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Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries


Jorge Serrano

African antiquity has been discerned both nullifyingly and constructively. Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries reveals how reading the past can be extended to understand sensitivities involving origins and how it imparts collective posture. The ancient historical imagery epitomized by writers and artists alike includes the distant past as well as an immediate past. Comparatively, representation of time long gone records transhistorical presence and civilizational participation and agentic validity. African antiquity can be construed as diasporic through time and space and in regards to nomenclature it extends understanding of peopleness, e.g. Libya, Ethiopia, Africa, Afrika, African Egypt, Kemet, Alkebu-lan, Nubia, Ta-Seti, Ta-Nehisi, Ta-Merry, Kush, Axum, Meroë, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Zulu, and so many more are recognized in a time-spatial continuum linked to African, Colored, Negro, and Black, as various terms inform origins identity. Unfortunately, typologies disciplinarily stem from anthropological construction, yet here African antiquity as sign heralds clines and clusters; splintering Africana from humanitas ultimately contends against subjugation. African antiquity absorbs character and notions of diachronologically dispersed peoples reflect origins indulgence. African antiquity as a stretched concept and/or historicism triply adds understanding, grouping, and alterity. This primarily is a review of thinkers who defend against people erasure in the past with its socially and nihilistic affective ways.

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Chapter 1. Melior Humanitas Atque Cultus Africana


Chapter 1

Melior Humanitas Atque Cultus Africana

Nation, Nomenclature, and Africans in America

Africa is at the beginning of many African-­American intellectual ideas regarding the past. The awareness of an ancient Egyptian Africa connected to a transplanted Africa in America has persisted throughout the writings of nineteenth-­century African-­American intellectuals.1 Much has been written about the importance of the perception of Africa when conceiving the nationalization of a select group of people who have been an intricate part of the evolution of the United States. The “African-­American” term itself is symbolic of an African people persisting in the United States and thus for this self-­named group its term incorporates two geographical regions and their connectivity. An African-­American identity has been defined in two mutually exclusive (opposing) ways: (1) as a North American people derived from peoples who first stepped foot in North America in 1619 CE and who have been forcibly isolated from their African roots, and (2) as a people who have maintained a sense of historical continuity with the Africa homeland (both ancient and contemporary cultures).←1 | 2→

Unlike any other early arriving immigrants to North America, African people had been stolen from their homeland and brought to North America for European, and by extension European-­American, exploitative use of their human labor.2 African-­American intellectual endeavors in various literary forms worked at building a variant understanding of their civilizational potentiality that made use of...

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