If your definition of BLACK aligns with the hateful compilation of negative and ugly words by Caucasians in the dictionary, then you might never appreciate my understanding and use of the word BLACK when referring to Africans worldwide.
Please know that there are two meanings to the word BLACK – one is derogatory and created by white people. The other is self-exalting (and a precise characterization) created by African ancestors.
Caucasians scornfully defined Black to be: (1) deeply stained with dirt (2) characterized by tragic or disastrous events; causing despair or pessimism (3) full of gloom or misery; very depressed (4) full of anger or hatred (5) deeply stained with dirt, and many other ugly things.
But like we say: Black is beautiful. And Africans have called themselves black for thousands of years. That genuine characterization (Black) was not given to us by white people – they only translated an ancient African term/language into theirs and defined it with hate and scorn to paint us evil, dark, and backward.
The name which the ancient people of Kemet (Egyptians) took for themselves, their region, and our continent, clears every doubt about their understanding and definition of the characterization, Black.
The root word Kam/kem was used to describe our people, and it means ‘Coal-Coated’, which translates to ‘Black’. The root word Kam is synonymous with the words Kemi/kembou/Kheum/Kala belonging to a couple of African languages. This set of words mean coal/burned/black respectively.
The word Kam is said to be the origin of the Biblical word Cham, which also meant black.
The ancient Egyptians referred to themselves as Kemtiu, which meant “coal-coated or blacks”. They called the kingdom of Egypt and the continent Africa ‘Km.t’ which was pronounced as Kemet/Kama/kamit and in turn means black country. Also, words like Kemiu/Kammiu were used in referring to Egypt, and they meant ‘country of Blacks’.
And with all the advancements and glory of Kemet, how do you think our ancestors would have referred to themselves with such derogatory terms as what you find in your caucasian-compiled dictionary?
Your level of knowledge in African history and black consciousness will eventually show its head with the definition you chose.
This concise piece is to open your mind as an African. You can also do your own research to find out more. It’s time to wake up. Don’t swallow everything your oppressor feeds you.
~ Chuka Nduneseokwu, Editor-In-Chief, Liberty Writers Africa
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