The Revolution Will Not Be Pathologized column Community conversations around healing
In the spirit of self-care and Mama Africa, as I like to call her, let us reflect on who and what we are through beginning to remember our history in a more intentional and accurate way.
I had the incredible privilege of visiting our mother continent for the third time at the end of last month, where I got to journey throughout Egypt (Kemet). As my good friend and I beat the sunrise during our trek from Aswan to Abu Simbel (Nubia), I was moved to write out my thoughts of my experience up to that point, and how it reinforced a bigger realization.
By this point in our adventures, we had already visited Cairo, the home of the magical pyramids of Giza and the renowned Egyptian museum. Some of those thoughts were as follows:
The mighty and mysterious pyramids; I touched literal magic. There are popular theories out there that propose these perfect structures were actually designed and built by aliens or extraterrestrials.
The African pyramids are perfect in so many mathematical ways and beyond that people refuse to believe Africans could have had anything to do with their creation. Theories related to extraterrestrials seem to be the more comfortable narrative to tell. Why?
At the Egyptian Museum and also during the conversations with Kerylos, my favorite tour guide who adventured with us throughout Aswan, I often found myself at odds with what I already knew about Egypt and the popular history that is taught in the tourism specialties/degrees at the university level.
It is one thing to conceptualize and intellectualize notions such as the erasure of blackness. It is a whole other phenomenon or profound experience to realize that I am in the presence of its consequences. This erasure of blackness has already occurred–visibly, historically and even geographically.
What a wild experience to be in Africa but then have that reality challenged by the normalization and acceptance of this sacred land as the Middle East. How has Africa, its ancients (our ancestors) and their magic been erased despite the irrefutable evidence of their existence?
For instance, the literal geographical location of Egypt on a map, which is on the continent of Africa, not in the Middle East. Although marginalized in so many ways, the presence of Nubia and its people–our distant relatives–the pyramids, Abu Simbel, the Philae Temples and on and on.
Why am I constantly finding myself kindly asking these awesome and insanely knowledgeable guides to remember their history rather than feed me the Roman or Greek version of events? I asked a couple of my new acquaintances how these versions of events became so accepted as historically accurate and true.
I was told that people are most familiar with the Greeks and their stories, as though there is no consequence for such a push toward a culture and history that is a complete distortion of foundational events that literally paved the way for the civilized world we live in today.
Egyptians, and the rest of the world, have apparently lost their connections to the mother continent and more specifically to blackness and the magic, power and freedom that is locked within a melanated people.
One of the most sacred and magical places in the world has been seized and taken over by calculated storytellers tasked with regurgitating the same “history” under the guise of Egyptology.
What is Egyptology anyway? What other place on this earth has an entire system in place to perpetuate a very specific tale the way that Egypt does? How am I so out of place and objectified in this black skin even though I am home in Africa?
I had to share how sad these realizations and realities were with a trusted friend who simply gets it. Outside of the margins of Aswan, from what I have experienced thus far, traces of and links to Africa is really nowhere to be found.
Imagine a black people in St. Pete, and all around this nation, who truly knew that they/we are in fact royalty. This is not to be confused with the capitalistic and materialistic view. We are divine. We are God. We are powerful. We are magic.
Research the great pyramids and other African wonders yourself if you need convincing.
As Kendrick Lamar mentioned, this is all literally in our DNA. As a result of historical trauma and a continued collective trauma that continues to be ignored, revised, erased, rewritten and retold inaccurately, it seems we have forgotten all of this.
Question the popular narratives, and then question them again! We must do this work to remember. We must remember to heal. Through healing we get free…
Kayla Nembhard is a licensed psychotherapist, budding writer and community warrior. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org