WERE THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS REALLY BLACK
This question has plagued scholars for generations and its answers construed by many with racist motives. But in truth it has already been settled by many in the academic community. One need only look to the 2001 Oxford Dictionary of Ancient Egypt to find the answer. Egyptologist Stuart Tyson Smith puts it beautifully in his essay on the people of ancient Egypt "Any characterization of race of the ancient Egyptians depends on modern cultural definitions, not on scientific study. Thus, by modern American standards it is reasonable to characterize the Egyptians as 'black', while acknowledging the scientific evidence for the physical diversity of Africans.” This simple sentence at the end of a beautifully written essay is so humbly put but utterly groundbreaking. A century ago Oxford would never have published something that at the time would seem so slanderous. But in the light of the modern age this simple admission is a paradigm shift in the old racist worldview of the past century. So anyone looking on this site who may get in to fervent arguments with racists and the like online I would like them to take solice in those words. They didn't come from some afrocentrist or eurocentrist but a scientist who happens to be white simply stating the facts as they are published and approved as the official selection on the people of Ancient Egypt from one of the most highly regarded learning institutions in the world. One must also understand that the word used by the ancient Egyptians to describe themselves and the land they resided in was Kmt or Kemet which literally means land of the black or black people. To ancient Greek historians there was never any confusion on the peoples of ancient Egypt. Herodotus states in passages that the Egyptians were black/dark. According to most translations, Herodotus states that a Greek oracle was known to be from Egypt because she was "black", that the natives of the Nile region are "black with heat", and that Egyptians were "black skinned with woolly hair". Quotes from Herodotus (commonly known as the father of History): "...the Colchidans are Egyptians by race....the Colchidans were descended from soliders of Sesostris (Senusret, an Egyptian Pharoah). I had conjectured as much myself from two pointers, firstly because they have black skins and kinky hair.... and secondly and more reliably for the reason that alone among mankind the Egyptians and the Ethiopians have practiced circumcision since time immemorial... As between the Egyptians themselves and the Ethiopians I could not say which taught the other the practice for among them it is quite clearly a custom of great antiquity."
Quotes for Aristotle (commonly known as Greece's greatest philosopher):"...those who are too black are cowards, like for instance the Egyptians and Ethiopians. But those who are excessively white are also cowards as we can see from the example of women, the complexion of courage lies between the two."
Quote from Lucian (Greek writer) when describing an Egyptian:"This boy is not merely black; he has thick lips and his legs are too thin..."
Quote from Aeschylus (when describing the Egyptians): "I can see the crew with their black limbs and white tunics." This is not to say there were never any rulers of a different race in Egypt, the conquest of Egypt by Hyskos,Persians,Greeks, Arabs,Assyrians and Romans is well documented .Their subsequent migration ,occupation and intermarrying of the native black peoples resulting in the current more Arabic appearance of Egyptians.Though it must be understood that the original inhabitants and founders of this vastly important civilization were its native black people. Many contributions ounce thought to be attributed to a fairer skinned Egyptian peoples have been proven to be black African in origin.The oldest form of advanced mathematics showing the earliest use of egyptian multiplication is the 25,000 year old Ishango bone. The earliest form of advanced astronomy is the megalithic structures of Nabta Playa located in the Nubian desert.The oldest mummy ever found was a 2 year old african boy in Libya dating back some 56,00 years ago. The great French philosopher Constantine de Volney on a visit to Egypt in 1787 would put it beautifully "Just think," de Volney declared incredulously, "that this race of Black men, today our 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 people 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! Luckily we live in a world free of the awful racism that infected 18th and 19th century historians looking to distort ,destroy and utterly deny any evidence of African peoples intelligence and competence. It is now commonly thought ,as the greeks knew long ago that ancient Egypt began essentially as a northern extension of Nubian culture and people.
