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  • This is the first in a seven-blog series on history. In this blog, I describe how blacks were viewed in history as I was growing up, how I was able to overcome the negative views of blacks in history, and how my […]

    • George, you raise excellent points. You are correct that the binary distinction between “white” and “black” as applied to us Americans is most likely very different from how the ancients viewed themselves. In truth, I could do an entire blog on the complexities of the issues raised in your comment. However, for the sake of brevity let me make the following observations.

      Being “black” in America is more of a socio-economic invention than a genetic reality. For example, for most of my life being black has been defined by the “one drop” rule. The “one-drop rule,” as you may know, was used by the Federal government in the Fourteenth Census in 1920 when the Census Bureau stated “the term ‘white’ as used in the census report refers to persons understood to be pure blooded whites. A person of mixed blood is classified according to the nonwhite racial strain.” Hence, “a person of mixed white … and Negro … is classified as … a Negro … regardless of the amount of white blood.” While it was never codified into federal law, at least four states passed laws defining race by the “one drop” rule. And while the state laws are no longer in force, in 1985, a Louisiana woman was denied her request to be classified as white on her passport because of a black ancestor four generations back.

      While these laws and census definition are no longer applicable, the “one-drop” rule still defines how race is viewed in America. This is visible in the fact that Barack Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and a mother of English descent, and Kamala Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican father and East Indian mother are seen as black Americans by both themselves and the nation.

      Other countries have taken a different view of race. Even Apartheid South Africa classified people as black, colored, and white where coloreds were people of mixed-race ancestry.

      However, 2,000 to 5,000 years ago the world viewed populations not as white or black but as Egyptians, Greeks, Nubians, Phoenicians, Romans, and others. Many of these populations, like the Egyptians, were an admixture of what we, in 20th and 21st century America, call diverse groups of black and white peoples. For example, by its middle Kingdom, Egyptians resembled the range of colors in today’s black American population. A portrayal, in popular culture, of that range is visible in Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” YouTube video. While the people in this video are classified as black in America, they resemble the people seen in paintings from ancient Egypt.

      Part of my frustration, as a black person, learning about civilizations like ancient Egypt is that while the “one drop” rule means any black ancestry in America makes one black, many people when defining the “racial” type of ancient civilizations use a “one drop” rule that says any white ancestry makes its citizens Caucasians loosely defined as members of the “white race.”

      To that end the concept of the Hamitic race was created in the 19th century where Hamites were seen as a subgroup of the Caucasian race. According to E.A. Hooton, an American anthropologist at Harvard University, the Caucasian race was one of three primary races (Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid). The Hamites were believed to be superior to or more advanced than the “Negroid” populations of Sub-Saharan Africa. In its most extreme form, virtually all significant achievements in African history were considered to be the work of “Hamites.”

      To avoid the incredible tangle of racial ambiguity when discussing the origins of ancient civilizations like the Olmecs, Egyptians, and others, I have and will focus on the origins of non-racial characteristics of a civilization like its unique architectural style, burial practices, religious beliefs, and other distinct characteristics to identify the origins of a civilization.

      Hence, when I said towards the end of the Olmec blog that “a black African influence on the formation of the Olmec civilization becomes clear,” I am referring to the origin story of ancient Egypt. I will discuss that origin story in my next blog, as well as the influence of the West African Mande peoples had on the formation elements of the Olmec civilization.

  • In this, the fourth blog, in this epigenetic series I talk about ways to reverse negative epigenetic changes.
    Reversing Negative Epigenetic Changes with Nutrition

    During this epigenetics series I have written […]

  • In this, the third blog in a four blog series on epigenetics, I discuss behavioral epigenetics which studies how our environment causes changes in the epigenome of our brain cells.  In the fourth and last blog […]

  • This is the second in a four-blog series on epigenetics. In this blog, I discuss how epigenetics works. In the third blog, I will talk about a form of epigenetics referred to as behavioral epigenetics. In the […]

  • In my last blog, I stated that “In my next blog, I will discuss epigenetics.” This is the first in a four-blog series on epigenetics. In this blog, I describe what epigenetics is and why it is important. In the […]

  • In my last blog, I stated that “In my next blog I will discuss how our brain enables us to feel empathy.” In this blog, I discuss empathy and the “Mirror Neurons” that make it possible. Many of our feeling […]

  • In my last blog, I stated that “In my next blog I will discuss aspects of the teenage brain and why the SELF ProgramTM was designed for this age group.”

