What is it about?

Pauline Hopkins was an African American editor, author, and singer who lived in Boston at the turn of the twentieth century. Through her novel, Of One Blood (1902), she uses historical and literary sources to teach readers about the Africanity of ancient Nile Valley cultures.

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Why is it important?

The discipline of Egyptology has not recognized the engagements of African American intellectuals with the field. Pauline Hopkins knew that some scholars argued for non-African origins of Nile Valley cultures. She fought those incorrect arguments, presenting her historical research in the dialogue of her novel. Her revolutionary novel was published at a time when Egyptology was only just beginning to be taught in universities in the U.S.


I think it is imperative that Egyptologists be aware of the contributions of African American intellectuals who wrote about ancient Nile Valley cultures.

Vanessa Davies
Nile Valley Collective

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Pauline Hopkins’ Literary Egyptology, Journal of Egyptian History, December 2021, Brill, DOI: 10.1163/18741665-bja10006.
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