosage
tests of mummified remains (controversial due to damage caused by
the embalming process) seem to indicate a level of melanocytes
consistent with a people of a semi tropical to temperate climate
Egypt continues to dominate the focus of African oriented
studies. These studies have clearly demonstrated that not only were
early Egypt's origins African, but that through the whole of Egypt's
Dynastic Era (the age of the Pharaohs, up to and including the 25th
Dynasty), and during her many
periods of national splendor, men and women with black skin
complexions, broad noses, full lips, and tightly curled hair, were
dominant in both the general population and governing elite.
In the intense and unrelenting struggle to establish scientifically
the African foundations of Egyptian civilization, the late
Senegalese scholar Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop remains a most fierce and
ardent champion. Dr. Diop (1923-1986) was without a doubt one of the
world's leading Egyptologist and held the position of Director of
the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black
Africa in Dakar, Senegal. In stating the importance of the work,
Diop noted emphatically and early on that, "The history of
Black Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written
correctly until African historians dare to connect it with the
history of Egypt."
The solid range of methodologies employed by Dr. Diop in the course
of his extensive Afro-Egyptian labors included: examinations of the
epidermis of the mummies of Egyptian kings for verification of their
melanin content; precise osteological measurements and meticulous
studies in the various relevant areas of anatomy and physical
anthropology; careful examinations and comparisons of modern Upper
Egyptian and West African blood-types; detailed Afro-Egyptian
linguistic studies and the corroboration of distinct Afro-Egyptian
cultural traits; documents of racial designations employed by the
early Africans themselves; Biblical testimonies and references that
address the ancient Egyptian's ethnicity, race and culture; and the
writings of early Greek and Roman travelers and scholars describing
the physical characteristics of the ancient Egyptians.
Is it possible that when ancient Egyptians were at the pinnacle of
their glory they were not a mixed group? During the middle dynasties especially (and later) when
people migrated to this great land there was some intermarrying. This is
natural and doesn't need to be debated. It was even done within royalty lines
at times to solidify alliances, which was a common practice between powers during that period of history. Chancellor Williams refers to this phenomenon
in his book "The Destruction of Black Civilization." And frankly, he
theorizes that this mixing was part of the reason for the fall of Black
Civilization. Nevertheless, there was never so much of this that at any time the ancient
Egyptians could ever be classified as other than a black people.
Bottom Line: It's reasonable to say that Egypt was a
gateway for the meeting and interchange of goods, ideas, DNA, and people;
and that the Egyptians were themselves a unique expression of human
strength, beauty, intelligence and diversification. Ancient Egypt was an African
Let's allow the pictures to speak for themselves...Ready? Check out
a few pictures and then click
below to review the Ancient Egyptian Photo Gallery.
Count de Volney then made an observation that still applies
today in the debate about how
much racial truth our children
and other children will be taught in the public schools: "Just think," de
Volney declared incredulously,
"that this race of Black men,
slave and the object of our scorn, is the very race
to which we owe our arts, sciences,
and even the use of
speech! Just imagine, finally, that it is in the midst of
(i.e., Americans) who call themselves the greatest
friends of liberty and humanity that
one has approved the most
barbarous slavery, and questioned whether Black
men have the
same kind of intelligence as whites!"
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS,
FEELINGS & OPINIONS ABOUT THE IMAGE
free to share your unvarnished thoughts
about anything on this page for the "Assault
The Freeman Black History Gallery Project
Dr. Joel A. Freeman is the keynote speaker at many
Black History presentations and
training events around the world. At this Black History Month
in the Washington, DC region, many participants
stayed afterwards to review
documents and artifacts from The Freeman Institute Black History
United Nations "Transatlantic Slave trade" Exhibit
A photo from
the United Nations "Transatlantic Slave Trade" exhibit
20 documents & artifacts from The Freeman Institute Black
History Collection were showcased.
A huge area in the main hall near the United Nations visitor's
More items from the Collection are exhibited behind the walls.
Another photo from
the United Nations "Transatlantic Slave Trade" exhibit.
20 documents & artifacts from The Freeman Institute Black
History Collection were showcased.
photo gallery, one of the most comprehensive collection of
photos on the Internet, has come about after much travel.
Nothing may be used without
written permission from Dr.
come to reclaim the house of history. We are dedicated to the
revision of the role of the African in the world's great
civilizations, the contribution of Africa to the achievement
of man in the arts and sciences. We shall emphasize what
Africa has given to the world, not what it has lost."
-- Ivan Van Sertima
The ever-expanding Freeman Institute Black History
Collection has items such as:
Authentic, priceless slave ball, with handle (50 lb.) -- #3
written on it, for "trouble-makers", manufactured late 1600s
-- used on the London-based slave ship, Henrietta Marie, the
oldest identifiable slave ship wreck in the world (summer,
1700) ; featured in National Geographic's (August, 2002).
By one estimate Henrietta Marie’s cargo grossed well
over £3,000 (more than $400,000 today) for the ship’s
investors. Most of the captives were headed for sugar
plantations where they’d be worked to exhaustion, many dying
within five to ten years.
Sturdy and fast, The Henrietta Marie
traveled the infamous triangular trade route favored by the
slavers - from England to the Guinea coast, to the Americas,
then home again. Accounts relating to the
Henrietta Marie’s voyages were uncovered, as were the
names of her investors, captains, and wills of some of her
crew members. Artifacts found at the site proved
particularly helpful in creating a picture of shipboard life
and the practices of the slave trade.
Wedgwood jasperware black on white Anti-Slavery
medallions, with the bound slave on the front, and the
words "Am I Not A Man and A Brother?" around it.
Also, a rare 1800s antique bronze figure of man (6"
high, weighs 18 oz.) pictured in medallion.
3. One-of-a-kind signed
letters/albums/contracts/sheet music from Nat King Cole,
Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Louis
Armstrong, B. B. King, Ethel Waters, Pearl Bailey, Miles
Davis, Fats Domino, Quincy Jones, Earl Hines, Ella
Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Grover Washington, Jr.,
Count Basie, Mills Brothers, Ozzie Davis, Lena Horne,
Four Tops, Cicely Tyson, James Brown, Charlie Pride, Bo
Diddley, Bobby Blue and others...
4. A rare 1838 (third edition) copy of Phillis
Wheatley's book, "Memoir and Poems of Phillis
Wheatley, A Native African and a Slave" -- Includes
memoir, George Washington's letter to Wheatley, preface
by John Wheatley, plus poems by another slave, George
Moses Horton, with introduction and letters. And also
the 1773 edition of the Gentleman's Magazine -- first
published mention of Phillis Wheatley's book, first
printed in the UK, paid for by the Countess of
5. Silver Civil War locket (1860s), containing two
tin-type pictures of African American women, worn by an
African American soldier.
6. The Rosetta Stone, a First Edition 55-page
in Archaeologia: Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to
Antiquity, Volume XVI, published by The Society of
Antiquaries of London. 1812. Some of the first published
articles about the Rosetta Stone. This is historic in
light of the fact that the code to Hieroglyphics wasn't
cracked until 1822 by Jean Champollion.
7. Riggs Bank check written and signed on July 3,
1907 by Judson W. Lyons, ex-slave from Georgia and first
African-American lawyer to practice in the state of
Georgia. He was appointed Register of the US Treasury
from 1898-1906 and as such, his signature appeared on US
currency issued during those years.
8. 1820s "T Porter" slave button (from Antigua,
British West Indies), used to identify the owner of a