PART FOUR – AROUND THE EARTH
By Dr Anu MauroÂ
Just how anti-black sentiments became so deeply entrenched even within populations of ‘ethiopic’ ancestry is a complex matter.Â In the end the real lesson probably lies in understanding the affect that all myths, legends and stories can have on the human group-mind and in shaping the everyday behavior of ordinary people.
Judging by their reformist actions, it seems the 18th an 19th century historical revisionists were very keenly aware of this phenomenon.Â They obviously knew that ‘heroic’ narratives –whether true or false– have the power to inspire and guide individual responses. And even determine the long-term fates of specially targeted population groups.
Perhaps this is why they gave such importance to the dissemination of ‘non-ethiopic’ versions of ‘classical’ stories like ‘Helen of Troy.’Â Not only did such legends influence people’s values and worldview, they also provided role models for individual as well as collective conduct extending down through several generations
One of the main factors that allowed their anti-ethiopic revisionist program to prevail was the absence of anyone with enough knowledge or power to seriously challenge their actions.
At that time, only a handful of the more erudite and enlightened European scholars were aware of what the revisionists were up to; and even said so.Â In addition to being far more honest, these researchers had sufficient access to the ancient source documents. Moreover they were able to read them in the original Greek and/or Latin during an era when not many modern-language translations were available. (50)
However apart from them, there were no loud dissenting voices from any ‘Ethiopians’, having as a group apparently fallen into silence and worldwide cultural disarray.
MYTH PROPAGATION AND AFRICAN ENSLAVEMENT
It can be argued that the almost fanatical altering of historical records and the global spread of anti-black racism would not have become so pervasive had it not been for the state of powerlessness, cultural crisis and social disintegration into which people of the African continent entered.
The development of bigoted pseudo scientific racist mythologies, and the hardening of attitudes towards melanin enriched people can be seen as direct by-products of the dispersion and destabilization of ‘ethiopic’ cultures; a condition mainly brought about by the enslavement industry and the European colonization of the African continent
Prior to this, the populations of black skinned woolly haired ‘Kushites’ in the northern areas had already been quite disrupted by Islamic invaders and internal migrations. However now across the entire length and breadth of the continent ‘ethiops’ began to see their societies virtually collapse due to the highly systematic process of forced removal and trans-oceanic exile that began in the late 15th century.
Ethiopic people were now compelled to do much more than just relocate regionally as had been the case during earlier periods of instability. Instead, close to one hundred million African people were systematically uprooted, exiled in chains and scattered across the globe. Only one out of every four survived the full process.
Along with the people went the knowledge they possessed. Skills were forgotten, memories and myths were lost, and ever-larger areas abandoned.Â Not surprisingly several significant southern kingdoms disappeared; some once capable of assembling quarter million strong armies that included armored cavalry.Â Any lingering confirmation of collective African competence seemed to disappear along with them.
A VERY REAL HOLOCAUST
Perhaps the most detrimental aspect of this very real and horrendous African holocaust was the loss and abandonment by people of much of their uniquely indigenous African know-how.Â Â Especially because it was these time tested spiritual guiding principles, organizational capabilities and problem solving skills that had produced the ancient excellence and ancestral achievements in the first place.
Some of this knowledge was encoded in traditional myths and legends. But as the continent became increasingly overrun by the northern European nations, the new wave of invaders either reinterpreted ancient ‘ethiopic’ myths to suit imperial needs or developed new myths and false traditions of their own.
These versions now became very potent tools for shaping global perceptions and attitudes about the invaders themselves, and especially about the ‘ethiopic’ populations they were intent on conquering.
Of great significance, is that in the absence of any countermanding alternative information the same ‘ethiopic’ populations that were being subjected to this inflexible onslaught eventually internalized the negative perceptions and attitudes about themselves that were being promoted by the new mythologies.
Â The propagation of so called Middle Eastern religious myths and legends via Christian missionary conversion and Islamization played a particularly important role in re-molding the minds of ethiopic populations; oftentimes functioning as a very effective sub-text for much of the forced relocation, enslavement, and colonial expansion.
The overall result was that a huge, bright, rich and diverse continent once regarded as the ‘Home of the Gods’ and a fountainhead of illuminating knowledge, increasingly came to be portrayed as the very heart of darkness and destitution: a place and an ancestry of which to be afraid and ashamed.
