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Only a regal usage allowed

Melvin B. Miller
Only a regal usage allowed
“If Neanderthal DNA exists from 40,000 years ago, there must be some blacks with Nubian genes from less than the past 2,000 years.”

Some community activists decided to rename Dudley Square, now the commercial center of Roxbury, that was named after Thomas Dudley and his sons. He was a colonial Roxbury resident, who was first appointed governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1634. The idea of the activists was to select a name that was more relevant to the African American residents who are now the majority group in the area. It was decided to rename Dudley Square “Nubian Square.”

The concept was less than enthusiastically received. People usually name their streets, avenues and squares after local heroes and celebrities who are well-known. While people are vaguely aware of Nubia, that was an ancient culture in Sudan, which is remote from the birthplace of most of the Africans who came to America in the slave trade.

In fact, the story of Nubia is so significant and extraordinary that it should be well-known by everyone. The kingdom of Nubia is the first highly developed civilization of black Africans. It emerged in 2500 B.C. and continued to thrive into the early centuries of the A.D. era. Nubia developed in the Sudan along the Nile River in tandem with the ancient Egyptians, with whom there was considerable interaction. The Nubia exhibit currently at the Museum of Fine Arts should establish to even the most dubious that there must be a genetic strain of highly evolved and talented Africans in America today.

The history of Nubia is so sacrosanct that its name should not be sullied by applying it to inappropriate places. While there has been considerable improvement in the development of Dudley Square, it is still a work in progress. Blacks should be as protective of the places chosen to preserve the memory of Nubia as Roman Catholics are of the Vatican.

Archaeologists are well aware of the ancient kingdom of Nubia, with black kings and queens. There are undoubtedly other ancient African civilizations as yet unknown. Africa is a huge continent, not just a country. Sudan, the home of the kingdom of Nubia, is geographically larger than all of Western Europe.

Unfortunately, many blacks have lost confidence in the value of their African heritage because racial discrimination in America has debased it. But there is no reason for African Americans to think ill of their heritage or favor one tribe over another. Much of human history, with its violence, is unappealing and can be criticized. Just like Germany attacked the French and the British, and the Vikings in earlier generations attacked the Celts, so do African tribes sometimes go to war.

African Americans should all be empowered by an awareness that an advanced black civilization evolved in the kingdom of Nubia in 2500 B.C. Blacks must hold a memory of that in our consciousness and assure that the name Nubia is restricted only to places suitable for kings and queens. 

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