Les Lester's Chronicle

This weblog entails Afrocentric culture and its thrust in the twenty-first century. You can also visit its discussion board. Write me at leslester@usfamily.net

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Location: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, United States

Hi, I'm Les Lester, a journalist, author, and activist. All populations have a time line, and that timeline impacts the present. The more we know about the past, the better we understand ourselves, our current reality, and our potential future.

June 24, 2014

Black Progenitors of Greece-------------------------

This post probably needed to be entered following a post on the Minoans. But I couldn’t resist entering this ceramic pictorial on Atalanta (left) and Peleus (right). Peleus was the father of Achilles, the son whom many of us may remember from the movie Troy. While most of the modern pictorials on the Web depict the Minoans as Whites, the Minoans and other Black groups, were the first settlers of the Aegean Sea region before the arrival of Whites. Western history, as we know it, will encounter a major adjustment when Black scholars reach a critical mass.

April 13, 2014

Israel Today: Not the Hebrews of Ancient Times

Also, see Dec. 26, 2013 link.

March 30, 2014

A Must View for Understanding Black Liberation

Dr. Umar Johnson -- Nat'l Certified School Psychologist.

March 08, 2014

Panel Discussion: "Restoring Our Heritage"

Moderated by Les Lester

February 10, 2014

The Etruscans -- Black Progenitors of Rome

Black History Month -- 2014

December 26, 2013

The Ancient Hebrews Were Black People... .


An Assyrian soldier leads Hebrews into captivity in 701 B.C. The reliefs from the walls of the palace of Sennacherib, depicting the seige of Lachish, show definitively that the Hebrews were Black men.  The corn pepper hair texture is distinct to people of African descent.

Another relief from the Assyrian city of Neneveh, circa 678 B.C.,  shows Hebrew men with hair styled in locks.

Certainly, the spin doctors will appear on this issue; but invariably, the explanations will fail to address why all the current literature, heretofore, depicts White Assyrians, a misnomer for the period, as well as White Hebrews, who simply did not exist during the period.

December 11, 2013

The Etruscans -- Augurs Tomb, Tarquinia, 6th Century B.C.

Before Rome, there was Etruria. The early period tombs of the Etruscans depict Black men. Bordered roughly in what is now known as the Tuscany region of Italy, Etruria emerged somewhere between 900 and 700 B.C. and lasted until the late 4th century B.C. Rome began as a colony of Etruria.

October 04, 2013

Ancient Babylonian Archers, Assyrian Mosaic... .

 
Babylonian archers, originally featured in palace at Babylon.

August 28, 2013

50th Anniversary March on Washington



Dr. King once said that change is like approaching a city on a winding mountain road. At certain points we see the city in view, yet the constraints of the road's path leads us away from our forward progress, and the city seems to be receding behind us. But if we keep going, the city comes into view again and we realize despite the seeming lull we are indeed approaching our destination.

The benchmarks of our progress over the past 50 years are numerous. Integration of public facilities seems blase` given the passage of time. Access to education has become an afterthought, and now we have numerous elected officials and a Black President of these United States of America.

The shortcomings are still evident, but the circuitous road reminds us that indeed "the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice."

June 03, 2013

African-American Innovators Enjoying Fruits of Africa

February 11, 2013

Black History Month Update

Hannibal Barca, Commander of Carthage

This coin of Hannibal Barca is said to be carbon dated to the time of Hannibal, 247 – 183 B.C., while later European-looking images of the Carthaginian general are reportedly dated a century or more after his death.
Hannibal Barca, the historic Carthaginian commander, became famous for crossing the Alps with war elephants and his subsequent dominance of the Roman army during the Second Punic War.  

Hannibal’s troops won battle after battle against the Romans and were never defeated in Italy. In fact, he was set to breach the city of Rome but administrators in Carthage failed to send reinforcements and siege equipment needed to complete the campaign. In 202 B.C., Hannibal returned to Africa to defend Carthage against invading Roman military forces, and there he was finally defeated by Scipio Africanus at the battle of Zama.
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January 15, 2013


Happy Birthday Martin!















