A few weeks ago, The Independent featured research expressing shock that more than half of people living in England could not name a significant black historical figure. Perusing the comments, I observed that most responses scoffed at the idea of black history month and delighted in their ignorance. These unflattering responses were expected because as a white country, most people do not feel that they should revel in black history. Although people appreciate foreign history, the typical person is neither socially nor intellectually invested in foreign scholarship. Moreover, on average people lack knowledge of their history considering that other priorities are competing for their attention.
Editors at The Independent feel differently, but Britain’s white population is not obliged to be interested in black history. English people are more likely to study British and European history, relative to African history and this is perfectly logical. If blacks think their history is marginalised then that is their business, because the reality is that England is a white country. Immigrants are free to pursue their culture in a foreign country, however it is utter madness for them to think that natives should care about their experiences.
Immigrants relocate to richer countries to improve their prospects, but if it is also their goal to disrupt local culture, they will encounter resistance from natives. Further despite the fanfare, black activists are more immersed in peddling propaganda than learning history. Blacks do have a compelling history, however there is a fixation on the exploits of Ethiopia and Egypt, even though most blacks in the diaspora are not ancestrally related to those countries. African empires like Benin, Asante, Dahomey, Oyo, and Kanem-Bornu rarely emerged in discussion since they lack the prestige of Ethiopia and Egypt. Historians like Ivor Wilks and John Yardon Peel have written eloquent treatises on the accomplishments of the Asante and the Yoruba respectively, but blacks continuously tout the achievements of ancient Egypt.
The Asante defeated the British in the 1824 Battle of Nsamankow, however the victorious performance of the Ethiopians during the Battle of Adowa in 1896 is esteemed due to reverence for Ethiopia. Yet more blacks in the diaspora claim Asante heritage and Ethiopia would have been defeated if Italians had spent more time preparing for the battle instead of deliberately underestimating their opponents. Based on the popularity of Egypt and Ethiopia, one can conclude that blacks prefer the hype of history to its substance. It is evident that blacks measure success according to European standards, hence the reason for elevating Egypt and Ethiopia at the expense of West African history.
Therefore, black history is embellished to inculcate false pride. Black history has become a confusing hodgepodge of incredulous stories that remain potent long after being debunked. In a 1996 book, classicist Mary Lefkowitz refuted a string of Afrocentric fables, however the myth that Cleopatra was black remains persistent. Obviously, black history does not arouse feelings of pride, because if it did blacks would not be selling propaganda as history. Blacks can always study the intellectual traditions of pre-colonial Africa, but some would rather promote the myth that Africans inspired Greco-Roman philosophy.
Self-respecting people would not act like blacks who obviously want a more flamboyant history. For example, scientific analyses of ancient Egyptian DNA have eviscerated the theory that the ancient Egyptians were black, but this tale only grows stronger in activist communities. Science has even demolished the lie that the reputed “Beach Head Lady” was Britain’s first black person, it turns out she was a Cypriot.
Because blacks want a more spectacular history, they have reduced black history to a compilation of fanciful stories. For instance, Christopher Columbus is loathed by revisionists, however Afrocentric thinkers take pleasure in hearing that West Africans settled in the Americas before Columbus. Ivan Van Sertima who prosed the theory is admired by Afrocentric activists despite this damning conclusion of his arguments by scholars in a 1997 publication:
There is hardly a claim in any of Ivan Sertima’s writing that can be supported by the evidence found in the archaeological, botanical, linguistical, or historical record.
Black activists have composed elaborate stories to uplift the self-esteem of black people when they could have done so by sharing the provocative history of pre-colonial African empires and their achievements. Due to this approach, onlookers can only conclude that blacks do not think that their real history is sufficiently grand to be shared. Therefore, expecting non-blacks to appreciate black history is sheer stupidity when blacks prefer twisted stories to authentic black history.