Africans were the first to inhabit the earth. Fossil records as well as DNA analysis give scientific evidence to support this fact. Therefore, the first woman to give birth was a Black African woman. It is from us that all humans have come. The other races of humankind all evolved from Black Africans.
Ancient Africans had a deep-seated respect for women. Charles Finch in the bookEchoes of the Old Darkland explains that early man did not know the link between sex and birth. Therefore, it was believed that new life was created by the woman, the mother alone. It was perceived that all life in nature emerged from women ALONE. Therefore when the first concept of God was developed, the female served as the model of the Supreme Being. Finch explains how it was under this initial Matriarchal System that the…
Online PhD sent me a link to this list about female philosophers and the post generated some thoughts about the lack of attention around women in philosophy, particularly black women, leading me to a few interesting finds. Philosophy, which means “love of knowledge or wisdom,” is one of the oldest studies in human history. Afrofuturism itself can be considered a philosophy or a philosophical field, since it is a way of thinking about, feeling and engaging with the world. But often philosophy is attributed to men, especially white European men. Philosophers like Aristotle, Sophocles, Kant, and Nietzsche are constantly mentioned and praised with little criticism outside of the usual boundaries. Sometimes other cultures are mentioned in philosophy, like Chinese philosophers, Indian philosophers or a brief mention of the Egyptian Ptahotep, but other than that not much else. So, what space…
I’m sure many of us are familiar with the story of Rosa Parks, the brave woman who refused to give up her seat to a white man in 1955 Montgomery, Alabama, but how many of you have heard of Irene Kirkaldy?
Irene Kirkaldy was traveling on a Greyhound bus from Gloucester, Virginia to Baltimore , Maryland in 1944. She had recently suffered a miscarriage and had gone to Virginia for a doctor’s appointment. She settled into the rear of the greyhound bus and hoped to have a quiet ride back to Baltimore where she would see her husband. Jim Crow laws required that African-Americans in the south (including Maryland) be seated in the back of the bus and give up their seats to any white patrons.
Shortly into the trip, a white couple boarded the overcrowded bus and the bus driver demanded that Kirkaldy and her seatmate give up theirs…
While Blackness drives culture and in a society that seems to celebrate Blackness only when it’s recreated on White bodies, it’s refreshing to have a campaign that’s focused on uplifting and placing Black girls in the forefront. Meet The Colored Girl Campaign. The Colored Girl, as defined on their website, is “beautifully disrupting the status…
Women in Ancient Egypt enjoyed many more freedoms than women in Ancient Greece or Rome. Egyptian Women who were educated were entitled to study any field they chose, and to become respected professionals in their chosen exploits. Unlike their ancient counterparts who were largely relegated to such positions as handmaidens, housewives, or prostitutes, Ancient Egyptian women could work as scribes, scholars, and even as physicians.
THE STUDY OF MEDICINE
The study of medicine in Ancient Egypt was a worthy and important endeavor for women and men alike. It was a constantly evolving field, and a very spiritual one as well, incorporating elements of prayer, natural healing methods, and good old-fashioned study and practice. Egyptian women who desired to study medicine often became apprentices to other physicians, and would have sometimes worked their way through their studies as scribes.
FAMOUS FEMALE DOCTORS
Throughout the ancient history of Egypt, there were greater than one hundred female doctors (at least documented). These women were well learned and highly respected in their fields, with images appearing on tombwalls, and hieroglyphics about them etched onto steles. Female physicians in Egypt particularly studied obstetrics, and were also known to have been instructors at Egyptian medical training schools.
Among the most significant and important physicians (male or female) of her time was Peseshet. According to inscriptions on a stela found in an Old Kingdom (approximately 3100 – 2100 BCE) tomb, she was known as an “overseer of doctors”. Thus she was not only a physician in her own right, but she was also the supervisor and administrator of an entire body of female physicians.
Another noteworthy female physician from Ancient Egypt was Merit Ptah. It is believed by Egyptologists that she was the first-ever named physician. She also holds the distinction of being the first woman known by name in the history of the field of medicine. She practiced medicine nearly 5,000 years ago, and was immortalized by her son on her tomb as “the chief physician”.
Yet another notable Egyptian woman made her mark on the field of obstetrics and gynecology. In the second century CE, a physician named Cleopatra (not the long-dead former Queen) wrote extensively about pregnancy, childbirth, and women’s health. Her writing were consulted and studied for over 1000 years.
The study and practice of medicine in Ancient Egypt was a vital element to their society. The Egyptians were notoriously concerned with cleanliness and disease, and throughout their history, Egyptian physicians studied to find better ways to practice hygiene and treat common conditions. This study and practice was in no way limited to men. Egyptian women were fortunate that their society allowed them to pursue dreams beyond domesticity, and work to become among the most respected physicians of their time, and beyond.