Quotes of Dr. Martin L. King Jr.

 “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.”

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”

“The time is always ripe to do the right thing”

“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
  
“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” 
 
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” 
 
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”
 
“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.” 
 
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” 
 
 

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November 07, 2012

Barack Obama Wins!

The American Dream lives on... .

July 04, 2012

Nigeria's Eko Atlantic



Nigerian's new capital city, Abuja, was indeed forward thinking. But get a look at Lagos' new Eko Atlantic, a city rising from reclaimed coastland.

Savvy African diaspora business people will see the great investment opportunities in Nigeria, nowadays. The potential there for Black Americans is analogous to the boon that Ebony magazine, Johnson Hair Care products, and the blaxploitation films of the 1970s garnered. The fashion industry for Afrocentric couture can reach unprecedented heights right about now. I'll be visiting Nigeria and reporting back soon.

February 12, 2012

It's Black History Month!

Houston Chronicle photo of Tutankhamen exhibit

Kudos to the Houston Chronicle for covering this tomb wall painting of King Tut at the current exhibitition in that city. Media depictions of the Black pharaoh(s) and other Africans of the ancient world have been few and far between, in modern culture.

Biblical institutions must also step up and accurately display Blacks justly. The current imagery would have our children believe that African people have perpetually played second fiddle to Europeans, which is a total misnomer. In fact, much of what is called the Middle East today would be called Northeast Africa if proper geometric measures were used. Ancient Africans populated the so-called Middle East to Asia. Cush, Akkad (Akkadians), and Assyria, among others, comprised the Black lands.

Northeast Africans in the Melanesian Islands of New Guinea and Fiji are still evident. Bounded by Europe to the north and Asia to the east, the Middle East today is a region of amalgamized people.

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January 01, 2012

Rameses II (Rameses the Great) -- Click


2012! Sounds like some futuristic fantasy year where things like the Internet, Skype interface telephones, Facebook, flat-screen TV’s and cell phones that fit in the palm of one’s hand might exist—Friends, the future is today. Let’s live like it.

We must go for the gold in 2012. Why? Because our forefathers in former times could only dream of a period like this. Their legacy, and this incredible year of opportunity deserves no less. Today, we have an African-American President, Barack Obama. But he must not be left to do the job alone. Each of us, categorically, should work as hard as he has to ensure that future generations never experience the pathos we encountered just 50 years ago and before.

We must collectively harness the reigns of our historical narrative and tell it like it was, correcting the misrepresentations that arose during colonialism. The story of Rameses the Great might be a good start (his likeness appears on his wife Nefertari’s tomb wall). Also known as Rameses II, he is unchallenged as the most prolific builder of cultural edifices in ancient history. In addition, he recaptured much of the territory Egypt had previously lost to the Hittites and the Nubians.

Unfortunately, today, when our children enter Rameses or King Tut, for example, in a search engine, they’re likely to get a European-looking person’s image. Black Hollywood has a part to play in this endeavor, as does the well-heeled finances of our Black athletes and music entertainers. The recent shopping mall fisticuffs over Air Jordan gym shoes (is) indicative of a confluence of our mass marketing-based media, bereft of a moral compass. Our media and marketing executives have learned to reach deep demographic numbers, but have forgotten the grass roots struggles that have made their forays to the good life possible.
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Thanks to PBS for at least showing the accurate wall paintings that depict the Black pharaohs and Ancient Egyptians, in the above Empires series. The next step is to utilize Black actors, not Anglo-looking actors. Keep in mind that the Arab community did not arrive in Egypt until 640 A.D. There are multitudes of Black men in Luxor, Egypt, today who could use the employment.

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July 30, 2011

Open Letter: Science Museum of Minnesota


`
Here in the Twin Cities the NAACP of Saint Paul, where I serve as communications chairman, has reached out to local media with "An Open Letter to the Science Museum of Minnesota" concerning the museum's "institutional complicity" in the misrepresentation of the ancient pharaohs--those who reigned for over a millennia prior to the Greek and Roman incursions.  Its National Geographic Society convened exhibit, "Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs," that impacts tens of thousands of African Americans in this city and millions around the globe, is blantantly, among other things, showing a documentary in its Omnitheater that depicts all of the pharaohs as Caucasian.  Rameses the II, also known as Rameses the Great, is featured prominently in the film as European-looking.

