why do white people think that the ancient egyptians were not black?

most think that africans have no history except for when they were brought to america. a lot of them are miseducated about african history.

20 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Your Simple Answer:

    That the Egyptians by and large were dark is certain, and many must have been what we today call "black."

    More Detailed Answer:

    *Being on the continent, Egypt has always been an African civilization though it straddles two regions, Africa and the Middle East. It's fairly clear that the cultural roots of ancient Egypt lie in Africa and not in Asia.

    *Skulls have been measured and compared and DNA tests attempted in various forms, but conclusions are few. Skulls are more similar to those found in the Northern Sudan and less similar to those found in West Africa, Palestine, and Turkey. It seems that there has been some genetic continuity from Predynastic time through the Middle Kingdom, after which there was a considerable infiltration into the Nile Valley from outside populations. That the Egyptians by and large were dark is certain, and many must have been what we today call "black."

  • 1 decade ago

    To expand on John G.'s point. For the most part they were not Black, nor did they consider themselves Black or African or anything other than Egyptian. This is evident from there artwork, where Egyptians are clearly represented differently from other Africans, Greeks etc.

    For a time Egypt was ruled by the Kingdom of Kush (modern Northern Sudan). Taharqa and Tanoutamon ruled Egypt as well as Nubia. Sometimes known as the "Black Pharaohs," Nubian kings ruled Egypt from roughly 760 B.C. to 660 B.C

    If you want a pretty clear illustration of what I'm talking about do a google image search on Taharqa and compare those ancient likenesses to other Pharaohs that you are more familiar with like Tutankhamen. You should be able to see a very distinct difference.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Africans also probably caught the trade winds west to America LONG before Mr. Columbus did too. The ancient carvings in Latin America would all but prove that.

    if you were to look in the mirror, you may not notice a pot belly here and double chin there, it's because people tend to see themselves how they WANT to be seen, not how it actually is. To label Africans as less than human by calling them names, or denying that they were capable of creating such magnificent things as the pyramids eases the guilty consciouses of slavery and discrimination in America and other parts of the world. Few whites have grasp this. There were civilizations in Africa that would astonish many today.

  • 1 decade ago

    Old kingdom was African, black. It may come as a shock for many of the other answers, but Cleopatra's family were Ptolemic. That means they were descended from the Greeks who conquered that Mediterean country. It is a shame of the history that was lost in Egypt and Zimbabwe.

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  • JustMe
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Because not all Egyptians were.

    I think what you are referring to is Cleopatra. No one would argue that the SOME of the ancient Pharoahs were darker skinned. But definitely not all of them. There was a bit of a melting pot going on and don't forget this would be considered more of the middle east/mediterranean area than the rest of africa.

    However, Cleopatra is just about the last Queen of Egypt - and she was actually not black. A couple generations before, someone of Greek descent was placed on the throne of Egypt. During the late Ptolemaic era, the throne was held by this family (Cleopatra being the last). They were a bit inbred, only marrying/procreating with other royal types of people.

    This was thousands and thousands of years after the ancient Pharaohs

    Cleopatra was not the beauty that the movies portrayed. If you look at coins minted with her likeness from the era, you will see that she was quite ordinary looking. It was her charisma and charm that made her so attractive. She was fully aware what she was doing with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. The goal was two way - either to have a child with Julius Caesar and her child would be heir to rule both Rome and Egypt for the glory of Egypt or to place herself as ruler of both. But Caesar was assinated, so she set her sights on Marc Antony. In the end, everything failed and the children were murdered, leaving an empty throne.

    Why do we seem to know more about Cleopatra than any other Egyptian dignitary? Was it because she was white? NO! It is because that at that point, other cultures had diplomatic relations with Egypt and a lot of people wrote about her in languages that are not lost today. And in addition, she wrote in Latin and Greek too.

    As far as the Ancient Pharaohs, very little was known about them because frankly, no one could read what they wrote.. Egypt was more insulated and had more limited diplomatic relations with cultures in its earlier history whose language and writing carried down. Just like we don't know very much about the early Druids, and other people.

    We know about them from what is written by the Hebrews and other ancient people that came into contact with them, but things that were said by Egyptians from their own mouths were pretty much lost until the Rosetta Stone was discovered.

    Now we are learning about them everyday with every new discovery.

    As far as other African cultures, it is pretty much in the same boat. We know more about cultures that have an oral tradition that has been passed down to people that are modern day - but to groups of people who have died out or have changed so much beyond their original tradition - there may be no way to know until someone is able to translate the language.

    When the library in Alexandria burned down, and i will have to get the year that happened - many ancient writings on parchment were destroyed. If this library had not burned, we probably would know about other african cultures that had died off/changed to something new before this time in history, and the information would not have been lost forever..

    Modern people know very little about the ancient Etruscans, and many others just because their writings are gone or because we have no translation of their writing into a known language and therefore cannot read it.

    I do not think that intelligent, thoughtful people are miseducated on african history. Because no one can possibly be educated on it all - black or white because we are talking about a whole continent of a variety of very difference cultures and very different people that the world is still learning about as ancient texts are discovered.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    white people and people in general think that because Egyptians aren't black....they are Egyptian. that is why they are not called ancient africans. and "white" people do not think that africans have no history. we are not taught african history. we are taught african american history. which is a big difference. africans and african americans are two completly different people. most african americans have never been to africa and have not close relatives that have. they were born in america. you are miseducated about white people which is obvious by the statements you have made.

  • 1 decade ago

    Because they weren't.

    Egypt was and is a middle eastern country full of middle eastern people.

    North africans, that is people who live on the mediterranian coast of africa, north of the sahara are middle eastern not black. End of story.

    Any attempt to portray them as otherwise is a shameful attempt at cultural piracy bourne of a tired inferiority complex. That and ignorance about legitimate black african civilizations.

    Source(s): A few real black african civilizations: Kingdom of Aksum (Nubia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Aksum Malinese Empire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mali_Empire Songhai Empire http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Songhai_Empire Great Zimbabwe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Zimbabwe
  • 1 decade ago

    some were, some weren't. like today, many egyptians have mediterranean or arab pigmentation, especially in those parts of egypt to the north and east. the further south one travels in egypt, toward subsaharan africa, the pigmentation becomes darker.

    after the time of alexander the great, the egyptian royalty and upper classes were mostly greek, because alexander placed egypt under the control of Ptolemy, one of his closest advisors and generals. his descendents ruled in egypt until the time of cleopatra, and the assimilation of egypt into the roman empire.

  • JAN
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Why would anyone think of ancient Egyptians color? I haven't but I have thought of their contribution to history.

  • 1 decade ago

    Mainly because Egypt is on the Mediterranean sea...and all people living there are swarthy, and not dark black . They all resemble each other...Jews, Italians,Spanish, etc.

    I take exception to people who are Americans calling themselves African-American. My ancestors were from Ireland. But I consider myself an American, not Irish-American.

    When you claim Africa as the first love it is an insult to the country in which you live. It's like where you live is not as good.

    I know I won't change anyones mind but it is disturbing to me.

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