News
The famous burial mask of King Tutankhamun on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Mark Fischer via Flickr.

Egypt to Sue London Auction House for Selling King Tut Statue Without 'Proving Ownership'

The rare statue was sold to a secret buyer for $6 million, and now the Egyptian government has enlisted international police to track it down.

The Egyptian government has announced its plans to sue the London auction house Christie's, after it went ahead with a sale of a 3,000-year old statue of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

Last month, the Egyptian government pushed for the cancellation of the sale, demanding that the auction house prove ownership of the relic first. Despite its efforts, the statue was sold for 6 million dollars to a secret buyer last week, as the auction house claimed no wrongdoing in the obtaining or selling of the artifact.

According to Al Jazeera, Egyptian authorities have enlisted Interpol—the world's largest police organization—to track down the bust. Authorities also disclosed plans to hire a British law firm to file a civil suit against the auction house.

READ: Bringing African Artifacts Home

Keep reading... Show less
popular

7​ Recent Books on African History for the History Nerd In You

These books by black authors cover a range of historical events, eras and figures that highlight the rich history of the continent.

There are a plethora of books out there proclaiming to truthfully capture the continent's rich history, but they aren't all worthy of our time. In fact, many of the ones we grew up reading in school textbooks fall into this category. These often one-dimensional narratives did little to capture African's multifaceted history and were mostly told from a European frame of reference.

Books like these, however, don't represent the fullness of African historical text that does exist. Throughout the 20th century, scholars like Senegal's Cheikh Anta Diop and Ghana's Kwame Arhin produced works that added perspective to the African historical landscape. In a more contemporary sense, there are historians from Africa and the diaspora who are furthering this work and—though still largely underrepresented—many of these scholars are women.

READ: 13 of Our Favorite Books On Black Resistance and Revolution

In the past decade, black authors have taken to writing history that expands viewpoints, adding layers of nuance and authenticity to the field and offering critical works that experiment with format and examine eras, events, and figures from the continent's historical past. These books which cover a range of topics like the historical role of media in Kenyan politics to the aftermath of the Marikana Massacre in South Africa, explore lesser-known histories and extend beyond typical narratives.

If you're interested in becoming more familiar with these stories, here are seven recent African history books to check out.

Keep reading... Show less
Beauty
Image from Josef Adamu's 'The Hair Appointment' Series. Photo by Jeremy Rodney-Hall

Reclaiming Tradition: How Hair Beads Connect Us to Our History

A history of beads and African hair jewelry told through the unforgettable story of Baroness Floella Benjamin.

In 1977, Trinidadian-British actress and singer Floella Benjamin (OBE) was on her way to premiere her new blaxploitation film Good Joy at the Cannes Film Festival in the south of France. Styled in braids carefully accented by layered beads, she knew she'd standout amongst the festival's mostly white attendees, but nothing prepared her for the kind of reception she would ultimately receive.

"We drove along the [Promenade of] La Croisette," she recalls, "in an open top Cadillac for the film premiere and as we passed along, the crowds tried to grab my hair to get a bead as a souvenir."

It was a decade when sequined jumpsuits, gaudy fur stoles and overgrown sideburns were the norm, yet Benjamin's beaded look, which many black folks might have considered ordinary, was met with unparalleled fascination—a uniquely African hairstyle that black women had been wearing for centuries hadn't been seen before at a place like Cannes. "I stayed at the Carlton Hotel and the maids were intrigued," she recalls. "They kept knocking on my door just to look and stare at me."

Keep reading... Show less
Culture
Image courtesy of Birthright AFRICA.

Birthright AFRICA Wants to Connect Young Black People to Their Cultural Legacy With Trips to Africa

We speak with one of the program's creators about its mission, growth and why connecting Africans in the diaspora to their heritage matters.

Birthright AFRICA is a program dedicated to helping black people outside of the continent reconnect with their African roots. The project, founded and helmed by Walla Elsheikh and Diallo Shabazz wants participants to have transformative, immersive experiences that connect young black people to their heritage and history. Last year, Birthright AFRICA helped send a group of college students on a pilot trip to Ghana, and the results are what Elsheikh describes as "life changing."

Next, the creators want to expand Birthright AFRICA to make it a globally recognized experience available to black people across the diaspora. We spoke with one of its creators, Sudanese-American educator Walla Elsheikh about the program's mission, its growth, the power of reconciliation, and how others can get involved in ensuring that people of African ancestry throughout the globe finally receive their birthright.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.