Teaching Ancient African Civilizations During Black History Month
One consistent major issue of American education has been the lack of Black History set before Africans were enslaved in America. Ask an average child what Africans were doing before before slavery and they will most likely have no idea. Worse yet, they may believe that Africans were “savages” and had no civilizations before America.
One site that I enjoy for teaching Ancient African History is Mr. Donn. As a scholar, I do not agree with every detail about every civilization that he covers, but he provides an adequate amount of balanced history. The civilizations of Egypt, Kush, Ghana, Mali, and Songhay are covered with outlines of their daily lives, entertaining stories, powerpoints, maps, free clip art, and activities.
I do not agree with the accuracy of all the images included because none of the ancient Egyptian images are Black. It has been proven by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop that the early Egyptian dynasties were ruled by Black Africans (read: The African Origin of Civilization by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop). He even did melanin tests to validate these claims. There were also Egyptians who appeared as Caucasian or Middle Easterners do today, both of African descent and from migration of foreign peoples. I believe that Egyptians of all skin tones should be portrayed, for sake of accuracy.
Thus, I would encourage you to use the histories, enjoy the activities, and not to take the images at face value. Have a wonderful Black History Month. May our education on the histories of Black people around the world truly advance!