The Virtual Museums of the Masters
Conference Room

Many of the discussions presented in these VIRTUAL MUSEUMS invoke questions or comments. As certain questions or comments of merit come in, we will attempt to answer or respond to them when possible.

"questions/comments"   and   "answers/responses"

I read your excerpt on Cleopatra VII at your site and I question your conclusion that Cleopatra was black?

This is not a criticism of your site or views, etc. but a question of science. If my conclusions are incorrect, I would appreciate any input from your organization.

Cleopatra VII was not Egyptian (African) to begin with. I was always taught that Cleopatra VII was near the last of the Ptolomey line. That line is Greek in origin, Macedonian to be exact and came into existance from the break-up of Alexander's empire at his death by his generals and senior staff. The original Ptolomey was one of Alexander's generals and took Egypt as his "spoils". He was immediately proclaimed Pharoah and thus began the line that eventually led to Cleopatra VII. As was popular in Egyptian culture (but not Greek culture), the ruling family practiced incest & inbreeding to "keep the line pure". Even Cleopatra VII was married to her younger brother before she could rule Egypt.

Greeks of that time were not considered "black" as we understand the term today but olive skinned. Thus my conclusion (& other scholar's) that Cleopatra VII was not black. She was Greek and had the Greek's natural coloring.

I would welcome any discussion on this as I find this period of history facinating.

Thanks for your time, JEFF

I would like to call your attention to the piece on Cleopatra in World's Great Men of Color 3000 B.C. to 1946 A.D. Vol. I by J.A. Rogers, Copyright 1947 (an early edition as compared to later ones) pages 59-66, which has the information on Cleopatra and a number of her pictures. The facts seem to point to her being of mixed heritage, and until recently they were considered a part of the Black race. I refer you to the references on page 66 of World's Great Men of Color for details about the "Tawny" or "Tawny-Moor" as they were referred to in that day, later called Berbers. Additionally I would like to refer you to the picture on page 388, of The People's Natural History Vol.V., 1902, Dodd, Mead & Co., NY. This is a great example of the people who inhabited southern Europe and the area refered to as Egypt.

Also refer to Black Man of the Nile and his Family by Egyptologist, Dr. Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan, who has done extensive work in this area.

I would like to point out that the complexions of the people occupying Egypt today, even after 4000 years of integration, still do not reflect a European in appearance. These people are considered to be Semitic. This term comes from the word "semi" meaning half or a mixture of African and Euro-Asian extraction.

There seems to be some confusion on the issue of incest and its reference to ancient Egypt. I believe if you were to examine the historical data closer, the idea of incest came to us by way of ancient Greece and Rome. This was not sexual practice that had its origin anywhere in Africa. There are numerous references in the history of royal families in Egypt where the pharaoh married their sister or mother, these marriages were strictly political arrangements, they were not of a sexual nature.

P. True


I have just found your site and found it very interesting. Whilst at Uni. studying for my Education degree I 'did' a piece comparing WEB and Washington-the man not the place:-)

I personally think of Booker as being still a slave. Even after his release. Am I being too hard on him. His 'bucket' speech I think 'killed' him for me. Whereas WEB was willing to fight for the complete emancipation, I wonder if Booker would have been so active. To this Englishman (WEB once declared that he had no English blood in him-his only fault:-) I feel that they were both products of their upbringing. One free one slave and that whereas one felt that the road should be completely open, the other thought that building a niche in 'trade' would make the African-American indispensable.

Am I too naive or too simplistic.

Might I ask one question. What happened to William Zanzinger? Did he do his time for the murder or did he get away with it.

One of the quirks of history was the Dr. King March on Washington (I Have A Dream) on the front page of the NYT. Zanzingers sentencing down the left hand column and Dr. WEB's obituary inside.

South Australia

I think your view IS a little too simplistic. Both men made extremely valuable contributions. You might want to check out Dr. Clarke's article on "Washington, DuBois, and Woodson." "">Washington, DuBois, and Woodson."

As it typically happens, persons of William Zanzinger's status and class will get a "slap on the wrist" for what others get a "pound of flesh" taken.

As for the quirk of history you mentioned, it is both interesting and ironic, as is the realization that Dr. DuBois died right on the eve of the "March on Washington" that you refered to.

L. Dixon


The Virtual Museums of the Masters
FRONTal View: An Electronic Journal of African Centered Thought
NBUF Homepage | DuBois Learning Center Homepage