Western authors have been playing this trick on us for some time now, especially since the rise of White Supremacy, which must perpetuate a number of lies, one being than one race is capable of being superior to another. To support this falsity, a dichotomous logic ensued that said if the white race is the most superior, then his racial opposite, the black race, must be the most inferior. This lead to the rewriting—the whitening—of history. Scholar Martin Bernal has argued in his three volume tome, Black Athena, that 18th and 19th century Romantics and racists felt it was simply intolerable for Greece, which was seen not merely as the epitome of Europe but also as its pure childhood, to have been influence by Africans and Semites, therefore they replaced truth with falsehood, creating a new historical model based on the mythology of White Supremacy. Many an Afrikan person has been de-Afrikanized as a result.
So like any good student of Diop, I devised a simple technique for determining who was black and who was white in ancient times. Or maybe I should have stated that differently--I devised a system to determine who was non-Afrikan. I use cultural elements to determine racial affiliations. For example, Hypatia, one of the greatest scholars of the ancient world is always portrayed as Greek or at least Caucasian. But using the cultural values and environment of the Greeks this is highly improbable. At this time in Greek culture it was impossible for a woman to be educated let alone be a leading scholar and instructor, such as Hypatia renown. A young woman in Hellenistic Greece lacked any rights of citizenship. She was denied education and was always under the authority of a man. Her status changed from a kore, or young maiden, to upon marriage a nymphe or bride, until the birth of her first child, when she became a gyne, or woman. There was not scholarship in her future, so then how was Hypatia able to receive one? Because she was not Greece—it's that simple. Even modern Greece has yet to produce a female scholar on the level of Hypatia.
Was she Jewish? Definitely not! The role of women in Judaic culture was just as deplorable as that of the Greek woman. It is in Judaism, that misogyny took the lead, giving religious justifications for it. Hammurabi's Code noted for its sternness — an “eye for an eye-tooth for tooth” brand of justice — was more progressive in its treatment of women than the laws of the ancient Israelites. According to Hammurabi’s Code, if a married woman had a child by another man while her husband was away at war, the husband was expected to take her back and no punishment for adultery is mentioned. In Hebrew law, however, the husband had the right to murder both the wife and the lover. Even the loss of virginity before marriage was legally punishable by death among the Hebrews. Unlike all the other early religions, Judaism lacked female angels and priestesses thereby disavowing any notion of divine femininity or power derived therefrom. At least the Greek acknowledged female deities.
Was she Roman? A Roman woman's status was only a step above the Greek woman's. It was only as a consequence of the Punic Wars that the status of Roman women changed, a period much later than Hypatia's. The war forced women to manage the family estate or business while their husbands and sons were away fighting. But this is a much later period, and the changes made her a little better off but in no way equal.
Okay, so Hypatia was born in Egypt, but she was not Greek, Jewish or Roman? Who else is left? The native Kemeyu—she was Egyptian. It was only in ancient Afrika, not ancient India, China or Mesopotamia, that women men and women were partners, each recognizing the divinity within the other. Not in words or simply deeds but built into the worldview of the people, and structure within the culture. In Kemet, we see marriage and motherhood were sacred. Kemetic women could own and inherit property, conduct their own businesses, were scribes, physicians and priestesses. In art we see male-female complementarity. No other culture offers this.
So why again is it so hard for Western scholars to determine the race of Hypatia? I used Hypatia as an example, but I could have used countless historical figures that have becomes victims of White Supremacy. One of the purposes of black history month or Afrikana history month is not to un-whiten history or blacken it, but to tell it honestly, truthfully, and unashamedly. You know, speaking truth to power.