When talking about going to Kemet (Egypt), the best scholar/guide one could hope to have is Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan, Kemetologist (Egyptologist), now retired. Not only is he the most knowledgeable about the Nile Valley, he was born there, in Ethiopia. Dr. Ben conducted the first educational tours in Kemet for people of Afrikan descent, and trained most of the scholars of Afrikan descent presently conducting tours. Dr. Ben has published some 42 books about the Afrikan world, many of them centered on Kemet and the Nile Valley.
One of his two goals, and lifes work, has been to prove that the people who built the ancient civilization in Kemet were indigenous Afrikans. This remains the biggest and most vicious battle in academia today. The implications are monumental. It is where civilization, science, mathematics, engineering, medicine, law, agriculture, architecture, philosophy, spiritual thought, and so many other human innovations started. To attribute or even hint that Black people were the creators would be equivalent to an intellectual mega nuclear disaster. It would completely change practically everything that has ever been taught; from elementary to the university level. The vast majority of literature would be deemed inaccurate, and dishonest. Practically all films with some aspect of world history would be declared obsolete. This has been his obsession and way of life.
His other passion has been to educate people of Afrikan descent about their ancient Kemetic heritage, breaking the cycle and belief that Afrikan peoples heritage evolved out of slavery. This in itself is a very difficult task when dealing with persons living and actualizing a slave mentality.
When Dr. Ben lectures, he will usually discuss some element on the beginnings of Nile Valley civilizations. Looking at the origin of the Nile Valley civilization points to as far south as northeast Zaire, among the Twa and the Hutu people, which people call pygmies. Many of these signs, for instance the ankh, the crook, and the flail, these signs are all related to these small people, going back thousands of years before the establishment of Egypt, at least before the dynastic period.
When youre talking about the Nile Valley, youre talking about history, authenticated and documented history; where theres artifacts and so forth, going back at least a minimum of 4,100 B.C., in terms of dynastic. Going back 10,000 B.C., in terms of archaeological facts and figures. For a major revision, we could go back to the language itself, to the writing, mathematical figures, the number system. You can go to the calendar and so forth. Youre talking about 6,000-10,000 years ago of documented things. Europe is not discussed, having not yet been born.
These people are Twa and Hutu. They also were known in Egypt, they went down to Egypt as Sybunetos. Farther down South, they are known as Kalahari people, like the desert people. Within that group, there are two subgroups: the Khoi-Khoi, which the Europeans call them; the Dutch and whatnot got funny names for them also. In Europe, they were the Grimaldi, the first Europeans. The Dutch called them Hottentot and Bushmen, and so forth, said Dr. Ben.
The spiritual thinking of ancient Afrikans was no where near what is practiced in the West. Dr. Ben has consistently stated that Christianity, Judaism and Islam were nothing but outgrowths of the religion practiced by those ancient Afrikans along the Nile. One area of major difference was the holistic way in which the ancients saw the deity. According to Dr. Ben, Gods and goddess were always the same, male and female. They didnt have just a God. The gods and goddesses were always married and had children. Its not like Judaism and Christianitys God; a no sexual individual. Always surrounded with a bunch of men, or no one, or alone, stated the esteemed teacher.
For those who may be new to Dr. Bens scholarship, two books are suggested: Black Man Of The Nile And His Family; and AFRICA Mother Of Western Civilization. His writing style is different; expect an adventure. If the opportunity presents itself, one must visit Kemet. Not only does Afrikan history begin there, but also the magnitude of world history is represented.
The results of visiting is realizing that those who have been, and are teaching that Afrikan peoples were/are inferior, such a concept will fly straight out the window when the work of the ancient Afrikans is studied and understood. The emphasis now has to be different than in the past. The scholarship must evolve from an Afrikan perspective as the primary source. Europeans commandeered that as their role, though now slowly, sunset-like, is fading. When one learns and realizes that when those ancient Afrikans created the worlds first civilization, without the mechanical aids of modern civilizations, their genius only becomes apparent. To further the case, neither Greece, Rome or Europe had yet to come into existence.
Those ancient human beings used their intellect, ingenuity and creativity, not allowing any distractions that would compromise their way of life. Dr. Ben taught us that, though far too many of us could not hear to act. He was born December 31, 1918. Through the grace of the Creator, he is still with us.
We give significant individuals accolades after they have left us. Try something different. You can write Dr. Ben at: Bay Park Center For Nursing, 801 CO-OP City Blvd., Bronx, New York 10475. He is not in the best of health. He would love to hear from you. There is nothing like an elder knowing their life meant something, from those who appreciated his work over the years.
– Dr. Kwakus next class, Afrikan World Civilizations, begins 20 February 2009. Watch for details at: www.drkwaku.com.
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