Erasing Black History
This is more of a testimonial than anything. I don't care if a white guy plays jazz or wears dreadlocks. Real cultural appropriation happens when your land and people are invaded and colonized by a foreign power. They then proceed to erase the fact that you were ever there. The most recent example I can think of are the Boers in Southern Africa.
I bring this up because I was having a spirited discussion with a white "friend". And we went back and forth on a few things, including a revulsion of Islam (Muslim armies invaded both Africa and Europe). But when the topic veered to African historical identity, he became very dismissive of the notion that Kemet was a Black African society. Here are some gems.
"One Ankh found in sub-Sahara does not say a lot more than maybe there was some tiny bit of trade once or minimal trade or through time the artifact ended up where it did, passed on from person to person moving south."
"Ancient Egyptian art and artifacts will clearly show blacks, ie. Nubians and the like in the artwork, but time and again it shows blacks in the minority."
"Being cut off is a reason sub-Sahara Africa didn't advance... just as the North American natives were in the stone age when Europeans arrived..."
"... Sub-Sahara Africa was barely known in ancient times and removed from those empires you listed.. It was isolated. For example, if the Europeans had not appeared in the New World, the natives would have still lived in the stone age today... The Koi-San would still be living naked and in the stone age today too-- and perhaps it would have been better as they were the best surviving organized group of people on the planet it seems."
This is a cautionary tale. Here, even a "friend" tries very hard to remove Kemet's cultural history from Africa. And to his point, successive invasions have made a large erasure of African ownership. This tells me that invasion, mass murder and colonization works. People invade and settle an area (Hyksos, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, Arab), then steal an entire civilization from you.
As offensive as all this was, the most important response for me, was to become very sober. Beyond the land, our minds were colonized. Both the conquering and the conquered. And the path for us is clear. As we rebuild Africa, don't commit you, or your child's eternal soul to a religion that enslaved you. If you must pray, pray to African gods (no Christianity, Islam, or other foreign cults). Learn your history.
I've only been able to defend against cultural denigration and dismissal, with real evidence and historical knowledge. Our intellectual self-defenses matter.
We should stop using the word "Africa" to refer to the continent and use Kemet instead as the former is etymologically ambiguous, semantically opaque, and conceptually vacuous while the latter lets us know that this continent is the land of Black people. Very important distinction. @twashing