Thanks to a great African-American newspaper, Insight News, this story has seen the light of day.  Also, Minnesota Public Radio's (MPR) Facebook page Art Hounds made note of the "Letter." But no news stories have been presented by public radio, any of the White newspapers, or the network TV stations.  I am in contact with a  Black television reporter who has been out of the office, but until he returns to work, I suppose it's business as usual in America's mainstream news industry.  I will elaborate on the "black out" of African Americans in the nation's news rooms in another posting.

Here's what we're asking of the "Science Museum of Minnesota" as a corrective measure, since perhaps they're acting unwittingly on behalf of National Geographic.  This is the only just way we see to initiate corrective action to the ongoing wrongs that are being depicted daily in the Omnitheater viewings.  Why not present ads that feature King Tut as depicted from his tomb-wall painting and or a depiction of Tutankhamen from the throne picture that clearly shows him as African?

The current golden-coffin cover face depiction (that looks like the golden mask), and the little shabti figure (which may or may not be King Tut) continue to obscure the likeness of Tutankhamun, tacitly implying that he is White.  The museum is a steward of the public trust, and tax payers rely on institutions such as the Science Museum of Minnesota to tell the truth.  This is the North Star state. Science Museum of Minnesota, please show 'em where you're from.


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March 30, 2011

Breaking Institutional Complicity. Tell it Like it Is!



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March 12, 2011

The Real Egyptians



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January 26, 2011

The Truth About Hemiunu

 
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The statue of Hemiunu, the 4th dynasty vizier of Pharaoh Khufu, was purportedly found headless in 1912 by a German/Australian excavation team, in the shadow of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Hemiunu is said to have been the engineer of the Great Pyramid. As noted earlier on this blog, his parents Nefermaat and Itet were Black Africans.

The head was replaced with a European depiction that contrasts greatly with what he would have looked like. My research has now brought me to the realization that there are just a few well-placed, and likely fraudulent, Eurocentric-looking pieces of Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, New Kingdom statues. The rest are clearly Black African.

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September 06, 2010

Nefertiti: Discovery Channel Depiction (Click)

 
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It’s definitive. The iconoclastic Nefertiti bust that has long been used to depict the 18th dynasty queen of Egypt is a hoax. I reported in an earlier post, a few months ago, that based on new research of the artifact itself, scholars have come to realize that the bust depicting a European-looking woman is a fraud. Of course the attendant picture to this article shows what she really looked like (as for pigmentation, this photo is more in line with ancient depictions of her daughters, sister Mutnodjmet, and other 18th dynasty relatives). Thanks to the World Wide Web (see Nefertiti), and a little research, just about anyone can wade through the charade that has come to represent modern Egyptology. The current iconic German bust was not even reported with the 1912 excavation findings of Ludwig Borchardt, but mysteriously appeared on display in Germany in 1923. In any archeological report, the bust would have taken first place.

The Arabs, meanwhile, have been in Egypt since 639 AD. They, of course, study the history of their time in Egypt in their schools—so this research is nothing new to them. The culprit is the ubiquitous Western mass media that continues to perpetuate the ongoing sham.

It’ll take awhile. But the bust, currently housed in a German museum, will soon be a vestige of the colonial past that fostered it.

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April 18, 2010

Queen Tiye

 



Queen Tiye was the grandmother of King Tut. Her son was Akhenaten, Tut’s father, husband of Nefertiti. Tiye reigned during the New Kingdom in the 18th dynasty—a period that is considered one of the most prolific eras of building and culture in Ancient Egypt (Kemet).

Along with the aforementioned, a pantheon of interesting leaders including Horemheb, Seti I, Hatshepsut, Thutmoses III, and Rameses II lived during the 18-19th dynasties of the New Kingdom.

