Black History Studies: Vanishing Evidence
I started a short course on Black History recently, its a 5 week taster course which came up at the beginning of Feb.
Firstly, WOW!! As an engineering graduate/webgeek I have never had the opportunity to study history in a formal educational sense and I was always chomping at the bit for the tidbits I could pick up from my gals doing History and African Studies while at university. Just as Naij inspired me to learn more about Nigerian history, I’m also taking steps to learn Black history and I can honestly say I’m dumbfounded. And the worst part of it is, I really shouldn’t be.
Every major civilisation in the world has an impressive past, conquerors, royalty, philanthropy, culture, arts, architecture you name it you got it. Its wonderfully surprising but usually not a shock to discover some wonder of ingenuity in history. What is not nice, is knowing that for me and some of the people on this black history course, the things we are learning feel shocking when they shouldn’t.
What is devastating but not surprising, are the lengths that have been gone to to desecrate, hide, surpress and erase this history from the face of the earth.
Officials of an Italian museum decided to give Thutmosis III (left) a new nose in a crude and outrageous attempt to change his racial appearance.
Image taken from Vanishing Evidence
I’ll share with you something I learned today. Have you ever wondered why so many Egyptian statues have the noses missing? Well I always thought it was a matter of artefacts not surviving history but today I was made to think. How does something survive 3000 years of existance and somehow manage to lose a nose in recent history?
We were shown a photo of the Pharaoh Sebekhotep III of the 13th dynasty, that was published in a book in 1914 (I don’t have a scanner at home to share this with you, but it’s also in the recent book Before the Slave Trade). This artefact was already in the hands of the British Library at the time, all bits fully excavated and in the expert hands of the museum curators ofcourse. Recent pictures of the same artefact, show the nose is missing….the statue has never left the British Library, so exactly when did this deterioration happen?
Or lets talk about the massive Egyptian Sphynx with a missing nose? Or other artefacts that have also unintentially managed to lose a nose even with other portruding parts? Why would anyone who has such an apparent respect for history do such a thing? Well it’s all part of proving Egyptians were not black Africans, take the noses off and it makes it all just a tad more ambiguous.
This reminded me of a visit to the Museum of Antropology in Mexico City last year. We saw an original Aztec calendar taken from Tenochtitlan, but the central piece where the Sun God’s face was has the nose missing…..sound familiar? The guide told us a drunken Spanish soldier accidentally shot it off…funny how he missed everything but the nose?! Taken independently, any of these might seem incidental damage (this is also the suspicious theory of Greek artefacts like the Elgin Marbles), but when you see artefact after artefact across the globe all missing the same thing i.e. a nose…well I mean it’s not a conspiracy theory anymore, that is clear evidence of something afoot!
Seriously, for all races in all walks of life, Africa is factually the place where humanity began so it is in EVERYONE‘s interests to know about its[our] history. It is CLEAR that there have been deliberate attempts to desecrate historical artefacts that were deemed to be a threat to the idea of white superiority. Every single one of us has an invested interest in digging deeper for the facts and not taking our assumptions and base predjudices as enough. At least find out enough to try and make up your own mind, especially when it is clear that western education only tells you a small part of the story.
It’s not easy, there isn’t an idiots guide to this stuff for obvious reasons, but its worth starting to pay attention to all of this. African history, Black history IS the missing link and a complete world history means taking that FULLY into account.