THE 25TH DYNASTY
For years academics denied any African lineage in the history of Egypt, their biggest afront was the utter denial of the blackness of the 25th dynasty also known as the famed biblical Kingdom of Kush. Now known as the undisputed black Kushite dynasty, for decades scholars looked into these black kings faces and proclaimed them as white going as far as performing convoluted bone tests and declareing proudly they are obviously of the white stock of Egypt. The mass of material from excavations in the Sudan were sent back to the Boston Museum in 1924, most of it went into storage and was all but forgotten. When in the late 1970s it was rediscovered by the Museum's curators, they joyously identified it as one of the Museum's most important and unique treasures, assigned it to several national and international touring exhibitions, and finally installed it in a special permanent gallery. The 25th dynasty was a line of rulers originating in the Nubian Kingdom of Kush at times to Egypt its greatest foe and allie. They reigned over Ancient Egypt from 760 BC to 656 BC.The dynasty began with Kashta's invasion of Upper Egypt and culminated in several years of unsuccessful war with the Mesopatamian based Assyrian empire which was to result in the destruction of the Kushite Empire. The 25th's reunification of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and also Kush (Nubia) created the largest Egyptian empire since the New Kingdom. They ushered in an age of renaissance by reaffirming Ancient Egyptian religious traditions, temples, and artistic forms, while introducing some unique aspects of Kushite culture. It was during the 25th dynasty that the Nile valley saw the first widespread construction of pyramids (many in modern Sudan) since the Middle Kingdom. In a historic battle Taharqa the most feared of the Nubian kings defeated the Assyrian emperor Sennacheriban as he advanced on Jerusalem saveing Jerusalem and Hebrew society from destruction, a pivotal point in world and Hebrew history. This perhaps is one of the greatest contributions these black kings gave us ,for of course it is to the Jewish tradition that Christianity and Islam owe its roots. Though the distinction of the 25th dynasty as a clearly black empire should not create the illusion that this is the only black dynasty in egypt. The reunification of a splintered warring egypt came at the hands of the Middle kingdom who's rulers also came out of Nubia. Leading into the New Kingdom. Where Nubians and Egyptians were often so closely related that some scholars consider them virtually indistinguishable, as the two cultures melded and mixed together.Various pharoahs of Nubian origin are held by some Egyptologists to have played an important part towards the area in different eras of Egyptian history, particularly the 12th Dynasty. These rulers handled matters in typical Egyptian fashion, reflecting the close cultural influences between the two regions....the XIIth Dynasty originated from the Aswan region. As expected, strong Nubian features and dark coloring are seen in their sculpture and relief work. This dynasty ranks as among the greatest, whose fame far outlived its actual tenure on the throne (Yurco 1989)
Now that we know the roots of Egypt are nubian and the 25th dynasty to be undisputably nubian , we will highlight rulers that historians also agree to be nubian . Namely the 3rd, 12th, and 18th these black rulers being some of the most important pharoahs in egyptian history. Prolific egyptologist W.M. Flinders Petrie, famously known as "The Father of Pre-history performed excavations at Nagada and Ballas in Upper Egypt nearly 100 years ago unearthing nearly 2200 ancient graves. He wrote over a thousand books, articles and reviews reporting on his excavations and his finds. He would say this about the aforementioned dynasty's ("The later Hyksos were obviously decadent, and at last an invasion from the south threw them back northward and established a black queen as the divine ancestress of the 18th dynasty. Thus again a southern people reanimated Egypt, like the Sudani 3rd dynasty and the Galla 12th dynasty.") The Making of Egypt, 1939
EGYPTIANS AND NUBIANS
Below is a great video showing how present scholars now teach the history of Egypt where at one time the very existence of the 25th dynasty was met with scornful racist attitudes and claims of them being white or simply claiming them as bumblers their tenure being the only time a black people had ever reigned over Egypt and it being the lowest point in Egyptian history. Now as a more even handed and honest approach has been tooken to history it's common knowledge now that the Middle kingdom pharoahs were also Nubian and ruled hundreds of years before the 25th dynasty even existed.