I see us exhibiting much of the same behavior the same appropriation specifically with Kemet. There is a very fine line between understanding and respecting their wisdom and contribution to human civilization and making the assumption that because our skin tones are or were at least at one point in time similar that there we are them and have a right to what makes them unique. Much the same way the Romans and Greeks of old would not claim the Europeans, Kemet would not claim us, even those of who make knowledge and understanding of Kemetic culture a personal point of pride and the measuring instrument of one’s blackness. Personally speaking I feel as though our fascination with Kemet revolves around the fact that Kemet existed in a time where we (read as people with black skin) were on top; it exists as proof that we are as human as anyone else. But that reveals something interesting. We (black Americans) are conferring ancestry on the basis of skin color in an attempt to fill the pre-enslavement hole in our history.
I understand that sentiment wholeheartedly; it’s a wound that hurts. However if we are truly serious about honoring our ancestors, then it is worth it to be rigorous in our search and resignification process. We need to invest in finding our individual heritages and honoring those who we can actually trace ourselves to or if that is not possible at least have respect enough for these ancient and glorious nations to not take things from them that aren’t ours.