Indigenous as well as Diaspora Africans began to find themselves more and more regarded as completely sub-human creatures incapable of any achievements: –oddities; objects of ridicule and scorn: to be traded, mocked and exploited at every opportunity.Â And then left to die off.
As a result of the almost incalculable cultural destruction, ‘ethiopic’ populations no longer determined their own destinies or chronicled their lives as before. Most especially they gave up control of the inflow and outflow of information and knowledge about their past — and even their ongoing – history.Â They stopped telling their own stories.
Â In many cases it seems they lost not just the means but even the will to do something to remedy the growing tide of falsehoods and inaccuracies.Â Meanwhile the invaders continued to define the ‘ethiopic reality’ and to reap the benefits of the growing cultural amnesia.
Â It became widely accepted that nothing of value could have ever been produced by the ‘miserable irrational half naked savages of the dark continent.’
A pervasive sentiment emerged, which held that if anything culturally significant turned up in areas where black people lived, then it had to have been produced or brought there by some other group that was ‘more noble and northern’ than they.
Furthermore if actual physical evidence was ever found indicating the presence of ‘ethiopic’ types or cultures in places outside of the African continent, it was consistently assumed that these ‘ethiopians’ could not have originated in or migrated to that location in earlier periods on their own initiative.
Despite the presence of well-documented ancient myths to the contrary, it was routinely argued that these black people had to have been ‘enslaved and taken there’ during a relatively recent period by some other non-ethiopic or ‘more northern’ group.
This may have been good for colonizer self-esteem but it completely distorted all attempts at conducting unbiased historical examinations of ‘ethiopic’ populations and their activities.
ETHIOPIC SELF DISTRUST
Â Even worse was the psychological effect this had on many black skinned populations on and off the continent.Â These groups eventually developed an enormous inferiority complex.Â The lowering of self-pride and confidence plunged their societies even further into states of mental paralysis, confusion, cultural myopia and dependency.
The new mythology of ‘ethiopic’ incompetence became so embedded, it eventually made ‘ethiopic’ people themselves the willing and submissive disseminators of the very same untruths and false traditions that were designed to bring about their cultural destruction in the first place.
This custom of anti-ethiopic self-denunciation became so ingrained that it grew to be part of a transmitted heritage that wreaked havoc on the minds and actions of successive generations on and off the continent.
Among other things the revisionism encouraged black people to disrespect their own traditional African knowledge networks and orally transmitted narratives. These were legends and myths that could have provided them with strong alternative ethical and spiritual guidance and real self-knowledge.
Â The dominant culture arrogantly characterized this information as primitive, untrustworthy and completely invalid: Therefore undeserving of any deep investigation by serious knowledge seekers.Â Extremely complex and very profound indigenous African cosmic myths and legends were no longer passed on orally, neither were they recorded and disseminated in text form.
Furthermore when African culture was examined at all it was not to discuss Phoenicians or Egyptians or Kushites. It was only to reinforce the image of ‘ethiopic’ societies as primeval or degenerate, polytheistic, idol-worshipping infidel heathen wellsprings; At best childlike by nature or at worst wicked, immoral and corrupt: therefore like the biblical Canaanites ultimately expendable.
To perpetuate the situation, the invaders devised deliberate programs to ensure these populations would never ever regain any real control of information flows.Â Obviously such power would have threatened the prevailing social order and the self-aggrandizing disinformation it distributed.
At the very heart of the stratagem was the previously mentioned propagation of revised Mediterranean/ Middle Eastern religious myths and legends through missionary proselytizing.Â Another key part of it was the widespread establishment of mind molding religious Mission Schools.
Among the principal targets of these educational institutions were the children of the indigenous or so-called native ruling elite.Â By the end of the process they were expected to and indeed did become highly alienated from their ancestral traditions.
Under the invader dispensation, many considered themselves somewhat fortunate to be able to receive any kind of formal education at all. However these mission school curricula were not just pro-invader.Â Both by default and design they were most decidedly anti-ethiopic.
Missionary education inevitably gave all credit to the invader culture for any and everything of consequence that was ever conceived or devised by humanity.