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December 03, 2009

Black Beauty: Our Women, Sistahs, & Mothers


Times are ‘a changing, but the struggle continues. Frankly, I had predetermined this piece to lament the plight of Black women, today. As a reporter several years ago, I did a story about a sistah who worked in corporate America, who was forced to file a lawsuit against her employer because it, ostensibly, deemed her flowing braids as unprofessional coiffeur. Her superiors were giving her the “blues,” as they say.

But today we have Michelle Obama as the first lady—that’s light years ahead of where we were just last year…and Omarosa certainly isn’t short stopping when it comes to representing the sistah’s with verve.

It was probably the story I came across recently that indicates the Nefertiti bust, the so-called beautiful queen of Ancient Egypt, is apparently a German fraud, that induced this writing.

Everything we were taught about Ancient Egypt seems to have been contrived. That’s scary. And if you read my novel, “The Awakening of Khufu,” you’ll find it even reaches into our religious institutions.

Well, I’m posting out today. It’s gett’n hot in here… .

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June 04, 2009

King Tut

 
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Barack Obama Hailed as the New King Tut

News out of Egypt hails President Barack Obama as “the new King Tut.” How cool is that? A modern Black president gets his due in Egypt.

The story first emerged in the blogosphere via the Reuters news agency. But as usual, the U. S. media is yet to mention the connection of Obama with King Tut from the Black perspective. Well, one exception. CBS News’s Jake Tapper mentioned on his blog (05/31/09) that, “One possible aspect at play here is the insistence by some African-American activists that Tutankhamen was black… .” But his ensuing statements digressed into Zahi Hawass' usual obfuscations. Zahi Hawass the Egyptian antiquities head is funded by National Geographic magazine, so Hawass is not going to rock the boat over the Black issue. The Egyptians are simply stating the obvious. And the U. S. media, meanwhile, is conducting business as usual. It simply must emerge from its blatant complicity with the old order of things. Well, let’s see how the news plays out in Egypt today during the president’s visit.

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November 03, 2007

Nefermaat, Wife Itet and Child

 

Light Being Shed on Light-skin Ancient Egyptians

Egyptology prior to the Afrocentric movement forgot about light-skinned Blacks, it seems. That’s a classification we as Black people will have to introduce ourselves. Of course all of us have light-complexioned individuals in our families, it's a common part of our culture. Meanwhile, given the current paradigm, former Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, or even Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would be viewed as white juxtaposed with the contemporary Egyptology model. Frankly, it's absurd that this kind of whitewashing of Black history is still being perpetuated.

Nefermaat, a brother of Pharaoh Khufu, figures prominently in shedding light on this, heretofore, shrouded area about Ancient Egypt (See Nefermaat, wife and brown skinned son above). You see, there was a Kemetian architect named Hemiunu, Nefermaat’s son, who seems to have had more work done than the work on the Great Pyramid, there seems to have been work done on his face, pun intended. And he’s either very light-skinned or represents the core of one of the biggest frauds ever played in history.

Hemiunu was allegedly discovered in 1912 in a tomb within the enclave of the Great Pyramid. Scholars, such as Professor Manu Ampim, however, seem to agree that there are some strategically placed counterfeit Egyptian sculptures that don’t fit the aesthetics of Ancient Egyptian art. His research on the Rahotep and Nofret sculpture is a case in point. Rahotep was supposed to be a brother of Nefermaat (and Khufu, both sons of Sneferu). But looking at relatives of the apparently counterfeit sculpture is enlightning. Nefermaat is a Black man. Prince Kawab his nephew, Khufu's son, is a Black man. Khufu's predecessor Huni was a Black man. No, the much bandied depiction of Rahotep does not fit the family lineage; the Rahotep-Nofret sculpture is a fraud.

Of course there were light-skinned Blacks and very likely some Caucasians in ancient Kemet--just as there were Blacks in Early America. Nefertiti was certainly a very light-skinned woman (well more recent research makes that debatable) in the heart of the New Kingdom’s 18th Dynasty. But whenever I think of the one-drop rule of Black blood in the United States, I say what the heck, those who were purported to be Caucasian by European researchers, were light-skinned Blacks in the ancient world. I'll let the experts rule on which ones were really Blacks and which ones underscore Western frauds. As a journalist, I'll just present the findings.

