The Ancient Egyptian Origins of the Word Black
There has been many a debate regarding the word “black” as it applies to the original people of the planet. Those who oppose the use of the word as an identifier of our people do so by advancing the argument that black is a color, and that it refers to the mental and legal status of individuals who are deemed incompetent to handle their affairs. The latter view is held by Moors who are followers of the teachings of Prophet Noble Drew Ali including their offshoots.
On the other hand, there are those who take pride in calling themselves black. They come from various groups ranging from Pan Africanists, Kemetic to Spiritualists and some none-affiliated. For them it represents beauty and originality. The worldwide web is saturated with slogans and poetry that embraces this ideology as much as that which is against it.
Then there are groups that have taken literally the negative definitions associated with blackness as given in western dictionaries, and would therefore have nothing to with black identity. All these divisions have escalated to varying levels, to the degree of some celebrity figures making statements that can be considered divisive, inflammatory or ignoramus depending on which side you take.
It is a known fact that the races which identify themselves as being white are but infantile on the planet earth. By all historical accounts, they have no history that can be traced beyond 6 000 B.C., and therefore do not have a language whose roots cannot be traced to the original languages that precede their presence. In 1787, Count Constantine de Volney -- a French nobleman, philosopher, historian, orientalist, and politician stated the following: "Just think,” de Volney declared incredulously, "that this race of Black men, today our slave and the object of our scorn, is the very race to which we owe our arts, sciences, and even the use of speech! Just imagine, finally, that it is in the midst of people who call themselves the greatest friends of liberty and humanity that one has approved the most barbarous slavery, and questioned whether Black men have the same kind of intelligence as whites!
Despite their historians having documented the facts of history albeit some questionable, there are to this day those from this race of people, who are anxiously engaged in reconstructing the accounts of history in order to fit an agenda of grafting themselves into events that are not effectively connected with them. The word black has become synonymous with all that is negative, evil and despised in the colonial systems. What then of the word black when it pertains to people? Should it be eschewed like a rotting carcass that is maggot infested or be embraced?
I’m not aware of any attempts to linguistically explain the origin of the word black and its connection to the autochthons of the planet. I’m not here referring to the already established etymologies that are skewed towards elevating the culture of oppression at the expense of those whose cultural values have been stolen, repackaged and reintroduced as new, but I’m talking about tracing the origin of the word black to the most ancient languages.
To effectively establish a connection to ancient languages, I will here begin with the already accepted etymological roots that seem to go no further.
The etymological roots of “black” according to the west, it comes from:
- Old English blæc, meaning "dark," from
- Proto-Germanic *blakaz "burned" (cognates: Old Norse blakkr "dark," Old High German blah "black," Swedish bläck "ink," Dutch blaken "to burn"), from
- PIE *bhleg- "to burn, gleam, shine, flash" (cognates: Greek phlegein "to burn, scorch," Latin flagrare "to blaze, glow, burn"), from root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn;"
The etymology dictionaries seem to make the word “black” synonymous with “dark”. However the root of blæc is from Proto-Germanic blakaz meaning “burned” which has its roots in PIE bhleg meaning to burn, gleam, shine, flash.
A close examination immediately reveals the deception of the Germanic languages in that they seem to have altered the meaning of words for nefarious purposes. The word has completely changed from its original meaning. The word dark dark (adj.) derives from:
- Old English deorc "dark, obscure, gloomy; sad, cheerless; sinister, wicked," from
- Proto-Germanic *derkaz (cognates: Old High German tarchanjan "to hide, conceal"). "Absence of light" especially at night is the original meaning.
It’s clear from the above explanation that “black” and “dark” are not synonymous with each other. The application of the word and its association with color did not come into use until the 16th century. By reason of this I will disregard “dark” as a synonym and proceed to establish the original roots of the word “black”.
Linguists claim that Indo-European languages descended from a single tongue. Called Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, it was spoken by a people who lived from roughly 4500 to 2500 B.C., and left no written texts. In essence PIE is a construction of a linguist by the name of August Schleicher, and it has no historical foundation but is a scientific hogwash which by all appearances, seeks to palliate the facts regarding the origin of Germanic languages. As previously stated in this article, according to Count de Volney, Europeans were taught language by black ancient Egyptians. I therefore posit that it is to the language of ancient Egyptians one must search in order to find the roots and true meaning of the word black.
The word in Medu Neter that is the root for “black” is the word transliterated as /burqa/ by E.A. Wallis Budge with the meaning; to shine, to lighten, to glimmer, to sparkle, bright, shining. In the Sestswana/Sesotho we have the plural word /malakabe/ which comprises of a prefix /ma/, the double adjective /lakabe/ which is made up of /laka/ meaning flame, light, shine, sparkle, bright, blaze and /be/ meaning evil. This word /malakabe/ means bad light, flames, blaze etc. and it’s normally used in reference to fire flames. The singular for /malakabe/ is /lelakabe/. The word /laka/ is synonymous with the Chikaranga/isiZulu word for the sun i.e. /langa/.
The transliteration of into /burqa/ is close but should instead read /buraka/. The /bu/ and /bo/ are similar words etymologically as can be found in indigenous African languages. The prefix /bu/or /bo/speaks the condition/state of what follows and may be used to denote a designation/place. It is accepted that /r/ and /l/ are interchangeable and thus in this case, /buraka/ would become /bulaka/ or /bolaka/. This means the state of being or condition of light, brightness, sparkle, shine etc. It can now be seen that the Proto-Germanic *blakaz has its root in bolaka/bulaka. By elision the /u,o/ was eliminated and it became /blaka/. By paragoge it became /blakaz/. The word /blakaz/ by elision became /blak/ or /blæc/.
I have here clearly shown that the PIE origin of the word black is but a fabrication as there is no such language. The ancestors of Europeans first learned the art of speech and writing from the Black Egyptian as already attested by their historians.
Contrary to the notions held by Moorish groups and opponents of the usage of “black” as a word that relates to the identity of the so called “Africans”, on the basis that it has associated negative connotations and accompanying legal consequences, I have with this expose removed the veneer of falsehoods that have been espoused by our people for far too long. Perhaps the only negative resulting consequences stem from ignorance and failure to assert the truth without equivocation.
All too often we as a people become trapped in the emotional intellectualization of beliefs that give the semblance of intelligence. There is a sure way and method of establishing the veracity of anything that has historical footprints. In a society wherein anyone can claim to be anything, it is advisable to thoroughly investigate such claims and weigh them against verifiable history.
Now the question remains: Are we as a people to rely on the negative applications and connotations of words which are in their original use have no connection to the deceptive manipulations wrought on them by Europeans, or will we chose to embrace “black” and blackness as descriptive of our glory, splendor and magnificence? I hope we will finally accept that blackness has nothing to do with color or anything negative associated with it, but rather that it is a state of being and a condition to which we can aspire to ultimately reach; a luminous light of true blackness is our destiny.