The students used a reading and writing system their teachers called the ‘Latin’ alphabet.’Â They did arithmetic with so called ‘Roman’ numerals.
They were told about mathematical theorems and principles named after Pythagoras and Archimedes and heard of the ancient greatness of other Greeks like Plato.
However during mandatory religious study sessions, these same students were regularly harangued about the sinfulness of the idolatrous Canaanites and sermonized about the mass escape of the dreadfully oppressed Hebrew slaves from the brutal and decadent Egyptians.
With Canaanites and Egyptians cast in such a negative light it is not likely that ‘ethiopic’ mission-school students would have sought to identify with them. If anything they would have been quite ashamed to admit to having any ancestral connections with such biblical pariahs. Even if by some chance they realized there was indeed a link.
Furthermore missionary teachers (even if they actually DID know) would probably not have bothered to explain to their students that the Roman alphabet had come to them indirectly from the Canaanite Phoenicians, or that according to Greeks like Plato and Romans like Tacitus, the Canaanite Phoenicians had always said they obtained those letters from the Egyptians.
The future ‘native’ leaders were therefore relentlessly indoctrinated with the sanitized and disfigured vision of history, which studiously avoided any mention of the roles played by their ‘ethiopic’ ancestors.
Â What’s more, being cultural pacesetters these ‘educated’ leaders were expected to provide the example for the rest of their kinfolk.Â Most mission school graduates therefore ended up becoming willing advocates, agents, and surrogates for the invader.Â By their attitudes and actions, they served as all too willing instruments for the annihilation of their own ancestral heritage and the further weakening of their societies.
Ironically the anti-Ethiopic attitude that eventually developed in many of these Ethiopic descended populations was rather prophetically described in the same religious document that formed the cornerstone of Christian missionary work.
That remarkable passage stated:
“And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.” Isaiah 20:5
Anyone seeking verification of the role played by religious missionaries as front line agents of revisionist and anti-ethiopic programming need look no further than how these intermediaries dealt with the transmission of the ancient Mediterranean religious myths and legends.
Despite the many references to Ethiopia in the Christian Bible, it would have been truly rare to find any missionary who quoted these types of ‘ethiopic’ verses in any of their sermons. Being interested only in advancing invader supremacist agendas, missionaries were understandably quite selective of which legends they used in their regular homilies to ethiopic populations.
Nevertheless, regardless of whichever narratives may have been chosen on any particular occasion, at the end of all prayers everyone piously invoked the name of the ‘Lord God Amen’.Â Undoubtedly their congregations would have been quite surprised to learn they were all still making supplications to none other than the Supreme deity of the much maligned and vilified ancient Egyptians.Â It was these ancient Kushite Ethiops who long ago had first taught the entire world how to call upon the name of the Great God – ‘Amon’.
It is therefore obvious that the marketing of the negative anti-Kushite perceptions depended quite heavily on the dissemination of restricted religious viewpoints, outright pious forgeries and suspect translations of ancient theological myths, many of which in fact had strong ethiopic origins to begin with.
Â As stated by Alvin Boyd Kuhn in his 1943 book “Who is This King of Glory”
“The entire Christian Bible, creation legend, descent into and exodus from “Egypt”, ark and flood allegory, IsraeliteÂ ‘History’ Hebrew prophecy and poetry, Gospel Epistles and Revelation imagery, All are now proven to have been the transmission of ancient Egyptian scrolls and papyri into the hands of later generations which knew neither their true origin nor their fathomless meaning…”Â (51)
Fortunately for the missionary pastors, both in the Diaspora and on the African continent their Ethiopic flocks were mostly semi or non-literate, so there was little chance of them realizing the overall degree of distortion and revision to which they were being subjected.
Nevertheless there were some ‘ethiops’ who did, and for them lack of literacy skills was no barrier.Â Â These skeptics were usually the spiritually knowledgeable and ethically uncorrupted ‘native’ elders. From the onset of invader contact the traditional African elders who had survived the overall holocaust had noted the strong similarity between their own ancient indigenous spiritual traditions and the principles of the Christian doctrines being espoused by the missionaries.
For example circumcision, burnt offerings, building altars, sacrifice and resurrection, worshipping in sacred groves, the concept of the One Great God, and laws and rituals remarkably similar to those found in the Bible had already been standard practice in traditional African societies for several millennia before a single European Christian missionary ever set foot on the continent.