    In this blog, I engage in the discussion of the tee […]

  • In my last blog, I stated that “in the upcoming blogs, I will discuss each of the science concepts, the positive attitudes, and skills in more depth.”
    In this blog, I introduce the first of four blogs about neu […]

  • Howard Bell posted an update in the group Group logo of SELF SupportersSELF Supporters 1 year, 10 months ago

    In April, June, and August I posted stories about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes. I also encouraged you to share your stories and the stories you find about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.

    To date, the stories have focused on heroes. This month I focus on a story of hope. I chose this story while listening to Elisha Roberts’s t…[Read more]

  • Howard Bell posted an update in the group Group logo of SELF SupportersSELF Supporters 2 years ago

    In April and June, I posted stories about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes. I also encouraged you to share your stories and the stories you find about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.

    This month I am posting a story submitted by Ralph Binder, a reader of the Project Future Institute blogs and stories of hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.…[Read more]

  • Howard Bell posted an update 2 years ago

    In April and June, I posted stories about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes. I also encouraged you to share your stories and the stories you find about hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.

    This month I am posting a story submitted by Ralph Binder, a reader of the Project Future Institute blogs and stories of hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.…[Read more]

  • In my last blog, I discussed my challenges and triumphs in middle and high school, and how they helped to shape my thinking about how to help at-risk students.

    In this blog, I talk about how I came to […]

    • George,

      Your comment reminds me how similar our many stories are even though we may come from different parts of the country and from different backgrounds. Thanks for sharing. Please tell your wife to keep up her good work.

  • Howard Bell posted an update in the group Group logo of SELF SupportersSELF Supporters 2 years, 3 months ago

    In April, I posted the first story under the Project Future Institute website’s Communities tab, about stories of hope, triumph, and everyday heroes.

    As I stated at that time, a goal of the SELF Empowerment ProgramTM (SELFTM) is to help individuals, especially at-risk students, learn and understand a central truth contained in the first s…[Read more]

  • Howard Bell posted an update in the group Group logo of SELF SupportersSELF Supporters 2 years, 3 months ago

    During the past two years three movies, Hidden Figures, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther have excited and captured the imaginations and enthusiasm of blacks and women in America and around the world. Each has told a story of heroes, some real and some fictional.

    A goal of the SELF Empowerment ProgramTM (SELFTM) is to help individuals, especially…[Read more]

  • During the past two years three movies, Hidden Figures, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther have excited and captured the imaginations and enthusiasm of blacks and women in America and around the world. Each has told a story of heroes, some real and some fictional.

    A goal of the SELF Empowerment ProgramTM (SELFTM) is to help individuals,…[Read more]

  • Howard Bell and Profile picture of SkipSkip are now friends 2 years, 6 months ago

  • In my last blog I discussed choices my parents made that allowed me to live and have a chance for a successful life.

    In this blog I talk about challenges in school I overcome because others opened doors for […]

  • Let’s share information about everyday and real life heroes – people who pursue their dreams and help others even when the odds are against them.

  • Howard Bell changed their profile picture 2 years, 12 months ago

  • When I was two months old I was on life support. My temperature was 108 degrees. The doctors told my parents they could end my life…since the most they could hope for was a child with stunted growth and […]

    • Betty, Many thanks for your continued interest and support. Yes, I was truly blessed with wonderful parents.

    • Hollis, Thanks for your kind words and for your continued support. And while my parents are gone, I thank God everyday for their decision, nourishment, and support.

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