I love the show Jeopardy. Today I caught the show and thought I heard a wrong answer. Morocco and points east on the continent are part of the Middle East? I immediately ran to my desk top computer as soon as final Jeopardy was over. Was this on the news? Had there been an earthquake of such major proportions that the entire northern half of Africa had migrated across the Mediterranean Sea AND shifted to the east by-passing Turkey (aiming to be part of the E.U.) to join Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Oman, Abu Dhabi,Syria, Kuwait, Iraq and Iran? I couldn’t find anything on the news. I tried searching maps on line. Yep, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Mali, Algeria and Ethiopia were still firmly attached to the African continent. I continued my search. Surely Jeopardy couldn’t be wrong but even Wikipedia hadn’t plopped Morocco into the Middle East.
Buzzle.com offered a partial explanation of how Egypt has been labeled “transcontinental” i.e. Asia and Africa. It’s because of the Sinai Peninsula. I went to graduate school with an Egyptian. In fact, he was our class president. He emphatically believed Egypt was on the continent of Africa. I guess he should know since he lived there most of his life.
This same conversation about Egypt came up when a friend’s daughter,then attending Whitney Young, was outraged because their geography teacher said Egypt was in the Middle East. That statement prompted a call from the high school student to my daughter who at the time was at Harvard doing a PhD in multi-cultural studies. There is no fury like a learned black woman at Harvard. There was a series of telephone calls and emails between Harvard and Whitney Young which ended in a “corrected” geography lesson.
I again encountered this “annexation” of mostly non-darkly pigmented African cultures to mostly white or darn near white countries while traveling in Tunisia. I had the delightful experience of touring with a bunch of pleasantly rowdy folk from the Canary Islands. They liked to sing and drink,both they did very well. They looked white but were adamant about being African.
They wanted no parts of being adopted by the Spanish. The more they drank the more I heard about their desire to remain African by definition. We had a great time. This brings me to something much closer to home, i.e. Bronzeville.
How in the heck did the “Bronzeville Children’s Museum” end up on 94th and Stony Island? Things that make you go hmmmm! I have to consider the South Loop migrating farther to the south. It’s really funny how those countries and neighborhoods move around. Go to sleep one night and you live in Egypt on the continent of Africa. You wake up in the Middle East. Go to sleep in Bronzeville and wake up much farther south then you ever intended but it’s called Bronzeville.