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March 12, 2007

Prince Kawab

 
 
 

Prince Kawab -- Son of Khufu (Old Kingdom)

Prince Kawab (Kewab) was the eldest son of Khufu (Cheops) -- Dynasty IV. If there are any questions as to Khufu’s African heritage, one needs only look to his children and relatives to ascertain, for certainty, the African origins of the builder of the Great Pyramid, at Giza.

Kawab’s fresco was discovered on the walls of his daughter Meresankh III’s tomb. It is said that he was Khufu's heir apparent, but never took the throne because of a naturally premature death or a rivalry with his sibling Djedefre.

Kawab was a scribe and aspired to rule in the manner of his grandfather King Sneferu, a cultured and wise king.

His brother Djedefre seems to have ruled only seven or eight years, according to traditional records, and was followed in rulership by his younger brother Khafre, whose likeness can be seen on the face of the Great Sphinx.

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July 04, 2006

Stolen Legacy

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Click here: Professor Manu Ampim's research, and scroll down

The Stolen Legacy of Classical African Culture

I visited Chicago recently and got a personal view of the new King Tut exhibit that has been touring the country. Surprisingly, there is no protest going on in that city like what was experienced in Los Angeles, during its exhibition.

As a whole, the exhibit was great. But at the exit was the Caucasian picture of King Tut that graces the cover of the June 2005 issue of National Geographic. It stood in stark contrast to what other guests and I had seen throughout the tour.

Frankly, whether intended or not, it was a signal for the Western world to continue its ubiquitous institutional-racism pogrom against Blacks. At the current pace of media on Black history, school textbooks and encyclopedias will still depict Rameses, Tutankhamen, Seti and all the pharaohs of old as sterile race-neutral historical figures.

Yes, it’s better than it was during my school days, but kids today are still confused on the issue, and that shouldn’t be so. An exhibit here in Minneapolis made news a few years ago when a Black kid on a class tour asked the tour guide if the ancient Egyptians were Black and the guide said, “no.”

Her parents were in an uproar, and rightfully so. No other history has been as maligned as that of Africans, and the affronts continue unmitigated today. The response of the tour officials in Minneapolis was that the guide had only responded with what he had been taught.

When Legrand Clegg, and other protesters in Los Angeles confronted the exhibitors in that city, the response of Terry Garcia, of the National Geographic Society was: "In this case we selected a medium skin tone, and we say, quite up front: 'This is mid-range.'" Mid-range from whose perspective is my question?

As an African American, it doesn’t take much analyzation to realize that the natural diffusion between Black classical cultures and Sub Sahara Africa was purposely thwarted to keep Black cultures at bay. It’s tantamount to separating the West from the “Golden Age of Greece, or Rome.”

Meanwhile, things are progressing on some fronts. While visiting New York last year at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET), I perused their exhibit on ancient Egypt and left with a resounding – Amen – it was the best exhibit I have seen to date in an American city.

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June 03, 2006

------------------------Irukaptah------------------------

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The Study of Afrocentric Classical Cultures

The question of why we need to study classical Afrocentric cultures is being discussed on many levels today. To most of us, it is the hoped for salve to assuage wounded egos. To others, ironically, it represents an intellectual front that is too far removed from the day-to-day struggles of the common man to matter much.

But is it really too far removed? First, Blacks in this culture have been stripped down to a very limited array of characteristics which, in many cases, creates the conditions that seem to demonstrate that we belong in a collective minority status because of some inherent shortcomings on our part.

Indeed, it does make one feel redeemed to know that ancient Black cultures were creating great, classical architecture, while Europe was still thousands of years from emerging out of the dark forests of the North.

It just makes sense, as a group, to work to dislodge ourselves from the ubiquitous web of racism we find ourselves confronted with. Frankly, we must leave no stone unturned in our efforts to ensure that future generations will enter the world on a ‘level playing field.’