As community custodians of ancient knowledge, the elders immediately realized that the missionaries were essentially trying to repackage and give them back concepts they had already been using for thousands of generations without allÂ Â the confusing dogma.
Not surprisingly, these elders generally chose to quickly distance themselves from European missionaries and their schemes.Â These individuals were usually of advanced age, and few in number so in true African tradition, instead of open confrontation they chose the path of passive resistance.
Â There was also the issue of the social and theological structure in which the elders operated. Unlike the missionaries, their own spiritual standards were much higher, their disciplines rigorous and their principles not designed for mass appeal. This had always limited the number of those in their communities who were considered suitable enough to enter the tightly regulated traditional secret societies.
Now with the missionaries on the prowl, finding eligible new recruits became even harder for the elders. European missionaries could offer potential converts tempting worldly incentives like a formal education, donated western clothing and pain relieving –supposedly curative– pills and injections. Ambitious but na?ve ‘native’ youth were particularly vulnerable.
With missionary success in gaining ‘converts’ the ranks of potential young initiates began to diminish rapidly.Â Increasingly they all succumbed to the bamboozlement and creeping blight of the ‘musungu missionary madness’ and lost the ways of their elders.
Eventually the traditional assemblies, their doctrines and the wise elders who ran them came to be dismissed as backward anachronisms: viewed by many of the ‘converted’ in their own communities as pagan heretics surely destined for the “fires of hell”.
So with the elders in retreat, the culturally alien missionary ‘pastor’ was then able to assume fully the role of dominant ‘spiritual’ leader and sole moral authority in any ‘Christianized’ community.Â Furthermore they now had unprecedented power to lead their ‘flocks’ in any direction desired, like lambs to slaughter.
It is in this manner that supposedly sacred religious texts became the chief tools for spreading mental confusion among Ethiopic populations.Â The ancient Mediterranean stories and legends were regularly subjected to opportunistic and sometimes bizarre interpretations by the well-funded armies of religious zealots and fundamentalists representing a variety of sects, cults and persuasions.
As indicated earlier, these alterations did not go totally unnoticed by the European critics of invader revisionism. The eventual negative impact on Ethiopic populations of the advancing missionary front-line was also very strongly criticized by the more enlightened members of invader culture.
Scholars like the religious historian Albert Churchward warned about this in his 1903 book ‘Signs and Symbols of Primordial Man’, — (subtitled –The evolution of Religious doctrines from the Eschatology of the Ancient Egyptians):
“How soon all these native customs, traditions, myths, etc., will become obliterated now that the missionaries have begun their work amongst them, will, we think, be only a short time…. and what will they find or understand of their religion, etc.? – nothing, and so the origin of all our religions has become obliterated and erased by men, who know less than many of these poor natives of the meaning of many things, preaching an up-to-date doctrine, of which the original lies here………… for….in the valley of the Nile, lies the home of man and the origins of all we find throughout the world of the various Totemisms, Mythos etc.”
As it turned out Mr. Churchward was only too right, the missionaries ended up being quite successful at widely disseminating their own editions and interpretations of the ancient religious myths and stories. Thus they were able to produce lasting ‘spiritual’ conversions that ultimately were more designed to support the very worldly agenda of ‘northern white supremacy’ and ‘ethiopic’ cultural weakening than to provide any real ethical guidance.
One prime example of this distortion was the legend of Ham and Canaan. Because of its direct connection to the Phoenicians and Canaanites and the enormous damage it did to Ethiopic people across the earth, this narrative deserves special mention.Â Especially in the context of the effect that myths in general can have on attitudes and behavior.
For several years, annotated Bibles put out by European religious missionary organizations made a special point of highlighting the link between black people and the “Ham / Canaan legend”.Â These editions were made widely available to both Ethiopic and non-Ethiopic people all around the world in a wide variety of languages; some of which were being written down for the very first time.
Beginning in much earlier periods, spurious translations and prejudiced interpretations of this legend had already served to somewhat demonize and denigrate early Canaanites and their achievements.
However during the heyday of European global colonization this formerly purely anti-Canaanite mythological attack was universally extended to all black skinned, and/or woolly haired ‘ethiops’ (Kushites) worldwide.
