May 19th, 2014 would have been Malcom X’s 89th birthday. I went to Youtube to listen to some of his famous speeches and interviews. One speech in particular, he asked quite a few questions that would make one search deep within for the lack of self-love and question where did a thing such as self-hatred come from?
I listened to his words, felt his conviction and the audience’s response with such emotion and was once again in awe of the late, great leader. But as he asked us who taught us to hate ourselves, to hate our nose, our skin color, I instantly thought of the ancient statues I’ve been learning about relative to African history.
I’ve been learning a lot about ancient statues that have African features, which are in fact, Africans. Some have been revamped and changed to personify our counterparts but nevertheless the very first ancient statues displayed dark skin, full lips, broad noses, and even course hair.
But as I learn about the Great Sphinx, the most famous statue of them all and many other ancient African statues, particularly those in Egypt, I learned a lot of have been altered to resemble less African features and more European features.
This in turn helps paint an inaccurate image of our ancestors and it’s evident in the replicas, the movies, and pictures we see of ancient African royalty, particularly Egypt today.
Rumors have it that noses such as the one that belonged to the Sphinx, were used as target practice by the Europeans while others believe it just fell off. As absurd as it sounds, there are people that believe it and even believe that the pyramids were built by aliens since no one can determine how they were built.
I noticed not only the Sphinx’s nose was missing but about 95% of ancient African statues were missing their noses. But why the nose? As Blacks and Africans, our noses are very distinct. Round, broad, and/or flat, it has been the thing to disdain for quite some time. Because it is a common African trait, and is not deemed attractive, people today get nose jobs to alter that physical feature to a more narrow, thinner version.
As the standards of beauty remain persistent, the representations that were created in our image are altered simply because those features are African. Statues were repainted or recreated lighter skin colors, noses were broken off and even some were replaced with thinner versions as well as the lips, some having been altered to appear thinner.
Most ancient African statues now reside in Europe. Their journey from their home would be a story untold, but we can see it’s written all over their faces. Pun intended.
Some people even go as far to research certain verses written in the Bible that says:
King James Version (KJV)
25. And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy NOSE and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire.
26. They shall also strip thee out of thy clothes, and take away thy fair jewels.
27. Thus will I make thy lewdness to cease from thee, and thy whoredom brought from the land of Egypt: so that thou shalt not lift up thine eyes unto them, nor remember Egypt any more.
The King James Bible was written in the 1600s. It was said that the Sphinx nose was removed in the 1300s. It is believed that the removal of noses on statues is regard the statue of the person as less than human. Another coincidence?
Before this blog is dismissed and someone says “Oh here is another race blog,” I think what humans strive for is a place of belonging, a sense of pride in who and what you are. With that comes a desire to associate with those that have the same hobbies, same sex or gender, religion or physical similarities.
In art, with our tangible expressions we transcend our humanity into it, creating these extensions of ourselves. Our African ancestors, in essence were who we should be now. Proud of their physical being enough to create monuments dedicated to it.
To have them taken or altered to where to you, it is a complete stranger, is not only disrespectful but it indicates that what you look like is not liked and someone decided to change it. The idea of your physical existence is so bothersome that those that now have the ability to manipulate history, does. And how would you feel then?
A lot of artifacts have been destroyed and distorted further deviating from the African images they once were. If color and “race” were not the issue, this blog would not exist.
I will forever be fascinated by the wonders of Africans, the dark people that roamed and ruled this Earth, who continues to endure it today as we are faced with the hatred of others and ourselves.
I use to look at my nose and wished it was smaller, but turning away from social media, turning away from these “standards” of beauty I finally could hear myself say, “You are already beautiful. Who told you that you weren’t?”
Living in a world, where there really is darkness, you have to find the light within yourself to not be blinded by it. Continue to learn about your history, our history and you will find yourself closer to self-love.
Here’s a site that discusses the many museums and remaining artifacts that have been altered.
Check out this interesting interview with the curator of the Egyptian Collection at Chicago’s Field Museum. His last comment will make you think!