ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


Home  ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music, and more)  


I have heard African scholars say on numerous occasions the builders of the pyramids were Africans

who did it out of a deep seated sense of devotion and commitment. These laborers were artists

and artisans who gave of themselves, shared their talents, skills and expertise for the good of the society.



Myths Lies and Other Untruths

By Junious Ricardo Stanton

Cairo—Egypt displayed on Monday newly discovered tombs more than 4,000 years old and said they belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, presenting the discovery as more evidence that slaves did not build the ancient monuments. The series of modest nine-foot-deep shafts held a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders, perfectly preserved by dry desert sand along with jars that once contained beer and bread meant for the workers' afterlife. The mud-brick tombs were uncovered last week in the backyard of the Giza pyramids, stretching beyond a burial site first discovered in the 1990s and dating to the 4th Dynasty (2575 B.C. to 2467 B.C.), when the great pyramids were built on the fringes of present-day Cairo. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once described the pyramid builders as slaves, creating what Egyptologists say is a myth later propagated by Hollywood films.” Katrina Kratovac, Associated Press Writer – Mon Jan 11, 5:11 pm ET

All human cultures engage in myth building. Myths are an important means to provide group identify, esteem, and a disseminate to the members a sense of how the group fits into the overarching scheme of things. Myths are an essential part of a racial or ethnic group’s psychological well being. What is tragic is when one group’s myths distort actual history and have a negative impact on the self-image, esteem and place in history of another group.  Recent archeological findings suggest the prevailing myth that the pyramids of Giza were constructed by slave labor are a gross misrepresentation of the facts. Tombs discovered outside of Cairo not far from the pyramids of Giza prove the laborers who helped construct the giant edifices on the Giza plateau were paid workers not slaves, a notion propagated by many adherents and devotees of the Jewish and Christian religions. 

This new found information validates the teachings of Afrocentric scholars who challenged the notion that foreigners or captives built the pyramids.  Afrocentric researchers stated with authority the pyramids were built by Nile Valley Africans who shared the cultural values of the pyramid’s designers and an affinity with the project.  In his book Nile Valley Contributions to Civilization, Anthony T. Browder says on page 104,

One of the greatest misconceptions regarding the Great Pyramid is that it was constructed by Jews during their enslavement in Kemet. Examination of a time line will show the error of this belief. Abraham who was the founder of Judaism, was said to have been born around 1675 B.C.E., which was at least 900 year after the Great Pyramid was believed to have been constructed

The latest archeological discoveries were reported by the Associated Press. In the article carried by Yahoo News Egypt’s head of archeology who is of Arab extraction, not an indigenous African stated,

The builders came from poor Egyptian families from the north and the south, and were respected for their work — so much so that those who died during construction were bestowed the honor of being buried in the tombs near the sacred pyramids of their pharaohs. Their proximity to the pyramids and the manner of burial in preparation for the afterlife backs this theory. No way would they have been buried so honorably if they were slaves.

I have heard African scholars say on numerous occasions the builders of the pyramids were Africans who did it out of a deep seated sense of devotion and commitment. These laborers were artists and artisans who gave of themselves, shared their talents, skills and expertise for the good of the society. I have been to Kemet on several occasions and I can tell you unequivocally the temples, pyramids, and other monuments there would not have stood the test of time had they been created and constructed under duress. The giant stone blocks used to construct the pyramids came from the interior of the Nile Valley because the Nile River flows South from the interior North into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile River is one of only two rivers on the planet that flow South to North! Since the Africans knew they originally came from the interior, the orientation of the builders was a southernly or interior one. They venerated their ancestors who had traveled down the Nile from the interior of Africa so much they used stones from the South to construct their great monuments. They transported the stones by barge down the Nile River.
Mythical teaching buffeted in modern times by fictitious images of white Egyptians  helped conceal our legacy, allow Europeans to plagiarize our culture and pillage our history. The fact of the matter is, early Egypt was an African civilization, not Indo-European, Caucasian or mixed. This fact along with the recent discoveries should put to rest the lie foreigners (Hebrews) built the pyramids and absolve their religious devotees of their inaccurate role as victims of Egyptian oppression. Of course if they are honest with themselves and value truth, they will be forced to alter their myths about the Hebrew’s mythical sojourn in Kemet, the plagues, the Exodus and other tales. But I suspect the truth will be ignored since they have too much vested in their religion to let a small matter like the truth get in their way.
Myths are allegorical, metaphorical and often contain symbolic, psychological and deep lessons of ethical, moral and character development. Myths play an important role in society. Myths can be historically accurate or fictitious. What does it say about a people who create myths that over exaggerate their accomplishments, lie about their history and denigrate others who when the truth is told, when the facts are compared have a far more extensive history and legacy of accomplishment then they do? Is their over exaggeration a psychological need and attempt to compensate for feelings of inferiority? 
White supremacy is not a myth. It is a delusional attempt to overcompensate for what the  perpetrators know is a short and rather so-so legacy of accomplishment on the stage of human existence. This is not to discredit European history or accomplishment. For their relatively brief appearance on the world stage, they have done some impressive things; both good and bad. However, others like the Africans, the Chinese, Southern Asiatics and Native Americans have a longer, more vibrant and humane history. If Europeans were not so insecure about their lack of melanin, their real history and accomplishments they would give credit where credit is due. It is obvious their deep seated inferiority complex and their need for a compensatory self-image precludes them from seeing human history as it truly is: a continuum of trial and error, great leaps and bounds, setbacks, reversals and cycles. 

For Europeans to disingenuously put themselves at the epicenter of human history and accomplishment when they are the most recent group to emerge on the world stage is preposterous. It bespeaks of serious psychological issues on their part. It will be interesting to see how these latest archeological findings in Egypt impact Western thinking and religious historiography.

See also Cleopatra’s mother 'was African'

posted 12 January 2010 

*   *   *   *   *'s 25 Best Selling Books



#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

*   *   *   *   *


The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

*   *   *   *   *

Weep Not, Child

By Ngugi wa Thiong'o

This is a powerful, moving story that details the effects of the infamous Mau Mau war, the African nationalist revolt against colonial oppression in Kenya, on the lives of ordinary men and women, and on one family in particular. Two brothers, Njoroge and Kamau, stand on a rubbish heap and look into their futures. Njoroge is excited; his family has decided that he will attend school, while Kamau will train to be a carpenter. Together they will serve their countrythe teacher and the craftsman. But this is Kenya and the times are against them. In the forests, the Mau Mau is waging war against the white government, and the two brothers and their family need to decide where their loyalties lie. For the practical Kamau the choice is simple, but for Njoroge the scholar, the dream of progress through learning is a hard one to give up.—Penguin 

*   *   *   *   *

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

*   *   *   *   *

The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

*   *   *   *   *

Ancient African Nations

*   *   *   *   *

If you like this page consider making a donation

online through PayPal

*   *   *   *   *

Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


*   *   *   *   *

The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

*   *   *   *   *

The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

*   *   *   *   *

*   *   *   *   *

ChickenBones Store (Books, DVDs, Music)





update 23 April 2012




Home  Positively Black Table

Related files: Tribute to Ivan Van Sertima  The Demise of Black History Month