The evil of anti-black racism became increasingly cloaked in a mantle of warped religiosity and sought to present itself as holy decree.Â Consequently all ‘black’ nations across the earth regardless of their geographical location or historical reality were portrayed as the carriers of this extraordinarily unique and supposedly divinely sponsored inherited curse.
In practical terms it meant that like those supposedly ‘cursed’ Canaanite grandchildren of Ham, all ‘ethiops’ could now be viewed as well deserving of any dispossession, ill treatment, enslavement or attempts to exterminate them.
It served both as a justification and as a working blueprint for Islamic as well as Christian European imperial and colonial expansion.
It also fuelled ‘white supremacist’ aspirations among the ordinary land hungry rank and file colonial immigrant.Â They all quickly developed the habit of routinely cursing and feeling superior to any ‘loathsome ethiopic’ man, woman or child they happened to lay eyes or thoughts on; all the while acting to personally dispossess them of whatever knowledge or assets they might have.
It did not matter that this supposed ‘curse of Canaan’ which appears among the much revised Middle Eastern creation myths had absolutely no basis whatsoever in the factual history of the ancient world.
It was also unimportant that these particular stories did not in any way match the substantial record of achievements by the real historical Canaanites (Kena’ani) and other ‘ethiopic’ populations. Perception was everything.
The highly negative attitudes stimulated by lethal interpretation of a narrative that was itself of doubtful theological origin, in turn created its own devastating very contemporary reality.Â Such is the profound power of myth and legend.
However maintaining false myths requires eternal vigilance, so, having devised their range of anti-ethiopic strategies the revisionist cultures took no chances in the protection of their continuing primacy and dominance.Â They kept a tight hold on all information lest the subjected populations got the urge to seek out the truth for themselves and redeem their proper place in the world.
From the earliest days of African enslavement by ‘Christian’ European empires to almost the end of the 20th century, ruthless segregationist policies in many colonized regions ensured that black people would be routinely barred from advanced learning and ESPECIALLY FROM LIBRARIES.
Under the harsh conditions that prevailed both on the continent and in the Diaspora, just acquiring basic literacy and numeracy was a major achievement for many ethopic people.Â Â It therefore follows that at a time when only the very fortunate few in any society could attend university, there was little chance of ethiopic individuals ever finding out their ancient history from academic sources; especially when such research first required the multi-year study of arcane classical languages like Latin and Greek.
Therefore not only were ‘ethiopic’ people discouraged from learning about their ancestral history via stories and legends from their own traditional oral sources, but they were also denied ready access to formal literacy, non-religious texts and the findings of advanced scholarly research. These could have revealed other people’s observations of the extensive achievements of their ancestors down through the ages.
This situation began to change somewhat at the beginning of the 20th century with the increasing availability of modern language translations of ancient documents.Â The issue of access then became much less of an academic problem than a social one.Â The translations were usually housed in all those libraries that routinely barred entrance to blacks.
The required information was being hidden from ‘ethiops’ in plain sight.Â In light of what those documents contained regarding the ancestral origins of the invaders some have speculated that the motivation may have been just as much invader self-image protection as it was anti-Ethiopianism.
Â Having gained the upper hand, those who exercised the dominant intellectual control were not about to admit to anyone (especially to themselves) that their now powerful civilizations began essentially as ignorant unrefined barbarian backwoods.
Â Or, that over time these were greatly enhanced by the cultural gifts and discoveries derived from the ancient black skinned forbearers of those populations they now enslaved, subjugated, defamed and stifled.
Â But as has been said in one old legend: “What is in the darkness must one day come to light” Beginning in the early 20th century, scholars of ethiopic origin increasingly began to challenge the existing information paradigm that had denied the world proper knowledge of the role of their African ancestors in the development of human civilization.
Ironically, the change was spearheaded, by a few remarkable individuals who mainly lived in the New World African Diaspora. Their proximity to the very sources of the ‘cover up’ in metropolitan centers of the colonial empires enabled them to gain access to many unaltered narratives that told the truth of their ancestors. (52)
Given the draconian racial restrictions that existed at the time, these Diaspora researchers often took extraordinary measures to acquire the information.Â Their strategies sometimes involved getting friendly co-workers of European ancestry to borrow the documents they needed from those libraries that they –as black people — were forbidden from entering.