Let me lay out what a level-playing field will look like. Children will enter kindergarten with the same access to ancient Black history as they have to ancient White history. In fact, the demarcations of ‘us versus them’ will be eradicated, as the world’s histories blend seamlessly into the story of mankind as a whole--bereft of racism’s undertones. No longer will we be a people without history, for it will be common knowledge that we started history.

Egypt (Kemet) will be seen as the benign forefather of Greece and Rome; the latter two came along some 2,500 years after the emergence of Kemet. The Phoenicians, best known because of the epic Phoenician, or Punic Wars with Rome, and the legendary General Hannibal Barca, of Carthage, will represent Black contemporaries of Rome and Greece. Note that the ubiquitous depictions of Hannibal today are fallaciously illustrated as Caucasian, for the most part.

The ancient city states of Tyre, Byblos and Sidon, of which Phoenicia derived, will be depicted as Black trading partners with Egypt and Nubia; as will other lands spread out from the Middle East to India. Recent DNA testing proved that the ancient people buried in Phoenicia, modern Lebanon, had the same bloodlines as the ancient Egyptians (Kemetians). Most of the modern Lebanese people, however, are derived from later bloodlines--like modern Egyptians.

From Middle Africa, the Dravidians who settled southern India and the southern Asian countries where Fiji Islanders, Papua New Guineans, Melanesians and Polynesians still abound will begin to make more sense in geographic terms to future non-colonized Blacks.

Africa south of the Sahara, meanwhile, will be proved to have been purposely cut off by the colonizers to disallow the natural diffusion of ideas and culture that would have afforded it the ability to blossom like other areas. Fortunately, Ghana, Mali and Songhay, for example, will serve as representative samples of cultures that arose despite deleterious onslaughts against them.

The term “classical” means of the highest order. It relates to the best a people have been able to produce, not the worst. When we show people the best of themselves, and their culture, they rise to the visions and views they hold in their minds and spirits.

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April 15, 2006

Thutmoses III -- Temple of Hathor -----------------

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Thutmoses III and the New Kingdom’s Expansion

The New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt (Kemet) represented the zenith of Egyptian culture. It was the era of Tutankhamen, Akhenaten, Hatshepsut and Rameses the Great. Ironically, it arose following the humiliating defeat and subjugation to the Hyksos, an Asiatic nation that overran Kemet and maintained power in the North for over 130 years.

In around 1480 B.C. Thutmoses III, a Theban, rose to power having been co-regent with the female pharaoh Hatshepsut, his stepmother, until her death. Modern Europeans refer to him as the Napoleon of the ancient world and not without good reason.

He expanded Kemet’s borders to her most far-reaching boundaries and initiated an imperialism that there-to-fore had been unheard of. The nation before the Hyksos had been protected and shielded by the desert on both sides and had been comfortable in its relatively secluded oasis along the Nile River. Thus, Kemet had in its earlier periods no need to look outward. But look outward Thutmoses did. He engaged in 17 military campaigns and never lost a battle.

Known as a strong but fair-minded leader, Thutmoses III was beloved and respected during his reign, which re-established control over Syria and Nubia. His victory over the King of Kadesh at the Battle of Megiddo, just months into his tenure, quickly established him as a military genius. He went on to capture territory as far east as the Euphrates River.

One of his hallmarks was the practice of awarding medals to outstanding soldiers who exhibited exemplary prowess on the battlefield -- a custom emulated by America’s George Washington, who introduced the Purple Heart to U.S. forces.

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March 07, 2006

1968 Olympics

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March 06, 2006

Protecting the Spirit of Black America, Today

It is one of the most enduring images of Olympics sports history; an image that will inevitably frame the Olympic story of our era. Two-hundred meters gold-medal winner Tommie Smith and bronze-medal winner John Carlos raised clinched black-gloved fists in support of the ongoing Civil Rights Movement in America.

This seminal moment captured the imagination of a generation and contributed to the thrust of the movement.

That’s why I’m rather perplexed by the apparent lack of consciousness among entertainers, in popular culture, who rationalize their complicit corroboration with those whose aim is to crush the spirit of Africans in America.

