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Calls to cancel Kevin Hart's comedy show in Egypt over Afrocentric views 

December 15, 2022 at 6:35 pm

Comedian Kevin Hart [WestConn/Flickr]

Calls are growing in Egypt to cancel the upcoming stand-up show in Cairo by US comedy star Kevin Hart over his past comments in support of Afrocentrism on Ancient Egypt, which has angered many in the country.

On Tuesday, Hart announced on Twitter that he will be performing for the first time in Egypt at the Cairo Indoor Stadium in February 2023. However, his post promoting his “Reality Check” tour prompted many Egyptian users to call for the show to be boycotted or cancelled due to Hart’s Afrocentric views of Ancient Egyptian civilisation. Some users have started using hashtags calling for the show to be cancelled, and saying that Hart is “not welcome” in the country as “Egyptian history is a red line”.

Hart is once said to have stated: ”We must teach our children the true history of black Africans when they were kings in Egypt, and not just the era of slavery that is cemented by education in America. Do you remember the time when we were kings?”

One user said Afrocentrists “want to steal and attribute Egypt’s civilization to Africans and tell modern Egyptians that we are occupying Egypt from them. We must all participate in the campaign to cancel Kevin’s concert.” Among those calling for the show to be cancelled was Egyptian actor Youssef Othman. He highlighted that Hart had invested in an Afrocentric animation series by the company Black Sands Entertainment, which others have accused of “Blackwashing” ancient Egyptian history.

READ: Egypt denies its pyramids were built by aliens 

Last year prominent Egyptologist and former minister of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, dismissed the notion that Ancient Egyptians were black Africans, but did acknowledge there was evidence of Kushites who ruled Egypt during the 25th Dynasty (746 BCE to 653 BCE).

“If we look at Ancient Egypt, there are two theories, with one theory being that their origin was either from Semites (descendants of Shem, son of Noah) or Hamites (descendants of Ham, son of Noah), with input from Palestine and from Africa based on the faces of the people from the Delta and Upper Egypt,” he said.

Afrocentrism gained traction in the US following the growth of Black consciousness and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s and 70s and centres on the history of people of African descent and has been described as a response to Eurocentric attitudes about African history. One of the most disputed and divisive subjects has been the race of the Ancient Egyptians, and the accusation that modern Egyptians have no claim to the country’s ancient heritage due to being descendants of “Arab invaders”, while Afrocentrists have been accused of attempting to steal or appropriate Egyptian history.

READ: Egyptians call on British Museum to return Rosetta Stone