As a result of their diligent investigations, the tactics of ‘anti-ethiopic’ historical revisionism increasingly came to be revealed to the world for what they really were: shallow, unsupportable, and highly bigoted misinformation schemes; arrogant conspiracies far more concerned with obscuring than with providing any real illumination to humanity, during the supposed Age of Enlightenment.
Thanks to their pioneering work, after several centuries Ethiopic people were finally able to begin the task of reclaiming their history.Â Their findings helped to raise the confidence and self esteem of an entire generation of post war African leaders.Â This reached the point where the protesters felt confident enough to begin challenging the attitudes and policies of the imperial authorities; including voicing their demands for political autonomy and an end to colonial regimes based on the false mythologies of white supremacy.
Â Later generations would carry on the work of these pioneers and continue to delve deeper into ancient Ethiopic history. In a number of instances they were able to discover the resilience of some ‘kushite’ traditions that had endured despite long breaks in cultural continuity and contact with the source areas.
For example realizing that just like in the Mediterranean legend of long-haired Samson, the most ancient of the Egyptian kings from the First Dynasty onward wore their hair in what are now called ‘dreadlocks’.Â And that the high crowns adorning the royal heads of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were not just exalted status symbols but like the high headgear used by contemporary ‘Rastafari’ had the very practical function of adequately covering their elongated woolly braids.
Or that the revived interest in lion symbolism among some groups in the Diaspora has strong echoes with the ancient Egyptian sphinx: the oldest large sculpture in the world, that has the head of an ethiopic Egyptian king and the body of a reclining lion.
This monument located at the foot of the great pyramid in Egypt symbolized royalty and the power of the divine spirit. It was called Her-em-akhet (Hero of the ‘daybreak’ horizon) by the ancients and was strategically oriented to face the rising sun at dawn.
So as global culture embraces what is now labeled the Information Age, it is even more important that the ‘malicious veil of darkness’ woven by those fearful small minded revisionists be finally lifted and for all the carefully crafted lies and falsehoods to be exposed.
From out of the old myths and legends the ancient ‘ethiopic’ truths are once more shining forth to confound all doubters and to be scattered and disseminated worldwide.Â The torches of education and re-education are now burning ever brighter and the lions are roaring to definitively signal the brilliant dawning of the day of true and lasting redemption.
RESEARCHÂ DOCUMENTS INÂ ADDITION TO THOSE CITED IN NOTES
Amen I Ra Un Nefer ‘Metu Neter Volumes 1 & 2 – The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation Khamit Corp., 140 Buckingham Rd., Brooklyn NY 11226 (1990)
Aubet, Maria E., The Phoenicians and the West, Cambridge University Press, New York, 1987, 1993.
Bernal, Martin, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization Volume II The Archeological and Documentary Evidence, Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, New Jersey (1987)
Diop Cheikh Anta, The African Origin Of Civilization: Myth or Reality? Trans, M Cook, New YorkÂ (Westport Lawrence Hill and Co. 1974)
Gibson John C. L. ‘Canaanite Myths and Legends’, T & T Clark Ltd., Edinburgh,
Griaule, Marcel, and Dieterlen. Germaine, ‘The Pale Fox’ translated by Stephen C. Infantino Originally published in French as Le Renard Pale, Institut d’Ethnologie, Paris 1965, English Edition: Continuuum Foundation P:O: Box 636, Chino Valley, Arizona 86323, (1986)
Higgins, ‘Anacalypsis, Volumes 1 & 2’ New Hyde Park; University Books, 1965
Hislop, Alexander, ‘The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship Proved to be the Worship of Nimrod and His Wife, First published as a pamphlet in 1853 Philologos.org http://www.i61m.com/resources/books/TwoBabylons.pdf.
Hooke S. H., ‘Middle Eastern Mythology’, Penguin Books, New York, (1963)
Houston, Drusilla Dunjee, ‘Wonderful Ethiopians Of The Ancient Cushite Empire’ 1926;(Reprinted Black Classic Press, Baltimore, 1985)
Journal of African Civilizations, ‘The Golden Age Of The Moor’, Collection of Essays from – Edited by Ivan Van Sertima. Transaction Publishers, New York/ London (1992)