Reportedly, Damon Wayans, the actor, has recently attempted to copyright the word “Nigga” for a clothes line he has in the works, revealing a callous disdain and social disregard for the masses of Africans, throughout the Diaspora, who might encounter his Nigga brand. It’s likely that he’s ignorant of how semantics can impact the spirit of a people. But just as likely, he doesn’t care, which is even worse.

Let’s define the term "spirit.” It is the inner essence and thought life of an individual, a nation or a people transcending what is seen on the outside. Each individual has an inner life world that is at best nurtured and protected by the cultural forces that be, but in the worst-case scenarios is attacked, vilified and violated.

There has been a very real thrust to diminish the energy and vital force of our struggle, and the hearts of our people. Traditionally, we buttressed our spirits with our songs, whether in popular culture or our spiritual foundation the church.

In the glory days of “Soul Music” we could count on our vocalists, whose roots derived from the church, to evoke lyrics of spiritual sustenance; vocals that penetrated the soul and revived the broken in spirit--so we marched on. Amidst a backdrop of societal oppression--we trudged onward. The church and our music helped us to fan the flames of an inner pilot that could not be extinguished by institutional suppression of our cultural heritage

Wayans, and those of his ilk, meanwhile, represent a new breed of celebrity ready to sell their brethren down the river for thirty pieces of silver. That was not the case of brothas like Tommie Smith and John Carlos. They turned their backs on product endorsements and, instead, faced death threats and censure from those who opposed them.

The arguments of the turncoats, like Wayans, is that they are just responding to the forces of the marketplace. My response is: so were the slave traders of Africa’s past.

How can we protect the spirits of people culturally? We must affirm them through our literature, our songs, our historical heritage, our legacy and our God.

Taking away the positive legacy and traditions of a people is spiritual violence. And to replace it with belittling imagery and semantics is spiritual homicide.

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February 06, 2006

Relationships

 
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Male-Female Relationships, a Key to Liberation

A strengthening of Black male-female relationships is key, I believe, in rebuilding functional African-Americans families. Colonialism, in this hemisphere, intentionally worked to weaken this primary institution that is clearly a building block of any forward-moving people.

Egypt and classical cultures are the focus of this weblog. Thus, we look this month--Black History Month--at the importance of marriage and male-female relationships among our ancestors.

Reliefs and pictures indicate that the men and women of Ancient Kemet (Egypt) worked closely together and viewed the marriage relationship as significant, and highly esteemed. Men and women are shown holding hands, and children are often pictured in conjunction with their parents.

Husband and wife spent time chatting, enjoyed music together, and threw parties and social affairs together. The wife often went along with her husband on hunting forays to keep him company. In addition, Egyptian women shared with men important legal rights that in many other nations were totally alien to them.

Egyptian husbands realized that it took two to make a marriage. Wise advice to a husband: "Thou shouldst not supervise thy wife in her house, when thou knowest she is efficient. Do not say to her: 'Where is it? Fetch it for us!' when she has put it in its proper place. Let thine eye have regard, while thou art silent, that thou mayest recognize her abilities."

In Ancient Kemet women were allowed to own land, operated businesses, testified in court, and brought actions against men. The women of Kemet enjoyed greater freedom than any of their counterparts from other parts of the ancient world.

More advice to the men: “If you take a wife...Let her be more contented than any of her fellow-citizens. She will be attached to you doubly, if her chain is pleasant. Do not repel her; grant that which pleases her; it is to her contentment that she appreciates your work.

”If you are wise, look after your house; love your wife without alloy. Fill her stomach, clothe her back; these are the cares to be bestowed on her person. Caress her, fulfill her desires during the time of her existence; it is a kindness which does honor to its possessor. Be not brutal; tact will influence her better than violence; . . . behold to what she aspires, at what she aims, what she regards. It is that which fixes her in your house; if you repel her, it is an abyss. Open your arms for her, respond to her arms; call her, display to her your love."

Excerpts from The Precepts of Ptah-Hotep
2200 BC

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