How can comprehending the rise of Egyptian civilization enrich our understanding of African American history?

The rise of Egyptian civilization can greatly enrich an understanding of African American history when students realize the contribution southern Africans made to Egyptian culture and the influence Egyptian culture and civilization had on sub-Saharan Africa. African Americans can embrace these achievements as part of their heritage.

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At first glance, Egyptian civilization appears to have very little connection to African American history, yet when we look more deeply, we discover some surprising links that help us better understand the accomplishments of the African people and the heritage of African Americans.

For many years, scholars of ancient Egypt believed that there were few links between Egypt and sub-Saharan African. Yet as time went by, archeologists and scholars discovered more and more that Egypt had a significant population of dark-skinned Africans alongside the lighter-skinned people shown so often in Egyptian illustrations. Therefore, southern African peoples likely contributed greatly to the rise and flourishing of Egyptian civilization with its governmental organization, communication systems, technological developments, and grand monuments.

This contribution, then, is part of the heritage of African American people, and they can and should claim it as their own. They can enjoy learning about the advancements of the Egyptians and the rise of their civilization as part of their own history.

Further, African Americans should appreciate how the civilization of Egypt influenced the lives of their ancestors in other parts of Africa. Scholars have long studied this aspect of Egypt as well and discovered critical cultural links between the Egyptian civilization and other African civilizations and cultures. These, too, are part of African American heritage and should be embraced with interest and pride.

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